Nick the Greek, was born Nikolas Dandolos, and he was a professional Gambler and High Roller. What made him unique was that he was a well-rounded gambler as he excelled at betting on horses and playing Poker. In addition to his gambling achievements, Nick donated over $20 million to various charities, thousands in tips to servers and funds to anyone in need.
Nick the Greek, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979. This was 13 years after he passed away and is today still known as The King of All Gamblers.
Nick the Greek’s Gambling Career
Nick lost large sums of money at various casinos as well as more intimate tournaments. His first significant loss was in 1949 against Johnny Moss, a well-known Poker player. The game was set up by Benny Binion as a tourist attraction and widely credited to be the inspiration for the World Series of Poker.
Nick had a particularly favourite card game called Faro, and he was overly confident in his skills when it came to this game. He received backing from Carl Laemmie and luck was not on his side, and he lost all of Laemmie’s money.
Nick then competed against an up and coming pro gambler named Ray Ryan at the luxurious Flamingo and Thunderbird Resort in a game of five-card stud Poker and lowball draw that lasted 15 days straight. When this two-week tournament was over, Nick had lost over $500, 000 which baffled him as he was sure it was going to be an easy win. Nick later found out that Ray had hired somebody to hide on the roof and give Ryan Nicks hole cards. Nick turned to the Mafia for assistance and rumour has it he was able to get most of his money back.
Nick the Greek won and lost over $500 million in his lifetime and claimed he went from rags to riches over 73 times. He died on Christmas Day in 1966.