Becoming a professional gambler requires skill, determination, a clear head, and good concentration. Gamblers can reach unprecedented heights and it sometimes comes down to one major win. Over the last decade, there are a select few that have risen to the top of the pack, making a living betting on horse racing, and playing poker, slots, and much more.
While it takes time (and often good luck) to become a full-time professional gambler, a select few have made it, becoming the richest in the world. So, who are the players you need to watch out for?
You might not think sports betting would earn you a spot among the world’s richest gamblers, but that’s not entirely true. Billy Walters proved the theory that sports betting can actually be profitable for the average player. He is an example to those who love a flutter on football.
With an estimated net worth of $250 million, the Billy Walters story began quite humble. At age nine, he used earnings from his local newspaper round to bet. He continued to enhance his skills and craft a successful career in sports betting.
Walters is one of the richest gamblers of all time. He even went on to building a sports betting company in LA. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to five years in prison for inside trading. He was pardoned by Donald Trump in 2020 when he was released. Despite this, he remains one of the more successful gamblers in the United States and the world.
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William (Bill) Benter
Bill Benter is originally from Pennsylvania and earned a degree in physics. With his vast in-depth knowledge of mathematics, Bill started his career on the biggest stage in America – Las Vegas. He soon became a professional gambler from an early age and was a force to be reconned with. Unfortunately, after winning most of the blackjack tournaments (seven years consecutively), he was banned. That is how good this gambler is.
Bill soon moved to Hong Kong and focused his attention on the horse racing scene. He perfected a winning formula for predicting the outcome of races and helped him earn his vast fortune. Bill Benter remains one of the most successful professional gamblers in history, if not the most successful. He is thought to have a net worth of $1 billion.
While Edward Thorp had a successful career elsewhere, he quickly climbed the ladder to become one of the most successful professional gamblers of all time. Thorp began his career as a mathematics professor and become an established author. He invented the first wearable computer with Claude Shannon in 1961. Thorp is also a professional blackjack player and worth an estimated $800 million.
Edward Thorp quickly delved into the casino world and moved onto Wall Street to predict market anomalies. He wrote the book, Beat the Market in which he explained how to use stocks to earn money. It was a huge hit and has become a Blackjack Hall of Fame member. His skills are second to none and are incredibly ingenious.
Phil Ivey is one of the world’s richest professional gamblers of all time. A professional poker player, Ivey is thought to be worth $100 million. His winnings have come from online games and many live poker tournaments. Ivey is also the ten-time World Series of Poker Champion and a World Poker Tour Champion.
Ivey really is one of the best poker players the world has ever seen. His talents and skills at the poker table are extraordinary and continue to be a force on the poker scene. In 2009, he defeated 147 fellow poker players to win his sixth tournament bracelet and the Commerce Casino LA Poker Classic. Phil Ivey is a player that tops the list for all the right reasons – because he deserves it. His wins aren’t out of luck, but skill and talent.
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Another exquisite poker player, Chris Ferguson first started his poker journey at a very young age. In the 1990s, he began to enter poker tournaments and entered his first world series poker tournament in 1995. He has become one of the richest and most successful gamblers in the United States. In 2000, he earned the title of main event champion after winning the tournament and is thought to have a net worth of $80 million.
Ferguson is innovative and hugely successful. He remains the only poker player to have won six WSOP bracelets and win three WSOP circuits also. His skills are impressive and have earned a stellar reputation for his abilities at the poker table.
Becoming a professional gambler isn’t without risk. While some have forged hugely successful careers, others have failed miserably. Skill and in-depth knowledge are crucial, so too is strategy, and sometimes good fortune and luck need to be on your side. Being a professional gambler is exciting in so many ways, but you must be prepared for the risks that come with it.