Gambling Legend Archie Karas Gets Probation For Cheating San Diego Casino

Blackjack_boardLegendary gambler Anargyros Karabourniotis, better-known as Archie Karas, was sentenced last week to three years probation for cheating a San Diego County casino out of $6,000 at the blackjack table.

Karabourniotis pleaded guilty to one count of burglary for entering a casino with the intent to cheat. The 63-year-old was caught illegally marking cards by security cameras during a blackjack session at the Barona Casino last year. The modifications to the cards allowed him to decipher their values before being dealt, giving him an advantage over the dealer.

As restitution to the casino, El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein ordered Karabourniotis to pay $6,800.

A history of arrests

This isn’t the first time that the Greek immigrant has gotten into trouble with the law for cheating at casinos: Karabourniotis was also arrested in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2007 in Nevada and charged with similar offenses. His most recent arrest, however, is the first time that he’s seen jail time, spending 73 days locked up before posting bail.

Winning streak of a lifetime

Karabourniotis is a well-known figure in gambling circles and once turned $50 into $40 million after going on an epic hot streak over a three-year period. Unfortunately, his luck didn’t last and the high-stakes gambler soon lost all of his winnings.

At the poker tables

Karabourniotis is also an avid poker player with several World Series of Poker cashes, but has never achieved superstar status in the industry. His biggest live score came in the 2009 WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw event where he took home $53,783 for fifth place. In total, he has accumulated a little over $200,000 in recorded tournament winnings.

“I consider myself the King of gamblers,” he told ESPN. “I made it, I lost it and like Frank Sinatra says, I stood tall and I took the punches and I did it my way.” Speaking later to Cigar Aficionado magazine, the 63-year-old gave the publication his thoughts on his massive win/lose streak. “Money means nothing to me, I don’t value it,” he said. “I’ve had all the material things I could ever want. Everything. The thing I want money can’t buy: health, freedom, love, happiness.”

But if the highroller continues to try and cheat casinos, he’ll definitely be putting his freedom at risk, at the very least.