With the pandemic and all, 2021 has been a year like no other. Nevertheless, life goes on. And while Forbes is counting down the list of billionaires, we want to shed some light on the gamblers with the deepest pockets in 2021. Unsurprisingly, the usual big guns manage to snatch a spot on the list after successful gambling streaks that saw their net worth figures soar to even greater heights.
Like Jeff Bezos on the 35th annual list of the world’s billionaires, Bill Benter ranks as the world’s richest gambler. Originally from Pittsburgh, USA, his gambling career took a turn for the better after reading the book “Beat the Dealer,” written by New York Times bestselling author Edward O. Thorp. In it, he discovered a proven mind-boggling system that gamblers have been using for decades to get rid of the house edge. This, along with his mathematical ability, made him a predictor of gambling, revered in the horse racing and blackjack markets. He is so good that he has been banned from gambling in casinos in some countries.
In addition to his successful gambling career, Bill is a lecturer and philanthropist who founded the world-renowned Benter Foundation. His annual net worth is one hundred million dollars, and his total net worth is estimated at one billion dollars.
As well as inspiring Bill Benter and others to a successful gambling career, Edward O. Thorp is a successful punter himself. He practices what he preaches in his bestselling book, having first tried his strategies at Reno and Lake Tahoe casinos, where he won a whopping eleven thousand in just one weekend.
Edward Thorp still gambles in casinos, sometimes disguising himself to avoid drawing attention to himself. But why can’t he just play video slots games at an online casino and avoid it all? Anyway, Edward Thorp, with a fortune close to a billion, is also a math professor, hedge fund manager, inventor, and author of such books as Beat the Market, A Man For All Markets, and The Mathematics of Gambling.
Nicknamed “The Lizard,” Britain’s most famous gambler was born in the 1970s in Brighton, Sussex. He has made appearances in the Late Night Poker Show and Poker Millions, not to mention that he is an Australian Poker Championship and No-Limit Hold ‘em VC Poker Cup champion, winning $320000 and $351401, respectively. He continues to gamble today, being a fierce entrepreneur with an estimated combined net worth of 2 billion.
Zeljko Ranogajec is fourth on the list. According to a reliable source, his gambling operations bring him about three billion dollars a year. And it’s not hard to see how that’s possible, given that this man won forty of Australia’s forty-four keno jackpots in 2018. Other accomplishments include a successful career in horse racing, accounting for about 8 percent of Tabcorp’s annual revenue, and inclusion in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Nicknamed “the joker,” Zeljko has earned about a billion dollars to date.
Andrew Black, known as the co-founder of Betfair, is a fan of bridge and horse racing. One of his greatest betting triumphs was winning twenty-five thousand pounds with a bet of only £20 in the 1990s. Such winnings prompted him to switch to full-time gambling, using the proceeds to create the software business that started Betfair. His net worth today is estimated at $700 million.
Bill Walters was born in 1946 in Munfordville, Kentucky. He went from humble beginnings to opening his own car sales business, which he left in 1981 to become a regular gambler.
In 1982, he was convicted of possessing gambling records. Although that article was expunged from his record, it led him to move to Las Vegas, where bookmaking was legal. Today, Billy Walters’ fortune is estimated at $200 million.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Phil Ivey, one of the most recognized faces in the poker industry. Dubbed the Tiger Woods of Poker, the 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has accumulated an estimated net worth of about 100 million. In addition, he has won big in recent tournaments such as the Super High Roller Bowl Europe 2021 and the 2020 MILLIONS Super High Roller at Casino Sochi.
Chris Ferguson is a poker player from the United States who started playing poker at the age of 10. He already has six World Series of Poker titles under his belt, the most recent one being the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker championship. Chris Ferguson’s live tournament winnings are valued at about $10 million, making him a net worth of $80 million.