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Famous High Rollers & High Stakes Players

High Rollers are generally high net worth individuals of course. Many high stakes players make it their business to stay out of the limelight, to keep under the radar if you like. But a select few have made such outrageous bets at casinos that word got out anyway. Here we run through our list of the most notorious high roller casino players.

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Kerry Packer
Perhaps the most famous high roller of them all, certainly in his hey-day. Packer was an Australian tycoon who was worth $4.5bn at conservative estimates. So he had some spare change for his passion for gambling which he indulged in up to his elbows. On one spree in London, he is thought to have burnt through A$28m and on another trip to Vegas won A$33 at the MGM Grand Casino.

Most famous for his spat with a Texan oil-man who was trying to lure him into a poker game by announcing that he was worth $60 million. Kerry Packer pulled out a coin and suggested they toss for it.
Fouad Al ZayatFouad Al Zayat bet his way through £95 million during his gambling career at Aspinalls in Mayfair, London and won a case in the British high court for his right to pay a casino debt to the tune of £2 million in instalments over the course of a year. Talk about going for the interest free credit option.

Stanford Wong
John Ferguson, blackjack supremo, used the name Stanford Wong, when he was out and about taking on the casinos. He wrote the blackjack players´s bible: Professional Blackjack.

He even has a blackjack play named after him " to Wong". To "Wong" is to watch the cards and then step up to the plate with your chips when the card count gives you an edge. Most casinos have insured themselves against this technique now by banning people from coming into a game half way through.

Mike Aponte
Another blackjack guru and a former member of the MIT Blackjack Pack. The MIT Blackjack Pack were a bunch of students who took casinos around the world to the wall with their card counting skills. Aponte was the head of the gang and is now a subject of a Hollywood movie: ‘21'.

Anthony Curtis
Curtis' is another Blackjack supremo who headed to Vegas in his early twenties with two grand in his back pocket. Just before his bankroll dried up, he had a touch of inspiration. By using the free casino coupons he perfected his skills on the blackjack table that allow him to go on and hit high-roller status. The moral? Always take the free cash and comps even if it´s only to perfect your skills!

Mickey Rosa
Another MIT Blackjack teamster, who was the business head behind the scam. While the mathematics geeks worked out the numbers, Mickey counted the cash.

Michael Konik
A regular at the World Series of Poker and World Series of Blackjack, Michael is now a TV pundit and general gambling man about town. He also writes, sings jazz and acts (in his spare time). His acting no doubt helped him to perfect a poker face that earned him millions.

Regina Guzior
The ladies are high rollers too! Regina is one of the world´s top blackjack players and she is blind. Her husband, John Peters, reads the cards for her.

James Grojean
A mathmatics genius wrote "Beyond Counting: Exploiting Casino Games from Blackjack to Video Poker," which devises legal methods of gaining the upper hand in casinos. Bears the scars of long legal battles with Las Vegas venues and won one case in 2005 with a jackpot of $600 grand. The youngest member of the pro blackjack hall of fame.

Previn Mankodi
Previn Mankodi is an ex investment banker and hedge fund manager who doesn´t blink when huge sums of money are involved. Gambling afficionado and author of many books on tournaments, how to get an edge and Kelly betting.

Ken Einiger
Another blackjack supremo, Einiger, is a former a Blackjack World Champion who became a professional gambler in 2003. In 2004 he won four out of seven of the top blackjack tournaments in the world, scooping half a million dollars- an effort that hasn´t been matched since.

Foydor Dostoevsky
High Rollers can be high brow too. Author of Crime and Punishment and The Gambler, Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist and one of the founding members of the philosophical movement known as existentialism. He also liked a spot of high stakes gambling and described his gaming exploits in his book ‘The Gambler.

Archie Karas
Archie Karas is famous for having borrowed $10 grand and grown it into a $17 million wad over the course of half a year.

Riley Grannan
A famous high roller in the early part of the 20th century, Riley Grannan was famously known for the outrageous size of his bets. Unfortunately, there were tears at the end as he went bankrupt in 1908.