Dana White: Why Does the UFC’s Head Honcho Love Blackjack So Much? 

By Katie Jenkins.

Dana White has become a household name worldwide since taking over the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001. Whether booking blockbuster fights between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov or being featured in an interview on ESPN Sportscenter, the 54-year-old is regularly seen grabbing headlines. As such, with his high-profile lifestyle, perhaps it should come as no surprise to hear that the UFC’s CEO loves to spend some time at the blackjack table.

Welcome to Las Vegas

White’s escapades are legendary in casino circles and have become a point of intrigue for fans and critics alike. But what drives this successful sports executive to the tables, often risking and winning sums that most can only dream of? Well, when someone manages the risk of a $2 million company for 15 years and turns its valuation into $4 billion, it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about strategy. But what else is there to uncover? 

The Thrill of the Game

For White, the beloved Vegas classic offers a thrill that is hard to find elsewhere. That same rush can be felt playing virtually at some of the best online blackjack casinos, but still, there is nothing quite like sitting at the famed tables, either in person or at home. And that’s even the case for someone who watches the planet’s finest fighters battle it out every weekend. As someone who thrives on adrenaline, it’s no surprise that White gravitates toward a game that combines strategy, luck, and high stakes. In an interview on the “Pass The Torch Podcast,” he revealed that the excitement and unpredictability of the game keep him coming back.

“I love the rush,” White said. “Every hand is a new challenge, and you never know what’s going to happen next. It’s similar to the fight game; you have to stay sharp and make quick decisions.”

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The Social Aspect

Blackjack is not just a solitary pursuit for the UFC’s head honcho; it’s also a social activity. He often plays alongside friends and fellow celebrities, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and competition. This was evident when he played a high-stakes game with Dave Portnoy and the Barstool Sports crew, where the interaction was as much a part of the experience as the game itself. 

However, make no mistake – if you see him in Sin City, he isn’t there just to have a good time. He’s there to win. 

High-Risk, High-Reward

White’s approach mirrors his strategy in running the UFC: high-risk, high reward. He has been known to bet large sums, sometimes winning big and other times losing heavily. One notable instance was when White reportedly lost $560,000 in one night. However, such losses do not deter him. Instead, they seem to fuel his passion for the game. 

White is very aware of the up-and-down nature of gambling, hence why he implements a conservative strategy. He has stated on numerous podcasts that he goes to the table and bets big, usually $50,000 per hand. If he wins two hands, he takes his money and walks out with his money doubled. The nature of the beast is that, of course, it won’t always go that way, but it is still a very sensible approach. 

IMAGE CREDIT: Unsplash
IMAGE CREDIT: Unsplash

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