The National Football League heavily frowns upon their players gambling in casinos or participating in any type of organized gambling of any type. As such, you don’t hear of NFL players taking part in poker games or large poker events such as the World Series of Poker. However, some NFL players have found a way to still play their favorite game and in a way that the NFL will overlook and that is charity poker tournaments.
The best example of this is Charlie Batch and his annual “In the Pocket” charity event. Pokerlistings.com and other organizations reported on this event last year, one that allows fans to play poker, pool, or ping-pong with Batch and other sports celebrities. For a specified donation, players could play poker for fun with Batch or other NFL and sport starts. The money raised went towards Batch’s Best of the Best Foundation, an organization that provides literacy for young people and adults.
Batch’s charity event is not the only one that NFL players have supported. For the last two years, several players have participated in the Tyler’s Team Charity Event that benefits the Tyler McLellan Foundation. John Brock and Jim Jensen of the Miami Dolphins as well as James Lee and Errict Rhett of the Tampa Bay Bucs took part in the event. The Tyler McLellan Foundation helps to provide funding for youth sports in the South Florida area.
Drew Coleman, Marquice Cole, and Tanner Purdem of the New York Jets all participated last year in the 3rd Annual NYC Celebrity Poker Tournament which raised money for both Ride 2 Recovery and Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital. The three helped to raise more than $20,000 for the charities.
Due to the NFL’s stance on gambling, you will not see NFL players covered on any site that list online poker rooms or covers live poker tournaments like the WSOP. Unless a players gets caught in a game they shouldn’t be playing in, about the only way you will hear about them playing poker will be in charity events. Hopefully the NFL will change their stance in the future, but at least for now the less fortunate can benefit from NFL players playing poker.