Famous Mobster Ivy Miller’s Gambling Den Selling for $12m

  • The site hosted high-stakes poker games involving notorious Dallas gangsters in the '40s and '50s
  • The games were so dangerous that a lot of poker players would intentionally stay away
  • This is the first time in over 50 years that the 1,369-acre estate is up for sale
poker chips, cards, table and cigarette smoke
Selling for close to $12m, Ivy Miller’s Fincastle Estate famously played host to high-stakes poker games among notorious mobsters in the 40s and 50s. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Iconic underground gambling haunt

Fincastle Estate, the site of some of the biggest underground poker cash games in Texas, is now up for sale, with an asking price of $11.95m.

a reputation for hosting many high-stakes games involving notorious gangsters

The estate housing famous Texas mobster Ivy Miller’s gambling den is close to Athens, and about a 90-minute drive to the south of Dallas. Now simply a 1,369-acre piece of land with a large house on the site, Fincastle had a reputation for hosting many high-stakes games involving notorious gangsters during the 1940s and 1950s.

The listing agent for the property sale says the house “was built for the secret gambling society of Dallas”.

A reputation for danger

Ivy Miller, who originally built the house on Fincastle Estate, was a close friend of Benny Binion, one of the last Vegas casino owners to have significant organized crime links. 

Binion was the head of the crime scene in Dallas before leaving Texas for Las Vegas in 1946. He went on to open the Horseshoe Casino in 1951 and found the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Both Miller and Binion would host the poker games on Fincastle Estate. The potential for violence was always palpable, with the meanest and toughest men in the state gathering under the same roof to play poker. It was such a dangerous game that many leading poker players would stay away from the establishment. Among these was Doyle Brunson, the Texas native who has ten World Series of Poker bracelets.

Brunson would usually try to avoid Dallas when he was on the road playing poker, saying “there were so many ‘bad guys’ that played and would actually force players to take actions to defend themselves.” He added,

Ivy’s place was top of the list for those kinds of games.”

A murderous legacy

Miller was feared in and around Dallas. It is said he killed one of the main rivals to his mob group in 1940, which set off a gang war that lasted two decades. There were a number of gruesome murders as a result, including bodies being found in acid vats. 

This is the first time in over 50 years that the Fincastle property is up for sale. In 1968, it was purchased by the Schoellkopf family from Dallas following the Texas gangster’s death.