Being a winner is always honourable, and in our case, it is also very profitable. This is because gambling games can be considered international, and its best participants become a kind of legend and make their names in history. Your status, country of residence, or age is not at all important. The winning streak happens with persistent and creative people. We will tell you today about some of them.
1. Dan Bilzerian – Over $200 Million
In the first place of today’s top is the famous poker player and Instagram star Dan Bilzerian. He is a real American celebrity with Armenian roots, who, by the way, in 2018 became a citizen of Armenia, having received citizenship in his historical homeland. Not all of his fortune is made up of winnings, but today he is the richest poker player. It is believed that 2014 was successful for him: some of his colleagues tend to consider this fortune to be exaggerated since he received a very large inheritance from his wealthy parents. He is always charismatic and prefers to play at the highest stakes, so every institution including the Golden Horns casino wishes to have Dan among its players.
2. Phil Ivey – Over $100 Million
The second on the list is Phil Ivey, nicknamed “Tiger Woods of Poker”. He is a professional poker player, he has 10 bracelets in the WSOP World Series of Poker (only Phil Hellmuth had more), first place in the World Tour – WPT, and nine finals, which is a record. He has earned over $100 million in his poker career. Ivey was interested in poker from childhood: the first time he got acquainted with this game, he was at the age of eight. Over the years, this love has only grown. One day he used a fake ID to enter a casino but was caught. His record prize money was $250,000 in 2014 at the Aussie Millions LK Boutique AU competition.
3. Iskhan “Sam” Farha – $100 Million
Better known as Sam Farha or nicknamed Mister Cool, another professional poker player on our list comes in at number three. His main achievement is second place in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event. Mr Farha has three WSOP bracelets in his account. He is recognized as one of the best players in the Middle East. During his career, he has won three WSOP bracelets. But the immigrant started with very small rates. The largest cash prize of more than $488 thousand was earned in 2010 in the Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship with buy-ins of $10,000 at the World Series of Poker. Sam Farha’s total poker income to date is approximately $100 million.
4. Chris Ferguson – Over $80 Million
Californian Chris Ferguson, nicknamed “Jesus” due to his long hair and beard, occupies the honourable fourth place in today’s list of the richest gamblers. His father introduced him to this game, it became their common entertainment and influenced the further successes of Ferguson Jr. at the professional level. One of the player’s most striking victories was the $1.5 million in prize money at the 2000 WSOP Main Event. The amount does not seem large, but Ferguson participated in more than 90 tournaments in which he received impressive fees. According to analysts, today Chris Ferguson’s total bank is more than $80 million.
5. Doyle Brunson – $75 Million
In fifth place is the name of the real poker legend – Doyle Brunson. He is the oldest member of the Poker Hall of Fame and has been included in this list since 1988. His son Todd also entered the Poker Hall of Fame in October 2016. Doyle was born in rural Texas in a poor family in the small town of Longworth. Doyle was one of the first to play poker at high stakes, helping to take the game to a whole new level. In 1976, he managed to beat strong rival Jess Alto with a ten and a two of spades in his hand, and the next year he did the same with Gary Berland. The combination of 10 and 2 is now called Brunson’s Hand. His total poker winnings are $75 million.
6. Archie Karas – $40 Million
This is the legendary man who managed to turn $50 into $40 million thanks to poker. He moved from Greece to the United States and worked in a casino on a cruise ship. This is what allowed him to learn the rules and strategies of poker well. Archie started playing independently in 1992 in Las Vegas and for three years he was almost always remaining in the black, earning a total of $40 million. At the peak of his fame, he was betting from $100 thousand per round.
7. John Heywood – €17,8 Million
There is already an answer to the question of what is the biggest win in a slot. The owner of the sum of €17.8 million was the 26-year-old soldier, John Haywood, originally from the UK. When he played the Mega Moolah slot machine in the Betway Casino by placing only £30, he was lucky. After seven minutes of playing and 25 spins, the lucky man managed to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the person with the maximum winnings in the casino.
8. Cynthia Jay – $35 Million
Another huge casino win took place at Monte Carlo Casino Resorts (today Park MGM). On January 29, 2000, one of the waitresses of the gambling house named Cynthia Jay decided to celebrate her mother-in-law’s birthday and try her luck at the slot machine. The first one that she came across was Megabucks, on which the girl hit the jackpot from the ninth attempt – $35 million. At that time it was the maximum winnings in slot machines. Interestingly, Cynthia had no more than $27 in her pocket.
9. Barefoot Joe – $1.5 Million
A classic story about a man who was nothing but raised a colossal amount. In 1995, an old man, who was already 80 years old, received an allowance of $400 and went to one of the local gambling houses. Joe didn’t even have shoes. The owners were confident that he would not stay longer than an hour. However, Barefoot Joe stayed at the casino for a whole week. He managed to win $1.5 million. The dealers who served Joe in the BlackJack game recalled that he played poorly, but he was unrealistically lucky. He was even able to sell the film rights to his story for $10,000.
10. William Bergstrom – $1.3 Million
This player loved big bets and believed that to win a lot, you need to bet a lot. One day he heard about the Horseshoe Casino, where you could place unlimited bets. Bergstrom came with $770,000, which fit into two suitcases. Putting them on the craps, William immediately doubled the amount. He wanted to bet $1 million, but something stopped him and he stopped playing. Bergstrom later returned with $600 thousand and won again. He was also lucky with stakes of $190,000 and $90,000. And in the end, he still decided to bet a million, but he lost. Nevertheless, he remained in black by about $600 thousand and went down in the history of the gambling business as a “man with a suitcase”.
Different people with different fates and paths can get into the list of the richest favourites of capricious fortune. Someone got a big inheritance and a good platform for a breakthrough, while someone got injured, lost their dreams and careers in the NBA, but achieved overwhelming success in a completely different direction. The history of gambling, in general, is full of records and curiosities, strange bets, and legendary players.