Korea is one of the few countries that has separate legislations for local citizens and foreigners with regard to the legality of gambling. Koreans are only allowed to gamble via lotteries, horse racing, ToTo, cycle racing, and powerboat racing only. Casino gambling is prohibited to locals except for only one casino: the Kangwon Land Casino. Expatriates and locals of Korea are allowed to gamble in this casino.
Poker has been part of Korean culture. Korea’s tradition and other foreign countries influence gambling in the country, just like music, pop and rock genres are so popular and continue to grow phenomenally. It is just exciting to see entertainers venture outside their industry to try out other passions like rock stars who are poker fanatics. Here are some of the well-known rock stars with love for the game.
Scott Ian is the last remaining original member of the thrash metal band, Anthrax. He is the rhythm guitarist and additional vocalist for the group. His love for music came along with a huge interest in poker. He spends his free time playing the game, and he ought to be a professional poker player too.
At one point, mixing poker with his music is very difficult to manage. But with the development of technology and the internet, he somehow found a way to continue his passion for poker through online gaming. He said in a couple of interviews that he is taking the game even more seriously. He has played in the 2008 and 2009 World Series of Poker and the Aruba Poker Classic.
These three rock stars first received their poker initiation from Scott Ian, who was rumored to have assembled a superstar roster of rock stars. As said, these rock stars do not often play in casinos but love taking part in home games. Big stars like Alice in Chains’ vocalist Jerry Cantrell, the ever famous Guns ‘N Roses lead guitarist Slash, and Metallica’s lead guitarist Kirk Hammett often join these games.
Unlike Lemmy Kilmister, Scott isn’t famous as a gambler. With VH1 in 2016, he joined a celebrity tournament and found his way into winning it. He claimed that he knew very little about poker before. But, online poker companies wanted to get Scott on board and trained him to become an expert professional poker player. Scott became a regular at the World Series of Poker that has a grand prize of $8 million.
Lemmy Kilmister is considered as one of the greatest rock stars and among the list of rock stars who are poker fanatics. He formed and fronted Motorhead, and it’s no secret that Kilmister is a keen gambler. He even wrote a song called “Ace of Spades” for the band. It was the slot games that Kilmister enjoyed playing rather than other table games.
Slot machines and with a jack and coke in hand seemed a perfect combination for any gambling rock star. A lot of these legends love nothing more than having a break from the toxic schedule of their industry by having a good time playing their favourite casino games. Kilmister would spend a lot of time inside the casino as The Damned frontman Dav Vanian said. He would spend many hours spinning the reels.
Salvatore Paul Erna, also known as Sully, is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the famous American heavy metal band, Godsmack. His fellow musicians recognize him as one of the best heavy metal vocalists within the industry.
Sully’s passion for poker is also evident in his tattoo of four burning aces with the words “No Justice.” He had the tattoo done after flopping quad aces against his opponent’s royal flush.
He has won more than $62,000 from his appearances in the World Series of Poker Events in 2006 and 2007. He then took a break from Godsmack to focus on his solo career and playing poker as well. Sully admitted after his early big cashes that he felt lost despite numerous victories on the table. He said that he has done his research and learned from it in preparation for his comeback in poker.
Steve Albini is the guitarist and vocalist of progressive rockers Shellac. He is also the record producer and is another rock star who loves to play poker. He has become a regular at the World Series of Poker Seniors Championship, playing in both the seven-card stud games and no-limit hold ’em at four editions of flagship competition. Steve has found a way to balance his performance with the band and his love for poker. He finished 12th at the 2013 tournament, which was his record highest rank.
Liv Boeree is a British professional poker phenom who loves heavy metal. She is also known as the Iron Maiden, with a few poker titles under her name. Liv also has a First Class Honors Degree in Physics with Astrophysics. This degree shows that she has the smarts for playing poker. She first discovered the game after leaving university. After several years, she had won the 2010 European Poker Tour in Italy. After four years, she founded the Raising for Effective Giving, an organisation that influences and encourages other poker players to donate some of their winnings to better causes.
She has played as the lead guitar for local metal band Dissonance and later played for Nemhain, the London-based gothic, punk group.
Ace Frehley is one of the original guitarists of the glam rock band Kiss. He wears make-up when he performs and makes it a trademark for their band. Frehley eventually left the band and became a regular figure in Las Vegas casinos, taking part in the VH1 tournament, which Scott Ian won.
A special tournament was offered and held in Florida in memory of Frank Watkins. He played for the bands Gorgoroth and Obituary and died of lymphoma in 2015 at the young age of 47 years old. Frank’s brother-in-law, Tim Nigro, organised the Heavy Hitter Poker Tournament, and all the money raised went to the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, a Florida-based research into cures for the disease.
Poker should be added as a fourth element in the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” The game is growing, and even athletes and entertainers are becoming professional players already. Poker has been associated with the music industry for quite some time now. May it be an influence in songs and musicians joining World Tournaments. These 10 rock stars who are poker fanatics prove that they could rock not only on stage but on the felt, as well.