The Poker Joker Forum >> Legends of Gambling >> Message started by: Five Fingers on 03/11/04 at 20:58:34
Title: Hall of Fame: Kerry Packer
Post by: Five Fingers on 03/11/04 at 20:58:34
Sir Frank Packer established the media empire in 1933, with Womens Weekly, the magazine was hugely successful and it allowed Sir Frank to expand his business beginning with newspapers like Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
Kerry finished school when he was 19 and went to work for his father's newspapers. He took over the business when Sir Frank died in 1974.
His greatest love is polo and he spends three months of every year in England playing the game and millions of dollars on horses, stables and players for his own team.
Mr Packer's legendary status as a high stakes gambler came to the fore when he took Las Vegas' MGM Grand for $26 million playing blackjack for $200,000 a hand, six hands at a time. It was this big hit and run style that actually got him barred from stuffy Vegas joints because they just couldn't take the action.
Mr Packer was also reported to have suffered the biggest losses ever sustained in the UK in September 1999, dropping £11m ($16.5m) at Crockfords casino in London. However at that time such sums were only a tiny fraction of the wealth of the owner of Australia's Nine television network, estimated to be around $8bn.
More $20 million losses have been reported but there are also tales of incredible generosity, including a $100,000 tip to dealers and waitresses and loans to fellow gamblers whose repayment he refuses to accept.
Legend also has it that Mr Packer's grandfather put the family on the road to riches by buying a passage from Tasmania to the mainland on the proceeds of a bet on a horse. He found his 10 shilling stake lying in the street
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