Nevada Casinos Ban Legendary Gambler Archie KarasSeptember 23, 2015 1:16 pm
The WSOP is currently deciding on this year’s ‘Poker Hall of Fame’ candidate, and who to add to the illustrious pantheon of players which includes the likes of Johnny Moss (1979), Stu Ungar (2001), and Phil Hellmuth (2007). Ahead of November’s induction, one wonders that if a ‘Gamblers Hall of Fame’ existed, who would be included on the list. One name that springs to mind is Nick “the Greek” Dandolos, who is already a member of the Poker Hall of Fame (1979), and is estimated to have gambled over $500 million throughout his lifetime, most of which passed though his hands during the 1950s and 60s.
Another possibility is fellow Greek gambler Archie Karas, who is credited with the longest winning streak in history, having turned a $50 bankroll into more than $40 million over a two year period starting on December 1992. Unfortunately, the fortune of gamblers is often fickle, and like Nick the Greek, Archie Karas ended up broke. Unlike Nick the Greek, however, Karas now has his reputation in tatters after being banned from every casino in the state of Nevada.
The decision to place Archie Karas in Nevada’s “Black Book” was unanimously made by the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday, and follows the 64 year-old gambler’s arrest at San Diego’s Barona Casino last year for marking the blackjack cards. A subsequent search of his home revealed further evidence of his crime, of which he later received a sentence of three-years probation. In total, Karas has now been arrested five times since 1988 for cheating at blackjack in Nevada. Nevertheless, there are no indications to suggest any indiscretions while he competed against some of the top poker pros in the world in his heyday, including such players as Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese and Stu Ungar. As Jack Binion once said of Karas:
“When a player can run a toothpick into a lumberyard, it makes him a tough and dangerous player. Archie fits this bill exactly, which is why so many places are scared to take him on.”
Karas will now be have to travel outside of Nevada if he wants some casino action, where those casinos will also reserve the option to refuse him entry.