A guest post by David Wright
Celebrity gamblers – they’ve got the lot: the glamorous looks, the fame, the swagger, and – most importantly – the cash to take a chance.
Online gambling is quickly becoming popular among celebrities who want to have a flutter away from prying eyes and cameras. Poker, Blackjack, Roulette and all the usual casino favourites are available to play online. Even online bingo is said to be popular among celebrities.
What came first: the celebrity gambler or the sandwich? The answer is: they both appeared at about the same time. One of the world’s first celebrity gamblers was John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich. His scandalous and vice ridden private life was the talk of the town. He was addicted to gambling. In 1762, the Earl had been sat at a gaming table for 24 hours. He was so hooked into the game, he was refusing to attend meals. In desperation, his servant offered him a piece of salted beef. The Earl suggested the piece of beef was encased between two bits of bread and thus the sandwich was born: a convenient snack you can eat whilst having a good gamble.
Other famous gamblers from the past are Wild Bill Hickok and Doc Holliday. Both men enjoyed reputations as ruthless killers and ferocious gamblers. Hickok died at the poker table, clutching an Ace and an 8, when an assassin shot him in the back of the head. The two cards are now known as a ‘dead man’s’ hand
Poker players love to project the cool image and the quest for the ‘perfect poker face’ is a challenge actors love to take on. Romantic lead Ben Affleck and Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire have both cashed in at professional poker tournaments. Actress Jennifer Tilly, star of the Fabulous Baker Boys and Bound, is a bona fide poker pro with a WSOP bracelet to her name.
Matt Damon, Matthew Perry, and George Clooney are also all players in the modern day rat pack. Clooney has invested in a $3 billion resort in Las Vegas, Damon was offered $1 million to endorse online gaming website Nine.com, and Perry is a poker tournament regular and frequently appears on the Celebrity Poker Showdown TV Show.