It is always interesting to get a full picture of a gambling legend’s life. Often times, all we hear about is how much money they won by the end of their “career”. Here is a look at the life of Alvin Thomas, both before and after he became a gambling celebrity.
Alvin Thomas was best known by another name, due to his gambling exploits: “Titanic Thompson”. Anyone who came up against him at a gambling table knows how easy it was for him to sink his opponents. During the latter part of the 20th century, he was one of the most prominent names associated with gambling. He gambled on everything and seemed to always win. Whether it was golf, snooker, poker, or darts, he always found success.
He was not always the cleanest gambler, with his friends revealing that he would bend the rules as much as possible. More details have been revealed in a recent biography written about his life.
Here are some words that were used to describe Alvin: “He was a little dead in the eyes. Many people mistook this for nonchalance, but he was simply focused on the task at hand. That ruthless and single minded vision to win is the reason he was such a successful gambler. Winning is the only thing that brought a sparkle to his eyes.”
He was known for his eccentricity and tricks. One such trick was played on Al Capone. He bet Capone that he could throw a lemon all the way to the top of a building – for $500. Capone took the best, thinking it was easy money, but ended up losing. Alvin had thought of this bet the night before, filling up the lemon with a heavy that made it easier to throw.
Titanic Thompson was such a phenomenon that a famous writer, Damon Runyon, even created a crime thriller story that featured a character heavily based on Alvin’s personality. For a man who started with nothing, his life was an incredible success story.
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