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Anthrax’s Axeman’s Secret Life

By Newsferatu, Writer
Thursday, April 2, 2015 @ 9:13 PM

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Anthrax has been an active band in the metal scene since 1977 with the band still playing festivals and shows around the world, today. Its co-founder and only remaining original member of the band, Scott Ian has without doubt etched his name in the history books of metal and has been one of the faces of a evolving metal scene over the years.

Anthrax has become well know for being innovative throughout their existence and one of the founding bands of thrash metal alongside the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. However, their reach was extended past their metal following in 1991 when they recorded with rap legends Public Enemy on a crossover rap/rock creation that saw Anthrax’s music reach a whole new audience.

And ultimately it was Scott Ian’s unwillingness to retire and just generally lighten his schedule that has made the guitarist such an endearing character. Apart from his many collaborations and side projects like his other band Stormtroopers of Death, Ian has also made a name for himself in professional poker of all things.

After falling in love with poker during long and arduous world tours, in which Ian would play poker with his fellow band mates, he soon had the urge to compete against a higher caliber of players. In 2009, Ian competed in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas with over 6,000 other competitors. And although Ian didn’t place in the top 1,000 players it seemed to motivate him even more to succeed in the sport.

However, his dreams of winning a tournament haven’t come into fruition just yet. Later that year, he told Bluff Magazine: “Winning a tournament is way tougher than writing a song. There are a lot more variables in poker. I guess for some it might seem like insurmountable odds when it comes to writing a song, but that is much easier for me.”

Ian has also used poker as way to benefit others, too and not just for personal gains. In 2006 he organized the VH1 Celebrity Charity Poker Classic where he enlisted the help of some of rock and metal music’s biggest stars. Musicians such as ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and Godsmack’s Sully Erna all featured in the tournament. The event raised over a $1 million for a slew of worthy causes.

Aside from featuring in competitive poker tournaments at some of Las Vegas’s most notable events, Ian is also said to be an avid online poker player. He even offered spots to play at the VH1 Celebrity Charity Poker Classic via an online qualifying tournament for online participants back in 2006. He now enjoys sharpening his skills online whenever on tour with his band, as he told Bluff Magazine that it is a very practical way to help him keep sharp.

Since online poker became so popular after its inception in 2007, many reputable portals have gone on to invest money back into the sport. In 2007 the upcoming betting site Betfair decided to sponsor the World Series of Poker to help its brand, and has become a regular sponsor of global poker events much like a lot of the biggest online portals. And although Black Friday has ultimately affected the online industry in the United States, there haven’t been similar sanctions imposed on the industry in Europe and other continents. Which, for Ian, has meant that playing online while abroad has become his most practical way to stay active now that there are an endless number of online sites available.

With his first tournament win still eluding him; it’s pretty obvious that Ian will continue to feature in WSOP events until he places highly, and other smaller events until he finally wins a tournament. There are also rumors flying about that there could well be another celebrity poker event in the pipeline for 2016 although no official details have been released yet. But for the time being, keep an eye out on Ian’s progress in the poker world when his hectic schedule allows, as like his music career, it’s sure to be eventful.

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