Top 15 the most successful gamblers in the world

Anyone that has ever stepped foot in a casino or has played online has dreamt of being a millionaire. We have all spent a few trying to become the next jackpot winner. While for most of us, those dreams never come true, it can happen. Here, we take a look at 15 of the richest gamblers in the world and discuss their games of choice and how they have become professional gamblers.

The most successful gamblers around the globe have spent years perfecting strategies and mastering games. The end result has been amazing, and these 15 players have earned their living playing the games they love. Check out these professional gamblers` stories and see how they have made it to the top of the list of the richest players! These players have developed strategies that are being used by players today and have placed some of the largest bets in history. With luck on their side, along with keen skills and amazing mathematical abilities, these pro players have become amazingly successful.

Edward O. Thorp

Net Worth: $800 Million

Famous for Playing: Blackjack and Baccarat

Thorp is one of the greatest professional gamblers of all time and he has provided blackjack players with an amazing gift and a unique strategy. Thorp holds a Ph.D. in math and he invented the strategy used by millions of players at blackjack tables today. As a professor before becoming a gambler, he was the first to have ever used a computer to develop a strategy for playing cards. He discovered a card counting method that was able to lower the house edge and provide players with a great advantage when engaging in a real money blackjack game!

After successfully developing this strategy, he began to visit casinos in Vegas and Reno, playing blackjack games and collecting thousands in payouts. He also wrote a book on card counting that is still one of the most popular strategy guides used today! After playing the game in many top casinos around the world, Thorp turned to investing and is now a successful hedge fund manager with an amazing net worth of $800 million.

Bill Benter

Net Worth: $100 million each year

Famous for Playing: Horse Racing and Blackjack

Bill Benter is a genius when it comes to math and he holds a physics degree. He used Thorp`s methods to develop card counting skills to become a top blackjack player in the world. Due to his success at the tables, Benter was banned from Vegas casinos. He relocated to Hong Kong and began working on the creation of a unique formula that would help to predict any outcome of a horse race. Benter is responsible for creating the first software that was used to predict horse racing results. Today, he still focuses on racing and is known to earn as much as $10 million from races in just one day! This billionaire gambler is one of the best in the world and continues to win millions using his unique betting strategies.

Many sports bettors today refer to Benter`s techniques and strategies, especially when wagering on horse racing. He has changed how bettors wager and has provided us with some amazing formulas that can help make successful predictions.

Jonathan Duhamel

Net Worth: $32 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

This Canadian professional poker player has won a Main Event of WSOP in 2010 and defeated John Racener for $8.9 million, making him the first Canadian to win a WSOP bracelet. Considered to be a successful gambler and a strategic player, Duhamel quickly started winning main events and captured the championship at a European Poker Tour. His second WSOP bracelet was won in 2015, where he took home $3.9 million and again in 2015, he won another WOP bracelet at WSOP Europe in Berlin. Duhamel also plays online poker regularly and enters many tournaments that are hosted by popular poker rooms. 

Daniel Negreanu

Net Worth: $50 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

When it comes to rich gamblers, Negreanu is definitely a name to note. This Canadian is a professional poker player that has won 6 WSOP bracelets and two championship titles from the World Poker Tour. Today, he is a respected player among peers and is a force at the tables. Defeating some of the top-ranked poker players worldwide, Danial has become a successful gambler and has a unique poker strategy he uses when playing. He is one of the few players that show no facial expression when playing, eliminating any tells that others can pick up on. 

Zeljko Ranogajeg

Net Worth: $600 million

Famous for Playing: Sports Betting, Horse Racing, Blackjack

This Australian gambler dropped out of college to pursue a gambling career and has been quite successful. With his photographic memory, he has had great luck at blackjack tables, though his methods have resulted in being banned from many Australian casino venues. Instead of focusing on blackjack, he switched to wagering on horse racing and uses math skills to predict race results. His skills have made him a billionaire. His professional gambler salary earns him millions each year. He maintains his private life, avoiding interviews and public appearances when possible. 

Phil Ivey

Net Worth: $100 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

Anyone that knows about the poker world will have heard of Phil Ivey. He is a gambler millionaire in the United States and started playing professional poker at the young age of just 20. During his career, Ivey has won 10 WSOP bracelets, the youngest player to achieve this feat. Aside from being a prominent figure at tables in land casinos, Ivey has a presence at online sites as well. He has won $19 million from poker sites. Ivey has a unique playing style that sets him apart from competitors and is considered to be one of the most successful gamblers of his time.

Doyle Brunson

Net Worth: $75 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

Doyle Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, was among the best gamblers of all time. Officially retired in 2018, Brunson still plays a key role in the world of poker. His strategy and style of playing have been used by younger poker players that wish to achieve success and follow in the footsteps of this poker legend. Brunson has gone on to publish a book on poker strategy and has also formed an online poker room called Doyle`s Room. For more than 60 years, Doyle was a man to beat and he will always be a legend.

