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Showing results for tags 'gamblers'.

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  1. Most dream about striking it lucky and walking away with the jackpot. Others argue that a successful gambler understands how luck has very little to do with becoming a wealthy punter. So what do the wealthy and famous gamblers have in common, and how did they get to the top? As it is only a handful of people that make it to a level of astonishing wealth through gambling, there has to be a secret. With seven being the industry’s lucky number, we take a look at the top 7 richest gamblers of all time and what they did to get the title and wealth. A hint we can give is that being skilled at numbers has a lot to do with it. ✓ Tony Bloom Anthony (Tony) Bloom hails from the United Kingdom and he carries the nickname ‘The Lizard’. Worth approximately $1.7 billion, he owns a Premier League team and is a professional sports bettor, poker player, and owner of Starlizard, the UK’s largest betting consultancy. Add to his resume that he is the chair for Brighton & Hove Albion football club, and it becomes hard to imagine what this gambling superstar does not do. Bloom’s love for going against odds started as a teen, where he crossed some lines with an illegal ID, but he studied mathematics at the University of Manchester. He worked as an accountant and then as a trader before he became a professional poker player. Since then, he took part in 11 WSOP tournaments, made it to the finals and they report he collected $1.5 million in winnings by 2008. Known as a ‘cold-blooded killer at the poker table’, peers gave him his nickname. Bloom moved into sports betting and owns a few horses as well, which have given him very successful runs. Although Tony Bloom’s wealth comes from various sources, his gambling career gave him a head start and he once stated himself that he believes poker gives a person a good grounding for many things in life. Like how to observe a situation well and read people. ✓ Bill Benter This professional gambler is one of the most famous punters because of how he gambles and how much he has made thanks to his system. Reports say that William “Bill” Benter is worth $1 billion, and he started his gambling career at blackjack tables in Sin City. Benter always believed there must be a way to crack the code concerning the casino’s advantage and with his brilliant maths aptitude, he attempted Edward O. Thorp’s card counting strategy. After 7 years of winning some money, getting banned from Vegas casinos, and realising it is not as lucrative as he had hoped, Benter moved on to greener pastures. Horse racing became his new focus area, and he was hell-bent on making educated investments rather than gambling against odds. The mathematical genius teamed up with Alan Woods and they created a formula for predicting the outcome of horse races. Estimates are that Bill Benter can make around $5M to $10M on a single race day, thanks to his gambling software. Bill has a physics degree and, apart from being known for his brilliant gambling strategy, he is also a generous man known for philanthropy and supporting political groups. ✓ Edward O. Thorp It is little wonder that Edward Oakley Thorp is one of the most famous gamblers in history, as he got a PhD in mathematics and applied his genius to betting odds. The ‘Father of Card-Counting’ invented a formula most people have heard of while he was a university professor. They estimated his current worth at $800 million and naturally, his favourite game is blackjack, but Thorp also enjoys roulette, Baccarat, and backgammon. Edward O. Thorp wrote the first book on card counting, called ‘Beat the Dealer’. Here he explained how to tilt the house edge in your favour by tracking the ratio of high and low cards. Together with Claude Shannon, he invented the first wearable computer to take into casinos with his formulas for beating roulette and blackjack. They have since banned these, but the formula remains one of the favourite blackjack strategies. Thorp moved into financial markets and became a hedge fund manager, which is his principal source of income today, but he still loves his game of 21. Edward is one of the original 7 gamblers to be honoured in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. ✓ Andrew Black The co-founder of the first bet exchange, Betfair, Andrew Black, has many streams of income but is one of the wealthiest gamblers of all time. As a sports bettor by heart, he owns a few horses, but it is his gambling business that is his mainstream income. He has an estimated net worth of $500 million and the software he developed for making money on bets changed the gambling industry. He originally worked in derivatives, but as his success in gambling increased, he set his sights on bigger things. Black is also an avid bridge player and his love of this game opened the door for Betfair. One of his favourite opponents in this game was Edward Wray, and this is where he presented his software design for a money-making betting business. Wray was all in and the two launched Betfair at the beginning of the Millenium. Since 2000, the sportsbook gained tremendous momentum, made it to the London Stock Exchange in 2010, and became one of the largest in the world. ✓ Alan Woods He became a legendary Australian horse bettor and his estimated net worth is AUD670 million ($470 million) but the late Alan Woods wasn’t always on the up. In his family home, he grew up playing bridge and despite his mathematical brilliance, the University of New England expelled him for poor performance and lack of attendance. He started gambling during his university attendance, but it wasn’t until later that he discovered his blackjack skill and knack for picking the right nag. Woods carried the nickname of ‘The Playboy Punter’ and after a failed marriage, he became a full-time gambler. This decision led him to Hong Kong and there he and Bill Benter discovered their formula for horse betting. Alan Woods went on to become a sports