Being a celebrity is hard. It may not seem like it amid the bright lights and red carpets. But ask anyone who has had their life put under a lens for every microsecond, it is not fun at all. One common pastime among the elite is gambling. For the most part, celebrities use gambling as a fun activity to enjoy with friends. But sometimes the pressure of stardom gets the better of them and things can go sideways fast. So, who are these celebrated individuals who have an insatiable passion for gambling?
Tiger Woods – Whose real name is Eldrick Tont Woods is a well-known American golfer. Many regard Tiger as the best player in the world. Some of the feathers in his cap include most PGA tour wins, and he is second in the major championships. There is no doubt about Tiger’s prowess on the golf course. His talents made him the first pro athlete to reach a billion in earnings. But there is a side of Tiger that many choose to ignore. He is known to have an unhealthy passion for gambling. At one point Tiger is rumoured to have played $25,000 hands in blackjack. The problem is so deep-set that MGM Grand put a cap on how much he can bet, which is $1million.
Ben Affleck – From Golden Globes to Academy Awards, Ben has seen it all. This multi-talented American actor has also applied his talents to film producing and directing. Since the beginning of his career in 1981, he has starred in many blockbusters which include Argo, The Accountant, and Runner Runner. Ben is an avid gambler. He won $356,000 when he came first at the California State Poker Champion. But things have not always gone his way. Affleck once lost $400,000 in poker. He admitted to having a problem with gambling in 2001, and also checked into rehab. His exploits at the Hard Rock are well documented. Affleck was accused of card counting and was ejected from the casino.
Ray Romano – The celebrated Emmy Award-winning actor previously appeared on the TV series “Men of a Certain Age” as Joe Tranelli. This character is a great gambler with big problems controlling himself and who eventually manages to get out of this addiction. In reality, this character is based on the true experience of Romano who also managed his addiction by playing on non gamstop casino sites where he favours sports betting. He also regularly participates in the WSOP with the dream of winning the coveted bracelet.
Tobey Maguire – Tobey started his acting journey in 1989. His biggest success to date is Spider-Man, where he plays the role of Peter Parker. But he has starred in many other movies like The Great Gatsby, Wonder Boys, The Cider House Rules, and more. Maguire also has a well-catalogued passion for poker. He was one of the celebrity appearances in the underground poker rooms run by Molly Boom. Tobey Maguire is also a regular at World Series of Poker tournaments.
Allen Iverson – The story of Allen Iverson is truly a tragic one. He is a former basketball player who plied his trade in the NBA. He played for professional teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, and Detroit Pistons. The 2001 NBA MVP is also an 11 time NBA All-star and the Philadelphia 76ers retired his number 3 jersey. Iverson amassed over $200million throughout his basketball career. That is why it is so tragic that he is now broke. Through a combination of wild gambling and bad life choices, Iverson blew the millions he had and even sunk further in debt. Things got so bad that he is no longer welcome at the Taj Mahal, Detroit Greektown, and MGM.
Floyd Mayweather Jr – Might well be the best boxer of all time, well at least that’s what he says. He has won numerous titles across multiple weight classes. Mayweather retired but then came back again for a single fight appearance. Well, no one knows if he will come out of retirement again, but at the last count, he was unbeaten. It’s easy to see why the name “the best ever” might stick. When he is not punching the brains out of some unlucky chump, Floyd likes to flutter on sports. His documented wagers include a $50,000 bet which he made in favour of Colorado State, bagging a cool $45,000 profit in the process. Mayweather also takes to twitter when he has made a huge bet. Once, he stated he had placed a $1,1million bet on Oregon, and the expected pay-out was a million dollars. Of course, this is not much when you get a 100million dollars per fight.