Harry Kakavas

Harry Kakavas  Harry Kakavas was born in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970s and moved to the Gold Coast in 2001.

He was one of the Biggest Losers in gambling history as he lost over $1.5 billion at the Baccarat tables at Melbournes Crown Casino. This was over 14 months from June 2005 to August 2006.

The Early Years

Kakavas grew up in Melbourne Australia and worked as an Estate agent for Colliers Jardine. He began betting at sportsbooks in 1993, which led to a gambling addiction. To fuel his gambling addiction, he had his parents mortgage their house and borrowed money from his friends. In 1998 he served four months in jail for a $286,000 fraud that he committed for gambling funds.

He moved to the Gold Coast in 2001 where he became one of the Gold Coast’s Top Estate Agents. Moreover, by selling expensive properties on the prestigious Hedges Avenue.

His Gambling Addiction

His gambling intensified with the more properties he sold and the more money he made. He became a regular at The Crown Casino in Melbourne, and this is where he lost the $1.5billion betting $300 000 a hand on Baccarat. There were times that he won, but he always landed up putting it back and finally started borrowing from friends, families, lawyers and banks to fund his habit.

He was a smooth talker, and his friends believed they were investing in his property deals. They had no idea they were feeding his gambling habit.

The Crown Casino Court Case

Despite being banned previously by the Crown Casino, he threatened to sue them if they didn’t uplift the ban. They subsequently allowed him to play again and wined and dined him by flying him on holidays to the Philippines in private jets and handing him $50 000 in cash as “lucky money.”

Kakavas eventually lost all his money and tried to sue the Crown Casino for $35million, stating that they knew he was a compulsive gambler and exploited his addiction.

He lost his case at the Victoria Supreme court who ruled Australian Courts would not give gamblers their money back.

Where is he now?

Kakavas is back on the Gold Coast selling properties on Hedges Avenue again.

Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson  Doyle F Brunson aka Texas Dolly was born in Longworth, Fisher County, Texas on August 10 1933. He is a retired Poker player that had a career spanning 50 years.

Doyle was one of the first poker players to win $1 million in poker tournaments and won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) twice. He has also written numerous books about Poker and is an inductee in the Poker Hall of Fame.

The Early Years

Brunson was a keen basketball player and always dreamt of playing in the NBA. Unfortunately, a knee injury dashed his dreams of becoming a Professional basketball player, so he obtained a Bachelors and master’s degree in administrative education.

While studying, Brunson began playing five-card-draw Poker and got quite good at it.

When he graduated, he worked as a Salesman selling business machines. On his first day, he played a game of seven-card-stud Poker and won one months worth of salary. Soon after this, he left the Company and became a Professional Poker player.

Brunson’s Poker Career

Brunson and a friend called Dwayne Hamilton started playing Poker at various illegal venues in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, that were typically run by criminals who were members of organized crime syndicates.

Hamilton eventually moved back to Fort Worth, but Brunson continued to gamble and ultimately moved to Las Vegas where he won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets during his career.

Keeping it in the Family

His son Todd is also a Professional Poker Player, and in 2005 Doyle and Todd became the first Father and Son to win World Series of Poker bracelets. His daughter Pamela also played in the 2007 and 2009 WSOP and outlasted her father and brother.

Where is he now?

On June 11 2018, Doyle Brunson announced that he would be retiring that Summer to spend more time with his wife, who was sick.

Martin Jacobson

Martin Jacobson  Martin Jacobson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on the 30 June 1987.

He is a Professional Swedish Poker player who won the World Series of Poker main event for $10 Million in 2014.

The Early Years

Jacobson always wanted to be a Chef and his dream was to move to Barcelona and work for a 3 Michelin Star restaurant and ultimately own his own restaurant one day.

He graduated from Culinary school and then did 12 months in the Royal Swedish navy which was mandatory in Sweden at the time.

His first introduction to Poker was when he was 18 years old and the world was going through the poker boom. He initially started playing freeroll tournaments online and poker games at home with friends.

Playing Poker

He enjoyed poker immensely and before long, he was playing small stakes cash games that soon led to single table tournaments.

At this stage his plan to move to Barcelona did not materialize when his job offer fell through. This is when he started playing poker more seriously.

WSOP and EPT Tournaments

In 2008 Jacobson won his first qualifier for the Word Series of Poker main event held in Las Vegas.
he had a choice to make though, because the prize was either $12 000 or the chance to play at the WSOP.

He chose to play at the WSOP and flew to Vegas. He was, however, eliminated in the third hand. A few weeks later he qualified for an event in the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Bucharest. He came third in this event and won €280 000.

He got his first live tournament win in October 2013 at the EPT in London.

In 2014 Martin made it to the final table of the WSOP main event, and landed up winning
$10 000 000.

Where is he now?

Martin is now living in London where he continues to play poker online, but he still has a passion for food and is planning on opening a healthy fast-food franchise.

Tommy Carmichael

Tommy Carmichael  Tommy Glenn Carmichael was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the 7 May 1950.

Carmichael was the mastermind of a slot machine group that cheated millions of dollars from casinos worldwide.

The Early Years

In 1980 Carmichael worked as a technician for a television repair shop called Ace TV and Sales when he was approached by a friend of his named Ray Ming.

The friend showed him a slot machine cheating tool called a top-bottom joint. It was a simple piece of metal and string which went into the corner of the machine next to the circuit board and sent low -wattage electricity to hotwire the hopper where the coins are kept.

This device intrigued Carmichael, so he immediately moved to Las Vegas to test it out.

Las Vegas

He first tested it out on a five-cent machine at one of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip and won $35 worth of nickels. He proceeded to use the tool on many other slot machines and won a significant amount of money.

However, the casinos got suspicious, and when he was eating lunch at Denny’s restaurant, police officers burst in, searched his car and found the cheating tool. He was sentenced to five years in jail but only served two years.

Further Cheating Devices invented

Upon his release from jail, he invented further more sophisticated cheating devices and went on to defraud casinos of thousands of dollars.

His devices included the ‘slider’, or ‘monkey paw’, which could be inserted into the payout chute of a slot machine which tripped the microswitch to result in an illegal release of coins.

He also invented the ‘light wand’, which ‘blinded’ the payout sensor, again causing a release of coins. The casinos once again caught him, and he got more jail time.

Where is he now?

Upon Carmichael’s release, he spent his time making an anti-cheating device called “The Protector” which he was hoping would pardon him for his past mistakes. He died in Oklahoma on the 1 February 2019.