Archie Karas – The Famous High Roller

Back in 1951, Anargyros Karabourniotis was born on the tiny Ionian island of Cefalonia, Greece. Little did anyone guess that he would grow up to become one of the ultimate high roller that the world has ever seen. Yes, we are talking about the great Archie Karas!

The Story of Archie Karas

Although Archie’s father was a skilled builder, his family struggled financially when he was a young boy. His mother was a housewife who looked after his three siblings. His family was in such a dire situation, that in order to avoid starvation, the little Karabourniotis Junior started to play marbles for money with his friends to earn some income. Soon, he was earning more money than his father on the construction sites.

At the age of 15, Anargyros had an argument with his father, and this event tore his family apart forever. At that point of time, the latter vowed to leave his hometown and travel to America. After working on a ship, he saved enough money to pay for his long voyage to America, where his fate was about to change.

The American Dream

It took months for Anargyros to reach America by boat. He first docked in Portland, Oregon, before finally leaving for Los Angeles, California. As he had worked as a waiter on the boat, he found the same job in this city, where he learned English by himself in between his shifts. His natural hustling skills didn’t leave him and he soon found a way of making a secondary income in the various pool halls of the city. From there, he went on to accumulate over $2 million in just a few months by playing underground poker games.

Sadly, he lost everything by the end of the same year, as he played all the money in high stakes games. This financial roller coaster was just the first of many to come for Anargyros before he finally decided to relocate to Las Vegas in 1992. Although he had only £50 when he reached Las Vegas, Anargyros was on a quest to win more money than before. This time he took the more familiar name that we all know; Archie Karas.

He began to rebuild this wealth after borrowing £10,000 from a friend in LA, and soon he was once again making millions. He has since set a record for the biggest and longest hot streak in the world. In a period of three years, Karas lost only once! He soon gained a reputation as his wealth accumulated, and it didn’t take long for other high rollers to be sitting next to him at the poker table. In just six months, he built a bankroll of nearly $17m, and at the peak of his professional high roller player career in 1995, he had around $40m.

Read more at to find out how a colossal lottery jackpot of £64m was not claimed in the UK!