A mix of sports icons and entertainment stars — Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Jane Seymour, Debbie Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus — showed up Friday night at the luxury resort in West Virginia.
Celebrities seems to matter to some people. I’ve met enough to be not be phased by their stardom. Anyway, one of the celebrities in attendance enjoyed the casino a little too much.
The only real player of the night was Barkley. “Blackjack, roulette, craps — I play it all.” We spotted the basketball great in the high-roller section a little after 11 p.m., sitting next to (Jim) Justice and Shields at a blackjack table with a rack of $50,000 in $500 chips in front of him.
Justice was casually tossing $100 chips in front of Shields. “I can’t play,” he said. “All I can do is help.” He left shortly after, but Barkley wagered until about 2 a.m., rumored to have lost all the money — if it was even his, or part of his appearance fee. Whatever.
Charles Barkley likes to gamble and has never hid that fact. I actually saw him playing a few years ago at Venetian. He’s probably the most famous person I’ve seen on the floor gambling with the “common folk.”
What he chooses to do with his money is his call. I always like to think that the money someone else is playing is their equivalent to mine. So if someone is gambling a $100 chip I like to think that it’s their equivalent to my $10/$25 chip. Truthfully, I don’t care what how much other people gamble. It’s not my business. Enjoy yourself, Chuck.