Archie Karas says he has been a millionaire over 50 times and dead broke more times than he can count. He has earned fortunes in one day that most people won’t see in their entire lives – and then lost it all the next day.
Karas’s life is a bizarre version of the American dream. After spending the first 17 years of his life with very little money in Greece, he immigrated to the United States while working on a freighter. He ended up as a waiter in a Los Angeles restaurant that was located right next to a bowling alley. He subsequently honed his pool and poker skills to the point that he could make much more playing them than he could at the restaurant.
After just a year in the United States, he had found his true calling in life: high stakes gambling. It turned out to be a career move that would earn him tens of millions of dollars and a reputation as arguably the greatest gambler of all time.
Karas is most famous for an incredible stretch of gambling that took place from December of 1992 to the beginning of 1995. In that stretch, known as “The Run,” he turned $50 into over $40 million in a series of high stakes games.
The Run began in December of 1992, after Karas lost nearly $2 million in high-stakes card games in Los Angeles. Ever the risk taker, Karas decided to try his luck in Las Vegas. He drove to Las Vegas with nothing except for $50 in his pocket.
Karas began by playing a $100 to $400 Razz game at the Mirage. He was spotted $10,000 by a fellow gambler, which he subsequently turned into $30,000. He returned half of the profits to his backer. Karas now had enough money to get back to doing what he loved: betting outrageous sums of money.
The next conquest for Karas was a pool match with a wealthy hotel executive. They played for around $10,000 per match, and Karas came off as a big winner. He ended up winning between $1 and $2 million.
Rather than taking a more conservative approach, Karas became even more aggressive in his gambling. He welcomed all comers in one-on-one poker matches. He played against the greatest poker players in the world, such as David “Chip” Reese, Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson, and Johnny Chan. All matches were for outrageous wagers – he claims a Seven-Card Stud game with Reese with $8,000-$16,000 limits-and won millions more.
Karas went on to amaze onlookers by playing craps and betting $100,000 or more per toss. He rolled to winning sessions of $1.6 million, $900,000, $800,000, $1.3 million and $4 million. At one point, he had all the $5,000 chips in Binnion’s Casino.
By 1995, Karas had earned over $40 million. Unfortunately, his luck ran out and he lost it all in a period of three weeks. He lost $11 million playing dice and then lost $2 million back to Chip Reese. After losing $17 million in baccarat, he returned to Greece to take a break. Upon his return to Las Vegas, he lost all but his last million playing baccarat and shooting dice. His last million was used in a poker match against Johnny Chan, which he won, only to lose it all at dice and baccarat.
Karas sums up his outlook on life with the following quote: “You’ve got to understand something. Money means nothing to me. I don’t value it. I’ve had all the material things I could ever want. Everything. The things I want money can’t buy: health, freedom, love, happiness. I don’t care about money, so I have no fear. I don’t care if I lose it.”
By Janiah beauchamp
Janiah beauchamp writes reviews on various sporting events including the online betting websites. In this piece of write up, the author highlights on various betting odds i.e. online casino, online gambling etc.