Top 15 Richest and Famous Gamblers as of 2021

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Nov 10, 2021 02:11Andrej Trajkovski

Forget about the stories about heavy losses suffered by chronic gamblers; the world is full of successful gamblers! Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the calls for responsible gambling.

Thanks to modern technology, more and more people are getting involved in the world of iGaming. As a result, we have a growing number of famous gamblers that have millions in a matter of months. Of course, not all the richest gamblers on our planet have made this fortune thanks to good luck. Some of them are true professionals with excellent strategies and iron discipline.

Today, we are taking a close look at the world’s 15 richest gamblers. Some of them are well-known names in this industry, while others have avoided the media for years. Let’s begin!

Patrik Antonius

Patrik Antonius 2018 in Malta

Patrik Antonius

Net Worth: $25 million

Game/s: Poker

Patrik (or Patrick, as some people write his name) comes from Finland. He’s one of the most successful poker players in the world. Besides being a great poker player, he also worked as a tennis coach and played tennis himself. On top of that, he’s a model too.

In the last decade, he has participated in numerous tournaments. As of 2021, he won ten of these tournaments. What’s interesting is that Patrick won over 5 million dollars in a single year back in 2018. He managed to get over one million in 2005 and 2012 too. If you do some research and look for Patrik Antonius’ net worth, you will find that he’s currently worth over 25 million dollars. Not bad, right?

Vegas Dave

Net Worth: $8 million

Game/s: Sports betting

Remember how we said that some of the richest gamblers respect their privacy? Well, Vegas Dave is the opposite of that. As you may have guessed, this is not his real name. He was born David Nakama Oancea in 1976 in Michigan, USA.

One of the most exciting things about this guy is that he once suffered from a gambling addiction. However, he overcame this problem and became one of the most famous gamblers in the world. Dave specializes in sports betting. He’s focused on American sports like the NFL and MLB. It was not unusual for him to multiply his bets by 20 or more times, like in the case of the Ravens, a bet that got him 26 times his original stake.

Vegas Dave net worth is estimated at 8 million dollars now. We should also mention that he makes a profit by offering paid betting predictions too.

Archie Karas

Net Worth: $40 million at the peak of his career, but went bankrupt

Game/s: Poker

The list of most famous gamblers would be incomplete without mentioning Archie Karas. The Greek immigrant went to the United States when he was just a teenager. He was broke, but he didn’t give up. Soon, he discovered that he had a poker talent and started playing with some big shots. He made a $10000 loan and turned it into $40 million in a matter of months.

Some say that he was extremely lucky, too, and that’s how he managed to increase the bankroll. But, it seems that Lady Luck has started avoiding him after a while, and he started losing all his money (sometimes millions in just one night). That’s why when you look for Archie Karas net worth, the results say that he had $40 million at the peak of his career but lost everything.

Billy Walters

Net Worth: $100 million

Game/s: Sports betting, Blackjack, Roulette

It’s very difficult to find a person on this list of richest gamblers that didn’t have an exciting life. One good example of this is Billy Walters, the world-renowned professional gambler. In addition to this profession, he is also known as a philanthropist and an entrepreneur.

Billy started gambling from his earliest age, but he decided to stop gambling when he turned 40. Yet, he continued with sports betting. Maybe one of the reasons for that was that he lost his home during a game of pitching nickels or when he lost one million dollars in Las Vegas while playing blackjack. But, what’s known for sure is that this gambler won almost four million dollars in less than two days with his gambling partner at the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel.

He was found guilty of insider trading in 2017 but was commuted by President Donald Trump in 2021. Remember that Billy Walters net worth was estimated at over 100 million dollars in 2014.

Chris Ferguson

Chris Ferguson 2008 at the WSOP Main Event

Chris Ferguson

Net Worth: $80 million

Game/s: Poker

If you are a poker fan, you may have heard about Christopher Phillip Ferguson or Chris Ferguson. He’s an American professional poker player who has won six World Series of Poker events.  What makes this man stand out is not just the fact that he’s one of the richest gamblers on our planet.

For instance, Chris has a Ph.D. in computer science. He was also a suspect in a that involved a Ponzi scheme on an online poker site. Additionally, people know him as Jesus due to his appearance. One of his biggest wins was the 1.5 million dollar prize won at the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship.

Bryn Kenney

Net Worth: $55 million

Game/s: Poker

We have another poker player among the most famous gamblers on this list. He comes from Long Beach, New York, and with 35 years (born 1986), he’s also one of the youngest here. He started playing poker professionally when he was 21 years old. It took him a few years to win his first significant tournament – the $1500 10-Game Mix Six-Handed event.

Another thing that we would like to add about Bryn Kenney because he got the most significant single payout in live poker tournaments ever. Namely, he won 20 million dollars in 2019. Finally, don’t forget that he got prizes on 6 World Poker Tour events and 5 European Poker Tour events.

