First Born Films Options Rights to THE RUN
First Born Films has optioned the life rights of the greatest gambler of all time - the infamous Archie Karas, and has hired Frank Baldwin ("The Godmother" & "The Racketeer") to write an original screenplay for a feature titled " The Run".
The title "The Run" is a reference to the largest and longest documented winning streak in gambling history, simply known as The Run when Archie Karas turned $50 into more than $46 million in a three year span from 1992-1995
Archie Karas is known as the undisputed champion of gambling. "I've gambled more money than anyone in the history of the planet," Karas says. "What most gamblers make in their whole life, I gamble in one roll of the dice. Unless the casinos decide to raise their limits after I'm gone, I don't think anyone will ever gamble more than I have. I'm the biggest ever."
Karas also has the distinction of being amongst the biggest gambling losers of all time. He lost all of his earnings. He'd win; he'd lose. One day he'd be driving a Mercedes-Benz, the next he'd be sleeping in it. When he was broke, he'd borrow and start over.
"I've been a millionaire over 50 times and dead broke more than I can count. Probably 1,000 times in my life," Karas has said. "I have no formal education, my education came from living life - and I paid $46 million for my education."
After immigrating to America from Greece at 17 and working on a ship for $60 a month, he jumped ship in Portland, and got a job as a waiter in a Los Angeles restaurant. The restaurant was next door to a bowling alley. In that bowling alley were several pool tables. Around those pool tables were dozens of marks ready to be fleeced. A hustler was born.
Karas drove to Vegas with nothing more than his car and $50 in his wallet. His initial run lasted for six months where he turned $50 into $17 million playing poker and pool.
Karas went on a hot streak at Binion's Horseshoe winning over $46M in 3 years. Karas recognized a fellow poker player from the Los Angeles scene and convinced him to loan him $10,000, which Karas quickly turned into $30,000 playing $200/$400 limit Razz.
With a bankroll of $4 million, Karas gambled his bankroll up to $7 million after spending only three months in Vegas. Only the best players dared to challenge him, including Stu Ungar, Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson, and Johny Moss. Many top players would not play him simply because his stakes were too high. Karas sat at Binion's Horseshoe's poker table with 5 of his 7 million dollars in front of him waiting for any players willing to play for such stakes.
When the poker action for Karas dried up due to his reputation and stakes, he turned to dice rolling for $100,000 on one roll. He said that he could quickly win $3 million on dice, while it would take days to weeks with poker.
Transporting money eventually became a hassle for Karas as he was moving several millions of dollars in his car every day. He carried a gun with him at all times and would often have his brother and casino security guards escort him. At one point, Karas had won all of the Binion's casino's $5000 chips, which were the highest denomination of chips at the time. By the end of his winning streak he had won a fortune of a little over $46 million.
Karas may be sleeping in a mansion one day, his car another, or trying to buy in a high stakes poker game, but one thing remains to be consistent in Archie's life, "I'm a gambler and live an extreme lifestyle." "You've got to understand something money means nothing to me. I don't value it. I've had all the material things I could ever want. Everything. The things I want money can't buy; health, freedom, love, happiness. I don't care about money, so I have no fear. I don't care if I lose it all."
Daniela Cretu will produce under her First Born Films banner, which is also producing the upcoming feature "The Godmother" - a true story based on the life of notorious drug Queenpin Griselda Blanco, the first and only woman in history to head a major Colombian drug network.
Said Cretu, "Archie's story is one of the most amazing and original stories I've ever encountered. It would be a crime NOT to make this a movie. Nobody has ever done what Archie has done and we will probably never see it happen again."
Frank Baldwin is repped by WME and Leverage Management's Michael Garnett.