Archie Karas was born Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis and is fondly referred to as the Greek. He was born on 1 November 1950 in Antipata, Pylaros. This world-famous Greek- American gambler had a passion for gambling from a very young age.
Archie came from a dirt poor immigrant family, and this drove his ambition and hunger, ensuring he made the right decisions to change his future and take him away from a life of poverty. His life changed in 1956 when he left Greece after a massive blowout with his father. “The Greek” worked as a waiter on a ship for two years earning $60 before jumping ship on a trip to Portland. He eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he started his gambling career.
His Gambling Career
Archie worked at a Greek Restaurant next door to a pool hall. He honed his pool skills and started making more money playing pool than he did as a waiter. He eventually started playing at LA poker card rooms and later became an astute Poker player building his bankroll to over $2000 000.
Karas’s initial run lasted six months when he drove to Las Vegas with $50 and turned a loan of $10 000 into approximately $17 million playing Poker and Pool. His first challenger was Stu Ungar, a three-time WSOP champion and regarded as one of the world’s greatest Texas Hold ’em and Gin Rummy Players. Karas beat Stu, and after that, Chip Reese continued to beat many top players, from Puggy Pearson to Johnny Moss. The only player to beat Karas during his run was Johnny Chan.
During Archie Karas’s career, he had won close to $40 million. This six gold bracelet WOSP legend once stated money means nothing to me. I don’t value it. The things I want money can’t buy: health, freedom, love, happiness. I don’t care about money, so I have no fear. I don’t care if I lose it”. Today he is a regular gambler with a notable rags to riches story filled with many twists.