By Ben Jacklin.
Many of us are fascinated by the lives of the famous, especially when we find out that they share a hobby with us. So people who like casino games such as blackjack may be interested to explore those who have found fame and also play the game.
There are so many ways to play blackjack now, and the fact that there are apps and websites such as Ignition Casino’s cutting-edge and thrilling blackjack platform allows players to immerse themselves in a dynamic and realistic gaming experience. In this guide, we’re exploring those players who both have a level of fame and a passion for blackjack. That includes some people who gained notoriety by playing casino games and others who are famous for different reasons but are known to enjoy blackjack. Let’s get on our list.
Stanford Wong is the pen name and pseudonym of a blackjack player called John Ferguson. He’s famous in the world of blackjack because he invented some methods of analysis and became known for a specific strategy and method of playing, which some refer to as “Wonging”. Stanford Wong was elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2003.
Legend has it that he started gambling while in grad school, and he even published a book when he was still studying.
Wong’s Blackjack Analyzer and Blackjack Count Analyzer software helped players to analyze hands, run simulations and create strategies to beat the game. He has also created teams of blackjack players to participate in tournaments and has written over 10 books about blackjack and gambling.
Professional gambler Don Johnson is famous not only for playing blackjack but for cleverly negotiating his offer to casinos to get an edge. He managed to get casinos to provide him with special conditions for playing including rebates if he lost a certain amount and forcing the dealer to stay on soft 17. This, combined with some clever strategy, led to some huge winnings, thought to be around $15 million in total. Don Johnson was elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2017.
Johnson has also been involved in wagering programs for horse racing and other forms of pro-gambling, but his story is mainly rooted in blackjack. Casinos don’t tend to give out deals like the ones they gave Johnson, but his story is well-known in the industry.
As well as being one of the greatest sportspeople of his time, Michael Jordan seems to have been pretty good at gambling.
Mark Grace, who was a fellow sports star in Chicago, recently shared a story when talking to GOLF Subpar Podcast where he recollected a time when he ran into MJ in a casino. It is no secret that Jordan liked to gamble, but this particular story is quite incredible.
Grace told the podcast that he had big stacks of chips and was gambling up to $50,000 each hand, and often winning. He estimated that he won about 18 out of 20 hands. Whether this is true or not, you can be the judge, but it is fair to say that Jordan enjoys a game of blackjack.
Best known as a comic actor and for his role in the television series Seinfeld, Jason Alexander is also known to be into gambling and playing a lot of table games. He has even played at the World Series of Poker and has won significant prize money in his time.
Poker isn’t the only casino game he is known to play, though. Alexander took part in a show called Celebrity Blackjack, where the game aimed to win money for charity. He donated his prize money to the Oakwood School Capital Campaign. Other celebrities who took part were the likes of Jeff Probst from Survivor and Kelli Williams, the prolific TV actor.
Shannon Elizabeth has had an exciting life. She’s not only a famous actress, but she also runs her own animal rescue charity, and she plays poker at a very high standard. She’s one of the most celebrity poker players, but not everybody knows she is also into blackjack.
Shannon Elizabeth has also taken part in celebrity blackjack shows that have been televised, and she has also attended in-person casinos to play. When attending a Pennsylvania casino she told reporters she was there for blackjack rather than poker, which she is perhaps better known for.
There are probably a lot more celebrity blackjack players who are more secretive about their hobby, and there are more we could name on this list. Famously, actors such as Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck1)On April 28, 2014, Ben Affleck was barred from play for card counting at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. are also into their casino games, including blackjack.
The five names on our list are definitely known to be fans of the game. It is always fascinating to get a glimpse of the hobbies of the people we see on our screens and to delve into the stories of those who are famous because of casino games, too.
PHOTO CREDIT: EssentiallySports.com
|↑1||On April 28, 2014, Ben Affleck was barred from play for card counting at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.|