Retiree re-invents himself as professional blackjack gambler

Marc Acito, writing about blackjack
Marc Acito, writing about blackjack

In Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would be King, a British soldier named Daniel Dravot schemes to become king of a remote area of Afghanistan. Today, a 63-year-old retired real estate developer calling himself Daniel Dravot also schemes to become king -- of the blackjack table.

In what is surely the most unlikely of "encore careers," Dravot works as a professional gambler.

For 33 years Dravot often gambled in real estate development to keep his 250 employees at work. "There were times I had to remortgage my house on a Thursday to make payroll," he says. But he only set foot in a casino a handful of times.