You can be the most well-respected figure in literature, politics or arts with a crystal clear reputation at day. However, when the night lies down quietly on the land, your adventurous, badass, and enterprising alter-ego shows up, and boredom runs away scared. Who said that you couldn’t be a genius at both painting or politics and gambling? Oh, these famous historical personalities have the proof up their sleeves that everything’s possible. Although, they didn’t become the best gamblers in history in any sense. If the only famous gambler you know is Archie Karas, prepare for an eye-opening revelation. These are the people that you admired so much, and they admired gambling being captivated by card suit symbolism and casino-related mystery. Also so much! They aren’t recognized as the most successful gamblers of all time – what they do represent is the phenomenon of the brightest minds in history having a weak spot for taking risks.
We know Claude Monet as an ingenious innovator of French art. Monet was the founder of a new art movement called Impressionism after one of his paintings. He had no idea that he would get so far with his little painting hobby. Moreover, guess what helped him to become one of the most famous artists in the world? That’s right, gambling! Once, he won almost 15 grand in dollars playing the French lottery and that allowed him to quit his job and explore his painting talent. Furthermore, the whole world is extremely thankful for gambling for such a treasured artistic gift.
You know how authors often write stories based on their personal experience? Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote a novel titled “The Gambler” based on his particular experiences. Do you see where we’re going with this? Even though a literary creation itself had a negative vibe, the Russian genius was rather fond of gambling, which served as a source of inspiration to him. Well, in a way. Dostoevsky had gambling debts and had to write his novels faster to pay them off.
The man got himself the title of the best gambler in England. However, he wasn’t the luckiest one because the king’s debts were piling up exponentially. To his credit, he never flashed his royal status during games (and he’s tried them all, seriously, he explored all gambling opportunities that existed in England and beyond). Henry the VIII was an utterly chill monarch and used to play with commoners. On the other hand, he was pouring people’s money down the drain, so he wasn’t the most well-liked royal.
Let’s gather a royal club here because we’ve got yet another English king who was a big fan of gambling. However, Charles II was much luckier in this business because apart from the power of Mommy Fortuna, he used cold-blooded calculations and well-thought-out tactics of gaming. This English monarch was leading a dream lifestyle for every modern rapper. He was a womanizer who was spreading cash around and got himself the nickname the “Merrie Monarch.”
You aren’t fed up with adventurous British risk-takers, are you? So here comes another one. John Montagu was a British Statesman at the end of the 18th century. The man was a passionate and dedicated gambler, and that’s what made him so famous. Well, partly. During long gaming sessions, he demanded a slice of meat between two pieces of bread. What can be a better snack during a game, right? Oh, we’ve almost forgotten to mention that John Montagu had a title of the 4th Earl of Sandwich. So put two and two now. That’s right; the man invented the sandwich!
Let’s have one more look at top gamblers among Royals because they aren’t saints as they’re usually described as being. So then, maybe only one more, although it will be the last one, we promise. Louis XIV was not just found of gambling, but he also brought it to a brand new level and turned it into an expensive hobby of the whole French aristocracy. He essentially introduced the “you can only be cool if you’re a gambler” rule and this put Versailles into a gaming frenzy.
This lady is one of the most controversial, mysterious, and charming women in French history. She’s often criticized for her infamous phrase “Let them eat cake” which she never actually said. At the same time, practically nobody knows about her gambling addiction. Moreover, who would you think taught her to gamble; her mother! She wanted to show the future queen how to earn her own money.
Yeah, nobody honestly doubted that this legendary man would show up on the list. What else can you expect from a guy whose profession was an adventurer? In modern times, his reputation may not give a vibe of a decent and well-respected man. However, back in the day, he was a real superstar. Casanova rose to gambling fame at the age of 21, and he was, in fact, a very responsible young man. He dropped this activity because he realized that he was losing control while winning. Besides yeah, he was, indeed, a womanizer in case you were wondering.
“The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as the greatest virtues.” This quote is a wise thought to live by and, seemingly, Descartes was talking about himself. Why? Because as a future ingenious French philosopher he was sure that a gambling career would be much better than the military and law school. He eventually turned to philosophy but never forgot about gambling. This adventurous activity accompanied René Descartes throughout his life.
Let’s not get far away from French philosophers. How do you like this idea? These guys just knew what the best and most exciting way to live your life is, and gambling was an essential part of it. Well, it’s hard to disagree. Michel de Montaigne said that games taught him a lot and helped to form a decent outlook. He learned that there are many things that we can’t control and people have to make their peace with it. His philosophical convictions were greatly influenced by his gambling experience so, we can undoubtedly say that games raised the father of Skepticism.
How about we take a trip to the USA and see what great historical figures are representing the art of gambling there? You’d think that American presidents are supposed to have an unstained reputation and gaming is a big no-no for the White House figures. The 32nd POTUS Franklin D. Roosevelt enjoyed playing poker at the official presidential residence with his associates a couple of times per week. He even called a new political program that was supposed to get Mama America out from the crisis “New Deal.” You can see that this man was very enthusiastic about his hobby.
The successor of Franklin D. Roosevelt seems to have borrowed the habit of the 32nd President, but he breathed a brand new life into gambling because he used it as a diplomatic tool. Harry Truman was playing poker with Winston Churchill on the prime-minister’s way to deliver a famous speech about the “Iron Curtain.” Mr. Truman was also a big fan of poker tournaments at the White House. However, unlike some other American presidents who never put vast sums of money at stake, Harry Truman was okay with losing hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
Many American presidents claimed that poker helped them to build a robust social network, as is the case with Richard Nixon, but we’re not going to focus on that. It’s important but boring. So did you know that Richard Nixon won a luxurious sports car from none-other than Ronald Reagan playing poker? It’s clear that this POTUS was very determined and used to say that a man who isn’t good at poker can’t become a good president. Do you agree with this statement?
If you have a feeling that you’ve heard this name before, let us help you. How about the Cardan shaft? Rings a bell? It’s a mechanical component that you can often spot in vehicles.
Moreover, it was invented by Gerolamo Cardano in, get this, 16th century! Oh, and, of course, he was a gambler as well. He wrote “The Book on a Game of Chance” because he was an experienced pro in this appealing and even a bit dramatic business.
This breathtakingly talented American poet has many creations dedicated to gambling, and as we’ve already mentioned, writers often turn to their life experience while working on a particular literary piece. Bukowski found a special thrill in gambling, and he’s saying through his works that this type of activity is essential in the modern world when people are playing with chances on a daily basis. There is Charles’ quote that says it all: “If you don’t gamble, you’ll never win.” It’s open to interpretation so think about it.
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