Anargyros Karabourniotis is better known in the poker community as Archie Karas, the 62 years old is regarded as one of the best poker players in history. Back in 1992 he arrived in Las Vegas and over the course of three years he enjoyed a meteoric success, apparently turning $50 into $40 million. This makes it even more surprising that almost two decades after that remarkable achievement, he was arrested for cheating in an attempt of winning no more than $8000.
Widely regarded as a formidable poker player, Archie was also a big-time gambler. This occasion, he tried to make a fortune playing blackjack and his plan was relatively simple, but unfortunately for him, not smart enough to keep him out of trouble. He chose a casino in Las Vegas and smudged blackjack cards with dye to make it easy to distinguish between low and high value cards.
The 62 year old didn’t get to enjoy his winnings as his actions were caught by surveillance cameras and soon after winning roughly $8000, he was arrested. Although his plan was relatively smart, as he used a hollow gambling chip to smudge ink, casino officials noticed immediately that something was terribly wrong at the tables he was playing. Karas’s reputation didn’t help them one bit, as he is known as a player who tried to cheat before, so casino officials are always on high alert when he sits down at the tables.
Now that Archie has been arrested, he faces up to three years in jail for attempting to defraud the casino and given his record, it is hard to believe that he will go unpunished. Since winning the huge amount in 1996, he was a regular in the Las Vegas casinos, but his luck didn’t hold and the path he decided to take led him to utter bankruptcy. Investigators described him as a threat to the gaming industry in several jurisdictions, although it is very unlikely that he will pose any dangers for the next couple of years.
Only time will tell whether the time spent in jail will give Archie the chance to reflect on his mistakes and attempt another miraculous recovery when he gets out. Looking back, it is only fair to say that had he stuck to poker instead of shifting to dice games and baccarat, Karas would have been much better off.