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In his first recorded live poker tournament appearance in 2004, David Williams came up big with a solid final table performance and a $3.5 million payday at the WSOP Main Event. His second place effort — eventually losing to Greg “Fossilman” Raymer — immediately placed him among “A-List” poker celebrities for a time.

Twelve years later, the spotlight could potentially return for the suspected former adult movie star. The good folks at TwoPlusTwo(specifically forum poster SSKS) gave the poker world a heads-up Wednesday that David Williams is among 40 contestants slated to compete in MasterChef USA Season 7. The show premiers in about a month on Fox.

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Exchanging Card Protectors for Cutlery

MasterChef is no joke when it comes to pressure-packed challenges and mainstream viewer exposure. Unlike the soap opera filled Hell’s Kitchen (also aired by Fox), the world-renowned program emphasizes culinary challenges through its Mystery Box and primary focus on food based competition. Contestants are generally more supportive of each other, and rumor is that the Judges themselves are very hands-on when it comes to training the chefs outside of official competitions.

The show’s featured Judge is 49-year old Gordon Ramsay of Boiling PointBeyond Boiling Point, and Hell’s Kitchen fame. Nearly two decades ago, Ramsay walked out as Head Chef of Aubergine (taking the entire kitchen staff with him and swiping the reservation book on his way out) to begin his own culinary venture. Ramsay’s TV air time hours far surpass even Twitch Poker superstar Jason Somerville‘s work. The Scottish chef/global celebrity will be joined by Momofuku Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi and an unnamed replacement for Graham Elliot.

Before Williams can even make it to the “Main Show,” he will need to survive a heads-up elimination round in which 40 hopefuls will be whittled down to 20 contestants. Last season’s USA version of MasterChef boasted a similar preliminary Signature Dish Episode 1 round — which is a way for aspiring MasterChef champions to cook a dish they should be very familiar with.

However, there are no guarantees about the format of the June 1st premiere episode of Season 7. Challenges over the years have ranged from onion chopping to home-style rib braising using a sous-vide machine. In order for WIlliams to be a bonafide cast member, he will have to be one of the contestants selected to advance from this round.

Can Williams pull it off? If Ramsay’s official Twitter account gives any inclination, Williams could have very well made it onto the show and even made a deep run to impress the world’s most recognized chef.

Past Controversies

David Williams was a highly accomplished Magic: The Gathering player at the turn of the century. He made the Quarterfinal round of the 2001 World Championships, only to be disqualified for marked cards and stripped of any prizes. Williams (along with his opponent in the match of question) have consistently claimed there was no intentional wrongdoing, yet StarCityGames mentions that the bent cards somehow came up on the top of the deck each time Williams shuffled.

The former WSOP Main Event runner-up is also suspected of starring in an adult movie before his poker days, yet it is the potential card game scandal that is a major hang-up with some poker forum contributors who lean toward indifference in regards to adult entertainment while outright blackballing suspected cheaters.

Whatever the truth behind the 2001 MTG World Championships, a solid performance by Williams in MasterChef Season 7 could grant him an opportunity to reach out to and connect with critics.

Good Luck David Williams!

Williams’ hopeful entrance into the full MasterChef Season 7 championship pursuit is not only good for the $8.6 million live poker tournament winner could spread across poker media outlets just as Vanessa Rousso’s Big Brother run did.

On behalf of all of us here at PokerUpdate, best of luck to the 35-year old former WSOP Main Event runner-up!

David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.