Dana White is considered the king of the martial arts world. The American business is the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) president, the most prominent mixed martial arts organization. White is also one of the wealthiest people on earth, with a net worth of $500 million.
Dana White’s life is what the ordinary person would consider a cavalcade of madness. While most of his life revolves around being the UFC big boss, he also gets his fair share of adventure by being a blackjack virtuoso. When most people visit a casino and win more rounds than they lose, they mostly walk away with a couple more hundred dollars than they started gambling with. However, when someone with pockets as deep as those of White, the results for the casino can be catastrophic.
Dana White has confessed that his love for blackjack is as much as his love for anything he is passionate about. He even admitted that he sees playing the game as a part-time job with UFC as his daytime occupation and cards his nighttime one. While it is not confirmed when he started playing, White entered his first professional tournament in July 2010 when he was invited to play at the Rio Hotel and Casino. He went up against 52 pro players for a prize of $250,000. As he narrates, all five pro players at the final table played collectively to beat him since he refused to split the spoils if he won. Luckily, he came out on top and has even stated that he would like to be buried with the trophy he collected that night.
Dana White is so good in the blackjack game that several casinos on the strip have banned him from playing. The most famous of these gambling destinations is The Palms. Back in 2012, the 21 master took the casino for $1.6 million, and when the location got new owners, they gave him the boot. In retaliation, White withdrew all UFC events that were being held in the casino.
In 2014, a new set of owners took over the establishment and invited Dana back since such dens love having some whales. This time, he brought his fans along for the action and documented his experience. Dana confessed that he had been on a winning streak and had not lost a game since 21st December 2013. These claims held water as he won $1.6 million again, and the new management was not happy, prompting them to ban him again. However, this time, the owners played up to the UFC boss’ ego and gave him a championship belt that reads “Palms Undisputed Blackjack Champion” and is displayed in his office. In his professional gambling career, Dana’s most significant loss amounts to $1 million, and he has won $7 million in a single night.
About Dana White
Dana White Jr. was born on 28th July 1969 to June and Dana White of Irish American descent. Dana has been boxing since age 17 in Hermon High School, where he graduated in 1987. He did not have much success in college and had a go at it twice but dropped out both times after the first semester.
Dana moved to Sin City, and in his late teens and early twenties, he worked odd jobs while figuring out what to do with himself. He landed a job as a Four Seasons bellhop, and his time there was a sign of things to come. Like any other place of work, some employees at the hotel had conflicts with each other. White saw an opportunity to resolve these issues with organized violence. He gathered such employees into a closet and let them beat each other until everybody was friends again. White kept the rules simple, and one of the main ones was that fighters could only serve body blows. He continued to run the bellhop fight club until one day he quit and decided boxing would be the rest of his life. While he didn’t quite walk that path, he did not go too far off, considering he specializes in mixed martial arts.
When White quit, he became a boxercise coach training white-collar folks when he first moved to Las Vegas as an adult. He argues that the job was low risk, taught him how to perfect the left hook, and he could still get a good sweat in. White did so well in the field that he landed the opportunity to relocate to Los Angeles and train Mark Wahlberg for an upcoming film. While the movie lost funding and got cancelled, he still got to rub shoulders with some of Hollywood’s elite, including Robert De Niro. He then moved back to Las Vegas.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
Dana White ran into the Semaphore Entertainment Group owner, Bob Meyrowitz, while working as a manager for Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz and learnt that he was selling UFC. Dana reached out to his childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta who, together with his brother, purchased the company in 2001 for $2 million and installed White as its president. When they took over the firm, it had been stripped so much with the previous owners avoiding bankruptcy that all they got was the name and an old octagon. However, Dana stepped up to the challenge and turned the UFC into the most successful mixed martial arts organization globally.
By 2015, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was wildly successful, with reported gross revenue of $600 million. The same year, the company was sold for $4 billion, and White got a hefty paycheck of about $360 million from the deal. He remains the corporation’s president getting 9% of all profits and an undisclosed salary as the boss. Dana’s prowess in his work has earned him numerous accolades over the years, including;
- 2009 Nevada Sportsman of the Year
- 2005 – 2013 and 2015 -2016 Promoter of the Year
- Patriot Award
- 2008 – 2019 Leading Man of the Year
Dana White’s prowess as UFC president and boxing promoter is only bound to grow with huge events on the company’s horizon. Dana continues to exploit the cash cow that is his blackjack winning streak, but he has yet to give an update on his latest winnings.