Famous Gamblers Throughout History: Legends and Stories

The history of the casino is filled with amazing characters whose stories amaze the imagination. From legendary professionals to cult figures, these players not only won big, but also left an indelible mark on gambling culture.

casino friends

Edward O. Thorp Father of Card Counting

Edward Thorpe, professor of mathematics and author of Beat the Dealer, is one of the most famous blackjack players. His card counting techniques revolutionized the game and changed the casino industry forever.

Archie Karas symbol of the biggest win

Archie Karas, famous for his Las Vegas run, turned $50 into $40 million playing poker and craps in the 1990s. His story is a symbol of incredible success and equally amazing failure.

Phil Ivey master of all games

Phil Ivey, broadly viewed as one of the most amazing poker players on the planet, is likewise well known for his progress in other gambling club games. His capacity to pursue his rivals and the specialty of feigning made him a legend.

Don Johnson the slayer of Atlantic City

Don Johnson, not to be confused with the actor, became famous after winning more than $15 million from three casinos in Atlantic City in a short period of time. He used careful strategy and negotiation skills to reduce the casino’s advantage.

Katie Hagen

Katie Hagen has established herself as one of the most successful women in the poker world. Her composure and determination have brought her many wins in major tournaments around the world.

Nick “The Greek” Dundalis Poker Legend

Nick Dundalis, better known as “The Greek” Nick, was one of the most recognizable faces in the poker world during the first half of the 20th century. His famous quote, “I like to play for bets I can afford to lose,” epitomizes the philosophy of many professional gamblers.

Benny Beanon creator of the World Series of Poker

Benny Beanon, the founder of the World Series of Poker, was not a professional player, but his influence on the world of casinos and poker is enormous. He made poker popular and accessible, turning it into a global competition.

Stu “The Kid” Ungar Poker’s Wonder Child

Stu Ungar, known as “The Kid”, has won the World Series of Poker Main Event three times. His incredible talent and ability to play, despite personal problems, left a bright mark on the history of poker.

Carrie Packer tycoon and gambler

Carrie Packer, an Australian media mogul, was known for his huge winnings and losses in casinos around the world. His bets often reached millions of dollars, leaving an impression on everyone who saw him play.

Big Wins and Amazing Losses in Casino History

Record Winnings

  • Archie Karas and his “run” in Las Vegas

One of the most legendary stories in the casino world is that of Archie Karas, who turned $50 into $40 million in three years. His incredible success in poker and craps became a symbol of luck and skill.

  • Carrie Packer million dollar bets

Carrie Packer, known for his huge bets, once won $33 million at the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas. His playing style was as reckless as it was impressive.

Famous Losses

  • Terry Watanabe a losing year

In 2007, businessman Terry Watanabe lost approximately $127 million in a Las Vegas casino, one of the largest documented losses in history.

  • Donald Johnson and the Lost Millions

Donald Johnson, known for his winnings, has also experienced significant losses. His ability to win and lose huge sums demonstrates both sides of gambling.

best casino


These characters are more than just gamblers, they are icons who have changed the face of gambling. Their stories show a variety of paths to success and different playstyles, each unique. They remind us that every casino table hides its own history, its own heroes and its own legends.