Celebs who have a passion for casinos

Many celebs that have earned a place in the limelight for one talent—acting, singing or whatever Logan Paul does—have hidden passions or expertise that are kept away from the spotlight. Angelina Jolie has a pilot’s license, Jimmy Fallon seems to be good at everything, Justin Bieber can even solve a Rubik’s cube in under one and a half minutes and Mark Zuckerberg apparently likes to wakeboard.

Other celebrities enjoy nothing more than a flutter at the roulette table or a hand of Texas hold’em. The Ratpack were synonymous with Sin City in the 60s but who of today’s crop are keeping the golden age of Hollywood alive with their penchant for the casino tables?

Hank Azaria

You might know him best as the voice of Chief Wiggum, Moe, Apu and dozens more Springfield inhabitants but the beloved Simpsons voice actor is also a certified cardsharp. Azaria organizes and hosts online charity poker tournaments, inviting star studded guests such as Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm and Michael Cera to compete.

Some of the best poker players in the world began their journey at an Online Casino, so the internet might be a good place for anyone to start. 

Gerard Piqué

If you’re not into soccer you may not have heard of international Spanish footballing legend, Gerard Piqué, who has a FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro winner’s medal to his name. You might recognise him most in the press as the partner of songstress Shakira.

Away from the pitch, Piqué has quite the flair at the poker table. In 2019, he competed in a high rollers event in his home city of Barcelona and placed second, coming away with €352,950 in prize money! Not a bad day at the office!

Kevin Hart

An avid poker, blackjack and other casino table game aficionado, Hart has admitted his Las Vegas record is less than stellar. In a Jimmy Kimmel interview, the comic actor insinuated that he was banned from visiting Nevada’s casino capital by his wife, Eniko. Hart wouldn’t be the first to leave Vegas in the red, but hopefully his $200 million net worth should be enough to see him through.

Jennifer Tilly

Prolific actor, perhaps known best for her performances in the Chucky series of movies, Jennifer Tilly is equally known for her success on the poker circuit. Tilly is no Fairweather poker player, she has amassed over $1 million in career prize earnings and won a coveted World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Childhood friends Damon and Affleck are both known to enjoy their time in casinos at the poker and blackjack tables. Affleck scooped a cool $356,400 in a 2004 no limit hold’em tournament and is reportedly banned from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas after putting $800,000 over the house in three $20,000 hands of blackjack. 

Damon became professional poker star Johnny Chan’s apprentice during preparation for Rounders, a 1998 poker themed movie. He took what he learned from the experience into the real world and regularly competes at private poker and blackjack events. Damon and Affleck both appeared at the 2009 WSOP charity poker event.

Shannon Elizabeth

Another actor turned poker pro, the American Pie star is a regular at high stakes tournaments across North America. Elizabeth has made nearly a quarter of a million dollars in prize money from her career at the tables thus far, including a $125,000 win in one sitting.

Paris Hilton

Vegas is somewhat of a second home to the businessperson socialite heiress. But Hilton doesn’t just visit the strip to party, she’s known to pull up a chair to the occasional casino table, too. Her blackjack knowhow reportedly won her $30,000 during one session a few years ago.

Tobey Maguire

Maguire is one of the few on this list whose passion for casinos predated his fame. Since his teens, the Spiderman star has been honing his poker skills both online and at live tournaments.

Allegedly hosting an eye-wateringly high stakes regular private game for other A-listers—some of whom also appear on this list—his relationship with card games has sometimes been tumultuous.  

Brad Pitt

Another of the acting elite that got a taste for the casino on set. Pitt, during his role in Ocean’s 11 began enjoying table games and slot machines. Since then, he’s regularly spotted in cities worldwide revelling in the casino experience.

Charles Barkley

Larger than life basketball great, Barkley, is public about his enthusiasm for casino gaming. His honesty about not always coming out on top is refreshing, sometimes describing his exploits as an expensive form of entertainment he’s able to afford.

Michael Jordan

Another NBA hall of famer with an affiliation to the casino is living legend, Michael Jordan. It’s claimed he would wager large sums of money on rock, paper, scissors contests. An avid golfer, too, Jordan would make his rounds on the course more interesting by putting money on the outcome.

His enthusiasm for a flutter extends to the casino. Rumour has it even during his career—at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics—Jordan was staying up well into the night playing poker with his teammates the evening before match days.

We might know the talented bunch on this list for their abilities behind the camera lens or on the sports field but it’s interesting to learn how people can excel in disparate areas of expertise. It’s also refreshing to see the women on this list holding their own in a male dominated arena.

Written by Monella