Gambling has been around for centuries, and some players have made a mark in the game. Through their gambling prowess, they have attracted the attention of multitudes and have written their sections in history.
Some gained fame through trickery methods that are legal, while others are known, hustlers. Either way, they have earned their legendary status in the game. Here is a list of renowned professional gamblers and especially pokers players who have made it into the glare of publicity.
LoRiggio made his name in the gambling world through practice and perfecting his “controlled shooting” in the game of craps, something that was hitherto considered impossible. He had perfected his skills after countless rounds of practicing, even earning himself the nickname ‘Dominator’ because of his techniques. He went on to make lots of money using these self-practiced skills.
Thorp was a math professor and used his prowess in probability and correlation theorems to develop a card counting technique, the first of its kind in the 60’s. After playing Blackjack for a long time with his friend Claude Shannon, he realized he could use his prowess in mathematics to beat the game. Using an IBM 704 computer that was so big that it could fill an entire room, he calculated variations that would stack the odds in the player’s favor. The result was a cool $700K over a weekend in Las Vegas. His trick was so brilliant that even after watching him play over and over, you could only suspect his cheating with no tangible proof. Casinos had to request that he stop playing as he was sure to win.
He may not have gained his status if he had not used unscrupulous means to do so, but making use of his programming skills, Harris made away with thousands of dollars via the slot machines. He completely took casinos in Las Vegas by surprise. He developed a program that would guess numbers generated by a Random Number Generator with which his accomplice Reid Errol McNeal won a cool $100k. They were later investigated and jailed for seven years.
This gentleman used legitimate means and conquered the casino. Using the ‘bias wheel’ method in which gamblers believe the probability of generating more numbers with a wheel is high and is only prevented by a mechanical defect, he analyzed the results of a particular wheel with the help of his children. After analyzing the results of over 1000 spins of the wheel, he started betting on specific numbers at the end of which he had made over $1.5 million.
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Taft invented a digital microcomputer that would favor him when shuffling. His microcomputer could be controlled with the toes, and this man hid it in his shirt pocket. Were it not for his blunder of launching his machine and teaching people how to use it to deceive casinos; he would have made an even larger amount. However, he was able to make over $400K within the first week of using his gadget.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael
This talented inventor experimented with a metal device on slot machines where they would produce handouts. But because casinos kept changing their old slot machines, he resorted to playing his lying trade in small halls where he was arrested and jailed for five years. This did not deter him from continuing his inventions, and he would later serve a 7-year term for those troubles. He then used his inventions to help casinos improve their system holes and make it harder to cheat.
“The Coin” as he was popularly known was a master duplicator. He used to forge slot machine coins and managed to fool casinos because his expertise enabled him to duplicate coins that looked like quite genuine. He even sold some of the proceeds of his ingenuity to the authorities, and they never suspected. By the time the FBI knew what he was doing, he had already made close to $500K.
MIT Blackjack Team
These guys are some of the most famous gambling cheats. Drawn from various top schools, this group’s specialty was card counting. While they were not the first to manipulate the house edge to favor them, they took card counting to a whole new level. They were so good at their craft that it was difficult for the authorities to pick them out, with each player having their roles. They also pretended not to know each other while it was all plan to disguise their intentions. Within five years, this legendary team had made a whopping $5,000,000.
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Marcus met a professional gambler named Classon who challenged him, to come up with ways that would get him to win. He rose to the challenge and made a shuffled deck that would be hidden in the shoes in such a way that would enable the player to win. He made away with $21,000 which was not an amount to be sniffed at. Further brilliance on his part saw him make away with $5 million before the authorities got wind of his actions.
This lady used her good looks to do what is referred to as ‘hand mucking.’ This is done by switching cards under the table as the play progresses. She was able to do that because all the men had their attention on her and were oblivious of her mischief. Her flirtatious character also made the job easier for her. It takes guts to pull off this kind of stunt because one has to move the cards physically and to date, Summers remains the only woman on record to pull it off successfully.