MMA Life: Heath Herring Turns from MMA to Poker

February 12, 2012
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Heath HerringWhile he’s not been active on the fight scene for the last couple years, former Pride/UFC heavyweight Heath “Texas Crazy Horse” Herring has remained busy with a different type of competition.

“Mostly what I’ve been up to lately has been traveling to play tournaments on the poker circuit,” said Herring. “It’s kind of for fun, but it pays for itself, let’s put it that way. It’s kind of half/half. It’s an expensive hobby if it’s not handling itself.”

Herring told MMAWeekly.com that it’s the contrasts between poker and MMA that have him hooked.

“Poker’s completely different, which is why I think I like it,” he said. “I think a lot of people try to draw similarities to it and MMA, but for me, fighting is mostly physical, whereas poker is a game and it’s all mental.

“It’s interesting to do something that it really doesn’t matter how big or strong you are, you have to out-think your opponent, and there’s a lot of luck involved too. It’s fun to do a different thing after you’ve done something else for so long.”

At six-foot-four-inches tall and usually weighing around 250 pounds, Herring is an intimidating figure, but don’t expect that to give him an advantage at the tables.

“Actually I think it works against me sometimes,” he said. I think a lot of guys play me harder because they think I’m going to try to bully the table or something like that. I think I get a lot more action because people think I’m more aggressive (due to my size).”

While he’s segued nicely into his new life, the question always remains to whether or not Herring is ever going to return to the fight game.

“I haven’t really been training at all,” said the 33-year-old. “I’ve been staying in shape, doing the treadmill and working out, but I really have nothing planned to fight anytime soon, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t say it’s completely closed by any means, but I haven’t talked to anybody about it or even thought about it.”

Before his stint in the UFC, Herring was most known for his time in the now defunct Pride FC promotion in Japan. With the recent inclusion of a Pride mode in THQ’s upcoming UFC Undisputed 3 video game, Herring was asked about how he feels something he was such a big part of getting a new lease on life in the gaming world.

“I think for the fans it’s great,” he said. “They get to kind of experience two different organizations with two different rule sets. They can choose for themselves, which they like better.

“I’m not so old that I reminisce all the time, but it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago (I was fighting in Pride). You’re talking five or six years ago, and it’s just funny that time’s passed so quickly.”

Competitive outlets aside, Herring’s become involved with a new supplement company that is co-owned by UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

“I’m really excited to be working with Onnit,” said Herring. “The first time I took it I thought it wouldn’t work, but I’ve been taking it while playing poker and it really helps you stay focused. They also have an immune booster that I’ve been using a lot while I’ve been travelling and it’s helped me from getting sick.

“If you want to try it, go to their website and use the code CRAZYHORSE at checkout and you will get 10 percent off your order. They’re really good supplements, and they work.”

Herring urges fans to visit his Facebook fan page to interact with him and get all the latest info on his recent and upcoming activities.


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