There are many stories about Michael Jordan gambling, and even though many people think he had a problem, others say that Jordan was a legend at gambling, starring in impressive moments that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Even after many years since his retirement, Jordan remains a relevant figure in the NBA, and the anecdotes about him keep coming. A former Chicago sports star recently talked about His Airness and one of the most incredible stories regarding Jordan.
Former Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Mark Grace recently joined GOLF’s Subpar Podcast, where he talked about a variety of topics, including the time he ran into Michael Jordan playing blackjack all alone after he reserved an entire floor of a three-level casino in Chicago.
One non-golf story that came up involved running into the Bulls legend at a Chicago-area casino.
As Grace tells it, his parents came to visit on an off day, and they decided to go gambling on a riverboat casino. This particular casino had three levels, and the second level, which was reserved for Blackjack, was completely roped off.
“There are at least 70 Blackjack tables on this boat that are not being used,” Grace said. “One is, and that’s where Jordan is playing.”
Jordan was the only one playing on the entire floor, and he was alone, Grace said. After speaking to a few bodyguards to ask if he could go say hello and introduce his parents, Grace eventually got through. Turns out, Jordan was having himself quite the heater.
“And he’s got stacks of — I think 50s and 100s [chips] are really, really good, and he’s got colors I’ve never seen before,” Grace said. “He’s got aqua marine and he’s got all of these colors and there are stacks of thousands, five-thousands, ten-thousands, stacks of them.”
Grace said hello and they chatted a bit. Then they stood and watched.
“I watched him play about 20 hands, and if he played 20 hands he probably won 18 of them,” Grace said. “And he’s putting thousands upon thousands of dollars, big stacks of chips, anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 a hand, and he’s winning. And I’m watching this s— and I’m like, ‘Man it must be good to be the king.’”
There are many stories of Jordan gambling. Former teammate and close friend Charles Oakley claimed he once lost a big amount of money while betting against Jordan and Jay Z. His agent always said that he loved to gamble, and Michael himself admitted that he had a competition problem, not a gambling one.
He’s well aware of how much he needs to win at every level, even if that’s not seen with the best eyes by the people around him. What Grace’s story confirms is that Jordan mastered this game and was so focused on winning that didn’t want any distraction during that night.
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