For some people, gambling is a pastime and a bit of fun. Yes, they hope to win big, but it’s usually an aspiration rather than something they set out to achieve often. However, there are some gamblers out there who have become rich from playing slots, card games and the like. They’re often known as professional gamblers, many of whom have made big bucks.
William Benter, better known as Bill Benter, is a man who is believed to have netted around $1 billion from his gambling exploits over the years. After starting out as a professional gambler in Las Vegas, putting his physics degree and mathematics skill to the test, he quickly became successful playing blackjack. Still, he was subsequently banned by establishments after getting the upper hand too many times. It is probably the case that he then would have considered online blackjack tables, but as far as we know he never really seriously entertained the option. Although in reality, it may be a near impossible task, and whether it is now possible for anyone with Benter’s prowess to make a success of playing online. One would think many have tried, but for Bill, he has now turned to horse racing, where he continues raking in the millions.
Edward Thorp, like Bill Benter, also entered the gambling arena with serious skill; this time, he was fully focused on mathematics. Thorp wasn’t only a math professor but a professional gambler, with the skills very much transferrable. Thorp’s rise was quite incredible as a professional gambler, with many labeling him as the most successful professional gambler of the era. But, after enjoying sustained success in casinos, he decided to put his skills to the test on Wall St., where he dedicated himself to spotting anomalies in the stock market. Again, he was successful there and is always regarded as a blackjack hall of famer.
Many professional gamblers use casinos to make the big bucks, but Billy Waters bucks that trend as he’s someone who has amassed a fortune thanks to sports betting. It’s believed that he’s been placing bets since his younger years, and from then to now, he’s racked up a net worth of over a quarter of a billion dollars. Waters, also interesting, decided to be a businessman and open his own sports betting company after enjoying a lot of personal success in the industry, but insider trading charges were subsequently brought against him, and he was imprisoned for several years. However, he remains one of few to make the kind of riches he has from sports betting alone.
There was always going to be a poker player on this list, and Phil Ivey gets the nod after amassing a fortune in the region of $100 million. Born in California, Ivey is recognised as being one of the greatest poker players of all time, and it makes sense that a poker player can achieve this level of wealth as it’s a game based mainly on skill. Ivey is known to compete both online and offline, maximising profits, and he’s also been successful on the prestigious World Series of Poker tour, which is the holy grail of poker.