Michael Phelps

Maryland-born Michael Phelps, a.k.a. ‘The Baltimore Bullet’, is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals, 23 of them gold, for long course swimming. However, Phelps was playing poker long before his retirement from competitive swimming following the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2006, while living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Phelps met professional poker player Jeff Gross at Casino Windsor, now Caesars Windsor, in Ontario, Canada and the pair subsequently room together for seven years in Baltimore, Maryland. Gross called Phelps ‘one of the best celebrity players around’.

Phelps actually achieved his best live cash, so far – a ninth-place finish, worth $5,213, in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Caesars Palace Classic event in 2008 – before his retirement. Indeed, at the time of his retirement, it was speculated that he may play more frequently in live poker tournaments and may, indeed, sign a major sponsorship deal. So far, no sponsorship deal has been forthcoming but, in recent years, Phelps has finished in the money at a handful of smaller poker tournaments at various Las Vegas casinos, including The Venetian, Aria and Rio. All told, Phelps has just $9,873 to his name in live earnings but, most recently, finish fifth of 54 entrants in the $110 + 30 No Limit Hold’em – Nightly Event at the Aria Resort & Casino. Poker remains a hobby, rather than a career, for Phelps, but there is little doubt that he is a serious, talented player.

Casino Crime

Well, this certainly isn’t what you expect when you’re living the high life and waiting for your number to come up on the roulette wheel, I’m not sure if he was doing building work, an attempted heist, or just someone to whom doors are an irrelevance but it was nice of this gentleman to ‘drop by’ never the less.

Though on the subject of Las Vegas crime, one of the most ‘interesting’ heists was the Circus Circus theft of 1993. $3 million dollars and an armoured truck had disappeared without trace. Surely all’s well that ends well for the thieves then, right? Well no, a decade on, Heather Tallchief, wracked with guilty about how role in the theft handed herself in to the authorities. The money however remains missing, said to be in the hands of her still at large boyfriend.

Get Lucky

With the casino and the beds, our passengers will have at least two ways to get lucky on one of our flights – Richard Branson

Viva Las Vegas


So many memorable images come out of Vegas. The glitz, glamour and $$$ are a huge draw for joe public, but also celebrities, as these images attest to. Elvis was Vegas through and through, and the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were iconic in their time. The photograph of Sean Connery here just oozes ‘cool’, and courtesy of the boxing connection to Vegas, we’re spoiled with this characterful photograph of Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali pretending to duke it out.

Canine Card Players

A humorous depiction of dogs playing cards. I’m sure you’ll have noticed that there is quite some history to such comedic imagery involving cards playing cards, or poker or pool and the like. The original Dogs Playing Poker series of paintings were painted by American Artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge over 100 ago, the first painting in 1894, followed by a series of 16 oil paintings in 1903, and one final 1910 paintings. 11 of the pictures featured dogs sat around a card table and these have very much become ubiquitous within households. Some see the images as someone kitsch, others, part of US culture.

The very first painting, Coolidge’s 1894 Poker Game, sold for $658,000 at a Sotheby’s sale in November 2015. To be honest, considering what art pieces often sell for, it’s doesn’t sound overly expensive!

1 4 5 6 7