His full name was Nicholas Andrea Dandolos, although he was better known as “Nick the Greek” in the world of gaming.
In the year 1883, Nick Dandalos was born on the island of Crete. It is believed that throughout the course of his life, he earned and lost a total of $500 million.
But that is not a true statement; as he passed away more than half a century ago, it is only fair to take inflation into account and convert that amount into dollars as they are today:
He finished his life having gained and lost the equivalent of $15 billion in today’s money.
He rose from poverty to wealth and then fell back into poverty countless of times during his life.
He performed all of this while also operating as an independent gambler. He was never staked by anybody at any time. If there was a marker, he always paid it, and he was prompt with his payments as well.
This is the narrative of Nick Dandalos.
A Young Man’s Reflection on His Life as a Gambler
Nick Dandalos came from a wealthy family. His father was in the rug business. His godfather had a shipbuilding business. He was born into a wealthy family and went on to receive a degree in philosophy from the Greek Evangelical College after living a privileged upbringing. Although he went to the United States when he was just 18 years old, in contrast to the majority of immigrants, he brought with him more than just the clothing that he wore.
It was his grandpa who provided him with a weekly stipend of $150. That doesn’t seem like much today, but back in 1901, it was a significant amount of money. Taking into account the effects of inflation, it amounts to a weekly wage of $4000 in today’s currency.
It makes no difference to us where you call home. It is possible to maintain one’s standard of living on $4000 a week, which is ideal for someone who is 18 years old.
At the turn of the century, it was common practice for wealthy families to sponsor the education of their sons by providing them with a stipend while they studied in the United States. The intention was to provide him an opportunity to further his studies.
Nick the Greek did, in fact, get one, but his family was hoping for something a little bit different.
Although Dandolos began his life in the United States in Chicago, he moved to Montreal quite quickly after arriving in the country.
What was he doing in that place?
After he became friends with a jockey called Phil Musgrave, he began betting on horses. Because of his sharp intellect and extensive education, it didn’t take him long to obtain a solid understanding of probability and figure out how to exploit them to his advantage.
He ended the year with more than $500,000 in winnings from horse racing. That was a really large sum back then. He was capable of doing everything he set his mind to.
What was it that Nick the Greek desired to accomplish?
It would seem that his goal was to go to Chicago in order to blow his riches gambling on dice and cards.
However, he became rather skilled at such games. In a casino, whether he was playing cards or dice, he drew a crowd whenever he did so. His personality was undoubtedly beneficial. And during a session, he often won or lost a total of $100,000.
In point of fact, he gambled away $1.6 million in New York City while playing craps. That round of craps had been going on for a continuous twelve days. It’s very possible that this is the worst defeat in the game’s whole history.
A Look at Nick the Greek’s Pro Poker Career
Anecdotes that have been told to us concerning Nick “the Greek’s” career as a poker player are detailed in the following section.
A poker player is moved to tears by Nick the Greek.
Once, Nick Dandalos spent $20,000 to become a participant in a stud poker game. After putting in 7 hours of effort, he ended up with more than $500,000 in winnings. The highest pot that was won during that session was for $150,000, and it was won by him when his opponent had a full house consisting of aces and jacks and he had four of a kind (10s).
However, it is not the most engaging aspect of the narrative at all. Those are only the hands and the numerals.
Throughout the whole of the competition, the other player had been impolite and nasty to Dandalos.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Dandalos issued him a challenge to cut the cards once for the sum of $200,000.
The other player came out on bottom. He became unsteady in his seat and began sobbing loudly.
It would seem that being impolite to one of the best gamblers in the world is not a profitable strategy.