Professional gambler turns $50 into $40 Million ‘caught cheating’ in San Diego

His luck may have run out. World-renowned professional poker player Archie Karas, has been arrested on charges of dishonesty and defrauding a casino after authorities say he was caught marking cards at a California blackjack table.

Mr Karas, 62 years of age best known for reputedly building a beginning stake of $50 into a $40 million fortune during a record of three-year winning streak, he was taken into custody at his Las Vegas home, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.Archie Karas

Mr Karas will be extradited to San Diego to face a criminal grievance charging him with a burglary, winning by fraudulent means and cheating, said by the DA’s office.

If Mr Karas is convicted, real name Anargyros Karabourniotis he will face a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

‘Mr Karas the defendant’s luck ran short thanks to unforeseen cooperation between several different law enforcement agencies, who operated together to investigate and prosecute this case,’ said county District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

According to the prosecutors, Mr Karas was seen by a surveillance cameras while he was marking cards – making tiny smudges of dye secretly wiped onto the backs of jacks, queens, kings and aces – while playing blackjack in July at the Indian-owned Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside, California.

The marks gave Mr Karas an prejudiced advantage by helping him identify the value of cards before they were dealt as he chose whether to take a card, or hold on to it in an effort to reach the winning value of 21 without going over, the prosecutors reports.

The organized scam worked so well that he managed to cheat the casino more than $8,000 before he was caught, the district attorney’s office spokesperson Steve Walker reports.

A search warrant performed on Karas’s home turned up hollowed-out chips from other casinos, but so far no other gambling establishments have not lodged a complaint against Mr Karas, Gregory reports. But authorities said Mr Karas has been accused of cheating before he was actually caught.

‘The Nevada Gaming Control Board’ has investigated Mr Karas on multiple occasions resulting in four arrests, said Karl Bennison the agency’s enforcement chief said in one of the statements. ‘Karas has been a big threat to the gambling industry in many jurisdictions.’

Mr Karas has set a record for the largest and longest documented winning streak in gambling history from 1992 to 1995, arriving in Las Vegas Nevada with only $50 in his pocket and going on to win amass $40 million from high-stakes poker.

He later lost most of those winnings at baccarat and dice games in three weeks. Mr Karas returned to the poker table many times, and has often cleaned out many gamblers in the world, according to Sexton.

He is deliberated by many to have been the greatest gambler of all times and often has been compared with Nick ‘the Greek’ Dandolos, another high-stakes gambler and high roller who died in 1966 may his soul rest in peace.

Industry experts estimate that casinos nationwide lose tens of millions of dollars a year in various cheating scams.