Professional Gamblers Who Lost It All


Professional gamblers who lost it all If there were never winners there would be much fewer people gambling. The allure of winning big or consistently winning gives the gambler hope. There have been some big winning gamblers and they make headlines, but some don’t always stay in the black. 

Sometime some of the biggest winners end up the biggest losers too. 

This is a short list of those who lost their bankroll and their professional gambler status. Of course they lose much more than that in reality. It’s worth reading through and perhaps reinforcing the importance of walking away when things aren’t going your way. It’s time to learn the hardest lessons the easy way. Don’t replicate their mistakes. 

Erick Lindgren 

Erik Lindgren did very well out of playing poker during the boom years of 2003 to 2006. Winning many medals at WSOP games and tournaments and got sponsored by Full Tilt Poker at $300k per month. So how did it all start to go wrong! I mean getting sponsorship is really impressive as it isn’t at risk like your bankroll! 

E Dog as he is known started to look at alternative ways to gamble.One drawback to poker is the ‘effort’ to actually play. You can only play so many games at a time. Erick started like many to explore other areas and for many this has proven their downfall as it also did for E Dog. 

The first complaints that came were from owners of private fantasy leagues after he failed to pay the entry fees. Then other debtors came to light one after the other. It was clear Erick had abused his income and bankroll. He declared bankruptcy, as it was clear he would never surface from drowning under 12 million in debt. 

Erick has turned to rehab to try and stop gambling. He still plays poker, it is said from time to time. 


Harry Findlay 

Harry is famous for betting on horse racing in the UK. He is like many gamblers fascinating to listen to. He describes a dog race at Wembley stadium one evening…


One of his more famous bets was in 2007. Harry bet £2.5M that New Zealand would beat France in the Rugby World Cup. Harry had set up a big party at the stadium and New Zealand were up 13-3 at half time. Harry had a bet against his first hedging for France with £600k. France won the match and Harry came out with a big loss despite the halftime hedge. This bet however seemed to signify the downward trend of Harry Findlay who lost much of his fortune. 

Archie Karas (Anargyros Karabourniotis) 

Born in Kefalonia Greece in 1950. Archie was from a poor family. He made his own way to Portland on a ship and paid his way by working as a waiter. He made his way to LA and worked in the restaurant scene. Finishing late he discovered Poker and found he was good at it. He started on his road towards professional gambling. He also was into Pool and between the two he amassed an amazing bankroll of 2 million. This initial 2 million a small fortune to most people could have been enough to stop! Not Archie. He lost it in a few high stakes games.

Archies bank roll would be up and down like a rollercoaster. Now at a low again comes the next part of his story. On this newest low he arrived in Vegas with $50. Borrowing $10k from a fellow gambler he reportedly repaid that back within hours. A 6 month streak got his roll up to 17 Million. But it wasn’t the end. High steaks players wanted to play him for bigger amounts Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson are some he beat amassing his highest ever bankroll around 40 Million. 

This best period when he assessed this fortune was 1992 to 1995 and is commonly called ‘the run’ often thought to be the biggest and best in gambling history. This is a true rags to riches story. 

And then to rags again… 

Archie lost two big chunks of his bankroll in an insane time frame of just 2 days in 1995. The first 11 million on a Craps game and then 17 million on Baccarat. Only a few men on earth know the feeling of losing such an amount of money in such a short time frame. I am sure any others would be investors just before a huge crash. 

Still a good deal remained from the 40 million. But Archie couldn’t build on it. He went on to lose this too albeit over a much longer time period. His lowest was to come as he was caught cheating on camera in a Casino marking Blackjack cards with ink from a hollowed out chip. 73 days jail time and $6,800 fine and 3 years probation.

1 comment:

  1. Karas has an amazing story. I can't imagine the sinking feeling he must have had in a moment to lose 17 MILLION!

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