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Online Poker’s Connection to the Music Industry: From High Stakes to High Notes

The music industry and the poker tables have been known to mix circles every now and then. For most of us who are just looking to start out or want to play then a great place to start is with this list of online poker sites, but if you’re rich and famous then the stakes can be heightened and you can make an event out of it.

Anthrax’s Scott Ian

If you’re interested in thrash metal, you’ll probably know that Scott Ian is the guitarist from the band Anthrax. The band has been one of the most consistent recording artists in the thrash space since the band’s inception in 1981. Ian isn’t just picking at the string but picking up cards as he’s long enjoyed playing poker. He’d played it recreationally well before Anthrax came to fruition but saw a serious pathway within the game after he won a celebrity tournament back in 2006. Since then he’s only grown in stature and plays on the pro scene when his time allows.


The Canadian rapper, Drake has had a very interesting involvement with poker. In 2022, he announced a partnership with Stake.com as he stated that he loved playing on their website, later revealing that he won lots of money with them. There are numerous news articles speculating just how much money he has at any one time as he’s known to enjoy a bet or two. He’s often taken to Twitter to share his betting slips on sports markets and often loses. He may use online poker to fund his sports wagers and potentially some better equipment for his production efforts.

Lemmy Kilminster from Motorhead

Is the lyrical content from the Ace of Spades a big enough clue? Even if you’ve never actively listened to Motorhead, you’ll have heard this song which is littered with references to poker and other card game semantics. After gaining fame and fortune, the lead singer and bassist of Motorhead moved to Los Angeles where he was a regular at various casinos and had his video poker machine at the Rainbow Bar & Grill venue where he’d often play before his death in 2016.

Steve Aoki

The American DJ and record producer, Steve Aoki, has never shied away from a poker table having started playing the game in the casinos shortly after he started DJing semi-professionally. In 2004 when Aoki was still a local name, he was getting paid around $100 per night to DJ, alongside his day job. After getting paid this extra money, he’d then grind out some hard poker sessions at the low-stakes tables to multiply his funds. Aoki’s involvement and celebrity status has led him to be a World Poker Tour ambassador.

Paris Hilton

After her initial fame in the 2000s, Paris Hilton stayed relevant by jockeying herself onto the fringes of the 2010s music scene. She released multiple singles and even earned a UK No. 5 in the singles chart in her debut release, ‘Stars Are Blind’. Of course, at one point she dated Rick Salomon, a high-stakes poker player. Paris would go on to make her name in poker having regularly played since learning in 2014, this included one time finishing a DJ gig to go on to win $50,000 with the fee she was paid for her disc jockey exploits.


The American rapper is known to have a great fondness for card games and gambling in general. Whatever project Jay-Z puts his energy into he’s known for being passionate and producing results. He’s hosted his own charity poker tournament that raised $1m for the Reform Alliance cause. However, his personal performance at the table might not be quite as good as he reportedly lost $500,000 in a single hand of Texas Hold’em.

Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers might have been half the star if it wasn’t for his critically and commercially acclaimed song, ‘The Gambler’. A love song laced with multiple poker references throughout, this country elevated Kenny to the mainstream. The song’s impact didn’t just end after the 3-minute and 34-second recording, it shaped Rogers’s career afterward. Rogers would take the starring role of Bryan Hawkes in the series of five TV movies, Kenny Rogers as The Gambler.  The song even leaned itself to the name of the USFL team from Rogers’ birthplace, the Houston Gamblers pay homage to this country singer.

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