Biggest Casino Ballers

Phil Ivey
via / CC-BY-3.0

When it comes to casinos, there are generally two easily distinguished types of gamblers. The first is your average player who is there to have a good time in the hopes of winning big. However, they don’t particularly like to spend a lot.

The second type of gambler is often referred to by various names, from whales and sharks to the most common name: ballers. These players may win big, but they also have no problem spending big. They usually play tables and don’t worry about games with bonuses, perks, or anything else. They are simply there to win. 

Below (in no particular order), we’ve tracked down the biggest casino ballers’ profiles. These players have spent big and won even more extensively than you could imagine. So, read on to see just how much some players spend. 

Phil Ivey

If you’ve heard anything about big gamblers, chances are good you’ve heard of Phil Ivey. He made a name for himself by winning $9.6 million playing baccarat in Atlantic City. However, his incredible success at this game doesn’t mean that’s the only game he sticks to. 

He is known to make enormous wagers playing poker, blackjack, and roulette. In fact, he is famous for once placing a stake of around $200,000 on a game of roulette. No matter his success with other games, however, Phil always returned to his favorite game of baccarat.

His winning streak eventually slowed down after winning a prize of $11 million on baccarat in London. He was accused of cheating almost immediately after his win, and a legal battle ensued. Sadly, the opposition legal team won, and Phil couldn’t claim his winnings. Regardless, he remains one of the biggest casino ballers ever. 

Kerry Packer

Australian Kerry Packer can easily afford to be a baller when visiting a casino. This fact is thanks to his millionaire status developed from his work in media throughout the Land Down Under. And there is certainly no hiding that he is liberal with his wealth when on the casino floor. 

There are many stories of Kerry’s prowess in casinos. The largest includes a blackjack win at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Packer was placing eye-watering $250,000 bets on each round. This strategy worked for him, considering he walked away with an estimated $40 million in less than an hour. He is regarded as one of the highest-paid gamblers for a day’s work.  

Other popular stories surrounding this whale include a $25 million bet on a single spin of roulette (which he lost) and an alleged bet of $120 million on a simple toss of a coin. Luckily for Packer, he never has to worry about losing big because of his work. 

Mo Chan

Mo Chan is one of the most perplexing and unique ballers to ever appear on the casino scene. Although he suddenly appeared in Australian casinos without anybody knowing anything about him, it soon became apparent he had an affinity for baccarat and that he had cash to fund his addiction. 

In just a short time, Chan jumped from casino to casino while raking in the winnings from insane wagers. It is said that he was even brave enough to bet $500,000 per hand while playing. Because of these insane bets, he soon amassed winnings that hit the $10 million mark. 

Sadly, the casinos he visited soon caught onto his high-risk, high-reward tactics. Therefore, they decided to put wager limits on any game he chose to play. Once his opportunity to win big was stifled, he disappeared as suddenly as he had arrived. 

Archie Karas

Archie Karas makes it onto the list of biggest casino ballers because of his fantastic ability to bet and win big, even though he ultimately lost everything. He is known simply for the run, which refers to his winning streak across almost any casino he visited. 

The crazy better started his winning streak with a single $50 bill. He decided to wager this amount on a poker game and soon realized he had a knack for winning. Over a short period, Archie grew this modest amount to a staggering $40 million. It is commonly said that he never lost a hand, except to another gambler, Johnny Chan

Sadly, Archie’s lifestyle and betting habits had gotten out of hand at the height of his wealth. This recklessness eventually led him to lose every last cent he had accumulated. If that wasn’t enough, he was added to the Nevada Black Book, which restricts him from gambling anywhere in the state. 

The Sultan of Brunei

If having more money than you know what to do with it is an unfamiliar concept to you, it certainly isn’t to the Sultan of Brunei. He holds an estimated net worth of over $20 billion and can easily afford to bet big. He also has one of the world’s largest and most expensive car collections.

The Sultan is known to frequent exclusive casinos in London and Las Vegas and holds nothing back when it comes to betting big. In fact, it is well known that he has spent $1 million per day when visiting the casino in the past. 

While he wagers more than is believable, there is not much news about how much he wins from these insane bets. One thing that we are confident of is that even if he loses, he probably doesn’t worry about it that much. 


It is often said that the art of winning big also involves a degree of betting big. While some of the players above show that this is true, some show the opposite. This reality is because gambling is a game of chance and is all about the thrill of winning. As these men show, however, winning allows you to play more freely, generously, and without the stress of watching how much you spend on a bet. In fact, it lets you place bets that might have others questioning your very sanity.