Famous Gamblers

Posted on September 4th, 2008

Gamblers come in all shapes and sizes- some of us like a flutter, and some of us like to stake silly amounts. If there is one piece of sensible advice on gambling, it´s that you should never play with more than you can afford to lose. That rule is fine for most of us, but for these movers and shakers, the problem is that they can afford quite alot. Take these famous High Stakes players below. Here are some of the legendary stories that have seeped out of Las Vegas, Macua, Monaco and London over the years. These players tend to play baccarat, blackjack and roulette. They shy away from the slots (can’t pump your money in fast enough).

Whether you call them High Rollers, High Stakes Players or Whales there is one thing that you can be certain of. You will never match these exploits- nor should you want to. The best policy? Read from afar, be amazed and keep your distance!

Kerry Packer
kerry packerKerry Packer, the late billionaire Aussie tycoon, was perhaps the most brazen High Roller in the history of gambling. With deep pockets filled with credit lines to the tune of $4.5bn, he could make the kind of bets that would induce heart attacks in most of us mere mortals. This Australian out bet and out played the American Brucies and Sheilas on their home turf and had enough spare change to buy a few of their companies on the New York stock exchange for afters. He took great pleasure in employing a strategy which he called the “Hit and Run”, in which he hit casinos in short baccarat sessions with ridiculous bets and then scarpered when he was up. Of course, he lost quite a bit at the tables as well.  On one session in London, he blew A$28m and in another he won A$33m in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Casino. His ultimate aim? To take the casino to the cleaners. Although he never actually managed to do this, he certainly hammered down their share prices from time to time by single handedly wiping millions of their bottom lines.

His most famous run in was with an oil-man from Texas who was trying to tempt him into a game of poker by sharing the value of his fortune: $60 million. Packer was nonplussed by the sum, pulled out a coin and challenged him to a game of heads or tails for it. The Texan declined.

Robert Maxwell
Another media tycoon who is no longer with us, Robert Maxwell had a weakness for roulette.

He lost £1.5 million in just three minutes when has was playing roulette on the tables. How did he do that? Well, one wheel spinning wasn´t enough for Mr Maxwell, so he bet on 3 wheels at the same time.  His average loss during this round of roulette? Around 8k a second. Maybe that’s where the likes of Betway Casino got their idea for multi-wheel roulette. Cap’n Bob would have approved, because you can bet on up to 8 wheels at time. Mind you, they won’t accept the kind of crazy bets that Maxwell, also known as the Bouncing Czech, liked to lay down.

The Fat Man
Fouat Al-ZayatThe Fat Man, a.k.a. Fouat Al-Zayat is a massive high roller who plays at casinos in London- mostly at the Ritz and Aspinalls in Mayfair. Just this week he won a court case against Aspinalls for a £2,000,000 gambling debt. But before you feel too sorry for Aspinalls, the reason why they lost the case, was because they continued to allow him to bet at the casino even as they were taking him to court. And you want to know why? Well, in one period over the course of around 3 years Aspinalls welcomed Fouat Al-Zayat through the doors on over six hundred occasions during which time he bought over £91m worth of casino chips. What would the late John Aspinalls be saying about that? All good stuff, I bet.

Regina Guzior
This lady is one of the most successful and best known blackjack players on the planet. She´s blind, but that doesn´t affect her game. Her husband, John Peters, reads the cards for her, and Regina plays the perfect strategy pretty much all of the time.

John Daly
johndalyYou might of heard John Daly thanks to his monster golf swing. But in his hey day, he was a huge gambler- certainly no innocent spring chicken.
He himself reckons that he has blown around $55m on the table and slot machines over the best part of a decade. His most famous session followed a play off with Tiger Woods in which he netted $750k. Rather than sticking this in the bank like the rest of us would have done, He headed straight to the desert and alledgedly blew over one and a half million dollars playing slots in one session.

So what´s the moral story here? Well, first of all, read them and learn. Let the pros make the mistakes! You should never bet more than you can afford (unfortunately for these players, they could afford to bet like this). Playing casino games should be entertainment, not a get rich quick scheme. Set your budget before you go and play, and then treat it like any other form of leisure, like going to the cinema or heading out for a meal. If you lose your stake, you have just paid for a bit of fun. And if you win…well, that´s a bonus.

Try the High Roller Bonus at Mansion

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