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Who is the Greatest Gambler of All Time?

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Greatest Gambler

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Choosing the "greatest gambler of all time" is a matter of opinion, and views might vary depending on factors like reputation, influence, or money.

One person who frequently appears in such debates is Archie Karas. His remarkable 'the run' streak in Las Vegas, which turned $50 into an incredible over $40 million, is the best in gambling history.

The Early Years

Known by his moniker "the Greek," Archie Karas was born in Greece in 1950. His full name is Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis. His family struggled financially while he was growing up.

Archie Karas spent his early years in America improving his English and becoming an expert pool player, which paid well until he ran out of opponents.

Afterward, he focused on poker, a game he played naturally. This sparked an ongoing interest in gambling that would set the stage for the legendary player's life.

Start of his Gambling Career

Archie made playing cards his life's work. Karas spent his twenties playing poker, giving it all his attention and resources, and he won big.

It was the time when Archie started to build his reputation. Still, like many gamblers, Archie Karas would not reach his full potential until he got to Las Vegas.

The Famous Run

He was down to around $50 in his pocket after a string of bad losses in December 1992.

Karas's gambling addiction had taken over him completely. He was unflappable in his will to achieve, not even somewhat affected by the $2 million he had lost a few days before.

Once in Las Vegas, he headed straight to a casino. He knew his fifty bucks was insufficient and would not go him very far.

Luckily, he encountered an old poker buddy in the casino who acknowledged his talent. Archie asked for a $10,000 loan to play in the $200/$400 high-stakes Razz game.

That was the start of the famous "The RUN," the longest and most successful winning run in gambling history.

His fifty bucks grew to forty million by the beginning of 1995. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Karas. He terrified well-known players in Razz and, ultimately, poker throughout those three years.

The Inevitable Fall

Archie Karas' once-impressive $40 million fortune dropped to only $1 million in just three weeks in 1995.

A startling $11 million loss at the craps tables and a crushing $2 million loss in a high-stakes poker game against Chip Reese marked the beginning of the downfall. When Karas quickly lost a startling $17 million at the high-stakes baccarat tables, these losses seriously jeopardized his career.

After losing $30 million, Karas decided to stop gambling and decided to take a little break and live in Greece for a brief period.
Once returning to Nevada, Karas made the decision to pick up his baccarat and craps playing again. Regretfully, he lost everything after being unable to replicate his prior high-rolling performance.

Though the gambling community is well aware of Karas' remarkable winning run, there are legitimate questions about his methods to accumulate his winnings.

Throughout his gambling career, Karas has been arrested numerous times for allegedly cheating at several casinos.

Among the most noteworthy incidents, they happened in San Diego in 2013. Karas was arrested in Las Vegas when Barona Casino caught him for marking cards at the blackjack table.

Karas suffered greatly from his arrest as he was eventually included in the Nevada Gaming Control Board's black book. The city's gambling authorities blacklist Karas. Hence, he is never allowed to visit or play any casino in Las Vegas.

Legacy of Archie Karas

Archie Karas was a very prolific gambler. Everyone Karas has played against described him as a fearless player who never backs down from a challenge.

His incredible reputation will endure as the person who turned a meager $50 into an astounding $40 million, the biggest casino win in history.

Without a doubt, some will remember him as the guy who lost $40 million in gambling, one of the most significant losses ever.

Nevertheless, Archie Karas should be remembered as a young man who left his home country searching for the American Dream and followed his passion to become a self-made millionaire.

Where is Archie Karas Now?

Archie Karas is 74 years old and lives in Las Vegas, but he cannot enjoy the thrill of gaming at the nearby casinos.

Thanks to Archie Karas' involvement, his extraordinary tale has enthralled many and has been documented in both written and film media by Michael Konik, Cigar Aficionado, and E! Entertainment.


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