Wild Wagers: The World’s Biggest Lucky StreakArchie Karas was on a roll. In fact, he was on what is widely believed to be the greatest documented run of luck ever. Of course, Archie muscled the odds to work in his favor a little, with his skills at pool and poker, but when you turn up in Vegas with $50 and leave with multiple millions, you know someone up there must like you.
Michael Konik recorded Archie’s lucky streak in his excellent book about gambling: The Man with the $100,000 Breasts. Sometime in the early nineties, Archie turned up at the Mirage and immediately got lucky, convincing a fellow gambler to bankroll him $10,000. Within a few hours, Archie had tripled the stake at the poker tables and was able to pay the guy back 200%. With $10,000 in his pocket he hit the pool halls, where he was fortunate enough to bump into a bunch of real high rollers who were playing for $10,000 a game.
Archie won over a million at that pool hall, and, when he learnt his opponent was a world-class poker player, he offered him the chance to win his money back at cards. Archie was an unknown quantity, and when he shocked the poker community by beating the pro (whose name as always been kept secret) for another million, they were all lining up: Johnny Chan, Chip Rees, Doyle Brunson – and guess what? Archie beat them all.
When news got round, the games dried up pretty quick, so Archie turned his attention to the craps tables at the Horseshoe. He played recklessly, like a wild man; and this is where the luck really came in. He won millions. At one point Archie was said to have had all of the Horseshoe's $5000 chips, $10 million worth, in his safety deposit box. Although sources vary, Archie’s tally, when he finally decided to call it a day, was somewhere between 17 and 26 million dollars.