Gambling is no simple endeavor and only those willing to invest time, money and effort into becoming professional gamblers can become professional ones. Here we explore some of the most famous professional gamblers from history as we learn what sacrifices were necessary in order to become famous professional gamblers themselves.
Archie Karas’ gambling career started off small – $50 and a $10,000 loan that turned into $40 million over just two years – however he eventually was banned from casinos following an incident in 2013.
Archie Karas was an eminent Greek-American gambler, high roller, poker player and pool shark known for his record winning streak known as “The Run”. After driving from his native Greece with $50 in 1992 he converted a $10,000 loan into $40 Million over two years – an astonishing achievement!
He quickly rose to star status in the game of poker, earning respect from such luminaries as Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. His ruthlessness and drive made him one of the feared figures in Razz and poker circles.
He eventually fell on hard times after being accused of marking blackjack decks for fraud at several casinos throughout California and Nevada in 2013.
Nick “The Greek” Dandalos
Nick Dandolos was a highly accomplished gambler and high roller. Born on Crete to wealthy parents who could provide him with an education, Dandolos made his mark as an influential gambling figure and high roller.
At Smyrna Evangelical College he studied philosophy. When he turned 18, his grandfather sent him to America with an allowance of $150 per week – an extraordinary sum at the time.
In Chicago, he joined card clubs where gentlemen could gamble privately without being bothered by police officers. He became adept at playing cards and throwing dice, earning a reputation for his dexterous bluffing abilities.
Nick later moved to Montreal where he began betting on horse races. Later relocating to Las Vegas – becoming known as “Nick the Greek” among gambling professionals there.
He amassed winnings and losses of more than $500 million during his lifetime, was honored as a charter inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame, and made donations totaling more than $20 million to charity and education causes.
Benter has made his fortune through developing an analysis algorithm to predict horse racing outcomes and has amassed an estimated net worth of around $1 billion as of 2021.
He was a self-taught mathematician who developed an ingenious system for analyzing horse race odds. Utilizing Hong Kong Jockey Club betting odds as his starting point and fine-tuning them through custom algorithms; his strategy proved highly profitable.
He later moved to Hong Kong and established a horse-betting operation, earning himself millions through it. To this day he still uses his model regularly making updates in response to changes such as different horse performances, rest days between races or new trainers.
Edward Thorp was a math genius who revolutionized blackjack history when he published “Beat the Dealer.” This groundbreaking work demonstrated card counting was possible and helped thousands of gamblers win money at casinos – it went on to sell over 700,000 copies and become a New York Times bestseller.
He is widely known as the creator of modern card-counting. His system of card-counting gave players an edge in single-deck blackjack games at that time and continues to be utilized today.
Thorp demonstrated that blackjack could be defeated; after this success he went on to develop strategies for beating baccarat and roulette as well. Along with his friend Claude Shannon he also invented a wearable computer which would give players an advantage in these games.