Greek Poker Pro Karas Made $14 Million Profit Against The Games' Elite

In light of XBLINK and now XWINK‘s recent assault at the poker tables in which he managed to turn a $4,000 bankroll into $2 million within four days, I felt compelled to recount another tale of gambling heroics from the poker archives.
This story has gone down in Las Vegas folklore as the largest and longest winning streak in gambling history in which a Greek-American gambler by the name of Archie Karas managed to turn $10,000 into $40 million over a two year period between December 1992 and the beginning  of 1995.
As Jack Binion once famously said: “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.”
Although Archie Karas initially manged to run his $10,000 investment into $3 million playing high stakes pool, sometimes as high as $40,000 a game, in this article I will instead concentrate on Karas’ experiences playing poker.
Amongst his incredible talents, Karas also possessed three characteristics which made him a dangerous poker player. Firstly he is an expert reader of people and cards; secondly he confessed to not valuing money or whether he lost it, and thirdly the gamble was so ingrained in his blood that he was forever raising the games stakes to  levels which put opponents on the back foot.
Archie Karas specialised in mostly heads-up 7-card stud and Razz and said he believed playing heads-up helped him utilise his unique people and card reading skills, as well as limiting the amount of luck produced by having other players at the same table.
After taking his pool winnings to the poker tables Karas then managed to turn his $3 million bankroll into $17 million within just six months playing the best players in the world. Amongst his victims were Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese and Stu Ungar.
Archie Karas won $500,000 from Stu Ungar in his first big match and, a few days later took another $700,000 off Ungar plus $500,000 from Chip Reese. As Archie recounts:
“Heads-up, I don’t think there is a man alive who can beat me in that game, not in the long run, anyway…I’ve done some amazing things playing poker, but beating Chip and Stuey on the same day for $1,200,000 was extra special!”
In the end Archie’s poker opponents starting drying up and pretty soon only Chip Reese was being staked to play Karas at stakes as high as $8,000/$16,000. During one of their 25 or so heads-up matches Chip Reese noticed Karas not looking at his cards during the game, to which Karas replied; “When it is time to look at all the cards, we will do it together.”
However, highlighting the important point he was making to Chip Reese, Karas explained:
“I did it to take the bluff away! A man will begin to hesitate to try and bluff or steal a pot, if he thinks his opponent is crazy enough to call anyway. Not many players could do this at $10,000/$20,000 limit. Heads-up poker is a game of psychology. I picked my spots to do this, of course, when I might have a strong early board, but when I was rolling, it didn’t matter what my up cards were. You must mix up your play to keep your opponent off balance and out of rhythm.”
After he ran out of poker opponents Archie Karas then hit the dice and  baccarat tables running his now $17 million bankroll into $40 million before eventually losing the whole lot over a period of three weeks.
Unfortunately Karas succumbed to the gamblers fate on his way to blowing his incredible $40 million fortune. However, Archie was still a big winner in the game of poker and the 61 year old gambling legend still continues to play and dream of recapturing past glories.
Chip Reese was widely considered to be the greatest cash game pro ever to play the game and commenting on his time spent with Archie Karas, said:
“The most money I ever lost in poker was $2,022,000 in one night, playing $8,000/$16,000 limit. I lost that money to Archie Karas.”

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