“The Run” was the longest and the biggest winning streak ever. It was made in poker. The player Anargyros Karabourniotis a.k.a Archie Karas made history. He reportedly won more than $40 million in two and a half years. This case fascinates the poker world even after so many years.
“I’ve gambled more money than anyone in the history of the planet. What most gamblers make in their whole life, I gamble in one roll of the dice. Unless the casinos decide to raise their limits after I’m gone, I don’t think anyone will ever gamble more than I have. I’m the biggest ever.”
The Background of Archie Karas
Archie Karas was born in 1951 on the island of Cefalonia, Greece in the Ionion Sea. His family was reportedly very poor. For a while he tried to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a carpenter. However, his relationship with his father proved to be a tough one. The misunderstandings eventually led to Archie fleeing from the island. He headed to the USA. Therefore, he onboarded a ship to Portland, Oregon.
Once there, Archie Karas found a job as a waiter. The interesting thing is that the restaurant he worked in was connected to the bowling alley and a pool hall. He frequently got in touch with various people and learned English and Spanish by himself. He quickly switched his interest from playing pool to playing poker and he rapidly advanced in earnings.
Coming to Las Vegas
The next logical step in the life of Archie Karas was The Mirage Hotel and Casino. The luck was obviously on his side from the very beginning. He reportedly stumbled upon one of his old friends who became quite wealthy in the meantime. That man offered to loan him $10,000 in gambling purposes. Archie took it and quickly made $30,000. He then returned $20,000 to his friend and kept $10,000 to himself.
His next endeavor was playing pool in high stakes. This is when the biggest winning streak started. His opponent was a gentleman whose identity Archie always tried to keep a secret. Archie started playing with the stake of $10,000 and quickly raised it to $40,000 a game. In a revanche game, asked by the mysterious man, Archie reportedly won $3 million. This caused a lot of interest among gamblers and many of them wanted to meet Archie and play against him.
The First Grand Poker Win
Archie Karas drew attention of Stu Ungar, who was a three-time Poker Champion of a World Series. Stu Ungar challenged Archie for a game of Heads-up Razz and eventually lost $500,000. After this event, Ungar challenged Karas once again. This time for a 7-card stud game. Again, it ended successfully for Archie Karas who walked away with additional $700,000.
During the following six months, Archie played against some of the most prominent players in the gambling world. He managed to earn $17 million playing poker and shooting pools.
The First Enormous Craps Win
Being a high roller at poker is a demanding thing, both financially and psychologically. In time, less people were ready to confront him, so Archie finally switched to the game of Craps. The first noticeable win came after betting the maximum of $200,000 on the 4 and 10 for 1 to 4.6 odds at the Binion Casino. After two rolls, Archie Karas earned $920,000. The rest of that day went into history, as he managed to accumulate the amount of $40 million.
Knowing when to quit is an art. We can bet you have heard this advice many times before. Some of you maybe even know how to control the impulses and let it go. However, it is in both the human and the gamblers’ nature to be curious and ask: “what if”. Furthermore, many gamblers accept the fact that the same way money came to them, it may as well slip through their fingers.
The same questions and doubts troubled Archie Karas. Eventually, he decided to continue gambling and lost all of his money in less than a month. There were some attempts to win at Baccarat, but unfortunately, he lost almost $17 million playing it.
Archie Karas, the owner of the longest and the biggest winning streak ever, was arrested in Las Vegas in 2013 under suspicion of cheating in Blackjack at Barona Casino. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of probation and $6,800 fine. He continues to live in Las Vegas, and he visits his family in Greece every year.
Would you dare to challenge this man for a game of poker?