Who likes losing? Certainly not us, but everyone has experienced it at some point in their gambling careers. However, let’s just say that we are very glad that we are not these people who are some of the biggest losers when it comes to playing blackjack. These amounts lost will make your eyes water and you will definitely feel for the people who incurred them.
MIT Blackjack Team
Of course, there are those that win big. Examples include the MIT Blackjack Team who won an estimated $100 million from card counting in games of blackjack. Or we could also look up to Don Johnson who managed to completely enthrall the gambling world when he won a total of $15 million over a period of only six months. He is now banned from every casino in Atlantic City, but maybe he has won more in disguise. We will never know.
Kerry Packer was an Australian billionaire, who was referred to as the greatest gambler. However, he once lost $20 million in just three weeks. This occurred at the Bellagio. However, this is not actually the biggest loss in three weeks in gambling history. That title is owned by Archie Karas, who lost $40 million over three weeks spent playing craps and poker.
However, Kerry Packer was not completely unlucky when it came to gambling. He did actually manage to have a few runs where he actually was on a winning streak. Some of his greatest included him winning millions in one night in a blackjack game. On the other hand, Packer was also known to lose a million dollars every single day during his bad runs on blackjack. The strategy that he used most regularly was placing a $300,000 bet on an individual hand. Of course, this amount of money meant practically nothing to Packer who had generated a $6.5 billion fortune. His gambling and unlucky streaks barely made a dent in his bankroll and no matter what losses he incurred, he did not leave the table and took his losses quite well. He was very feared amongst casino managers due to the fact that even though he had some infamous losing streaks, he was also known to put casinos out of business.
Can you imagine having $127 million? Now imagine losing it in a year. That’s what blackjack player, Terry Watanabe, managed to achieve. He is arguably the biggest blackjack loser ever. Watanabe made his fortune by selling his family’s business. Then began the downfall into an addiction to gambling, which was wrongly encouraged by casino managers.
2007 was the year that it all came to a head when he lost the $127 million placing bets whilst intoxicated. At one point, he managed to lose $5 million in one day. However, Watanabe actually sued the casinos that he once frequented, claiming that they often plied him to continue gambling by offering him alcohol and painkillers. This allegation turned the story of someone who was simply unskilled at blackjack into a story of exploitation by the casino.
However, this is no loss overall compared to Omar Siddiqui’s losses from 1999 until 2009, which amounted to around $167 million. All of which was lost to Las Vegas casinos, who would treat him like royalty for him to play blackjack (badly) at their casino. However, this money was actually illegal. Siddiqui was actually getting kickbacks from Fry Electronics wholesale providers. This is the money that he blew in Las Vegas. Eventually, it was not his skill, or lack thereof, which ensured his downfall. The Internal Revenue Service caught wind of his arrangement with the wholesalers. He has multiple fraud charges as well as facing multiple casinos demanding that his debts of $33 million to them be paid.
As ever, Blackjack Boom encourages the importance of responsible gambling whenever you are wagering. You must always monitor your own gambling or ensure that someone else does so for you. As a way of combatting losses, we would recommend that you read our responsible gambling page for more tips on how to stay safe.