betting tycoon and created his betting network. The punter never left his apartment to place bets, as he had a team of bettors all over the world who bet on his behalf using his formula. He continued to live a life of luxury and did so from his home in Manila with all ‘The Girls’, a Philippine version of the Playboy Mansion. ✓ Zeljko Ranogajec Zeljko Ranogajec is one of the most elusive gamblers and keeps a low profile, but in the gambling world, he bears the nickname of ‘The Joker’. He holds a record for winning the biggest keno prize worth $7,5 million, but we know him as a blackjack and sports betting enthusiast. Experts believe that Ranogajec’s net worth is around AUD610 million ($430 million) but they also speculate that his gambling turnover can be well over $1 billion annually. The Joker studied at the University of Tasmania and was born in Australia, although his parents are of Croatian origin. He dropped out of university to become a professional gambler. However, he still holds a day job despite his wealth and successful gambling. Ranogajec had the same fate as Bill Benter as casinos banned him due to card counting and so he moved his focus to the sports betting scene. A strategy that Ranogajec admits to using is favourable discounts and rebates, a tactic that allowed him to buy an apartment in the most expensive development in the world. One of his betting partners and university friends, David Walsh, had an enormous influence on his betting strategies. ✓ David Walsh From humble beginnings at the Australian University in Hobart and a well-known friend and gambling partner of Zeljko Ranogajec, David Walsh is a fascinating punter with a different take on betting. With an estimated net worth of $200 million, he utilises the wisdom of crowds and says talent has very little to do with his success. Walsh is also a mathematician, and he believes that when considering formulas designed to predict bets, one should incorporate psychology concepts too. Nicknamed the Tasmanian Devil, Walsh partnered with Zeljko Ranogajec and set up a gambling company called Bank Roll. Through this, they both turned a fortune and had others doing their betting work for them, utilising their formulas and strategies. Some things this eccentric gambler did with his millions included opening the Mona museum, which he refers to as ‘adult Disneyland’ and transferring visitors to this venue in camouflaged ferries. In contrast to his betting partner, Walsh is very open about his gambling and life and makes a habit of sharing his wisdom. ✓ Honourable Mention: Don Johnson Although Don Johnson did not reach the levels of the aforementioned seven punters, he did make waves in the betting community for his approach. We think he deserves a spot on this list because would-be professional punters can learn from the man who broke Atlantic City. Johnson made a small fortune in a very short period in blackjack and he did this without counting cards! During 2011 and 2012, the clever businessman used his negotiating skills and persuaded the pit boss to apply the blackjack rule of lower house advantage and a loss rebate. In his winning streak, Johnson banked $15 million thanks to what we now know as a ‘positive expectation bet’.
  2. Gambling has an interesting past and has been prevalent around the world since ancient times. As long as people have been competitive, crude ways of gambling have been around. Casino gaming is only a few hundred years old and has undergone many facets of change over the years. Commercial casinos are usually tied back to the USA eventually. American gambling culture is like no other in the world. Gambling in the Old West, in grubby saloons, has become a stereotypical image of traditional Americana but travel a little way south and you will find that paddlewheel riverboats provide a succinct betting pictorial as well. Famous movies, like Mel Gibson’s 1994 film Maverick, pays tribute to the riverboat casino world and provides a great picture of the sort of shady environment that was attached to the industry in its earlier days. While paddlewheel boats represent a vintage era in American history, they are still found in number along the Mississippi River, providing gambling entertainment in the modern era. They generate hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax revenues in six states along the river lines, including Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri. History of Riverboat Casinos In the 19th Century, there was a strong trade route established between the towns lying across America’s longest river – the Mississippi. As a result, the waterways were busy with traditional paddlewheel vessels, which traders and passengers would use to commute effortlessly along the trade route. They accommodated mostly wealthy merchants and businessmen in the beginning, though professional gamblers soon made these vessels their marketplace. Gambling was first introduced to the vessels as a cure for boredom on the often tediously long journeys up the waterway. Passengers would use their available spare time to engage in games of chance, like poker and other card offerings. The presence of money and the need for entertainment made gambling the natural choice among the elite. As these gambling pastimes became more prevalent, it started attracting professional gamblers from far and wide. Gambling professionals were not well tolerated though and were regarded largely as cheats. Because the waters were not regulated, it allowed for gamblers to move around unchecked. This resulted in strong reactions from the public who were commonly bamboozled out of their money. It is understood that ‘lynch-law’ was used to deal with alleged transgressors at the time. The Decline in Riverboat usage Towards the end of the 19th century, railroads superseded boat travel as a mode of transport. Train travel was far faster and proved more convenient for business. That along with the American Civil war stymied the riverboat transport business in the states. As a result, the riverboat industry turned towards