Since ancient times, gamblers have been winning and losing money. Gambling generally involves a great deal of luck but skill can also play a part in a cash slots winning streak. Some gamblers, such as those who play poker and blackjack, are known for their gaming skills and expertise but for others, there seems no other explanation than admitting that they simply enjoyed unexplained fortune.
Who have been the most successful gamblers in history?
Billy Walters has been in sports betting for decades, both at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos and via online sportsbooks. He’s often cited as the most successful sports bettor in the history of modern sports betting. His techniques have been studied by experts who haven’t been able to detect a pattern but nonetheless, his bets don’t seem to be random and he wins consistently.
Walters was raised in Kentucky by a poverty-stricken grandmother after his father died and his mother left him. His grandmother cleaned houses for a living and gave Walters the strong work ethic that has followed him through his life.
He had a grass-cutting business when he was 7 and a paper route when he was 9.
After high school he sold used cars and became successful by cold-calling potential clients and working 80 hours or more a week. He began placing bets on sports in 1981 and success led him to pursue sports betting on a full-time business, both as a bettor and as a bookie.
In 1986 Walters noticed a wheel bias at the blackjack table of the Atlantic Club Casino hotel.
He and a gambling partner requested a freeze-out at the table, delivered $2 million to the cage and, after 38 hours of play, won $3,800,000.
He continued to play at casinos and actually won the 1986 Super Bowl of Poker but turned his attention to sports betting where he was one of the first big bettors to use computer analysis to analyze the outcomes of sports matches.
In 39 years of betting on sports, he has come out ahead in every year except one.
In 2017 Walters was convicted of insider trading on a charge that had nothing to do with his activities in the sports betting world. He served part of his sentence and was pardoned by Donald Trump. Currently, any sports betting activities are being done quietly. Walters and his wife are also known for their philanthropic efforts and have been honored as Las Vegas Philanthropists of the Year.
Phil Ivey is known as one of the world’s greatest poker players, having won 10 World Series of Poker tournaments. His reputation has little to do with luck — since his first forays into the world professional poker playing, Ivey has invested massive amounts of time and money in earning his moniker as The Best.
Ivey started playing poker as a teen and practiced in Atlantic City casinos using a false ID. He was still i his 20s when he started winning at the World Series of Poker. Over the ensuing decade he achieved 10 World Series of Poker bracelets and won millions of dollars.
In 2012, Ivey got involved in an edge-sorting scheme when the Crockfords Casino in London caught him using the advantage play when he was playing baccarat. The casino said that figuring out which cards were which based on imperfections in the cards in use was cheating but Ivey called it a “technique.” Crockfords refused to pay out as did the Bogata later on. Ivey sued but the courts sided with the casinos and Ivey returned to the poker table.
Chris Moneymaker’s autobiography, Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker, pretty much says it all. He has won over $3.5 million over the course of his career including a major win at the WSOP. Despite assumptions, Moneymaker was actually born with the name “Moneymaker” – his ancestors chose the name as an Americanization of their original German name “Nurmacher” which indicates people who used to make silver and gold coins.
Unlike other rags-to-riches gamblers, Moneymaker started life in the academic sphere, earning a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee. He worked as an accountant but played poker as a hobby. In 2003 he was the first person to quality for the Main Event of the World Series of Poker online.
Moneymaker entered the tournament as a dark horse but pulled off a first prize win, achieving the $2.5 million prize, much to the surprise of observers.
To date, Moneymaker has not repeated his first tournament success but he has won an additional $1 million in other tournaments over the last 12 years. He continues to travel to tournaments and has also authored a children’