STARNBERG, October 20, 2020 (Guest post)
Gambling addiction is not something to take lightly. Tennis star, Jimmy Connors learn the hard way that if you do not know when to stop, you could end up losing everything. People all over the world loved Connors for his amazing swing the way he played the game.
He was an amazing tennis player with loads of talent, but what people did not know was that he was struggling with a gambling addiction. In his autobiography, The Outsider, Jimmy revealed to everyone that it was a constant battle that he fought throughout his expansive career.
Young tennis hopefuls spent hours on end to study his technique and rightly so. During his reign, he played in almost 1600 matches and won over 1200 of those matches. Those wins earned him 109 different titles and also the bragging rights of being the no.1 ranked player in the world for 160 consecutive weeks.
When he announced his retirement, it was not as though he was being floored. He still regularly beat his opponents comprehensively, but he decided to go out on a high and on his terms. Although his life on the court was admired by many, his personal and financial life was in disarray and he had no idea of how to beat his own demons.
His love for gambling and the game
Although there is no review of real money casinos where Jimmy flashed his cash, he admits that the money he lost ranged into the millions. He was addicted and did not even know it. He was not the kind of guy to go out and only have a couple of rounds of poker and call it a night. He played until he could no longer.
In his book, he mentions that he would gamble as long as he had money. The only way that he would leave a casino was if he broke the bank, or the bank broke him. Obviously, the bank was a lot stronger and Jimmy walked away with nothing on many occasions.
He also said that he could not bring himself to stop when he was on a role. If he won two games, he had to win three. Three became four and so on. With each win, he upped the stakes until the house of cards would come down.
Betting on himself
Jimmy admits that he loved betting on himself. While there are many sports stars who also have gambling addictions, many of them turn to fixing games and betting on themselves to lose in order to pay off their debts. People would then start to speculate whether a game was thrown or not.
Jimmy, on the other hand, did not try and pay off any debts; he was still under the illusion that he was only gambling and betting for the rush of it all.
He had no idea that he had a problem, although there were plenty of signs that shouted out. He mentions that he always bet on himself to win and never to throw a game or lose on purpose. For him, it was the ultimate rush knowing exactly how much was at stake.
One of his most extravagant bets was when he put a staggering $1 million down on himself to win his battle-of-the-sexes game against Martina Navratilova. This was evidently also a game that he nearly lost.
If not for his wife, he would never have seen the light as he credits her for illuminating the scope of his addiction. He admitted that he did not know when to quit and needed someone to tell him the hard cold truth.
In the end: Life after gambling
Jimmy claims that he is free from his addiction and is doing quite well for himself. He had coached the likes of Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova after being out of the game for a while. In 2018, he joined LiveWire Ergogenics, Inc. as advisor and spokesperson.
The company focusses largely on special purpose real estate acquisitions. Although he might have gambled much of his wealth away during his younger years, his net worth is still estimated at around $12 million. That is also a testament of how well he played during his glory years.