Get to know the most successful gamblers of all time

Can You Become Rich from Gambling?

Yes, you can become rich by gambling. However, it does not just happen from you sitting on your phone and placing small bets on casino games like slots and table games. In order to become rich from gambling, you have to be a risk taker. You have to risk the big buck to make big bucks.

You can make a whole career out of gambling and make millions from it but keep in mind that highly successful gamblers represent a minority who have managed to master their games through exceptional talent and rigorous strategy. Most gamblers face long odds and the risk of substantial financial loss.

Therefore, while it is possible to become rich from gambling, it is far from guaranteed and typically involves more than just chance, necessitating advanced knowledge, strategic planning, and often, a sizable bankroll to manage the inevitable fluctuations in fortune.

Who Are the Richest Gamblers of All Time?

The Dazzling High-Stakes Gambling World

High-stakes gambling is the act of betting or wagering large sums of money when gambling. It is not designed for the faint of heart as it takes a lot of risking. You have to risk large sums of money, which you may either win or lose. Typically, high-stakes gamblers are known in the gambling community as high rollers or whales.

High-stakes gambling is one of the ways that people make millions and become rich from gambling. However, it can also go the other way. The thrill and adrenaline rush from high-stakes gambling is quite attractive to many people, but big wins are never guaranteed.

Who Are the Most Successful Gamblers in the World?

Over the years, gamblers from different parts of the world have become very successful and made millions from the practice. From Kerry Packer’s multi-billion dollar empire to Phil Ivey’s poker mastery, let us look at some success stories from the gambling world.

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer was born in Australia to a very wealthy family. He was one of the richest people in the world, boasting of a net worth of over $6 billion by the time of his death. His choice of game was Blackjack and his strategy was always high-stakes gambling.

Kerry Packer did not make his entire 6-billion-dollar fortune from gambling. Most of his money comes from his family’s business empire. However, his massive wealth gave him the opportunity to participate in high-stakes gambling. Packer would spend millions on wagers, giving him the chance to win back millions.

Yet, his journey was not always about wins. There are several moments when he lost millions to gambling. For instance, between September 1999 and July 2000, Kerry Packer lost around 40 million dollars playing in casinos in Las Vegas and London. Fortunately, he also won millions in lucky streaks.

  • Net Worth – over $6 billion
  • Biggest win
    In May 1995, Kerry Packer famously won 20 million dollars in only 40 minutes. He achieved this by playing several $250,000 stake blackjack games at once.

Tony Bloom

Tony Bloom

Tony Bloom, like most of the richest gamblers in the world, is a bit of a mystery. There isn’t much known about him other from the fact that he studied mathematics at the University of Manchester.

Tony started playing poker for fun during his time at the university and eventually made a career out of this hobby. He became a famous and highly accomplished poker player that he earned the nickname “The Lizard.” This was because of his cold-blooded strategy of playing.

Bloom made around 2.5 million dollars from international poker tournaments. He participated in tournaments like the World Poker Tour and the Poker Million IX where he completed as the first runner up for the World Poker Tour Title.

It is worth mentioning that not all of his wealth was acquired from gambling. Bloom set up a betting consultancy firm called Starlizard, which made him millions of dollars.

  • Net Worth – $1,7 billion
  • Biggest Win
    Bloom’s biggest win was around $975,000 AUD in the Aussie Millions $100,000 challenge in 2011.

Bill Benter

Bill Benter

Bill Benter is a math whizz who used his intelligence to earn a fortune from gambling. He started his career as a cards counter in Las Vegas, then moved to Hong Kong where he started focusing on horse racing.

In collaboration with Alan Woods, Benter built an algorithm for predicting the chances of horses’ winning in races. After a few years of tweaking the algorithm, he ended up earning tens of millions of dollars from it.

  • Net Worth – $1,5 billion
  • Biggest Win
    Benter won tens of millions of dollars when his model predicted the Triple Trio bet in Hong Kong where a better has to predict the first three horses to cross the line in three different races.

Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp is a pioneer in the card counting world. He is also an expert mathematician and the author of gambling-related books like Beat the Dealer, a book about card counting.

Edward Thorp is one of the few gamblers that actually found a way to beat the house and make millions from gambling. He started out in cards counting and used his mathematical and technological genius to come up with a way of overturning the house advantage when playing the casino game of blackjack. This technique earned him tens of thousands of dollars in the first try and eventually, millions.

Thorp eventually published a related book that sold millions of dollars. He also took his gambling skills to the stock market, where he earned a fortune. Thorp has earned the title of one of the world’s greatest blackjack players of all time.

  • Net Worth – $800 million
  • Biggest Win
    Thorpe won most of his money from the book he published about gambling. He also made millions from playing blackjack.

Andrew Black

Andrew Black

Andrew Black is a British entrepreneur and a racehorse owner. He is also a professional bridge player. Andrew is a co-founder of BetFair, one of the world’s first and largest bet exchange establishments.