Zeljko Ranogajec

Net Worth: $445 million

Game/s: Blackjack, Sports Betting, Keno

It looks like Australia has some successful gamblers too. In fact, Zeljko Ranogajec is one of the richest gamblers worldwide. He was born in 1961 in Hobart, Australia. Zeljko has a Croatian origin. When it comes to gambling, blackjack was his first passion. He started playing this card game when he was a college student.

As we said before, he was a keno player too. Zeljko managed to win 7.5 million dollars in keno by hitting the jackpot prize. After that, he became interested in horse racing and sports betting in general. In the 2010s, he admitted that he was using special tactics (favorable discounts and rebates) to profit from most of his bets. Today, he lives in Europe, and according to the latest stats, his wealth is estimated at around $445 million.

Tony Bloom

Tony Bloom 2005

Tony Bloom

Net Worth: $1.3 billion

Game/s: Sports betting, poker

Tony Bloom comes from the U.K., and he’s one of the most famous gamblers on our top list. He is currently the owner of Brighton, a Premier League football club. Of course, the money he has earned as a punter and professional poker player allows him to own many expensive things.

The Lizard, as some people call him, has participated in 11 World Series of Poker events, but he never won one. It’s good to know that his total live tournament winnings were over $1.5 million as of 2008. In recent years he has stopped playing poker that much, and it seems that he’s focused on the management of football clubs. In addition to Brighton, he owns Union S.G., a Belgian second division club.

Haralabos Voulgaris

Net Worth: $2 million (?)

Game/s: Betting, Poker

We have another person of Greek descent on the list of richest gamblers. Haralabos Voulgaris made a fortune on NBA betting. He has started investing in NBA matches since the 1990s. According to some records, it wasn’t unusual for him to wager one million dollars in a day in his 20s.

After a while, he discovered his poker talent. The live tournaments got him a lot of cash. It’s believed that he has won more than 3 million dollars from these tournaments. He’s still gambling and waiting for his first bracelet on the World Series of Poker event.

Jon Price

Net Worth: $5 million

Game/s: Sports betting

The New Yorker Jon Price has a Mathematics degree from NYU. Some say that his knowledge and talent related to mathematics have helped him make a fortune from sports betting. This punter has been featured in many magazines, including Forbes Magazine.

One of his most notable bets was the one worth one million dollars on Super Bowl XLIX in 2014. He selected the right market and cashed in big money.

Jonathan Duhamel

Net Worth: $32 million

Game/s: Poker

It’s all about poker when it comes to Jonathan Duhamel. This Canadian, born in 1987, started playing poker when he was just a teenager. Unlike many others on this list, he didn’t finish college and focused completely on his gambling career.

It looks like he has made the right decision since he weighs more than 30 million dollars. We should also mention that Duhamel won three bracelets on the World Series of Poker events.

William Benter

William “Bill” Benter

Bill Benter

Net Worth: $1 billion

Game/s: Betting

Willian “Bill” Benter was born in Pittsburgh in 1957. He’s among the most famous gamblers with exceptional mathematical talents. Soon after receiving his university physics degree, he started playing blackjack and other card games. So, he made a lot of money from this activity but ultimately decided to try horse racing.

He teamed up with Ala Woods, another famous gambler. He developed a specific statistical model that has helped him win many bets. Today, he’s also a businessman and a professor.

Vanessa Selbst

Net Worth: $6 million

Game/s: Poker

Who says that you have to be a guy to be among the richest gamblers in the world? Vanessa Selbst is an excellent example of a successful and wealthy poker player. She’s a lady with an impressive bio. Vanessa was born in 1984 and now works for a famous trading company. She holds a degree in political science from Yale. Additionally, she has a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.

Vanessa has over 20 money finishes on the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour events. She now has over 12 million dollars from live tournaments.

Dan Bilzerian

Net Worth: $200 million

Game/s: Poker

You’ve probably seen this guy on Instagram surrounded by a bunch of models. Dan Bilzerian can afford this bon vivant lifestyle thanks to his success as a poker player. However, he is the son of a corporate raider on Wall Street too.

We should mention that Dan doesn’t play professional poker anymore. However, he claims that he has won over 10 million dollars in one night while playing poker in 2013. He also said that he has lost more than 3 million dollars in one single session.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey in 2009 at WSOP

Phil Ivey

Net Worth: $100 million

Game/s: Poker

When you have a nickname like “Tiger Woods of Poker,” this means that you are extremely good at this card game. That’s the case with Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr., or simply Phil Ivey. This American poker player is the winner of ten World Series of Poker bracelets. In addition, he has one World Poker Tour title. That’s why some people say that he is the GOAT when it comes to poker.

He has had great success in online poker games, which brought him millions of dollars over the years. Today, Phil lives in Las Vegas.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article!

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Andrej Trajkovski
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As a gambling editor, Andrej aims to provide readers with everything new from the world of gambling. Since he is our columnist, his topics are often a bit more extensive and fun. Whether it’s analysis on the reunification of Ireland, Spotify gambling playlists, or history posts, he gets the job done.
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