Archie Karas

Net Worth: $40 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

While Archie Karas is on our list of successful gamblers, his career teaches an important lesson. In a short period of time from 1992 to 1995, Archie turned a $50 bet into a winning streak resulting in almost $40 million. While this is a great achievement, he also managed to lose all of that! A key lesson for any real money player today, set your limits and know when to walk away! Aras ended up being banned from casinos and no longer plays professional poker. This Greek player did have amazing skills and an ability to beat famous professional gamblers like Doyle Brunson. However, multiple arrests for cheating and marking cards ended his short career.

Alan Woods

Net Worth: $670 million

Famous for Playing: Horse Racing and Blackjack

Using his high IQ and natural abilities in math, Alan Woods became the best gambler ever. Woods used basic principles of Quantitative Gambling as he placed wagers on horse races. Instead of relying on listed odds and predictions, Woods used algorithms that were being used in financial markets to predict results of horse races. While his passion was betting on horses, he actually generated his bankroll by playing professional blackjack. Using card counting skills, Woods was able to make thousands that would fund love for betting on horse races. Woods donated a large portion of his winnings to charity and spent millions supporting research on mental health. 

Tony Bloom

Net Worth: $1.7 billion

Famous for Playing: Poker and Sports Betting

Tony Bloom was a notorious sports bettor that made millions placing wagers. He is the owner of StarLizard, which is a company operating in the UK that offers consultations for betting. Bloom studied mathematics while attending Manchester and enjoyed gambling to earn money. He went on to become an options trader but quickly decided he wanted a career as a professional sports bettor. Aside from betting on sports, Tony also found a passion for poker and plays in many high-stakes events. He had a style that was ice-cold, which earned him a unique nickname, The Lizard, a name he used when starting his betting consultant company. As a billionaire, Boom has had a very successful career with betting, poker playing, and starting up companies that provide betting odds and services. 

Andrew Black

Net Worth: $670 million

Famous for Playing: Bridge and Horse Racing

Black is an entrepreneur that is known for his bridge expertise and skills at horse race betting. Aside from winning millions, he is also the creator of Betfair, one of the largest betting exchanges in the industry. He has maintained jobs while gambling until he earned enough to be able to quit those jobs and strictly be a professional gambler. Today, Black focuses on his software company, though continues to play bridge professionally. Bridge may not be the first game you think of when it comes to professional gambling, but the game has allowed Black to make millions.

Billy Walters

Net Worth: $200 million

Famous for Playing: Sports Betting

Billy Walters may not be known on casino floors, but when it comes to famous gamblers in sports betting, he has made his name. Walters is best known for placing the largest sports bet in history, a $3.5 million bet. Walters` father was a professional poker player, so gambling has run in the family for years. At the age of 9, Billy placed his first bet, which led to a love for sports betting. Before sports betting was legalized, Walters was running a bookmaking service in Kentucky and was fined $1000 for illegal operation. After that, he moved to Vegas and is making $15 million each year from wagering. While a successful gambler, his luck may have run out as he faces prison time for insider trading.

Chris Moneymaker

Net Worth: $16 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

Starting with a career as an accountant, Moneymaker turned to poker as a source of income and quickly became the best gambler in the world for his time. In 2003, he won $2.5 million from a $39 entry fee at an online satellite WSOP event. After winning the event, he quit his accounting job and became a full-time poker player. Signing with Poker Stars, he was a main spokesperson and attracted thousands of players to this site. Moneymaker has won over $3.7 million from live tournaments, including his top win of $2.5 million in 2003. After 15 years as a player, he is still playing and winning at tournaments in Atlantic City. 

Chris Ferguson

Net Worth: $80 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

Chris Ferguson is a world poker champion and has won 6 events at the World Series of Poker. He also won a 2000 WSOP event along with a Championship in 2008 at NBC National Heads-Up Poker. Chris entered a circle of top gamblers and poker players and started playing this game at 10 years old. Receiving a Ph.D. in computer science, Chris went on to found Full Tilt Poker. Ferguson was found to be taking money from customer accounts and the license for Full Tilt was suspended. In 2013, he paid back funds. During his professional career, Chris won more than $9 million from live events and millions more playing poker online.

Patrick Antonius

Net Worth: $32 million

Famous for Playing: Poker

Known for being one of the richest gamblers in all of Europe, Antonius has earned over $ million by playing in various live poker events along with over $17 million by playing poker games online! His original career goal was to become a professional tennis player, but he suffered a back injury that made this impossible. He quickly found a passion for poker and started playing online and at land casinos. Between 2009 and 2013, he won over $1 million playing online. Despite not having any WSOP bracelets, Patrick is considered to be a top-notch poker player and still plays in live tournaments and can be found taking seats at online poker events.


While it may sound simple to make money by playing games, these professional players have spent much of their lives developing unique strategies that would provide them with a necessary edge. Being a professional gambler takes more time and effort than one may think. While it is possible for anyone to walk into a casino and have luck on their side and hit a jackpot, these richest gamblers have made it a career and are among the best players in the world.

As you can see, poker and blackjack are two games that many professionals enjoy. Both of these require skill and strategy to be successful and this is only gained after years of playing and competing against others. Being a professional involves a huge risk. Since there are no guarantees of winning, regardless of what strategies are used, these players continue to take risks and often lose more than they win. However, after years of playing and entering top paying events and betting online, they have created a stunning bankroll that has placed them on our list of the richest gamblers worldwide.