The Biggest Names in the Gambling World


Gambling is entertaining – even so much that even our ancestors have gambled since ancient times.

Even though casinos deal with luck-based games, some players have popularized themselves for their skills or other factors.

There were a lot of extraordinary gamblers throughout history, from Henry VIII to Frank Sinatra.

But, let’s find out about the gamblers of our time (some of them may be still alive and well).

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Archie Karas

Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis or commonly known as Archie Karas, is a Greek-American professional gambler who mostly played poker.

He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, even though he was born into a poor Greek family.

When he was only 15 years old, he ran away from home and worked as a ship waiter.

From there he Got to Oregon, the USA where, after a period of time, had his bankroll up to $2M.

He quickly lost that money, but he insisted on getting to the biggest games like high-stakes poker in Las Vegas.

There, he challenged the biggest poker names of that time like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson.

He kept losing and winning millions of cash every day; he was famous because he was a risktaker.

In 2013, he was arrested for cheating and had three-year probation.

He never won any championships or casino-related awards.

David Edward “Chip” Reese

He was an American professional poker player from Ohio.

Some call him the ‘greatest cash poker player of all time’.

As a kid, he had health problems and later on, Chip got an offer from Harvard University, but he declined it and got in Darthmouth instead.

That’s when he started playing poker with his friends.

His first trip to Las Vegas was very lucky and got him rich in one night.

That’s why he never left.

In addition to poker, Chip started betting on sports too.

He was a part of the World Series of Poker, where he won more than $1M by beating Andy Bloch in 2006.

In 2007 he tragically passed away in his home because of pneumonia complications.

Edward O.Thorp

Technically, even though he wasn’t a gambler, Edward Thorp was a blackjack researcher.

Being a mathematics professor, he started having all these different theories about how to win and why you’re not winning.

Being a professional in theoretical blackjack, he found all of these holes in the games, and that’s how, after years of research, he became an author by writing the book ‘Beat the Dealer’ where he explains his views.

This book, published in 1962, became a New York Times bestseller and got him the title ‘the father of card counting’.

That was the peak of his fame, and since then, he wrote five more books and is now alive and well in the 87th year of his life.

Billy Walters

Raised by his grandmother, Walters had a very hard childhood.

His father died when he was only 18 months old, which was the last straw for his alcoholic mother to leave him after a period of time.

He had to work 80 hours a week in bakeries, and gas stations.

But, his gambling career started when he was only nine years old.

Walters bet on the New York Yankees, and even though that day they lost, he never gave up.

After the death of his grandma, he had to move to Louisville with his mother.

There he met his wife Susan, and he worked in car sales for a while before coming to Las Vegas.

His biggest win was almost $4M in Monte Carlo in 1971.

Now, he has three children, a car-sales holding company and a net worth of $100M.

Phil Ivey

Of all of the gamblers on this list, Phil Ivey is the only one who is in the Poker Hall of Fame.

Born in an American family in California, Ivey started gambling in the late 90s.

Since then, he got a fake ID card to play poker in New Jersey casinos.

That’s how he got his first nickname ‘No Home Jerome’.

His second nickname is ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’; since then, he has won 10 bracelets and appeared at 9 World Poker Tour final tables.

They didn’t need much to be lucky and win so big that they became famous.

So, neither do you.

All you need is a will to play, and you’re all set.

Who knows when you will win big?


the author


the author


Head of Content

Head of Content

Lukas Mollberg, 41, is an industry veteran with over 20 years in the iGaming sector, currently leading as the Head of Content at A stalwart since the early 2000s' Poker Boom, he specializes in affiliate marketing since 2016 and has authored around 300 comprehensive online casino reviews. Lukas's keen eye for detail ensures that no aspect—be it game selection, customer service, or bonuses—is overlooked. His work has become an authoritative resource for both new and seasoned online gamers, offering unbiased and reliable insights. Beyond professional achievements, Lukas brings a wealth of personal interests, like reading and travel, adding depth to his industry perspective.


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