The Most Degenerate Gamblers In Sports History
Professional athletes make big bucks. But they don't necessarily all spend their money wisely.
While some make very good investments with their hard-earned money, others just blow it away with large bets.
We're talking some serious money here, from tens of thousands to six-figures to even millions of dollars.
And the ugly truth is, it's not just a select few athletes that do this; there's plenty of big time sports names that have been bitten by the gambling bug.
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It's time reconsider your role-models. Here are some of the most degenerate gamblers in sports history.
25. Rick Tocchet
The former right-winger pleaded guilty as being a part of a multi-million dollar gambling ring.
He was sentenced to two years probation and avoided any jail time.
Tocchet played the role of the financial backer, covering lost bets while taking a share of the profits.
24. LaMont Jordan
Jordan was sued by the Mirage for owing $20,000 in 2009.
Despite his big-time NFL earnings as a running back, Jordan still found himself in trouble with the law.
They claimed that he wrote them bad checks.
23. Terrence Kiel
Kiel's gambling problem had gotten so bad that he resorted to smuggling codeine-based cough syrup from a San Diego pharmacy to Texas in order supplement his income.
He was arrested by San Diego authorities after packages of the codeine were interercepted in the mail.
It was discovered that Kiel owed tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego area casinos.
22. Gilbert Arenas
Many of us remember that Arenas was suspended by the league for drawing a gun on his teammate Javaris Crittenton.
But the details that led up to the incident have been somewhat sketchy.
Apparently, Arenas had owed money to one of his teammates and refused to pay up.
An argument then erupted and suddenly escalated into Wild West-like gunslinging faceoff.
21. Jaromir Jagr
Despite denying he has a gambling problem, Jagr was believed to have paid back nearly $1 million in debt to two online gambling websites.
The sad thing here is that Jagr's losses were chump change to him since he has been one of the highest-paid players in the NHL.
But his problems didn't stop with gambling, he also ended up owing the IRS some back taxes to the tune of $3.3 million.
20. Art Schlichter
Schlichtler is a first-round bust for the Baltimore Colts who succumbed to his gambling addiction.
He supposedly blew his entire signing bonus on gambling bets and continued to spend all of his money by betting on games.
The NFL suspended him in 1983 for gambling.
And he has spent numerous stints in prison regarding gambling-related incidents.
19. Shawn Chacon
Chacon hasn't pitched for a major league baseball team since he got into a physical altercation with Houston Astros general manager in 2008, in which Chacon choked Wade.
A year after that, he was arrested at a Colorado bowling alley on allegations that he had written bad checks to a Las Vegas casino totalling $50,000.
18. Adrian McPherson
This quarterback was once alleged to have stolen a check in order to pay off gambling debts.
Which included some bets that he had placed on his former college team, the Florida State Seminoles.
He ended up pleading no contest to a theft and gambling charges while still in college.
17. Stanley Bowles
He was an intense soccer player for England during his prime.
But he was as reckless off the field as he was on it.
Stan admits that he spent most of his earnings by gambling on virtually anything.
16. Antoine Walker
Only a few years removed from winning an NBA title with the Miami Heat, Walker is now out of his luck.
A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2009 for accumulating $822,500 in gambling debts.
He had been accused of writing bad checks to at least three different casinos.
Now Walker is trying to get in the league for one more big payday.
15. Dana White
True or not, there was an Internet rumor floating around that White, the UFC president, owed the Bellagio $1 million from gambling debts.
Though White denied it, there's plenty of people in Vegas that are aware of his gambling habits and fondness for playing cards.
14. Ross Verba
He was once a first-round draft pick in 1997 by the Green Bay Packers who ended up getting bit by the Vegas bug.
Early in 2007 he was arrested for failing to pay $50,000 back to a Las Vegas casino.
13. Pacman Jones
The same guy who was connected to a Las Vegas club shooting, ending up owing some Las Vegas casinos some money.
With a record of disorderly conduct, public intoxication and a few altercations, is his gambling issue really a big surprise?
