Anargyros Karabourniotis, more widely known as Archie Karas is one of the winningest modern day poker players, known best for ‘The Run’ which to date is the longest winning streak ever documented in the history of casino gambling. In just two and half years, Karas turned $50 into $40 million.
Karas was born and raised in Greece but after family conflicts, he left his home and worked on a ship as a waiter which was headed to America. Karas originally intended to settle in Portland, Oregon, however upon finding that there were few job opportunities, Archie eventually would make Los Angeles his new home. There he worked a job bussing tables in small restaurant and learned how to speak English.
During his days as a busser, Archie spent his days hustling in the pool hall of the establishment he was working in, hustling patrons out of their money. Archie always was a natural gambler, when he made poker his forte hustle the switch came naturally.
Archie was so talented that in just two months he had earn over $2 million dollars in earnings. However Archie would go on to lose all but $50 of his winnings in a high stakes poker game. Archie was not discouraged however, as the poker master took it as a sign to move on and try his luck in Las Vegas.
The lucky streak begins
During a visit to the Mirage Hotel and Casino, Archie ran into an old and wealthy friend. His friend saw how successful Archie was in Los Angeles and, recognizing his talent, agreed to loan him $10,000. Very quickly, Archie turned the $10,000 into $30,000 and throughout his career Archie has continued to have numerous financial backers thanks to his raw talent that other gamblers wish they had.
Archie also continued to play pool, with one unnamed individual Archie began playing $10,000 pool games, soon raising the bet to $40,000 per game. When all was said and done, Archie had won $1.2 million and upon accepting a rematch of their betting session, Archie won another $3 million dollars playing pool.
Archie had quickly earned a reputation as a master gambler and soon he would gambling with other famous gamblers from across the globe, Archie would never turn down a challenge and believed in his abilities.
In subsequent gambling matches, Archie would beat out several famous gamblers and amass earnings of $17 million playing pool and poker. As his reputation grew, Archie soon had difficulties finding competition willing to play for big bucks, so he moved on to the crap tables. In his first two years on the crap tables, Archie accumulated winnings of over $40 million!
The lucky streak ends
Archie’s luck would eventually dry out, in a period of three weeks, Archie lost all his earnings. The beginning of the end came when he lost $11 million on the crap tables and after making the switch to baccarat, he lost another $17 million. He would also lose more money in various individual poker challenge competitions, soon Archie had lost the entire $40 million he had won.
Archie still continues to play in high stakes games and the World Series of Poker. He has had some success, Archie earned winnings in the world series of poker, his biggest payday coming in 2009 when he was fifth and took home $53,783.
Busted in Las Vegas
In 2013, police raided Archie’s home in Las Vegas and he was arrested on suspicion of cheating while playing blackjack at a San Diego Casino where he had won $6,000. Surveillance footage revealed him marking cards with dye inserted in a gambling chip which he marked cards to help determine his next move which served as an unfair advantage. During the raid police found several hollowed out casino chips which confirmed their suspicion that Archie was cheating. Archie would go on to plead guilty and was put on probation for years and fined $6,800.
So is Archie Karas really broke?
Archie’s arrest tainted his reputation and resulted in bans from Las Vegas Casinos, since he has had fewer opportunities to earn winnings and the court proceedings and subsequent fines cost him both time and money. Archie’s winnings very may well have dissipated, however there is little doubt that he still has willing financial backers who can and will lend him money to gamble with.