Michael Baller was born December 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1954 as a teenager, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up in the Crestwood area. He attended Las Vegas High School, where he met his wife, Susan Lockitch. The two were married in 1960 at Temple Beth Sholom, once he returned from his service in the United States Marine Corps.
Upon returning to Las Vegas, Mike Baller pursued a career in the gaming industry, starting as a slot attendant at the Stardust Hotel and Casino, and then as a valet parking attendant at the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino. After four years at the Desert Inn, Baller joined his father’s dry cleaning business. The business closed in 1986, but he reopened it with his son-in-law in the early 1990s. In 2002, the business closed for a final time, and Baller returned to work in the gaming industry. He worked in the slot department in what was then the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, and soon moved to the poker room when it opened.