Nowadays, there is a tendency to idolize celebrities with a bit of notoriety. Whether they are actors, sportsmen, singers or politicians, we often hear that these celebrities live in another world than ours, that their lives must be so different from those of the so-called ordinary people. But no! In spite of their extraordinary daily life, sports or show business stars have a private life, a family life but also hobbies, and it is precisely on this last point that we are going to focus on in this article.
And among the many passions that celebrities know, there is of course gambling! And between sports betting, casino or poker, some of these celebrities have been able to amass a nice amount of money, as others have lost crazy amounts! And yes, because very often, the sums of money played by these stars are far from those of the common people.
Make yourself comfortable, because today Matoupris takes you into the world of celebrities and tells you the story of some of the people who have made gambling an expensive business!
A legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan is for many fans of the orange ball the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). With the Chicago Bulls, he won a string of titles and individual awards. But His Airness was also known as a gambling obsessive. An obsession that gave rise to some pretty crazy stories about MJ.
He loved to bet on anything and everything, especially on anything. It is known that Jordan used to bet on games of crazy simplicity such as rock, paper, scissors or simply on who between him and John Wozniak, security guard, will throw the coin closest to the wall in the locker room. A scene that became famous thanks to the documentary series The Last Dance.
But the GOAT's real second passion was golf. It's simple, if he wasn't on the golf course, you'd probably find him on a green. And there were times when golf cost him a little (a lot) of money. Legend has it that he loved to bet money with his favorite opponent, Richard Esquinas. According to the latter, Michael Jordan accumulated 1.3 million dollars in debt! A sum that the basketball player would not have fully repaid Esquinas.
We stay in basketball with another big name of the 1990s, Charles Barkley. The one who officiates as an NBA consultant on American television has indeed a heavy past with gambling.
The former player of the Suns or the 76ers has never hidden his interest in gambling. A passion that has however cost him a lot of money. The fault of an ultra aggressive game strategy. Barkley entered a gambling establishment with the firm intention of leaving with a profit of one million dollars. But of course, the casino works the same way for everyone: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And in this case, Chuck has lost a lot. He estimates his losses at the casino to be close to $30 million.
After paying off a debt he owed to the Wynn casino in Las Vegas, Charles Barkley decided to take a break from gambling. He returned to gambling two years later, but this time with much more vigilance and restraint. Gone is the goal of making a million dollars in profit, now Sir Charles has a loss limit of $200,000.
From basketball courts to soccer fields, there is only one step, especially when it comes to gambling! Englishman Wayne Rooney is a true legend of English soccer, who has left his mark on the memories of Manchester United fans. But before achieving this iconic status, he first went through the young hopeful. When he left Everton for Manchester in 2004, the striker not only changed clubs, but also entered a new dimension that offered him more exposure, more fame and more money.
And that's when he started placing bets online. If the beginnings are rather positive, Rooney quickly begins to play larger sums. Except that the results are not necessarily those expected. And very quickly, the Englishman finds himself with a debt of more than 800,000 euros, at only 20 years.
In 2017, his passion for the casino strikes again when he loses almost 600,000 euros in two hours playing blackjack and roulette. A colossal sum that at the time was "only" half of his monthly salary at Manchester United.
50 Cent is an artist who has succeeded just about everywhere he has gone. In music, of course, in movies and even in video games. But another passion of the rapper is of course gambling. But 50 Cent is not content with casinos or poker, he loves to bet on completely crazy things.
Like in 2014, when the rapper challenged multiple champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. The bet could not be simpler: if Mayweather manages to read a page of a Harry Potter book without stuttering, then 50 Cent will donate $750,000 to a charity chosen by the boxer. For the record, Floyd Mayweather was at the center of rumors that he was illiterate. More seen as a provocation than anything else, the boxer did not respond to this challenge.
But he has also made some incredible bets on more conventional things. In 2011, the man who goes by the name Curtis Jackson III just won $500,000 on an NFL win for the New York Giants. And what do you do when you've just won half a million? You bet it all on the Giants winning the Super Bowl! A very daring bet that the rapper won because the Giants won the 46th edition of the Super Bowl, thanks to a touchdown at the very end of the game.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
You don't get the nickname "Money" without the reputation that goes with it. Indeed, the boxer's attraction to sports betting was far from a secret. He was known to be an avid fan of college soccer, where he would place bets that ranged from $25,000 to $400,000, depending on how confident he was. For him, winning is as easy as 1-2-3, as he noted in an interview with ESPN, "Every day, you just have to find a game that you're really confident in and if you feel like you have what it takes, that's the one you have to play on." And as if that wasn't enough, the boxer is also a regular at the casinos in Las Vegas. And as the saying goes: money attracts money. In recent years, Mayweather has been racking up big wins including a $170,000 jackpot in 2017.
Allen Iverson splashed the NBA with his talent during his long career, he is clearly one of the best players in the history of the Big League to have never won a championship. But in addition to being an incredible scorer, he was also an inveterate gambler. The former Philadelphia 76ers player spent hours in casinos, playing large sums of money at roulette or blackjack. But the man who was nicknamed The Answer had a gambling behavior far from unanimous.
Because, as on the parquets, AI had the rage to win, he wanted to win at all costs and especially, he could not bear defeat. Except that in the casino, it is impossible to win every time. And this, the MVP of the 2001 season never knew how to accept it. As a result, he often behaved in an unpleasant manner towards dealers and other players, even throwing chips and playing cards at them. In 2004, he was even caught urinating in a trash can at an Atlantic City casino. These actions led to him being banned from several gambling establishments.
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