It’s no secret that many high-stakes poker players live lavishly. When your earnings can number into the millions of dollars, why shouldn’t you treat yourself to the finer things? And treat themselves they do. Famous poker players spend their winnings on sprawling mansions, all-inclusive vacation getaways, and, of course, some of the most expensive cars on the market.
For many of these professional gamblers, a trip to the car dealership is the ultimate way to splurge. We can promise you they aren’t picking out a Honda. Just take a look at three of the coolest cars some of the most famous poker players in the world get to call their own.
Bentley Continental GT
Poker sweetheart Vanessa Rousso made her way onto the professional stage in the early 2000s playing Texas Hold’em and has since secured several career titles in major tournaments. Her biggest win came in 2007 when she walked away from a World Championship of Online Poker No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em event with $700,782.50. Since then, her total winnings have climbed to over $3.5 million. How does she enjoy that money? By taking it down to the dealership.
Recently, she traded in her Lamborghini for a Bentley Continental GT, which has an MSRP of $189,000. The coupe combines modern technology with classic Continental inspiration, while sporting sharp, contemporary lines and a lush interior. The powerful yet refined 12-cylinder 6-liter engine has twin turbochargers that make for an exhilarating drive, complemented by one of the world’s most advanced all-wheel-drive systems. Despite its power, the GT is amazingly efficient as evidenced by the 12 percent reduction in fuel consumption. Although the car is mass-produced, much of it is hand-assembled, giving the Bentley Continental GT a personalised, unique feel.
Mercedes Benz SLR Roadster
Phil Ivey is often lauded as one of professional poker’s most successful players, having excelled at many different games including Omaha, Stud, and H.O.R.S.E. Since appearing on the scene in the late 90s, Ivey has earned a reputation as the Tiger Woods of Poker as well as countless career titles, including 10 World Series of Poker bracelets. Currently, his career winnings stand at over $21 million. He spent part of that on a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, one of the world’s most sought-after supercars.
The supercharged 617 horsepower V-8 engine is hand-built, while the body shell and chassis are made from high-strength carbon fiber composite. In short: It’s a sturdy ride. The Roadster’s arrow-shaped nose and twin fin front spoiler give the illusion that it might take flight at any moment, accented by swing-wing doors that open forwards and then up at a wide angle. Inside, premium leather lines the dash, doors, armrests, and consoles for a sophisticated finish, while body-contoured carbon fiber seats grip the driver just right. While not commanding poker tables around the nation and the globe, you can spot Ivey cruising around Las Vegas in this sleek ride.
Rolls Royce Phantom
Regarded as the best all-around poker player worldwide, it makes sense that one lavish sports car wouldn’t be enough to satisfy Ivey. He is also the proud owner of the iconic Rolls Royce Phantom, joining the elite ranks of fellow Phantom owners like Jay Z and David Beckham. The Rolls Royce Phantom is a $400,000 car that embodies the modern luxury driving experience. The Phantom commands attention with its poise and sophistication, as well as stunning attention to detail. For example, each door cleverly hides an umbrella just in case of rain.
The leather interior is soft and supple, complemented by polished veneer throughout; each piece is harvested from the same tree. Lamb wool rugs are underfoot. The curve of the exterior suggests movement even while the Phantom sits still. A state-of-the-art suspension system and smooth power delivery make for a ride that could be likened to a trip on a magic carpet, effortless and air-cushioned. All of which make riding in the Phantom a luxurious and unforgettable experience that Ivey gets to enjoy daily.
These are just a few examples of the many auto indulgences some of the world’s most famous poker players have treated themselves to. As stakes climb higher, you can bet that these superstars will continue to drop insane amounts of money on some of the world’s coolest cars. Who knows what cars we can expect to see Ivey, Rousso and the next crop of successful poker players riding around in 2016, but here’s hoping they are even more luxurious and outlandish than this year’s picks.