the leisure market, offering travellers the opportunity of taking cruises – a form of escape from the mundanities of life. The gambling affiliation attached to the boats never died out though and gambling became a primary form of entertainment on these cruises. The Laws Many states started outlawing gambling within their regions to protect their residents from problem gambling and to curb gambling associated crimes. Because the riverways were effectively a borderline between states, the boats would take advantage of the fact that they were treated like a no man’s land which provided the perfect grey area jurisdiction for betting trade. Gambling was practiced with no interference from the authorities. Most forms of gambling were outlawed in the USA by the end of the Second World War and it wasn’t until the 1980s before the first states started legalising gambling over waterways. Iowa was the pioneer for the introduction of this form of regulated gambling in 1989 but was followed by Illinois and Louisiana in 1991 and Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri by the end of 1993. In each of these areas, casino gaming was expressly forbidden on land. Only boats on areas of water could offer this form of play. Initially, they could only offer slots and table games while the boats were cruising on the waterways, but later on, it was decided that docked boats could offer gaming too, which was far safer and more secure for the consumers. The purpose of restricting gambling to boats on waterways was done to limit the geographic and economic scope of gambling within the states. This way, the industry could be better controlled. Unfortunately, there is a lack of uniformity in the industry from one border to the next. Areas in the laws that vary include things such as: The appearance of the boats and the technical requirements: In Louisiana, the boats must resemble the traditional paddlewheel vessels of the 19th century and must be driven either fully or partially by a paddlewheel mechanism. The number of passengers the vessel must be able to carry also varies greatly from one region to the next. Betting Restrictions: Bet limits and loss limits are set by each state independently and may vary greatly. Geographical Restrictions: In most of the states, it is only lawful for gambling to take place while the boat is in transit, however, some have questioned the safety of this and allow the ships to be docked at the time of game commencement as long as the boat is still on the water. Licenses: The number of authorised casinos is set independently by each state. Where Louisiana will not license more than 15 casinos, Illinois will only grant up to 10 permits. Each of the 6 states that have legalised Riverboat gambling have done so independently which has led to these differences and variations. Riverboat Casinos Today Over three decades in and the riverboat casino industry is still thriving and producing strong revenues for each state. They remain a great avenue for job creation while providing an iconic traditional American experience – one that speaks to the heritage of the country. As of 2018, there are 63 Riverboat Casinos in 6 states. This includes both docked boats and those that traverse the rivers while gaming is at hand. These are however not the only form of River Casinos available anymore. Several casinos are located on boats situated in a moat or a waterway that has adjacent access to the main waterway. The government has turned a blind eye to these, as they prove lucrative for the coffers. In some areas, the government has allowed water-based casinos to move away from boats. These operators have been allowed to build their casino establishments on stilts above the river, as long as they are situated over the water as stated in the legislation. Perhaps the biggest factor for the change in the scope of riverboat casinos was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm winds destroyed most of the riverboat casinos and their facilities along the Gulf Coast of the country. In some states, such as Mississippi, the legislation was changed to allow the casinos to be rebuilt on land if they were within proximity to the waterway. Most of the destroyed operators have rebuilt their casinos. One of a Kind Experience The old-school atmosphere of Riverboat casinos provides players with a totally unique gambling experience, allowing them to traverse back in time and experience true American history. The traditional architecture ensures that all gamers can experience what it was like to gamble over 100 years ago. You’ve seen it in the movies, but you can experience it in real life, too. The boats offer luxury amenities, including bars, restaurants, spas, gyms, hotels, and access to hundreds of slot games and skill-based gaming tables, like poker, blackjack, and roulette. Online Riverboat Dream Such is the premium experience of Riverboat gambling that the theme has managed to traverse the realms of the physical and has found a place to wow digital casino gamers via the internet at online casino sites like the River Belle. If you cannot travel to the United States at this time, the online casino owners have made sure that you can enjoy the next best thing from the comfort of your own home. River Belle has been around since 1997 and was designed with the authentic riverboat feel in place. It provides all the modern perks you have come to expect from online casinos, such as improved return to player ratios, competitive bonuses, and modern, engaging slots and virtual table games. Ride the River to the End The riverboat legacy holds a special place in the hearts of sentimental Americans and there is no evidence that this type of casino experience will die out any time soon. While the legislation on this form of gambling seems to evolve every few years, the base values remain intact, in a well-regulated and now safe gambling environment. The industry seeks to maintain its heritage in one hand while grasping for modern convenience in the other, ensuring customer satisfaction all the way.
