Ten of The Worlds Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time

Life itself is a gamble, but only a few people turn gambling into a career. Well, taking gambling as a career is a serious and dangerous decision as most people don’t make it. You have to be prepared for big losses, some, too big to recover from. However, if lady luck looks nicely on you, you may just become the next billionaire. Some people take these big risks, but out of the thousands that win and lose big in casinos every year, only a few become popular because they just don’t seem to care about their losses. Here is a look at 10 people that changed the gambling industry forever.


 

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Bill Benter
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Bill Benter

Bill Benter

Benter is considered the richest Gambler in the world with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, although there are claims that he may be worth way more than that. He studied physics in Pennsylvania, but instead of pursuing conventional physics-related careers, he decided to use mathematics to beat the house in poker.

He became a Blackjack Hall of Famer and won almost every blackjack table in Vegas, which led to his being banned from Vegas Casinos. He switched to horse racing in Hong Kong and even created software used in predicting the result of horse races. His software is rated one of the best analytical software in the world, and it has since earned him billions in winnings. He now focuses on his foundation, which is focused on charity.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Kerry Packer
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer

Most Australians knew Packer as the media mogul and the father of the World Cricket Series, but Packer was a very different man when you ask London Casino owners. He expanded his $100 million inheritance by investing and gambling, although he tried hard to keep the media off his gambling affairs.

He is reported to have lost an estimated $25 million in a week in London casinos, making it the biggest loss ever made in London. He also won $7 and $33 million in the same week in London, crippling casino profits by a huge margin. The most famous loss he made was $15 million on consecutive bets at Roulette tables.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - King Henry VII
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – King Henry VII

King Henry VII

Yes, this ancient name also went into history as England’s Number One Gambler. It is said that Henry preferred staying his nights with gamblers in the casinos rather than the royal palace. He liked playing dice, some form of checkers gambling, and Bragg, which later evolved into poker. The only problem with Henry’s gambling is that he became addicted, and it was the crown’s money he was using to bet.

The crown soon accumulated gambling debts, and the taxpayers had to pay, meaning his gambling hurt the whole nation. The cool thing about this king is that he didn’t discriminate against his opponents as he gambled with royals and commoners equally.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Phil Ivey
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey

Now to the king of poker tournaments, casino gaming, and online gambling. He still holds the record of being the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet, of which he currently holds 10. His winning streaks have earned him over $100 million in net worth, although not much is known about his revenue since he stepped back from the limelight in 2012 after he lost $11 million winnings after a casino accused him of edge sorting.

He started playing poker at age 8 and went pro before he even became an adult using a fake ID in Atlantic city. He held the record for the biggest winnings ever in online casinos at $19 million, although someone has since beat him to that. He is still believed to be the best online poker player in the world.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Edward Thorp
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp

Mathematicians are some of the toughest opponents to go against when gambling and Edward Throp happens to be one of them. He wrote the book Beating The Dealer, still considered the bible of card counting. He took to gambling after leaving his career as a professor of mathematics and focused on using computers to tilt the odds in card counting against the house in the gambler’s favour. His speciality in gaining an advantage over the house has won him nearly $1B in net worth at age 87. His books and techniques continue to earn him money as he is now consulted by many gamblers and casinos on laying odds and investment banking.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Terrance Wanatabe
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Terrance Wanatabe

Terrance Wanatabe

Gambling big doesn’t mean you always win; sometimes, you lose everything you have and become forgotten. Wanatabe was a millionaire from Omaha Neb, who contributed to nearly 6% of a casino company’s profits in 2009 after losing nearly $130 million. He is allegedly still battling in court with the same casino over an alleged $14 million debt, which the casino loaned him to continue gambling. His history with gambling is not very clear, but his losses point to addiction rather than being a good gambler. He is still known as the biggest loser ever in Vegas history. His gambling career also seems to have died with his losses since he is not linked to any big bets afterwards.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Richard Nixon
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon makes it in this list because he is the only man that played his way into becoming the leader of the free world. Donald Trump owns the houses, which helped him raise funds for his campaign but not Nixon. The US’s most controversial president literally gambled his way into the white house. His winning streak is not exactly a public record, but he probably had some huge wins. One of his biggest winnings was an expensive sports car from President Ronald Reagan after he beat him in a poker game. He used his networks and winnings from gambling to fund his campaign.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Chris Moneymaker
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Chris Moneymaker

Chris Moneymaker

Online poker is now the largest gambling industry in the world, which is why we can’t forget the father of the online poker boom Chris Moneymaker. He hasn’t exactly become a billionaire yet, but he is still the name every online casino doesn’t enjoy hosting. He became famous after signing up for the WSOP with $40 in 2003 and going ahead to win the bracelet and $2.5 million. He was probably the first poker amateur to win the bracelet. His win inspired millions of people to flood the online poker industry, although no one has ever become a legend like him.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Billy Walters
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Billy Walters

Billy Walters

Billy’s story doesn’t end so well at the moment, but it is impossible to talk about sports betting without mentioning his name. His story now sounds more like, from rags to Las Vegas, to riches, then currently, to prison for insider trading. He developed his interest in sports betting at a young age as a boy growing up with his grandmother in Kentucky. He proceeded to bet at age 9 and open an illegal gambling business, from where he moved to Las Vegas after the authorities ordered him to close.

When he took up gambling as a career, he went on a nearly three-decades-long winning streak betting on different kinds of sports in Las Vegas, becoming a millionaire while at it. He was, however, arrested for insider trading after winning $40 million and sentenced to five years in prison, which he is yet to complete.

Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time - Zeljko Ranogajec
Biggest and Most Influential Gamblers Of All Time – Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko Ranogajec

We close the list with one of Australia’s most secretive and equally controversial gamblers. His net worth is not really known, but some people say he may well be richer than Billy Benter. His gambling career started when he dropped out of college to pursue a career at blackjack tables. He had two great advantages that have seen him become the best; A photographic memory and a deep understanding of mathematics that always helps him find an edge against the house. His winnings got scary in the casinos leading to his being banned. He also resorted to horse racing and Keno, setting a world record of winning $7.5 million in Keno. He is still a big name in gambling, although he prefers a low profile.

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