Meet Ambakisye Osayaba: The Chess Hustler who Earns $400 Per Day

Chess may not seem like the most-lucrative game in terms of gambling. But Ambakisye Osayaba is proving that one can make a decent living by hustling chess games. Osayaba quit his part-time job cleaning Central Park six years ago so that he could play chess full-time. And he now makes up to $400 per day […]

Chess may not seem like the most-lucrative game in terms of gambling. But Ambakisye Osayaba is proving that one can make a decent living by hustling chess games.

Osayaba quit his part-time job cleaning Central Park six years ago so that he could play chess full-time. And he now makes up to $400 per day from his job.

“It’s the best living I’ve ever made,” said Osayaba, who’s known as TC (a.k.a. teaches chess).

Teacher and a Gambler

According to the New York Post, Osayaba charges $3 for a friendly game. Those who want to bet must front a minimum wager of $5. Osayaba also offers 30-minute chess lessons for $20.

“People walk by all the time wanting to learn,” Osayaba said. “I tell them, ‘Take a seat’ and before they know it, they’re coming back every day.”

Victor Raso, who’s been getting lessons from Osayaba for over two years, said that his mentor is more than just a hustler.

“When I first came out I knew the rules but nothing about strategy,” said Raso, who works as a facilities coordinator at the clothing store Express. “I stuck with TC because he taught me rather than hustled me.”

Osayaba Has Booked Some Big Wins

The 59-year-old told the NY Post that he’s earned some big wins through chess, including $600 from a Best Buy worker.

“He came over here like some kind of hot shot, throwing money around,” Osayaba explained. “But I knew he was a fish. He was fresh out of water.”

The Best Buy worker increased his bet from $100, to $300, to $600 over the course of their session.

“I beat the beak off him. I was hitting him with moves I teach my beginners — like the Queen’s Gambit,” Osayaba said.

Ambakisye Osayaba plays chess in Central Park every day, rain or shine. And based on the solid living that he’s making, he won’t quit playing any time soon.

 

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