Alex Rodriguez may have been dealt a losing hand.
The Yankees slugger is facing a possible suspension by Major League Baseball for his alleged involvement in high-stakes Hollywood poker games.
“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation," MLB said in a statement Wednesday. "As part of the investigation, the Commissioner's Office will interview Mr. Rodriguez."
Star Magazine said Rodriguez, 36, played on at least twice at private games in Beverly Hills, even losing a few thousand dollars during one session, according to an unnamed insider.
An unnamed MLB exec told ESPNNewYork.com that because A-Rod had been warned about illegal gambling before, a possible suspension “would be very much in play.”
Radaronline.com reported that cocaine “was openly used” at some of the games, while one “turned violent.” Rodriguez, though, is not alleged to have used cocaine or have been involved in any violence.
The third baseman, who had knee surgery in July and is expected to return to the field later this month, has previously denied playing in the illegal Texas Hold ‘Em gatherings. Star Magazine first reported in June the clandestine card games have included Hollywood A-listers Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck.
A-Rod’s alleged fancy for underground poker clubs in New York was highly publicized in 2005, complete with photos of him getting in on the action. At the time, he had reportedly promised Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig he would quit them.
An MLB spokesperson declined to comment on whether the investigation could eventually lead to a suspension of uncertain duration.
Any attempt, however, would likely be met with fierce opposition from the Players Association.
A rep for Rodriguez did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. The Yankees said they were reviewing the reports, but had no official comment.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com.
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•Steroids: Rodriguez admitted in 2009 to using performance-enhancing drugs when he played with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. He had denied using them in 2007.
•Cheating: He filed for divorce from his wife, Cynthia, in July 2008 after the birth of their second daughter. Rodriguez had been plagued by reports of extramarital affairs, and was linked with a then-married Madonna, who said they were only friends, and former Manhattan madam Kristin Davis.
•Contract: In October 2007, A-Rod opted out of his 10-year contract with the Yankees, despite saying earlier he planned to stay. His agent announced his decision during the World Series game, which many considered to be in bad taste. He eventually apologized.