Casino millionaires have made their money not by playing games of pure chance but won thousands of dollars consistently over time on games of skill, most commonly poker or other games of skill, such as blackjack and baccarat. Casino millionaires from poker excel in mathematics, to help them predict results and perfecting their strategies. This includes learning how to know when an opponent is bluffing or if they hold a stronger hand.
A mathematics professor, Bill Benter used his knowledge to start practising blackjack card counting. Within a few years, casinos began to bar him from their venues due to his continuous winning streaks and as can be seen from this Energy Casino review, casinos are highly secure with technology to ensure that card counting is no longer profitable. Benter then moved on to betting on horse races to win even more money and is now estimated to be earning USD100 million each year.
Benter is an active philanthropist and has donated USD1 million to a Pittsburgh charter school programme and USD3 million to a polio immunisation effort in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Africa. In 2007 he started the charitable Benter Foundation, which donates to health, education, and the arts. Benter, married with a young son, also runs a medical transcription company, that is only modestly profitable.
An Australian of Croatian extraction, Ranogajec made his fortune playing blackjack thanks to a photographic memory and an impressive understanding of mathematics. Like Benter, he was soon banned from casinos, which led him to gamble on keno and horse racing. Ranogajec rarely gives interviews, but his net worth has been estimated to be AUD600 million. Married with one daughter, Ranogajec and his family moved to London in 2011, where they moved into One Hyde Park, the most expensive address in the world. The family frequently travel first class to the US and Australia, enjoy luxury cruises and tickets to the most sought after social events of the day.
Known as the Tiger Woods of poker, Ivey has ten bracelets from the World Series of Poker and one title from the World Poker Tour. His net worth is USD100 million, which mainly comes from playing online and casino tournaments. Ivey currently lives alone in a 6,727-square-foot, three-bedroom house worth nearly USD2 million. He also owns and drives a USD500,000 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren and a USD400,000 Rolls Royce. In addition to spending time with celebrity friends, including Michael Phelps, Ivey also backs the NBA’s Houston Rockets and L.A. Lakers as a hobby.
With a PhD in computer science from UCLA that took 13 years due to him putting college on hold while building his bankroll, Ferguson was one of the founders of Full Tilt Poker, a major gambling website. He also played poker, successfully earning six WSOP bracelets. Ferguson’s current net worth is USD80 million. Like almost every successful poker pro, Ferguson is associated with one or more nonprofits and in his free time, he is reported to have said his favourite hobby is dancing West Coast Swing at California clubs.