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gambleThe Dirty Dozen Biggest Gambling Losers of All Time


Everyone has a vice. Chocolate, Booze, Crack, Star Wars Collectibles. Some vices, obviously, are more extreme than others. They all have different degrees of danger and depth to their consequences. And those with real money to play with, sometimes play in Vegas and other casinos around the world – and these folks can lose BIG, really BIG, and the consequences can be devastating. Remember the saying, the bigger they are, the harder they fall? Well, our dirty dozen biggest gamblers couldn’t have fallen any harder.

Take KoldCast TV’s dramatic thriller series The Fall of Kaden, for instance, where a cynical loan shark, Kaden, gets caught up in a vendetta to track down a gambler who’s run off with his money. Fueled by greed, power and raw emotion, Kaden’s life spirals into total disaster. Although a work of fiction, this story is not far from reality, as you’ll read below. That said, here’s a list of some of the more massive gambling debts of all time… and their aftermath.



1. Terrance Watanabe

In 2007, Terrance Watanabe’s year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio Casinos lost him nearly $127 million. Watanabe’s spending spree is thought to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history. It consumed all of Mr. Watanabe’s personal fortune, which he built up over more than two decades running the Watanabe party-favor import business in Omaha.


joe2. Joe Francis

This dude’s getting married, and I hope his lady friend knows of his debts. Though Francis is a multi-millionaire, Wynn Hotels recently sued Francis for $2 million in unpaid gambling debts. The casino admits to offering him a “discount,” but then reneged because he didn’t pay. I mean, he’s a millionaire. Just pay your damn debt, Joe!






3. Allan Iverson

Iverson earned over $200 million throughout his NBA career, and it’s known by many that he managed to gamble away much of it. In fact, he was even banned from many Detroit and Atlantic City casinos. Though he’s still a pro and a respected player, he can’t quite escape his dark past.




4. Zhenli Ye Gon

Known on the Vegas strip as “Mr. Ye,” Gon has reportedly lost $125 million at a number of Vegas casinos over a number of years. But this isn’t a huge deal for Gon, who was an alleged drug trafficker based in Mexico City. When police raided his house there, they uncovered $200 million in cash and assets. Now, he’s in a better place with no temptation – prison.



5. Akio Kashiwagi

This Japanese property developer was described as “the world’s biggest gambler.” He won big, but Kashiwagi also lost big. Kashiwagi has the distinction of having incurred the biggest loss at a baccarat table in casino history. At the Trump Plaza in 1992, he lost close to $10 million. On an even sadder note, Kashiwagi was stabbed to death the next year in his estate at the foot of Mount Fuji.



fouad6. Fouad al-Zayat 

In gambling circles, al-Zayat is known as “The Fat Man.” This Syrian-born businessman has lost a whopping $46 million over 12 years of hard gambling. And when you gamble hard, you lose hard: all his assets, which include a Boeing 747 jet and a Rolls-Royce, have been ordered frozen upon the petition of a London casino to which he issued a $4 million dollar bad check. Nowadays, he has quit gambling to spend time with his six grandchildren.





7. Frank Sarakakis

Rumors have been circulating that this Greek tycoon and successful owner of a car firm in Athens, lost some $16 million playing roulette at a London casino in 1994. Before that, he is said to have lost a similar amount at the Ritz casino in 1988.



archie8. Archie Karas

This guy, known as the greatest gambler of all time, lost 11 million on a losing streak, won $50 million in December 1992, raked in another $40 million by the beginning of 1995, and then lost all the money in that run one year later. Karas is happy to be a legend, though he isn’t quite as into the high stakes stuff anymore.





9. Nick Dandolos

Known as “the Greek,” Dandalos is known as much for his wins as for his losses. Still, his losses were considerable – estimated at over $500 million in his lifetime. At the end of his life, he played five-dollar tables and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. He died on Christmas Day in 1966.




10. Omar Siddiqui

A top executive at Fry’s Electronics, Siddiqui made $225,000 a year and lost an average of $8 million in a day at the height of his gambling days. Overall, however, he lost as much as $167 million at casinos over the last decade. Even though he amassed huge IOUs, casinos across America continued to lend him millions more, because he was good business. Now, the guy’s in jail for fraud.



stu11. Stu Ungar

Professional Poker and Gin Rummy Player, he is called the greatest Texas hold ‘em and Gin Rummy player of all time. Despite having won an estimated $30 million during his poker career, Ungar died of a heart condition with no assets to his name. Friend and fellow poker player Bob Stupak took up a collection at Ungar’s funeral to raise funds to pay for the services.



kerry12. Kerry Packer

Hard to believe that this dude was once the richest man in Australia. The late Kerry Packer is believed to have lost up to $40 million in 10 short months, including almost $28 million during a three-week losing streak at the London Casino in 1999. Unfortunately, he died in 2005 of kidney failure and left his family with a comfortable sum.




























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