The Boston Globe has a novella length profile on Dana White and it goes through all the standard tales – his Southie past, the Mobster shakedown that drove him to Vegas, and the turning of the UFC into a mega-sport. Also in there: more details on Dana’s gambling habits:
Now White wants to play some cards. He’s got two hours to kill until he has to go inspect the fan expo, so we hop back in the Range Rover and drive to the Palace Station Casino. As we pull up to the valet, White pulls out a softball-sized wad of hundreds and peels one off. All weekend, I’ll watch as everyone who opens a door or pushes an elevator button gets one or two or three.
The Palace Station is his spot because it’s low-key by Vegas standards. It’s off the Strip, and he can play cards without getting too “smashed,” which is what his entourage calls the fan freakout that follows him everywhere. This drives the entourage crazy, because White stops and talks to every fan, asks where they’re from, listens to what they have to say. Even on a quiet night in a quiet casino, we get stopped a half-dozen times on the short walk to the tables.
We sit at the table. White is wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and Adidas Gazelles, which is what all the Southie guys wore back when he was one of them. He plays $25,000 in his first hand and wins. He looks at me and says his life is actually pretty simple: He does his job, he spends time with his kids, and he plays cards to relax. It’s just that the stakes are different now. Forty minutes later, Dana White has lost a half-million dollars like it’s nothing. Because it is. He’s won and lost a million plenty of times, he says.
“This is the only thing that relaxes me, bro.”
Man, Dana White is so rich he loses the kind of money we attribute to rich people in an evening of cards. God bless America.