Poker Legend – “Nick the Greek” Dandolos

Poker legend “Nick the Greek” Dandolos was famous for making
huge bets in the casinos of Las Vegas
in the 1950s and 60s, as well as for winning and losing vast sums of money at a

Dandolos, who was born on the Greek island of Crete in 1883,
left for the USA at 18 and soon turned to professional gambling – first at the
horsetrack in Montreal and later on the Las Vegas high-stakes poker scene.

Nick the Greek Dandolos died on December 25, 1966 at the age
of 83 and was inducted as a charter member of the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979.

World Series of Poker

In 1951, Benny
arranged for a high-stakes heads-up game to be played between Nick
the Greek and Johnny Moss to
attract visitors to the Binion Horseshoe Casino.

Many people credit this legendary five-month poker marathon
– in which Dandolos and Moss played just about every single variation of the
game of poker that existed back then – as the initial inspiration for the World Series of Poker, which Binion
would eventually set up in 1970.

Nick Dandolos Trivia

Various estimates claim that Nick the Greek Dandolos won and
lost over $500 million over the course of his life!

The legend himself stated that he had gone from rags to
riches more than 70 times, while he donated over $20 million – an unbelievable
amount in those days; equivalent to roughly $400 million in 2004 – to education
and charity during his lifetime.