Baccarat, a Game of Highs and Lows: Let’s Meet Some of Its Biggest Losers
It’s unsurprising that baccarat attracts some whales. It’s one of the best games to play for a high roller. They can wager hands of more than $300K at a time. It’s a fast-paced game with huge highs and lows – plenty to get the endorphins of compulsion riled up. What’s not to love?
Some of us like to climb tall buildings, while others like to cave dive, but the sensible amongst us like to get our thrills from something that’s much less likely to result in our untimely demise. Gambling gives you the highs and lows of the adrenaline sports, without having to go to that terrible effort of becoming fit!
The fact that many high rollers are attracted to the game of baccarat should give you give you some indication about the type of losses endured at the table. Let me give you a hint: they’re big!
Baccarat’s Biggest Losers
Today, we’re going to meet some of the biggest losers at the baccarat tables. Oddly enough (but not really very odd at all), they also happen to be the biggest winners, too. This just goes to prove our point about the highs and lows. It’s the roller coaster ride that these people love the most.
Baccarat Loser #1
Harry Kakavas is an interesting character, and is unquestionably one of the biggest gamblers in the world. In fact, his gambling got so far out of hand, that he’s no longer allowed to do it in some countries.
Kakavas is an Australian real estate developer, and there must be some sort of connection between real estate and gambling, because many of the world’s biggest gamblers work the industry. Maybe there’s something in the personality type that drives them to both tasks? I don’t know, but it definitely seems more than mere coincidence.
We mentioned earlier that the super-rich love to play baccarat because it allows them to gamble a lot of money in quick succession. To give you an idea, Kakavas was playing hands of more than $300,000! You won’t be surprised that he’s listed as one of the highest rollers ever.
In fact, during the course of 14 months, he gambled a massive $1.5b at the Crown Casino, Melbourne. That’s right, $1,500,000,000! In just over a year. Although, it’s impressive, I can’t help but feel a little bit sick at the type of world where that’s acceptable, but hey ho, that’s the way it is!
Kakavas was an absolute nutter on the baccarat tables. One particular session of note was the time he lost more than $2million within ½ an hour.
And yes, all references here are made in USD. These aren’t monopoly notes that were being gambled, but cold, hard cash, and a lot of it!
Baccarat Loser #2
Another high roller, and someone else widely considered a whale, was Akio Kashiwagi. He has one of the biggest recorded losses at the gambling tables (yep, not just the baccarat tables, but all gambling tables in general). He lost $10.5 million in a single session!
Akio Kashiwagi lived a crazy life – fast and full of excitement. According to some sources, he died at the hands of a Chinese gang. Whilst that isn’t pleasant, it’s definitely the stuff of adventures…not one I would like to take, but definitely one for a character in a book!
If you want to explore more casinos, check out our list of the top 20 UK online casinos!
Baccarat Loser #3
No big-loss baccarat article is complete without a mention of the late Kerry Packer. He’s one of the most famous gamblers around, but not only that, he was also super famous for being one of Australia’s richest men. In 2004, he had a net worth of more than $6b (USD).
His biggest loss was a whopping $17m in a 3-day Las Vegas baccarat bender! That sounds like a lot of money, but when you do the maths, it works out about 0.28% of his net worth. To put it into context, if you take home £30,000 a year, it’s the equivalent of you blowing £85 on a three-day casino binge; that’s nothing. In fact, to pull that off, you’d probably have to binge at the bingo parlours, because I can’t see how you can make £85 last 3 days at a casino, let alone a Las Vegas casino!
To us plebeians, these numbers are ridiculous, but you need to put it into the context of who these people are. As billionaires and the world’s elite, these figures are often but a drop in the ocean of their finances. Remember Scrooge McDuck diving into that pool of money? This is who they are. To translate it into something that we can grasp, they’re usually spending around 10% of their net worth.
Most of us can afford to lose 10% fairly comfortably. We generally don’t want to, but we can if we have to. On top of that, you have to realise who they are: they’re the problem gamblers of their monetary tier. These people frequently have gambling addictions. They make for a good story though!
COO & Baccarat Expert
Joseph Kerney is our COO and baccarat expert. Joseph has worked in the online gambling industry for over a decade as an affiliate before joining our team.