Former Vikings CB Takes on WSOP

Former Vikings CB Takes on 'World Series of Poker'
Antoine Winfield

Enjoying retirement and with his son’s training camp about three weeks away, former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is sitting down for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Winfield played for the Vikings from 2004 to 2012 and tallied three Pro Bowls in the nine-year stint.

PokerGo spotted Winfield at the event on Independence Day.

Winfield’s presence at the World Series isn’t a first for the former Viking. He even has a ‘poker profile’ from PokerDB. Retiring after the 2012 season, Winfield took an interest in poker near the end of his playing career, telling back in 2016, “I remember watching him on TV and saying, ‘Hell, if he can win it, so can I!’ It’s fun. I love it. I love the competition and I love meeting all the guys. I’ve been competitive all my life and this is no different. You’re competing against a huge field so it’s hard to make it, but it’s a lot of fun.”

This year’s WSOP figures to be the biggest in the event’s history, with some 2,145 participants as of Day Three. The tournament began on July 3rd and spans four days. Attendance in Vegas was so plentiful that the schedule was altered due to high demand.

With the Vikings, Winfield recorded 21 interceptions, 737 total tackles, 14 forced fumbles, and 7.5 sacks. The 737 tackles from 2004 to 2021 ranked third among all defensive backs, trailing only Ronde Barber (TB) and Charles Tillman (CHI) during the timeframe.

Winfield was at the peak of his powers in 2008, 2009, and 2010, venturing to the Pro Bowl in those three campaigns. He also has a unique distinction of participating in multiple Vikings “eras,” playing one year with Randy Moss, being a part of the roster as Brad Childress took over the team, there for the Adrian Peterson experience, the 2009 NFC Championship, and the rise Leslie Frazier.

His son, Antoine Winfield Jr., is a starting safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — probably why the dad Winfield is wearing a Buccaneers hat at WSOP — and won a Super Bowl in his rookie season two years ago. Vikings fans weren’t shy about wanting Minnesota to draft Winfield’s son, but the Vikings chose cornerback Jeff Gladney.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).