  3. Las Vegas is a destination that attracts many. From the glitzy casinos to the remakes of different monuments, it's easy to see why celebrities flock there. With the chance of winning big such as Elmer Sherwin who won $4.6 million in 1989, many dream of repeating his luck. Are you curious to see what celebrities go up against the pros and could be considered pros themselves? Read on to discover these celebrity gamblers, you might be surprised who you find in Las Vegas! 1. Ben Affleck Imagine being a celebrity gambler who is so good at blackjack you get banned. Ben Affleck enjoys both blackjack and poker. Not too long ago, he found himself banned from the blackjack table in Las Vegas for being too good at it. Some tried to claim he was caught cheating, but Ben Affleck says he was asked to not come back due to consistently winning. Thankfully, he can still be one of the many celebrity poker players, since he says it was just blackjack he was banned from. 2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Floyd Mayweather is a business magnate and boxer. His specialty? Sports betting. He's known as great at betting, although he's known to exaggerate his earnings a bit. 3. Shannon Elizabeth Shannon Elizabeth, the actress from American Pie, has also made a name for herself in poker. She has competed in many large gambling events. You can still find her active in poker to this day taking down big names. 4. Jennifer Tilly Jennifer Tilly is the voice actress from the Chucky horror series. She's well known in the poker world as well. She also has what's known as a WSOP bracelet. In 2005, she met her boyfriend, professional poker player Phil Laak. During the summer of 2005, she beat 601 to win the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker, and take home the gold bracelet. She has also won the WPT Ladies Invitational. In 2010, she won the Bellagio Cup 5k tournament. 5. Tobey Maguire Who knew that Spiderman was also a professional poker player? He is rumored to have won over 10 million dollars in poker tournaments. Unfortunately, in 2011, he was sued for being part of an illegal gambling ring. This ring had many multimillion-dollar underground poker games. He had supposedly won more than $300,000 in illegal funds from a hedge fund investor, Bradley Ruderman. The games were rumored to be funded by the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners, Ruderman. These games were illegal and unlicensed in California Law. Ruderman had lost $25 million of investment money in the games. The games were held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Viper Room, and the Beverly Hills Hotel. Now that Ruderman's company is in bankruptcy, trustees tried to take some of Tobey Maguire's earnings. Some stars who allegedly took part in these games were Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. 6. Derren Brown Derren Brown is a famous magician/wizard/illusionist from London, UK. He's most known for guessing the National Lottery in England correctly. Before becoming a magician, he was a famous gambler in blackjack. He was even known to have never lost a hand in blackjack. Over time, he was banned from the British casinos since he never lost. At first, he got away with winning, but over time they started recognizing him, even when he tried to go disguised. 7. Ray Romano Ray Romano is a famous American actor, who not only played a gambler on TV, but was a passionate gambler in real life. Since the mid-2000s you can find him in the World Series of Poker. He even placed in 3rd place at one time. He has also done online betting and craps. Eventually, he sought help from Gamblers Anonymous from his gambling addiction. Not so Good Celebrity Gamblers From Charlie Sheen to Matt Damon, just because they're celebrities doesn't mean they're great at poker. Check out this list of the not so great poker players in the celebrity community. Some have lost some, others have lost it all. 1. Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen is one of the most famous gamblers out there. He has admitted to being addicted to gambling from a young age. He spent several thousands of dollars every week on sports betting. It is said that almost all of his gambling losses have been through sports betting. 2. Allen Iverson You might remember Allen Iverson as being in the NBA and being skilled in basketball. Unfortunately, that skill didn't extend to gambling. He was rumored to have gambled away hundreds of millions of dollars from his professional basketball career. He was asking his fellow teammates for money to pay off his accumulating debt. Iverson was eventually banned from casinos during his time of mounting debt. He was banned from the Greektown and MGM casinos in Detroit. It's claimed that Iverson was banned due to his bad behavior of throwing chips and being disruptive. In 2004, he was found to have urinated into a garbage can at Bally's on the casino floor. In 2005, he was in an argument with a dealer at the Trump Taj Mahal casino after they overpaid him $10,000. Exploring Famous Celebrity Gamblers After exploring this list of famous celebrity gamblers, you don't know who you'll run into next time you're in Las Vegas, or playing online. Would you like to practice your casino skills to someday rub elbows with the pros in Las Vegas? Check out our online casino games today that you can play from the comfort of your own home.
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