All Bets Are Off When Archie Karas Steps Into the Poker Room!

All Bets Are Off When Archie Karas Steps Into the Poker Room!

All good stories usually start with ‘once upon a time,’ but the tale of Archie Karas is more of a rollercoaster. This is the story of a man who entered a casino with just $50, intending to win a few bucks. To an unprecedented surprise, he achieved an impressive feat. And with sheer determination, he embarked on one of the world’s longest winning streaks for a gambler.

Starting in 1992, Archie Karas amassed $40 million from games like poker flush, dice rolling (craps), baccarat, lucky 5, roulette, and blackjack. He achieved this by consistently winning. Unbelievable, right? This winning spree continued for the Greek-American until ‘The Run’ ended in 1995, resulting in the loss of nearly everything.

Today’s casino news will go through the story of the ages of a renowned gambler – Archie Karas.

Archie Karas: Early Years: Turning Cards into Cash!

Anargyros Karabourniotis, popularly known as Archie Karas, is a Greek born on November 1, 1950, to a father who was a builder. Archie didn’t have one of the finest upbringings. He grew up in an environment where abject poverty thrived. This made him always on the lookout for finding something more engaging.

In 1965, Archie Karas, age 15, had a heated argument with his dad at a construction site. Things got a little out of hand, and his father bashed a shovel at his head. After getting some medical attention, he knew he had to move far away from his bizarre situation. Swiftly, he moved away from home and found a job on a ship as a waiter. He earned barely $60 monthly.

After working for two years, the Greek-born decided to seek another adventure, hitchhiked the ship, and moved away from Portland, Oregon, down to the United States. With minimal English skills and only hopes of a better life, Archie moved to LA, where he got a job as a waiter in a restaurant. While there, he discovered a pool hall and bowling alley, and then his gambling took off to an unprecedented start at nineteen.

The Gambling Expertise of Archie Karas

When Archie Karas embarked on his gambling journey, he quickly became a regular winner at the pool hall. His skills improved, and he made his presence felt at high-stakes poker tables. Initially, Archie’s target was a bankroll of $10,000, but he found himself bagging millions. However, we often know that high stakes involve moments of big wins and losses. Archie had moments of losses, and in the years that followed, he lost a whopping sum of $2 million. Regardless, Archie was never deterred by his losses. In an interview, he mentioned he was not particular about what to wear to a casino, his wins, and his losses; he only cared about love.

After such a loss, many would give up, but even more determined, Archie went to Vegas with a full gas tank and $50 for poker. That trip to Nevada would become a poker journey that teaches real-time how to gamble on the stock market.

The Twist and “The Run”

In the Sin City of Las Vegas, the talented gambler entered a high-stakes casino with his $50 in December 1992. Knowing his $50 wouldn’t be enough, he hung around and made a friend willing to lend him $10,000. Archie took the money to the Razz table and, in two hours, made triple the amount. He returned to his friend, cleared his loan with good interest, and got underway with his $10,000 and Martingale Strategy in billiards. In three months, his bankroll soared to $40,000 per game, and he quickly rose to $7 million.

He then went on another winning streak at poker tables, facing big names like Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chip Reese, etc. His earnings soared to $17 million, known as “THE RUN.” Archie accumulated returns of up to $40 million from various games in two and a half years. However, his downfall came when he lost $11 million to craps and another $17 million to baccarat. Even though he lost in 48 hours what he’d used two plus years to achieve, his name — Archie, remains legendary as ‘the run,’ and while hasn’t reached that $40 million in 1995, he still made a couple of millions in some high stakes games.


The gambling story of Archie Karas is captivating, from a humble $50 start to amassing $40 million. His astonishing winning streak and eventual downfall in 1995 make his story a compelling tale of highs and lows in gambling.

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