When Sports Stars Swap the Field for the Felt


Anyone who has seen the film or read the book Molly’s Game will know the extent to which wealthy individuals from the worlds of film, music, finance, and more love to gamble. Sports stars are by no means immune, and with the multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals far eclipsing competition winnings, top tier athletes can retire early with a healthy income. History tells us that they are just as keen to gamble as any other elite individual, so below we present a small collection of sports stars who are well known for their forays onto the felt.

Michael Jordan

Basketball legend Jordan, winner of 6 NBA championships, 2 gold medals, and an NCAA championship, enjoyed gambling so much that in 1993 he was spotted playing in Atlantic City at 2:30am the night before a crucial game against the New York Knicks. As late as 2001, Jordan was hosting dice games with professional gamblers at his Chicago restaurant, and he is reported to have lost around $5 million playing craps – his favorite game.

When Sports Stars Swap the Field for the Felt Michael Jordan

Tiger Woods

It’s fair to say that Woods is no stranger to engaging in risky behavior, and this extends to the card table. Woods is often spotted in MGM Grand Las Vegas playing blackjack, reportedly playing around $25,000 per hand on a table that has a $1,000,000 limit, and very successfully at that. Woods also hosts poker events for charity, called Tiger’s Poker Night, where celebrity players take each other on for a good cause.

When Sports Stars Swap the Field for the Felt Tiger Woods

Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather is one man you wouldn’t want to collect from, but the victorious betting slips he frequently posts on Twitter would suggest you might not have to very often. Mayweather calls himself “Money”, and with good reason – in 2012 he won $1.1 million on a college football game wager.

When Sports Stars Swap the Field for the Felt Floyd Mayweather

Charles Barkley

A contemporary of the Michael Jordan years, Barkley is a keen, if poor, gambler. Well known for his exploits a the table, Barkley has revealed he has both won and lost a million dollars on multiple occasions. Barkley was fortunate in that he could afford the losses, but his extreme fortunes reinforce the message that strict bankroll management is crucial to gambling success.

When Sports Stars Swap the Field for the Felt Charles Barkley

Which Sports Star Are You?

So who do you most resemble? Are you a canny Tiger Woods, hosting poker nights for your mates, or a night owl like Michael Jordan? If Charles Barkley’s story resonates most with you, we suggest reading our New Year’s resolution post to help you get your game back on track.

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