The most successful and wealthiest gamblers in the world are either poker players or other skill-based games like blackjack and baccarat. When playing at a casino, gamblers want to give themselves the best chance of affecting the outcome of a game, and the best options for that are poker, roulette, and baccarat. Poker is reliant on mathematics, and if a player is skilled enough, he or she can make better predictions of what will happen next. The richest gamblers have spent years playing, perfecting their game, and learning strategies. They can tell if you have a more substantial hand than them or you’re bluffing. The best and most successful gamblers can consistently manage the pressure over the years, and some have amassed millions! Here are five of the wealthiest professional gamblers in the world right now.
William (Bill) Benter was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1957 and entered the A Blackjack Hall of Fame. Benter was a mathematics professor before making history name in blackjack. Benter spent years practicing and was so successful that casinos banned him from playing since he would always win. After that, Bill turned to horse race betting snd crafted his model, allowing him to predict horse races’ outcomes effectively. He also created a learning program helping others to place bets. His estimated yearly income is $100 million, and he started his gambling career with card counting at the blackjack tables in Vegas. He improvised his gambling skills with strategies that he shared in the book by Edward Thorp, ‘Beat the Dealer.’ He met Alan Woods and moved to Hong Kong to explore the horse racing market there. They created a formula together that can predict horse race results. The two parted ways in 1987, and Benter refined his winning formula further and developed a successful software product for horse race betting. He frequently makes 5 to 10 million on a single-day race. Besides being one of the wealthiest gamblers, he is involved in numerous philanthropic activities, and he contributes to political parties and charitable organizations.
Phil Ivey made his fortune playing poker and won an incredible ten bracelets at the World Series of Poker, entering the Poker Hall of Fame. He was the youngest poker player to win the award on the World Poker Tour. Phil uses a combination of skills and risk, and Ivey is one of the best poker players in the world. He won the prestigious World Poker Series Tournament five times before his 30th birthday. Phil is from New Jersey and learnt to play early in life. His grandfather taught 5-card stud poker, which prompted him to turn professional at an early age. He was 30 when he won his first World Series of Poker title by beating the highly regarded Phil Hellmuth and Amarillo Slim. His net income is almost $15 million, and his net worth over $100 million. Ivey is undoubtedly one of the toughest poker players to beat. He doesn’t use mathematical calculations or specific skills to win poker games, unlike most other professional gamblers; instead, he trusts in his instincts and risk-taking abilities that have undoubtedly worked for him over the years. His money earnings make him one of the highest-paid players in the history of poker. He earns his Monet by playing in online and land casino tournaments.
Zeljko Ranogajec is a Tasmanian player born in 1961, at the start of the sexual revolution. It was a time of freedom, change, and cultural revolution. It was the decade the UK legalized betting shops, and the gambling industry started to bloom. He had a normal upbringing and studied Commerce and Law. He was always intelligent and gifted with mathematics and numbers. He started making large sums of money by card counting while playing blackjack and dropped out of university so he can focus on gambling full time. The Tasmanian Australian made a fortune playing blackjack and was rewarded with an induction into the Blackjack Hall of Fame back in 2011. He also won an incredible Keno jackpot of A$7.5 million in 1994 besides winning large amounts playing other casino games. The Australian Daily Telegraph reported that Ranogajec wagers close to A$1 billion a year on the horses. He is most likely the wealthiest gambler on this list and in the world at present. Ranogajec is a private individual who likes to keep out of the spotlight. Estimates of his wealth run from A$300m to A$1bn and family sources have confirmed he is a multi-billionaire!
Edward E. Thorp
Edward E Thorp is credited with inventing card counting. Thorp was born in Chicago in 1932 and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from UCLA. He subsequently started work as a professor there and was the first to use computer simulation to develop a blackjack strategy with card counting that improves players’ odds. Thorp began by testing his calculations out at Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Reno casinos, thereby proving his theories as correct and valid. He wrote an informative book called Beat the Dealer, and it is still the definitive card counting guide today. Thorp invented the wearable computer way ahead of its time in 1961 and used it at the blackjack and roulette tables for twenty years. He was eventually barred from gambling in Vegas in the mid-1980s. He also used his skills to predict stock market fluctuations that have earned him an $800 million fortune.
Anyone interested in sports betting must have heard about Billy Walters. He had a humble start in life and was the son of a successful poker player and nephew of a professional gambler, so it wasn’t a surprise when he began gambling at nine years. Three decades after, he was fined for running an illegal bookmaking service and relocated to Vegas, where he works with analysts to improve his decision-making. He makes around $15 million every year, and rumour has it he scored $2 million in a single day. His estimated worth is approximately $200 million!