Famous gamblers who hit it big

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When you’re a celebrity earning more money in a day than most people make in a year, it’s understandable you may splurge on a bit of fun at the casino. But some of the rich and famous have lost and won downright ridiculous amount of cash gambling. Check out these 5 famous gamblers who are known for hitting it big when they bet.

Ben Affleck

You probably know Ben Affleck from Hollywood blockbusters like Armageddon, Gone Girl and Suicide Squad. But it may surprise you to learn that Affleck’s not just an actor, he’s also something of a poker and blackjack star.

In 2004, he came away from the California State Poker Tournament with the top prize of $350,000 and a seat in the World Poker Tour Championships. And not so long ago, he was banned from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas for winning thousands of dollars by counting cards at the blackjack table.

Michael Jordon

Michael Jordan’s competitiveness stretched beyond the basketball court. When the sporting legend wasn’t shooting hoops, he could often be found squandering thousands of dollars trying to win bets on golf, blackjack and baccarat.

In fact, it’s rumoured the six-time NBA champion blew around £1.25 million on gambling every year during his basketball career. The wild stories about MJ’s gambling habits even sparked an investigation from the NBA back in the 1990s.

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth found fame in the 1999 comedy American Pie. She’s since made over 35 TV and film appearances. Perhaps it’s this talent for acting that has helped Texas-born Elizabeth perfect a winning poker face.

She’s been playing poker since she was a girl, but only got serious about the game in 2003, when she befriended professional poker players Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. She went on to play in the World Series of Poker under their guidance, and after a few successful finishes declared poker to be her ‘second profession’.  

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire made over $25 million for his role as Peter Parker in Spider-Man. But during his acting career, he’s supplemented his already-impressive income by knowing when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em.

Maguire’s estimated to have won well over $10 million from playing high-stakes poker games. However, in 2011 he found himself in a spot of bother for participating in illegal tournaments with other Hollywood A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly burst onto the acting scene as the tone-deaf Monica Moran in The Fabulous Baker Boys. She went on to appear in Bullets Over Broadway and Liar Liar, and even provided the voice of Bonnie Swanson in the animated TV series Family Guy.

But in 2005, the Academy Award-winning actress turned her attention from acting to gambling. After beating 600 other players in the World Series of Poker (and scoping the $158,625 top prize), she made the decision to pursue poker professionally. She’s since gone on to win numerous poker tournaments, raked up an impressive $992,000 in live tournament winnings and even found love with fellow poker star Phil Laak.

Want to play for yourself?

Chance are you can’t afford to bet like these celebrities. And no doubt you don’t have access to the kind of exclusive Hollywood poker tournaments frequented by Tobey Maguire. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoying playing blackjack, roulette and poker yourself.

Take a quick browse online and you’ll find plenty of online casino games you can access from the comfort of home. Have fun and we wish you the very best of luck!


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