Blog Entry

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 3:24 pm

By Evan Brunell

Despite being warned to stay away from illegal high-stakes poker games by baseball, Alex Rodriguez has found himself exposed in a poker ring that also ensnared Hollywood A-list celebrities in Ben Affleck, Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire and other stars, Star Magazine reported via

This revelation has drawn the attention of baseball, with senior vice president of public relations Patrick Courtney telling, "This is the first we have heard about this and we will look into it."

Maguire is currently being sued by Brad Ruderman, a hedge fund trustee who is currently in jail for running a Ponzi scheme and using the hedge fund's money to pay gambling debts. Ruderman ran the games along with Molly Bloom and lost around $300,000 to Maguire in the poker games before an FBI investigation busted the ring open in 2009. Maguire admitted to playing, but denied any wrongdoing, both in how he earned his money and that the games were illegal and not run by Bloom, who testified otherwise in an affidavit.

Rodriguez refused to comment on the story, according to ESPN New York.

"I'm not really going to get into any of that right now. We're going to focus on good little baseball here against a great team. ... Any basketball questions? Any boxing questions?"

Rodriguez played in one such poker game as recently as two months ago, which had a buy-in of $40,000. That sounds like a lot, but it's a drop in the bucket for A-Rod who will make over $438 million, plus a possible $30 million in bonuses for reaching 763 career home runs, in his career, which does not includes sponsorship income.

"Initially, A-Rod came to the game and simply watched,” a source told Star. “But once he knew what it was all about, he bought into the game. He played two or three times, I would estimate."

"I was surprised to see just how good a poker player Alex is," poker player Adam Bilzerian, who has played with A-Rod, told Star.

"I remember I was sitting at a table a few years ago at the Bellagio in Vegas and in comes Alex and the dude sat at the same table that I'm playing at,” he said. “The average buy-in was about $5,000 but you could buy in for $100,000 if you wanted to. There were about seven other players at the table. Alex busted everyone except me. I was like 'Whoa, this guy can play.' He had an amazing run. He won about $20,000 and left with everyone's money."

Seems like Rodriguez's poker face after slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS came with plenty of practice.

A-Rod was warned in 2005 by baseball that his involvement in illegal poker games in New York was dangerous and could affect his image. Rodriguez had attended games with professional player and friend Phil Hellmuth, a former World Series of Poker champion. Rodriguez was not punished or told to stay out of the clubs, but commissioner Bud Selig was reportedly very unhappy and was "keeping an eye" on Rodriguez and would get involved "if necessary."

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Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:42 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:18 am

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Fantastic running a location, saved the web site now with recognition to analyze a bit more information and facts!

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: July 3, 2011 2:52 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Mays and Mantle didn't make the kind of money players make today even though they were the best in their era. After baseball this was just a good paying job so they took it. Alex is one of the best in his era but his payday is huge so this is pure entertainment for him. This is only a story because of Rodriguez high profile.Every neighborhood, rich or poor has weekly poker games and nobody cares.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: July 3, 2011 2:23 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring


When Atlantic City first oped casino gambling Willie Mays and I believe Mickey Mantle where hired as PR people for I believe Bally's and were banned from baseball. Both were retired but were no longer allowed to associate with teams and could not attend games unless they bought a ticket. They were not allowed to play in oldtimer games or anything related to the game. This was legal gaming Rodriguez was not legal.

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: July 3, 2011 1:24 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

hey u need to let him live if he wants to play poker then let him play!!!!!!dont be mad cause u r broke and cant have a little fun in your free time!!!!!get a life!!!!!!4 REAL!!!!!!!

Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:57 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

The only way a poker game is illeagle if if there's a rake.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:57 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Is this really a story? Please,if dude has the cash to lose it's up to him.Just like when Barkley lost all that cash in the casino. It's their money to blow if they want to.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:11 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Being a life long Seattle sports fan,  I probubly don't have to note that I can't stand Rodriguez.  That being said,  what a overblown lame story.  Alex winning or losing 40 or 50 thousand is just a little more or less CHUMP CHANGE for one of baseballs biggest CHUMPS!

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2011 11:54 am

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

Seems to be nothing that outlaws stupid

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: July 3, 2011 11:15 am

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring

You obviously don't know anything about poker. If you and 8 friends decide you want to play a game of poker, and all go to someone’s house and buy in for $10, that's illegal. Anything not in a casino or sponsored event is basically illegal.
Wrong!!!  True in some states not true in others.  Some states allow nl games at home as big as you want as long as there is no rake.

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