It seems that Floyd Mayweather Junior will turn his hand to anything as long as it does not involve being out of the news, and most recently, that hand has been of the blackjack variety.
He joins a growing list of sports stars and other celebrities who are taking up the game. Let’s take a look at what he’s been doing, why the game has become quite so popular and the sort of company he might find at the blackjack table.
Since retiring from the ring again, after his much hyped bout against Conor McGregor, Mayweather has been focusing his attention on Mayweather Promotions. While this is predominantly concerned with boxing promotions, there is a suggestion that it will become increasingly linked with the gambling industry.
The first sign of this was when he hosted and participated in a blackjack tournament in the Bahamas, with a prize pot of $300,000. Mayweather is no stranger to the blackjack table, and has reputedly wagered as much as $100,000 on a single hand. He has repeatedly talked about his love of gambling, and told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “I want to go to the casino by myself and play blackjack by myself.”
Hosting a high profile tournament on a Caribbean Island is not going to quite achieve that, but knowing Floyd, we should probably take “by myself” to refer to his own terms and rules more than any sudden wish for solitude.
What’s the deal with everyone learning blackjack?
Suddenly the world and his wife is getting into blackjack, and the online gaming sector probably has a lot to do with the surge in popularity. For one thing, it provides a simple way to play for real money without having to venture out to a casino. For another, there are numerous online resources for casual or occasional players to hone their skills, such as https://www.uk-casinos.uk/blackjack-guide/ and a variety of online training apps to practice basic strategy.
Given that so many people becoming blackjack experts, with whom is Mayweather likely to rub shoulders at the table?
Other famous blackjack players
When NBA legend Allen Iverson hung up his boots, he headed straight for the casino to indulge his favourite pastime. However, Mayweather is, perhaps, unlikely to bump into him. Iverson’s financial problems have been widely reported and he is said to have been banned from a number of casinos after running up significant gambling debts.
Charles Barkley is another NBA star who loves blackjack. If the rumours of him once winning three quarters of a million dollars in a single night of intense play in Vegas are true, it is reasonable to conclude that he has been a better student of the basic strategy than Iverson.
Away from sport, rapper 50 Cent is so fond of blackjack that he has developed his own online game, which can be played on tablets, PCs and smartphones. It is called 50 Cents blackjack, which is a little ironic coming from a man who claims to bet an average of $5,000 per hand.