Most Famous Canadian Gamblers of All Time
Despite battles over the legality of online casino gaming in Canada, it's still one of the most famous casino destinations on the planet – allowing gamblers to play in some awesome locations, such as one of the casinos overlooking Niagara Falls. And when it comes to famous gamblers through the decades, Canada also has its fair share of high-rollers. Furthermore, as we head towards 2018 – the list is becoming increasingly dominated by younger and younger people, all looking to etch their name into the pantheon of the most famous gamblers of all time.
Three Famous Canadian Gamblers Born Before 1981
That's right – given the influx of young players gaining impressive success both offline and in online casinos, if you're born before 1981 then you're officially in the ‘old school’ of gamblers. Fortunately, experience often pays off at the casino tables, which is why several of Canada's most famous gamblers fall into this category.
Born in 1980 and raised in Montreal, David Baazov just manages to squeeze into the list of 'old school' Canadian gambling professionals – albeit his gaming style is more business-centric than simply making cash as a player. Baazov has a special place in the hall of fame, given his instrumental role in making Canada a big player in the casino world.
As a young 'whizkid', Baazov developed a computerised poker table that enabled gamers to play without a traditional croupier. His invention led to the creation of the company, Amaya (since mid-2017 known as The Star Group), currently the leading online gaming company on the planet. It gave him the cash to purchase the online gaming sites, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. All in all, Baazov gambled to leave home at 16 when he rebelled against a strict religious upbringing – and it's paid off by making him Canada's most successful casino gambling entrepreneur.
Professional poker player Guy Lailberté has more than one claim to fame. In fact, his original success was gained by taking a gamble on the circus world – or more specifically, as the man behind the famous Cirque du Soleil. Born in 1959, Lailberté created the circus in 1984 and went on to make millions from his punt on the entertainment industry.
His entry into the professional gambling world came as a surprise, but he'd clearly honed his repertoire of skills, since he’s gone on to gain fame in the industry. Indeed, he won $696,220 at the Las Vegas Bellagio in April 2007, and went on to play in Poker After Dark season four. Strikingly, Lailberté’s gambling fame is mostly associated with his philanthropy, since he and his fellow players raised $5,333,328 during the 2012 World Series of Poker, which was donated to charitable causes.
Famous for her aggressive gambling success in online and land casinos, Evelyn Ng is known in casinos as one of Canada's most famous and popular female poker gamblers. Born in 1975, Ng has banked in excess of $375,000 since 2010, but started out hustling pool tables as a young woman. Her rise to prominence in the gambling world occurred after defeating a host of American poker gamers, such as Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman and Kathy Liebert.
Well known on social media, Ng has been sponsored by PokerStars and Team Bodog – finishing inside the top 250 (from nearly 7,000 players) in the WSOP Main Event in 2008. A regular on TV poker gambling shows, Ng is without a doubt one of Canada's leading female casino gamblers.
The New Generation of Famous Canadian Gamblers
The game is changing fast in the online gambling world – so it's no surprise to discover that some of Canada's most famous gamblers are on the young side:
Born in 1989, Michael McDonald has already become only the third player in Canada to bank a win in excess of $10,000,000. McDonald is reported to have won $300,000 playing online, before he was legally old enough to bet. He’s a top-ranked player in the world's leading live poker tournament and considered one of the world’s best online gamblers.
Gambling's rising star, Jaime Staples, was only born in 1991 and is an inspiration for any online gamer with dreams of making it big in the online gambling world. Staples started out in low-stakes casino and poker games and is developing real momentum as he builds a career as a gambling pro. It's estimated that online gambling has already won him over half a million dollars, while his social media status is making him an influencer who could be one of the new breed of players to make millions via marketing and sponsorship.
Along with beautiful offline casinos, Canada is forging ahead as a big online player, as more and more provinces legalise casino gaming. Expect to see a new wave of famous Canadian gamblers hitting the internet over the next decade.