Nicholas Andreas "Nick the Greek" Dandolos (often spelled Dandolas) was a professional gambler and high roller, known throughout his life for winning and losing large sums of money, especially in the casinos of Las Vegas in the 1950s and 60s.
Nick the Greek won and lost more money than any gambler in history. It is estimated that he has seen around $500 million (an unbelievable amount in those days) pass through his hands during a lifetime of gambling, at the end of which, he was broke and playing $5 limit games in Gardena, California.
The skilled poker player had gone from rags to riches more than 70 times (see quotes). He had also donated over $20 million ($500m in today's financial climate) to charity causes and education projects, lent more than $2 million to "friends" in need, sent 29 children of friends through college, paid hospital bills for 1,000 or more individuals, and set up non-interest loans enabling hundreds of people to launch their own businesses.
Poker legend Nick the Greek spent his entire life chasing the action, and despite his prolific gambling wins and loses, he was known as exceedingly honest and likeable. A man of "great personal integrity."
The "last of the gentlemen gamblers" died almost penniless on Christmas Day, December 25, 1966, but his legacy still lives on. He was one of the first two players (see lifetime) inducted as charter members of the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979.