Archie Karas – All-Time Gambling Legend
Archie Karas’s journey is the stuff of the legends and an ingredient of a perfect Hollywood blockbuster in the making. This poor Greek immigrant came to America in the early 90’s with $57 in his pocket while working on a cruise ship. He discovered how to play Poker and over the course of three years, he turned that $57 into $40 million against-all-odds. At one point, Karas held every single $5000 chip at Binion’s in his locker, literally every single one. Archie had quickly earned a reputation of a fierceless gambler who could not lose and he would never turn down a challenge.
Archie would beat out several famous gamblers during his peak and amassed earnings of $17 million playing pool and Poker at live casinos. As his reputation grew, Archie soon had difficulties finding competition willing to play for big bucks, so he moved on to the crap tables. In his first two years on the crap tables, Archie accumulated winnings of over $40 million! Such was the nature of his winning streak that he set a record that still exists today for the longest and biggest hot streak in gambling history, referred to as ‘The Run’.
Unfortunately for Karas, he had too much gamble and lost it all back over the next two years. The beginning of the end came when he lost $11 million on the crap tables in a period of 3 weeks and after making the switch to Baccarat, he lost another $17 million. He would also lose more money in various individual poker challenge competitions, soon Archie had lost the entire $40 million he had won. Karas’ fall from grace continued as he was placed in Nevada’s “Black Book,” officially known as Nevada’s List of Excluded Persons two decades later and is now banned from most Las Vegas casinos.