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Harry Kakavas

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

He lost over $1.5 billion at the Baccarat tables at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, making him one of the biggest losers in gambling history.

During the Early Years

Having grown up in Melbourne, Australia, Kakavas worked as an estate agent for Colliers Jardine. A gambling addiction began in 1993 when he began betting at sportsbooks. He mortgaged his parents’ house and borrowed money from his friends to fuel his gambling addiction. He served four months in jail for committing a $286,000 fraud for gambling funds in 1998.

In 2001, he moved to the Gold Coast, where he became a top estate agent.

Gambling addiction

The more properties he sold and the more money he made, the more he gambled. In Melbourne’s Crown Casino, he spent a great deal of time, and this is where he lost his $1.5billion betting $300 000 a hand on Baccarat. Although he occasionally won, he always had to put it back and finally began borrowing from friends, families, lawyers, and banks to fund his habit.

As a smooth talker, he convinced his friends that they were investing in his property deals. They had no idea that they were feeding his gambling habit.

Crown Casino

Despite being banned previously by Crown Casino, he threatened to sue them if they failed to lift the ban. They permitted him to play again a year later and made him feel like a billionaire by flying him to the Philippines in a private jet and presenting him with $50,000 as “lucky money.”

After losing all his money, Kakavas tried to sue Crown Casino for $35million, claiming they misled him and exploited his addiction.

He lost his case at the Victoria Supreme Court, which ruled that Australian courts would not give gamblers their money back.

The Kakvas team is back on the Gold Coast, selling houses on Hedges Avenue once more.

Tommy Hyland

He was born in 1956 in New Jersey, USA, as Thomas Hyland, aka Tommy Hyland.

Blackjack card counting is among his specialities, and he managed the oldest blackjack team in history, which began in 1979.

Growing up

Most of his childhood was spent in New Jersey, and it was here where his interest in gambling began.

He used to throw pennies at a wall with friends as a child and bet on which penny landed closest to the wall. Initially, the bets were just pennies, but they quickly increased to quarters. Tommy then began betting on other things like whether he would win a cricket match or a game of golf.

When he reached High School, he stopped placing his own wagers and instead began collecting them. One time he made a mistake in his calculations and lost $400, so he started focusing on getting a college scholarship to Wittenberg University in Ohio.

Blackjack Gambling Begins

After reading ‘Playing Blackjack as a Business by Lawrence Revere, he started playing Poker at the dorms of his friends as a college student.

After practising the methods in the book, Tommy and his friend went to the casino to test out their skills. They weren’t very successful until Tommy read Stanford Wong’s book on card counting. According to the book, working as a team is key to success, which is exactly what Tommy did. He assembled a Blackjack card-counting team.

It was a regular occurrence for these teams to make millions in a single night and lose small fortunes the next.

Afterwards, they created Blackjack computers, a method of cheating that led to Tommy and the team’s arrests many times during casinos raids.

Where is he now?

While Tommy no longer manages a Blackjack team, he can still be found in casinos today playing Blackjack, although not at the same level as before.

 

MIT Blackjack Team

Students from the well-known Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other top colleges made up the MIT Blackjack Team.

Bill Kaplan led the Group

After reading books about card counting, Bill Kaplan, a Harvard graduate with an interest in Blackjack, led the Group.

Although he was not the original founder of MIT’s Blackjack Team, he helped turn it into a profitable venture.

JP Massar

Massar (also known as Mr M ) attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a mathematics student. He became interested in gambling after reading the book ” How to Gamble if you must “. He and a few classmates formed the first MIT Blackjack team. While they had a few wins, they were not incredibly successful.

Teaming up

A restaurant was where JP Massar and Bill Kaplan first met, and JP Massar asked Bill Kaplan to join his team to observe its mistakes. Bill Kaplan joined them after spending a weekend in Las Vegas observing the mistakes the team made.

A formal card counting system and betting system were put in place to become a serious business. On 1 August 1980, the brand new MIT Blackjack team began operating.

For ten years, this team was successful, and investors received excellent returns. But eventually, Bill Kaplan’s management of the team was indefinitely suspended because he was banned from most casinos in Vegas.

A second Blackjack card-counting team, formed by JP Massar and Johnny Chang, was successful for two years, but they too were also forced to shut down as the casinos on the Las Vegas strip and other towns became aware of their tactics and banned them.

What are they doing now?

While JP Massar still plays professional poker online and offline, Bill Kaplan now operates a Real Estate business and runs an emailing solution company.

Top Factors to Draw in Casino Goers

There are land-based casinos, and there are online casinos. Both have their pros and cons, and players choose them for different reasons. However, online casinos are on the rise tremendously, and it is not just because of the pandemic factor but many more. The same we are going to talk here-

At Your Fingertips

This is the main reason why online casinos are hard to ignore by those who have a love for gambling. Everyone wants to access things at their fingertips, and it is not limited to online grocery shopping anymore. Making online casinos available online is the most addictive factor that makes players try them at least once.

Huge Bonuses and Spins

Who wants to miss the huge signup bonuses and numerous free spins? We all want to take advantage of the great benefits that come with online casinos. We consider this as a beneficial aspect of online casinos that are not given by physical ones. However, this is another trick used by casinos to attract more customers.

No Cash Needed

According to the studies, we tend to spend more when we don’t have to use cash and instead when we just have to swipe a card. In physical casinos, using cash is common. However, online casinos accept digital payments, and some of them detect payments automatically if you don’t turn this feature off.

Hiding Identity

In the real world, it is hard to stay anonymous for a long time. Our identity makes it difficult to visit a physical casino regularly. However, with online casinos, no one is going to know if you gamble. People who feel shameful about their gambling addiction also come and gamble online because they can use VPNs that hide their IP addresses.

Tricking Our Brains

Developers who build these casino sites utilize bright light and colors that make the overall page appealing. They use these factors to trick our brains that we feel curious and ready to explore.

All of these factors used in online casinos make us addicted to them without us even realizing it.

Final Words

Everything is harmful if consumed or used more than needed. One should know their limit whether gambling online or offline. You should first decide your budget, and once that limit gets over, you should not continue any further. This way, you can play some great casino games in your leisure time while not being addicted to them.