Nikos Dandolos was born in 1883 into a very wealthy family. He received an above-standard education at an evangelical school, where he got a degree in philosophy. Shortly after graduating from school, his parents sent him to the United States at the age of 18. He did not live poorly there at all. He received pocket money of 150 $ a week, which is about $ 4,000 in today’s money value.
After a while, however, he moved to Montreal, where his passion for gambling showed. First, Nick bet on horses, which he was incredibly good at at the time. In a few months, he managed to win half a million dollars. Sometimes at that time, the magic of dice and other card games also begins to appear. Nick packs his half a million and moves back to the USA, where his life’s journey begins.
Poker Years in Las Vegas
After arriving in the United States, Nick first heads to Chicago, where he meets professional gamblers for the first time. He still can’t keep up with them and is gradually losing all his wins from Canadian races. After some time, Nick began to study the probability of gambling and manages to master the most famous games of chance of the time. These are mainly craps and various types of poker.
In 1931, the state of Nevada legalized gambling, and Nick changed his permanent residence to Las Vegas. Thanks to his characteristic personality, betting style, and knowledge of advanced mathematics, Dandolos becomes a renowned player and a great attraction for all visitors to Las Vegas.
Probably the most famous was his poker mini-tournament with one of the most famous poker players, Johnny Moss, which is still considered the ancestor of the current World Series of Poker. The duel between the two legends took place at the Binnion Casino and Hotel and lasted for five months. After less than half a year, when Nick lost $ 2-4 million to Moss, he simply got up from the table and made one of the most famous poker announcements ever:
“Mr. Moss, I have to let you go“
The 5 Most Famous Legends about Nick
Dandolos became famous not only for his huge wins and losses but also mainly for his unique personality and unadulterated love of gambling, which he took as his personal worldview. It is not surprising that many fantastic stories still circulate about him.
It is quite well known that Nick the Greek accompanied the famous Albert Einstein around Las Vegas several times. According to some narratives, he introduced him to his friends in casinos as “Little Al from Princeton” because he believed that almost no one in Las Vegas would know his work.
The fact that Nick was a player with every inch is proven by a story with an unknown player from Texas. Nick was winning with him in the late morning about $ 1 million. However, Nick was tired and wanted to leave the table, which the player from Texas didn’t like very much. So Nick shuffled the cards and gave his opponent a choice. Everyone puts a million in the bank, and whoever draws a higher card takes the bank. However, the Texas player rejected the bet.
In addition to Nick’s Moss poker duel, there is also a well-known game with a certain Ray Ryan, in which Nick lost about half a million dollars. However, Nick later found out that Ray was cheating and naturally wanted his money back. He even collaborated with the mafia, and together they tried to kidnap Ray. However, Nick finally got his money legally in court.
It is generally believed that when Ian Fleming wrote one of the first books about the famous agent 007, he was based on this story. The book then got a film called Goldfinger.
10 Days of Faro
Another of the incredible stories claims that Nick once lasted to play his favorite game of Faro for 10 days without sleep. A proven record is held by a 17-year-old student who stayed up for 11 days in 1965. After this time, however, the experiment was terminated because there was a threat of total exhaustion of the organism.
Before Nick moved to Las Vegas, where gambling was legal, he had no choice but to play in illegal casinos, where he was arrested by police from time to time. This happened once in 1920. When he was on trial for illegal gambling, he supposedly pulled $350,000 from his belt and pay bail for himself and the other defendants.
The Fall of Nikos Dandol
Nick’s hardly believable story is almost identical to the story of his compatriot, also a very famous high roller, Archi Karas. Both famous players have earned and lost millions several times in their gambling careers. According to Nick himself, he managed to get to the top and fall to the bottom a total of 73 times.
Dandolos spends his last days at a hotel in Beverly Hills, playing low-stakes poker. Hence his last message, which went down in history. An opponent once asked him how it felt to play for millions of years ago and now he is betting $ 5 on a hand. To which the famous high roller replied, “Hey, at least it’s an action, isn’t it?“