The debt was valued at $20,000.
12. Phil Mickelson
According to rumors, Lefty has quite of a gambling streak.
He allegedly lost $200,000 to fellow golfers after he requested that a $1-golf-game be upped in stakes.
There's also been stories of Mickelson willingness to bet on almost anything as well as also winning tens of thousands of dollars from Super Bowl and World Series bets.
But Phil now claims he is a changed man after the birth of his son Evan and dealing with his wife's illness.
11. Paul LoDuca
Paulie has been named as one of the HGH users on the Mitchell report.
But his stories of controversy don't stop there.
He was once investigated by major league baseball for some gambling debts.
According to reports, Lo Duca owed someone money who ended up contacting his former team, the Flordia Marlins regarding his debt from 2005.
And then while he was with the New York Mets, some bookmakers supposedly tried to go to Shea stadium in order to get their money from Lo Duca.
That's a mafia-like shakedown he was getting.
10. Tiger Woods
At the same time that news of Tiger's adultery and laundry list of mistresses broke out, there were also allegations of his gambling habit.
During his many visits to Las Vegas, Tiger would rendezvous with one of his many ladies and stay at one of the high stakes blackjack tables.
Where he was said to have bet $250,000 per hand.
9. Isaiah Thomas
He is believed to be a high-stakes craps player.
Back in 1990, Thomas was said to have been the target of an FBI investigation for running big money craps games out of his Florida home.
Thomas denied the allegations.
8. Lenny Dykstra
Two year ago, he was billed a business success.
These days he's believed to be living out of his car.
During his playing career he earned a reputation for being a compulsive gambler.
Even the commisioner's office had to intercede.
He may have been tough as nails playing the game but he has been dumb as a rock in life.
7. Allen Iverson
A season ago, Stephen A. Smith reported that Iverson had been facing some personal problems such as alcohol abuse related to a pending divorce.
But Smith also noted that Iverson was struggling with gambling issues.
Smith in his Philadelphia Inquirer column wrote that Iverson,"...will either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away."
6. Wayne Rooney
In 2006, Rooney was believed to have amassed £700,000 in debt to a bookie after betting on dogs, horses and soccer games.
But his gambling streak didn't end there. In 2008, there were reports out of a casino in Manchester that he had lost £65,000 in two hours.
5. Michael Jordan
There are plenty of Michael Jordan gambling stories floating around and many in the world of sports know that his Airness loves to make wagers.
During his playing days he was spotted at the high-roller's table at Atlantic City the night before games. It got so bad that the NBA had to launch an investigation on his habits.
Some believe that his first retirement was actually a gambling ban.
Heck, even his kids are said to have the Vegas bug after they were reported Tweeting that they spent $56k during a weekend in Sin City.
4. Michael Vick
Who can forget the story of Michael Vick?
Not only was he involved in bankrolling a dog-fighting gambling ring. He was also involved in the brutal execution of dogs.
Vick spent two years in prison.
3. Charles Barkley
Sir Charles is a high-stakes gambler and denies he has a problem.
Barkley went on the record in 2006 to say that his love for gambling has cost him $10 million.
However, according to Charles he doesn't consider a problem because can afford to lose the money.
2. John Daly
Daly has a gambling itch and he knows it.
He even wrote a book admitting his predilection to gambling and losing as much as $60 million to his habit.
In one of his stories, Daly recounts winning $750,000 in a WGA tournament and turning around and driving to Las Vegas.
There he lost $1.65 million within 5 hours after playing $5,000 slots.
1. Pete Rose
Of all the people on this list, Rose's story is well-known and he is paying a hefty price for being associated with gambling.
Rose has a lifetime ban from baseball and is ineligible to be voted to the Hall of Fame, despite being the all-time leader in hits and having a very successful career.
By Pete's own admission, he gambled on games as a player and as a manager. He maintains that he never bet on Reds games, games which he could have influenced as a manager, even though there allegations that he did.