Black started out working in derivatives, then turned to gambling. However, gambling did not provide him with sufficient financial support, so he shifted his focus and set up a software business. Later, he went back to the gambling industry and launched Betfair in 2000. Eventually, he sold the successful company, earning $200 million. He also still bets on horses and bridge.

  • Net Worth – $650 million
  • Biggest Win
    There is no documentation of Blacks biggest win. However, he has won tens of millions of dollars from online gambling.

Alan Woods

Alan Woods

Alan Woods initially pursued a career in mathematics and science before turning to gambling. Then, he focused on gambling and became one of the most successful gamblers in the world, particularly noted for his use of mathematical models and computer systems to gain an edge in horse race betting.

He partnered with Bill Benter for years and even worked at the same place for some time. After falling out, Alan Woods created his own betting model.

Unfortunately, his betting syndicate attracted investigations by Law enforcement, forcing him to flee to the Philippines. By the time he passed away, he had made half a billion dollars from betting activities and other related ventures.

  • Net Worth – $500 million
  • Biggest Win
    Alan Woods biggest win was $2 million AUD, which he made on a singe horse race.

Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko Ranogajec is a legend in sports betting and an introvert that likes keeping to himself. Born and raised in Australia by Croatian migrants, he comes from a very humble background. He studied banking, finance, and tax laws in the 1980s.

He currently runs betting operations for Betfair in Australia and wagers frequently, making millions of dollars annually. Other than sports betting, Zeljko Ranogajec also frequently dabbles in the lottery-style game of Keno. He enjoys different types of gambling and has mastered blackjack card counting.

  • Net Worth – $400 million
  • Biggest Win
    Ranogajec holds the record of winning $7.5 million on Keno. This is also his biggest win.

Billy Walters

Billy Walters

Born in 1946 in Kentucky, Billy Walters is a former car salesman that found a passion in sports betting, which has been the source of his massive success. Selling cars helped him acquire the fortune that he used to create his sports betting empire. ESPN named him one of the most successful sports bettors of all time.

His expertise spans various sports, and he is particularly known for his sophisticated use of data analysis and betting syndicates to secure consistent wins. Walters’ betting strategies and high-stakes wagers have earned him millions. Despite facing legal challenges, including a high-profile insider trading conviction in 2017, Walters’ impact on the sports betting industry remains profound.

  • Net Worth – $250 million
  • Biggest Win
    Billy Walter’s biggest win was $3.5 million, which he won the New Orleans NFL bet.

Dan Bilzerian

Dan Bilzerian

Born in 1980, Dan Bilzerian does not come from a humble background. He is the son of Paul Bilzerian, a famous corporate raider and wealthy man. Dan Bilzerian inherited most of his wealth from his father. This allowed him to fund his extravagant lifestyle and participate in high-stakes gambling. He is known as one of the richest gamblers of all time but has quite a controversial reputation.

Bilzerian gained prominence through his Instagram account, where he shares images of his lavish parties, luxurious travels, and adventurous activities. He has been able to win millions of dollars from poker gambling in both land-based and online casinos.

  • Net Worth – $200 million
  • Biggest Win
    Bilzerian claims to have won millions of dollars in a single poker session.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey

Born in 1976 in California, Phil Ivey is a highly esteemed professional poker player, often regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the game. Frequently called the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’, Phil Ivey has made a fortune from playing poker over the years.

Known for his exceptional skill, strategic acumen, and ability to read opponents, he became the world’s youngest player to win several world poker tour titles and the 10 World Series of Poker bracelets at the age of 38. He has won more than $15 million in live tournaments. He is also a successful business man.

  • Net Worth – $100 million
  • Biggest Win
    Reliable sources claim that Ivey has won about $16.6 million in a single high-stakes poker table game.

How to Get Rich Gambling?

FAQ About Successful Gamblers FAQ

Are there any billionaire gamblers?

Yes, there are gamblers such as Kerry Packer, Tony Bloom and Bill Benter that have billions of dollars as their net worth.  Such huge sums of money can only be achieved by high-stakes betting, strategizing, and betting at reputable platforms.

How do taxes affect the net earnings of top gamblers?

Professional gamblers must pay taxes. Depending on the country of residence, a professional gambler that earns money through full-time or part-time gambling, either offline or online, have to pay different kinds of taxes. The amount of taxes takes away from the net earnings of top gamblers.

Which games give the highest chances of big wins?

The casino games with the lowest hose edge are supposed to give the highest chances of winning, but the biggest wins in the gambling wins can also come from massive jackpots or sports betting. It is all about focusing on a game that you understand well and having a strategy.

Which countries gamble the most?

Countries where gambling has been legalized like the US, Australia, and others attract the most gamblers. This is because the laws are friendly to gambling and players can safely practice the activity without risking problems with the law.

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Jacob Evans Written by Jacob Evans