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The World’s Greatest Gamblers: Stanley Tomchin

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Finding sustainable success in the gambling industry requires dedication and unrelenting confidence. With persistence and a sound strategy, some players have been able to rise to the challenge and take down the house on the way to big winnings, and, among this group, a few special players have been able to successfully transition these results into a career built upon leveraging slim statistical advantages.

Over time, these unique gamblers were able to build a legacy for consistently strong play when the pressure was at its highest. These players are among the world’s greatest gamblers, and they are the focus of this multi-part series showing that, regardless of the expression, sometimes the house doesn’t win. The next gambler to claim a spot on this exclusive list is Stanley Tomchin.


Raised in Long Island, New York, Tomchin developed an interest in poker at an early age, but his skills weren’t isolated to a single game. At age 13, he was noted as a master of chess. Additionally, he represented the United States in the international bridge Olympiad and played backgammon around the globe. According to his website, Tomchin estimates that he is ‘possibly the world’s best backgammon player.’ Eventually, this gaming success led him to Las Vegas, where he stayed at the Jockey Club and attained the status of the most potent professional game player in the world. After years atop the gambling scene, Tomchin eventually moved to California and began devoting his life to charity work.

Despite his willingness to leave the gambling industry behind, Tomchin’s past came back into light in 2012 when multiple charges were made against him by the Queen’s County District Attorney’s Office in New York, including more than 55 felony counts with penalties of up to 25 years in prison. According to these charges, Tomchin was responsible for directing the actions of agents who assisted gamblers with placing illegal wagers on the internet. Just under two years later, the case was resolved when Tomchin agreed to a plea deal resulting in a class B misdemeanor. Additionally, more than $7.6 million in property and cash were seized as part of the 18-month investigation.


With his past now firmly behind him, the former gambling master is once again focused on meeting the needs of the less fortunate. In particular, he created a fund to address the needs of the Las Vegas community, which is meant to improve health, education, arts and quality of life throughout the State of Nevada. Tomchin’s renewed focus on his philanthropic work is sure to have immense benefits for the people who need them most.

With another spot on the exclusive list of the world’s greatest gamblers now filled, the list grows one step closer to completion. So, who will follow one of the world’s best backgammon players on the list of the world’s greatest gamblers? Which games will he or she have used to achieve the honor? There’s only one way to find out! Check back next time, as we continue to profile some of the world’s greatest gamblers.

Andy Cunoi

Andy is a common guy with an uncommon passion for blackjack. Currently he lives in San Francisco, California. Andy enjoys writing about gambling. Loves a simple life and his writing reflects that. He also enjoys music festivals a lot.