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.

Bill Benter

Bill Benter Bill Benter

William Benter, aka Bill Benter, is a Professional gambler and philanthropist. He became one of the wealthiest gamblers in the world due to an algorithm that he wrote for the horse racing industry. His earnings surpassed $1 billion from this algorithm.

He was born in 1957 in Pittsburgh and studied Physics after completing High School. However, he never graduated as he dropped out of University at the age of 22 and went to Las Vegas. He had read a book by which was about card counting, and he wanted to see if the theories in the book worked.

Bill Benter meets Alan Woods

Whilst Bill Benter was living in Vegas; he worked various small jobs to make ends meet. One of these jobs was at Macdonalds, where he met an Australian chap called Alan Woods, who became his partner. At the time, Alan Woods lead a card-counting team which Bill Benter joined. Inevitably the casinos in Las Vegas blacklisted them eventually, so they then set their sites on horse racing.

This is where Bill Benter’s Horse Racing algorithm came into play, and they used this algorithm along with Alan Woods mathematical skills to create a formula to choose winners of each race.

They focused their attention on the Hong Kong Horse Racing market, as there were only two racetracks and minimal horses, so it was easier to predict a winner.

For the first two years, they lost over $150 000, but in the third year, they made a profit of $100 000. However, by this time, they both had their own ideas on the best betting model and landed up parting ways.

Conclusion

After splitting up with Alan Woods, Bill Benter then created his own computer model which made him a very wealthy man.

Nowadays, Bill Benter is a guest speaker at Universities and Human Rights organisations.

Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko Ranogajec Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko Ranogajec was born in Hobart Australia on the 22 May 1961 to Croatian immigrants. He is a professional gambler and Entrepreneur, also known as John Wilson. He studied finance, tax and banking at the University of Tasmania before becoming a professional gambler. It was at this University that his interest in gambling and more specifically, card counting started.

He tested out his newly learnt skills at the Wrest Point Casino, and this is where he met his future wife Shelley Wilson, who subsequently became his business partner.

Zeljko and his wife then moved to New South Wales where he initially continued his studies, but then dropped out to concentrate on gambling fulltime.

Gambling at Australian Casinos

Zeljko initially started gambling at the well-known casinos in Australia like Wrestpoint Casino and Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast.

He was subsequently banned from all of the Australian casinos, so started visiting the Las Vegas Casinos.

However, He had problems getting his winnings back to Australia, so he had to hide his winnings and duck and dive the authorities. He was soon banned from the casinos in Las Vegas as well.

Advantage Play

Zeljko was always looking at different advantage play in other areas and branched out into Keno and Horse Racing where he continued to rack up the winnings.
On average, he earned $1billion per annum.

In 2011 Zeljko was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame alongside many other well-known gamblers like Bill Benter, Don Johnson and Stanford Wong.

Conclusion

Zeljko Ranogajev still gambles at sites like Betfair but keeps a low profile and leads a reclusive lifestyle. In 2019 and 2020 he appeared in the Australian Financial Review rich list with an estimated fortune of 600 million Australian Dollars.

He currently lives in Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, London.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson Don Johnson

Don Johnson is a professional Blackjack player who was born in Salem, Oregon in 1962. During his younger years, he was involved with horses and trained to be a jockey.

When he was 30 years old, he was hired to be the Manager of the Philadelphia Park Racetrack. He also managed other racetracks and was a regulator in different states.

During this time, he developed a computer-assisted wagering strategy for the horse race betting industry and started a Company called Heritage Development which specialized in computer-assisted wagering programs.

However, despite his horse racing knowledge and skills, his passion was the game of Blackjack. Furthermore, he also developed a Blackjack strategy by using his PhD in Mathematics and subsequently became a wealthy man and a high roller.

15 Million Won at Atlantic City Casinos

In 2010 Atlantic City Casinos were suffering from the Financial crash of 2008, so they tried to lure various High Rollers to play their high stakes games. ( 80% of casinos profits are from high roller players )

Don Johnson was one of those invited to play at a Blackjack game with high stakes. However, he had certain conditions he laid down before accepting. He wanted various changes to the game such as a 20% cashback on losses, re-split of Aces, six decks of cards, and the dealer must stick on a soft 17.

To their detriment, the casinos agreed to this condition. Johnson landed up winning $6 Million at Tropicana Casino, $5 Million at Borgata and $4 Million at Caesars Casino. Caesars Casino banned him entirely, and the other two casinos allowed him to play under specific conditions and limits.

Where is Don Johnson now?

Don Johnson still frequents Las Vegas Casinos, but he says many won’t allow him to play Blackjack, so he spends more time playing on the horses instead.