While most people argue that all casino games are based on pure luck, there are some experienced players with a professional career made out of gambling. These gambling experts hold to the belief that winning at land-based or online casinos involves a lot of gaming experience and knowledge. So, let us have a look at 5 richest professional gamblers who have made a fortune while playing at the casinos.
#1 Edward Thorp
As a mathematics professor with a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate degree in mathematics, Thorp had above-average intellect. Known as “the father of card counting”, Edward Thorp invented the original system and later used it in real-world situations. What’s more, he is the author of the book: “Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One” which detailed his card counting as well as his revolutionary point system that has been successfully used by card players all over the world.
Thorp studied blackjack in a systematic method and thoroughly examined every part of the game.
He studied blackjack in a systematic method and thoroughly examined every part of it. Thorp became the attraction for casino bosses when he began winning the insane amounts of money filling his pockets with cash. Eventually, Thorp applied his intelligence to the stock market and made a fortune in securities and hedge funds.
#2 Doyle Brunson
We’re moving on to Doyle Brunson - a veteran American poker pro, who played for over 50 years. Not only did he play poker professionally, he was a two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion, a Poker Hall of Fame inductee, and the author of several books about poker. According to the Hendon Mob, Brunson has won more than $6 million, but he has earned much more while playing at high-stake poker tournaments. In fact, Brunson was the first player to earn $1 million in poker tournaments, plus he won ten WSOP bracelets throughout his career.
#3 Bill Benter
Another mathematics genius, Bill Benter, decided to use his knowledge to count cards at blackjack tables. In fact, he has improved his methods with the little help of Edward Thorp’s book. After 7 years of bringing the house down, Benter ended up being banned from most of Las Vegas casinos and moved to Hong Kong. While living in Asia, he created a formula that later help gamblers predict the outcome of horse races.
Benter helped in the creation of the world’s first software assisted gambling operation.
More notably, he helped in the creation of the world’s first software assisted gambling operation which is identified as one f the most successful ones. The rumour has it that Bill Benter makes $100 million annually, often raking in $5-$10 million in a single race day. He’s also known as a philanthropist and a big donor to charity and political groups.
#4 Zeljko Ranogajec
Next in the line is Zeljko Ranogajec, a master mathematician known around the globe as “The Joker”. He is a famous Australian businessman and professional gambler with an estimated annual betting turnover claimed to be over $1 billion. Ranogajec mastered blackjack card counting and started making profits while placing bets at casinos in Australia.
Ranogajec has become one of the richest gamblers of all time, while betting billions of dollars annually on horse racing.
According to the Daily Mail, Ranogajec studied Commerce and Law at the University of Tasmania in the 1980s, when he partnered up with a talented mathematician, David Walsh, to cash in at the casino. Although horse racing is Ranogajec's main focus, sports betting is also an area of interest. In spite of outlaying almost $3 billion on gambling every year, the 57-year-old tries to keep his life private.
#5 Billy Walters
Number 5 on our list is one of the richest sports gamblers in the world, Billy Walters, whose net worth is estimated to be $200 million. According to various reports, Walters makes about $15 million a year, while he once made $2 million in a single day. What’s interesting is that he makes bets as high as $3,5 million.
In the 1980s, Walters started the Computer Group which was used to analyse sports outcomes. For almost 40 years, Walters has faced only one losing year with a 30-year winning streak. Due to his reputation Walters often used other people (including famous actors) to place bets on his behalf.
Last year, he lost his biggest gamble when he was found guilty of insider trading after using non-public information from Thomas C. Davis, a board member of Dean Foods. Walters was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $10 million.
Share Your Thoughts
What’s your opinion? Have you come across some other wealthy casino players worth mentioning? If so, let us know. We love to hear from you! Join us at our forum!