Nick Dandolos

December 6, 2019 at 3:20 am

Nick Dandolos Nick Dandolos or Nick the Greek was what one refers to as a well-rounded gambler and remains synonymous with gambling to this day. This professional gambler and high roller was born in 1883 in Crete and came from wealthy parents. He earned a degree in philosophy, and at the age of 18, he was sent to the USA and settled in Chicago until he eventually relocated to Montreal. It’s at this time he started gambling on horses where he won $500 000 on horse racing, and then lost it as quickly as he had won it. Nick, the Greek, then decided to move back to Chicago and take up gambling seriously.

Nick’s Gambling Career

Nick the Greek was a card and dice playing connoisseur and was a master of bluffing. He soon became a celebrity at Chicago clubs as he bet big, and this was when a legend was born. He was friends with Frank Sinatra, Telly Savalas and Aristotle Onassis.

Once he lost $1.6 million to a dice game in New York that lasted 12 days. At another event, he left with $500 000 after a seven-hour poker game. Nick then moved to Nevada when gambling was legalised in 1931, and the casinos in sin city became his playgrounds.

Nick was invited to play Johnny Moss by Binion, the owner of the Horseshoe Casino. Binion, of course, took advantage of this by promoting the two Poker giants competition which lasted five months. The game was exhausting, and the two only took breaks to eat and sleep. Day after day, thousands changed hands until finally Nick was penniless having lost $4 million, so he stood up and said: “Mr Moss, I will have to let you go.” This memorable battle gave birth to the World Poker Series.

Nick died broke, however during his life he donated roughly $20 million to charity. He passed away on Christmas Day of 1966 after a poker game, how befitting to a great gambler.

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Bluffing

November 2, 2019 at 4:25 am

Bluffing

Fouad al-Zayat

October 1, 2019 at 3:30 am

Fouad al-Zayat Fouad al-Zayat was a Syrian businessman, gambler and investor who passed away in Lebanon in 2018 at the age of 77. In the casino circles, he was nicknamed the ”Fat Man.” He was a secretive yet inexhaustive gambler, and this billionaire frequented the Aspinalls Club in Mayfair in the West end of London. Here he gambled thousands of pounds in a single visit which by the turn of the century increased to a million pounds or more on a single visit.

Lavish Gambling

Al-Zayat was a man who lived by the sword. He founded various companies including Mortimer off Shore Services Ltd. The Islamic Republic of Iran also commissioned him to assist in the purchase of a jet for the Iranian President. Al-Zayat commissioned the help of some top officials and bribed them with thousands in free casino chips so he could get a permit to sell plane parts to Iran, despite US trade sanctions. However, the permit was never awarded.

His lavish style of gambling was no secret, and he was considered a whale in the casino industry. Between 1994-2006 al Zayat wagered in the region of £91 million at Aspinalls and lost £23 million. He was also later sued by Aspinalls for an amount of £2 million plus costs due to gambling debts he incurred from Blackjack losses. He was court-ordered to pay the debt, which he appealed and won under the pretence he was given unlawful credit under the Gaming Act.

In 2015 al-Zayat was tried in absentia and convicted to life in prison for bribery in Greece. However, He never served this sentence as they were unable to track him down. Further to this, at the time of his death, he was also wanted for fraud in Cyprus.

Fouad al- Zayat was undoubtedly a giant of a man and left a blazing trail as his legacy.