When it comes to legendary gamblers, few players equal the notoriety achieved by Archie Karas. He is not, and should not be remembered for his gambling skills, but rather his carefree attitude and love of gambling.
In his own words, Archie stated that he does not place any value in money, it cannot buy the things he really wants, and because of this he is not scared to lose it.
This is an important lesson for all gamblers, to remember to focus on the fun of gambling, and not the money. You should never try and chase wins as fate decides who the winners and losers are.
If fate smiling on you makes you a winner, I have no idea what fate did with Archie Karas. This famed player has had a ridiculous run of wins and losses that cannot be made up by the best writers in Hollywood.
The Early Days In Greece
Archie was born in Greece in 1950. He came from a poor family that could barely make ends meet. His father worked in construction to provide for the family but when Archie was 15, tensions in the household flared.
After an argument with his father, Archie ran away at the age of 15. Apparently his father threw a shovel that barely missed him. This was the last straw for Archie and he left home to find his fortune.
His First Taste Of Gambling
Archie started adulthood with a fairly normal career, working on a cruise ship. The ship landed in Oregon, America, where Archie disembarked and moved to Los Angeles.
He found a job at a local restaurant and started making extra money as a pool shark after work. Once Archie started playing poker in local card rooms, he soon started making money in the millions.
By the end of 1992, Archie had become a millionaire and broke again time and time again. Now, he was down too his last $50.
The Legendary Million Dollar Streak
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Archie in a bold move decided to drive to Las Vegas and seek his fortune. His first stop was the Mirage.
He ran into an old gambling friend and called in a favour for a $10 000 loan. It must have taken some convincing, but the friend agreed to the loan. High Rolling Archie soon tripled the loan and turned it into $30 000.
From here Archie moved onto pool hustling across the road from the Liberace Plaza. Here a legendary game took place where Archie walked away with $1 200 000 after playing for $40 000 per game. Archie moved on to poker at Binion’s Horseshoe and won a further $3 000 000.
The Star Begins To Fade
After only three months in Las Vegas, Archie sat on a $7 000 000 pile of money. By now Archie had a fearsome reputation with only the best poker players willing to challenge him, mostly due to his enormous stakes.
Eventually Archie won over $17 000 000 playing against professional poker players. When new challengers failed to appear, Archie started playing dice for $100 000 a game.
Hitting Rock Bottom
By 1995, after two years, Archie had lost around $30 000 000. Some major wins would still pop up in the next few years, but nothing on par with his enormous winning streak.
In 2013, the Barona Gaming Commission arrested Archie for marking cards. He was eventually found guilty and received a sentence of three years’ probation. Currently Archie is taking life a bit slower and so far, there have been no more publicised big wins from this legendary player.