4 Exceptional Metal Guitarists Who Are Also Great at Poker

Poker appeals to different groups of people. This includes office workers, young adults, and even musicians. Lady Gaga is one musician who likes poker and shares that it’s her way of unwinding after performing. Aside from pop stars like her, metal guitarists are poker enthusiasts. Both metal music and poker require skill and aggression, which is why metal guitarists are great at the game.

The skill in metal music comes when writing and performing songs; in poker, it comes from developing a solid strategy. There’s also aggression in the way metal guitarists deliver iconic riffs. Meanwhile, being aggressive in poker is one way to be competitive and succeed.

That said, it’s no wonder many metal guitarists also excel at playing poker on the side. Let’s take a look at a few:

Scott Ian

Scott Ian is the guitarist for Anthrax, a band iconic for developing the thrash metal scene. Yet he’s also a certified professional poker player. One of his major achievements was winning internet gaming site UltimateBet’s premier Sunday 200k tournament, even beating out pros like Annie Duke. A year later, he participated in the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the world’s most prestigious poker tournament. Here, he joined the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em main event—and won. With his undeniable poker skills, Phil Hellmuth even offered to train him. All of these express how Ian is a talented metal guitarist and poker player.

Ace Frehley

Also known as Paul Daniel, Ace Frehley is the co-founder and original lead guitarist of Kiss. Amid his on-and-off participation in the band, he’s made a name for himself in the poker world. Frehley participated in the VH1 Celebrity Rock and Roll Tournament in 2006, where musicians competed with one another. Only skilled poker players joined this tournament because it was for charity. Despite not winning, playing alongside Scott Ian and Sully Erna in this tournament displayed Frehley’s poker qualifications. Now, he lives in Las Vegas, where casinos continue to witness his poker skills.

Sully Erna

Sully Erna is Godsmack’s lead singer and guitarist. He began his poker journey in 2006 when he joined the WSOP. His most significant win was the Five-Diamond World Poker Classic hosted by the World Poker Tour—a televised gaming and entertainment brand—in 2007. Here, Erna played in smaller tournaments before quitting to take a break. However, he returned to the poker scene in 2013 when Godsmack wasn’t too demanding of his time. This shows how poker is a big part of Erna’s life as a metal guitarist, and he’ll make time for it whenever possible.

Steve Albini

Steve Albini is in charge of the vocals and guitar for Shellac, an experimental metal band. His talent exceeds being a guitarist since he’s also a well-known recording engineer and poker player. In 2013, he finished 12th place in the WSOP. If you think this is already his biggest poker win, think again! In 2018, he won the WSOP’s Seven Card Stud event. This proves his skill because he competed against hundreds—if not thousands—of players worldwide. Albini is the perfect example of a multitalented metal guitarist—excelling not only in the music industry but also in the poker world.

These metal guitarists exhibited their greatness in poker at major tournaments and charity events. It proves that their talent exceeds playing the guitar. If you liked this article, read more of our work here at InstrumentBuzz.

Leave a Comment