From Headbanging to Blackjack: Heavy Metal Artists Who Enjoy Gambling

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In the pulsating world of heavy metal, where electrifying riffs meet thunderous drums, there’s another rhythm that captures the hearts of some artists – the tantalizing allure of gambling. It’s a realm where the roll of a dice echoes the raw intensity of a power chord, and the flip of a card mirrors the unpredictable nature of a live performance. Picture Scott Ian, the legendary Anthrax guitarist, not shredding on stage, but meticulously studying his poker hand under the casino lights. Or envisage Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead‘s iconic front-man, trading his bass for his beloved slot machine, the reels spinning as relentlessly as his music. This article takes you on a headbanging journey from the mosh pit to the poker table, unveiling how the thrill of gambling has intertwined with the lives and music of some of your favorite heavy metal artists. So buckle up, and prepare to dive headfirst into the lesser-known tales of these rock gods, both on stage and at the betting tables.

Scott Ian

Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist for the band Anthrax, is also known for his passion for poker. His journey into the world of professional poker began in 2008 when he signed with UltimateBet, the third largest internet gaming site in the world, as one of their online professional players. His skills were highlighted when he won a $200,000 Ultimate Bet online event. He also placed in the top 700 out of over 6,000 participants at the World Series of Poker in 2010. This shows that Scott Ian is not only a prominent figure in the music industry but also a legitimate poker pro.

Scott Ian‘s involvement in the world of poker extended to around four or five years, during which he became a professional player. Despite not initially planning to become a poker star, he embraced this path for several years. Ian‘s first notable achievement in the poker world was in 2007 when he won VH1’s “Rock Stars of Charity” poker event.

Lemmy Kilmister

The late front-man of Motörhead was not only a rock legend but also a well-known fan of gambling. His love for gambling was so deep-rooted that it even influenced his music. The band’s biggest hit, “Ace of Spades,” is a testament to this, with lyrics that embody the thrill and uncertainty of betting.  Lemmy‘s game of choice was the slot machine. He was often seen at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, where he would spend hours at his favorite video poker machine. The machine has since been moved to the Motörhead exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles as a tribute to Lemmy following his death.

In an interview, Lemmy once shared a humorous story about his gambling. He said, “I got thrown out of a few casinos in Vegas because I smashed the machine up. I got barred from the Hard Rock because I put a chair through the machine, and they kinda took exception to it”.

Despite his love for gambling, it seems that Lemmy never let it become a problem. He once said, “Gambling is for fools, but that’s the way I like it, baby.” This quote reflects Lemmy‘s overall approach to life: living on his terms, taking risks, and enjoying every moment of it.

In 2016, NetEnt developed an online slot game called ‘Motörhead Slot’. The game is a reflection of the band’s spirit, featuring a dark and gritty design and exciting features like the Bomber Feature. The game structure includes 5 reels and 76 pay lines, with an RTP (Return to Player) of 96.98%. Players have the option to set their betting level up to 10 coins per pay line. It effectively infuses elements of the celebrated band, providing an electrifying experience for both Motörhead fans and slot machine lovers.

Sully Erna

Sully Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack, is indeed a known figure in the world of poker. He was first introduced to Texas Hold’em by a friend and was instantly hooked. According to an interview with ESPN, about six years ago, Erna was obsessed with the game, playing in two World Series of Poker and cashing in twice. In 2006, he made a notable splash in a Las Vegas tournament, securing an impressive $17,730 in earnings and ranking 713th out of 8,000 participants. His poker prowess continued to shine in the 2007 Five-Diamond World Poker Classic where he bagged substantial prizes of $45,422 and a whopping $307,325 before taking a break from the game. Additionally, the tattoo on Sully‘s back profoundly showcases his deep love for card games, particularly poker. The inscription “No Justice,” which is etched next to the design, suggests that poker is a game that rewards persistence and doesn’t necessarily favor fairness.

Erna‘s passion for poker was also featured in “8 Rockstar Gamblers And Their Casino Stories” on Metalsucks. The article mentioned how he competed against other rock stars like Scott Ian and Ace Frehley, who have more experience gambling. Despite his success in poker, it seems that Erna has since distanced himself from the professional poker scene. He once shared an anecdote about a heads-up poker battle he lost to Anthrax’s Scott Ian.

Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley, the ‘Spaceman’ from the iconic rock band KISS, has always been known for his love of poker and gambling. His stories have been the stuff of rock and roll legend, adding to the mystique and allure of his character. According to Metalsucks and Originalrock, Ace is quite a fan of poker, though the extent of his passion remains somewhat elusive.

In a more revealing anecdote shared on Rockandrolltruestories, it was reported that Ace once skipped a recording session with KISS due to his gambling pursuits. This incident hints at how his love for gambling sometimes overlapped with his professional obligations.

Ace‘s unpredictable nature, much like the outcome of a gamble, has been a defining characteristic of his personality and career. Whether he decided to leave KISS or his various solo ventures, Ace has always been one to take risks, akin to placing a bet on the turn of a card.


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