King Charles II

King Charles II King Charles II

King Charles II was considered a gambling man, not only in card games but in the moves he made to restore the English Monarchy. Born on the 29 May 1630 and referred to as the “Merry King’. In 1679 Charles II dissolved Parliament as he was tired of conflict and ruled alone for his remaining years and his years of reign in English history are known as the Restoration period.

This beguiling Ruler had his childhood ripped away from him by the Civil War, and the execution of his father in 1649 shattered his world.

King Charles II Favourite Form of Gambling

King Charles II considered himself a somewhat professional Jockey. He was obsessed with sport and placing bets on horse racing. He even built a palace for his convenience at Newmarket, the racecourse he frequented. Today Newmarket is considered the headquarters of British Horseracing and hosts two of England’s five Classic Races, the 1000 and the 2000 Guineas.

Gambling was so popular amongst British Royalty that King Charles II and many other Monarchs had their own personal croupier named Sir Thomas Neale. He provided royalty with cards, dice and would oversee the bets and payouts between Kings and their subjects. He also found opponents for the King that were more than willing to lose, which kept The King happy and entertained continuously.

Gambling during this era:

The aristocracy believed gambling set a bad precedent and did not want the lower class to come into wealth. Particularly not via this channel and King Charles II shut down all gambling dens throughout London. Furthermore, he ensured the commoners had no access to any form of gambling. The Monarchy also thought such activities disrupted society and distracted them from working. Only members of the Royal Court were allowed to gamble.

Archie Karas

Archie Karas Archie Karas

Introduction

Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis commonly known as Archie Karas was born on 1 November 1950 in Antipata, Pylaros.

Archie had a passion for gambling from a very young age, and he always wanted to be a professional gambler. He came from a poor immigrant family that had nothing, and therefore made sure he took steps that would change his future and take him away from a life of poverty.

In 1965 Archie left Greece after a massive blowout with his father and worked as a waiter on a ship for two years before he jumped ship on a trip to Portland. He eventually found himself in L. A and started his gambling career in the bowling alley next door to where he worked.

His Gambling Career

In 1990 he had accumulated in the region of $2 million and landed up losing all but $50 within two years. With this $50 he moved onto Vegas, and this is where “The Run” he is so well known for began. In Vegas, Archie met a friend who lent him $10,000 to get started. He hit the tables, and within a couple of hours, he had doubled the money at the Razz Tables.

He now had his own money and went looking for lucrative pool games and came upon a game a local businessman was looking to start for a buy-in of $5000 for a game of 9 balls. During this extended game of pool, Archie won around $1.1 million.

His winning streak continued, he played Stu Unger and won $1.2 million. Next in line was Chip Reese who lost $2 million to Archie. The following two in line were Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Moss both legends and even they could not put an end to Archie’s winning streak which saw him win a total of $17 million.

Conclusion

During Archie Karas’s career, he had won close to $40 million, and the only thing he ever bought with those huge winnings was a car and the rest went straight back to the casinos. He has however won six gold bracelets in the WSOP. The once-great Archie Karas is now just a regular gambler and the perfect example of a rags to riches story with some exciting and drastic twists.

Queen Marie Antoinette

Queen Marie Antoinette Queen Marie Antoinette

Introduction

Marie Antoinette was born at Hofberg Palace in Vienna, Austria on the 2 November 1755. She was born an archduchess of Austria and the youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis. She got married in May 1770 at the tender age of 14 years old. Her husband was Louis Auguste, who was the heir to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne and became known as Louis XVI, Marie Antionette then became the Queen.

Many have criticized this young Queen for her escapades of sleigh riding, attending balls incognito, hunting and watching horse racing. However, they were reasonably innocent past times for a twenty-year-old queen. The gambling, however, became a severe addiction and added to this gambling was an entrenched part of court life dating back to the reign of Loius XIV. It obsessed all levels of the French Society during the Enlightenment.

The Start of Marie Antoinette’s Gambling

Marie Antoinette learnt to gamble by her mother. Her mother taught her purely to protect her from suffering huge losses. Also, the stakes at the court of Austria were far higher than the court of France, which made this young Princess a fearless player. As the years progressed, she incurred substantial gambling debts, and Louis XVI forbade her to play, as he was trying to save the Government finances. She was relentless, and after much begging and pleading to play one last game, he allowed her the privilege. Marie Antoinette used this to her advantage, and the game lasted for three days solid.

Conclusion

Marie Antoinette’s gambling addiction only took up a short period in her life, yet it is what she is remembered for. Sadly not for her contribution to charities, her loyalty to her husband, the loss of her children or her famous words “Let them Eat Cake.”

King Henry the VIII

King Henry the VIII King Henry the VIII

This fascinating Tudor Monarch King Henry VIII was crowned King of England in 1509 and was not a King who had been expected to rule. He only took the throne because his older brother had died.

As his reign progressed, he grew desperate for a son to carry on his legacy and tried to have his first marriage annulled which was denied by the Pope. He then decided to take matters into his own hands and landed up marrying a total of six wives.

Nights filled with Gambling

When Henry VIII ascended the throne, he followed a philosophy of work to live not live to work. He preferred hunting and hawking over reigning. When his outdoor activities ended, Henry would take the time to attend to some of his obligations.

His nights were usually filled with dancing, playing cards or Gambling and he was often referred to as England’s No 1 Gambler due to it being his favourite leisure activity. He enjoyed playing dice, a version of Backgammon known as Tables and the checkers related game known as “Betting Queek.”

Henry was not a very lucky gambler or very skilful for that matter and once gambled away the beloved Jesus Bells of St Paul’s Church on a single roll of the dice. True to form he ensured the winner of that bet, Sir Miles Partridge was convicted of treason and hung publicly at London’s Tower Hill.

Wrapping it Up

King Henry VIII gained the reputation as an aggressive and heavy-handed ruler who made rash decisions and between all his political genius and unforgivable personal anarchy he was also an avid gambler who enjoyed “Bragg” and sports betting. During his reign, he lost £3250 which is equivalent to £2.5 million today. Ironically he banned his military from participating in any form of Gambling as it would distract them from their duties.