Famous casino players
In this article we have done our best to make sure that everyone on this list has, in fact, earned this prestigious title. Even though there are numerous games available where players are able to rack up impressive sums of money in winnings, most of these legends that follow have dominated the card game world. Blackjack and poker stick out the most, but huge profits have been on the slot machines. The reason they’re not included here is due to the game being one of luck, requiring no skill at all.
Born Edward Oakley Thorp in 1932 who went on to attain his PhD in mathematics. He then worked at MIT for a few years until finally becoming professor of mathematics, first at New Mexico State University then at the University of California.
You may not have heard his name but I can guarantee you his name is well known throughout gambling world. You’ve definitely heard the phrase, “been there done that read the book”, well Mr. Thorpe is the man who wrote the book. “Beat the Dealer” was the name of his book and it was a complete guide on how to make sure you’re able to beat the house at their own game.
Ok, so now for the real reason this guy is considered a genius. Edward Thorpe spent countless hours analyzing the game of blackjack, he was able to make use of the IBM 704 which at the time was the first mass produced computer to investigate the probabilities of winning at blackjack. During this period he was busy developing his own blackjack theory. Eventually, Thorpe was able to prove beyond a doubt and mathematically I might add that a player was able to turn the odds in their favour and create an edge over the house.
Edward used card counting to beat the house which created quite the stir throughout the gambling world. The technique was used by players around the globe until it was eventually banned or at least frowned upon at casinos.
MIT Blackjack Team
Although Edward Thorpe is undoubtedly the most successful blackjack player to ever sit at the table, it is no surprise that more people will know about the MIT blackjack team than him. This can be attributed to a book being written about them titled “Bringing Down The House”. Hollywood soon saw an opportunity and produced a movie which they simply called “21”.
The team was initially formed at MIT thanks to a professor who saw an opportunity to cash in big. The first team consisted of 6 players who were split into 2 teams. A big player, a spotter and a controller. Using Edward Thorpe’s strategies they managed to win millions and continued doing so for quite some time.
Times were so good and the strategy so successful that teams started forming all over the continent of the USA, at one stage there were more than 50 players hitting the tables all across the country. Eventually casino’s started catching on to them and numerous big players were barred from entering casinos. This proved to be just a small speed bump for the card counters though as they merely replaced these players with fresh faces.
The MIT blackjack team accrued millions over their 15 year reign and eventually came to an end in 2000 as players decided to follow different paths and the teams were disbanded.
Dominic is certainly not as well known as other casino legends; however, there was no way he could be left out. Although he is also considered to be a master blackjack player, he made his name playing craps. Yes that’s right; somehow this genius was able to walk away with thousands every single time he played.
As most of you will know, craps is a game which is considered to be of pure luck. When you take into account how the outcome is based on whether or not you dice the correct number. Dominic earned the nickname the “Dominator” and appeared on television several times for his fantastic feats at the craps table.
Dominic was able to accrue large sums of money on a daily basis thanks to his uncanny ability. He was able to somehow throw the dice and get them to land on a specific number which allowed him to take advantage of the craps table like no other.
LoRiggio is so efficient at this art that he actually has a school where he and his partner will teach you how to achieve this. Apparently, it’s all based on how one holds the dice in their hand prior to throwing them. Even though his technique is not considered illegal at casinos, should a player be seen using his method they would most likely be asked to leave or throw in a different manner.
Born in America but with Greek blood, Archie is well known throughout the gambling world. Considered to be one of the best gamblers ever, Archie has won and lost small fortunes countless times over during his career, which he continues till this day, albeit not as lucrative as his former years.
Archie holds the unofficial record for the longest losing and winning streak, not sure how he feels about this. During a period from 1992 to 1995, Karas managed to accumulate over $40 million after walking into a casino with just $50 to his name.
This was his biggest winning streak but it was by no means his first or last. As all avid gamblers will know, staying away from the casino can be a little tough, even when you’re on a losing streak. Karas had been see-sawing for years before and after that massive winning streak, often winning millions in a period of months only to lose it all again. As the true gambler Archie is, he still lives in Las Vegas hoping to strike it lucky once again.
This amazing gambler is considered by most poker aficionados as the best all round poker player to ever have lived. Phil began playing poker for fun at a young age and went on to compete in tournaments regularly.
Thanks to his exceptional skills, Phil was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017. Over a period of 20 or so years he was able to make it to the World Poker Tour finals a total of 9 times but only managed to win it once.
He has an unrivalled track record when it comes to the World Poker Series though, having claimed the title an unbelievable 9 times over a period of 15 years, a feat that will probably never be matched again.
During his illustrious career, the poker playing mogul managed to accrue more than $11 million in winnings and that’s not including all the other smaller tournaments the legend has won.