4 Legendary Gamblers throughout History

Throughout the years, there have been a handful of gamblers that have captured the attention of the masses and earned their rightful place as gambling legends in the annals of world history.

Some have gained notoriety through their cheating exploits while others will go down as some of the most skilled and technically proficient players of all time.

If you think this elite group of gamblers is simply made up of high-rollers and high-stakes poker professionals, you’re sorely mistaken. You might be interested to know that some of the world’s most legendary gamblers include mathematicians, novelists, philosophers and even British gentry.

1. The French Philosopher – René Descartes

René Descartes French Philosopher Who Gambled

Often referred to as the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, René Descartes was a 17th century French philosopher, scientist and mathematician. Born in 1596 in Tourrine, France, Descartes went on to study law and join the defence force where he undertook a study in military engineering.

Most associate Descartes with his most famous quote, “I think, therefore I am” and not his love affair with gambling. Although it is not known what gambling games he specifically enjoyed, tales of his raucous partying, salacious love affairs and gambling exploits are well documented.

2. The Russian Novelist – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky the Russian Novelist who gambled

Crime and Punishment is one of the most famous and influential novels in world literature. Its author, Russian born Fyodor Dostoevsky, is accredited with penning one of the best novels ever written.

What you might not know is that Dostoevsky wrote the last chapters of this extraordinary tale in a matter of days so that he could secure an advance from his publisher in order to settle his outstanding gambling debts.

This celebrated writer battled with a gambling addiction to games of chance, particularly roulette. He perpetually suffered great losses throughout the years which left him bankrupt several times.

Ironically, his hardships spurred on the subject matter for his second most famous book aptly titled The Gambler, which explored the psychology of addiction and his own experiences of gambling.

3. The Canadian Wunderkind – Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu Canadian gambler

Canadians love to gamble, and with online and Canadian mobile casinos at their disposal, it’s much easier to get into the game. However, it takes true talent to top the likes of the Wunderkind.

Born in 1974 in Toronto Ontario, Canada, Daniel Negreanu holds the current record for the highest earning professional poker tournament player, racking up over $32 million in winnings.

He discovered his affinity for gambling and hustling in the pool halls of Toronto during his formative years where he picked up his now famous moniker KidPoker, before settling in Las Vegas.  He has won six World Series Of Poker championship bracelets and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014.

4. The British Statesman Who Invented the Sandwich – 4th Earl of Sandwich

4th Earl of Sandwich WHo gambled

John Montague was the 4th Earl of Sandwich who lived during 18th century Britain. As a British naval leader who joined parliament, he was well known for his interest in naval affairs and politics, as well as his love for gambling.

He is said to have invented the sandwich during a particularly long and intense gambling session, where he ordered meat to be brought to him between two slices of bread so that he could eat while he continued to play uninterrupted.