There are average gamblers, there are high rollers, and there are absurd, out-of-this-world bettors who have done things most of us can’t even imagine, all in the name of a good pay day. There is nowhere better to take your chances than on The Strip. And as you’d imagine, Vegas has been the backdrop for some of the most outlandish bets ever placed.
Everything is bigger in Texas. Austin-native Will Bergstrom took that to heart and earned the name “The Suitcase Man” when he plopped a suitcase full of cash down at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in 1980. Bergstrom came into the casino with two suitcases, one empty and one containing $777,000. The daredevil put the entire amount on the Craps Don’t Pass line — and won. He filled his empty suitcase with the cash and left, only to return three years later.
This time, he put $538,000 on another single roll — and won again.
In 1984, he bet $1 million on the Don’t Pass line and lost it all when the shooter threw a seven. According to Ted Binion, quoted in a 1985 St. Petersburg Evening Independent article, Bergstrom borrowed most of the money for the first bet and was going to kill himself if he lost. Instead, he traveled the world for years. He did eventually commit suicide in 1985 in a motel on the Strip.
Note: While most tables have max bets, Horseshoe has a policy to honor a bet of any size if it is the player’s first bet placed at the casino.
In 2010, MTV aired a short-lived TV series called “The Buried Life” that followed four young men as they attempted to cross things off a 100-item bucket list. Number 75 was to win $1 million. So, they pooled their resources, scraping up $125,000 between the four of them, and headed to Las Vegas. The network struck a deal with the owner of the Golden Gate Casino on Fremont Street that said the boys were obligated to bet $125,000 on an even money roulette bet and parlay it three times. In return, the casino was obligated to take the bets as they kept winning. They plopped their money down and won, doubling up to $250,000, the biggest roulette bet in Vegas history. As per their agreement, they spun again. But that’s when it all went downhill. Ben, Dave, Duncan and Jonnie left penniless, but with a hell of a story.
The longest running hotel and casino in Las Vegas, El Cortez has a colorful history, including the wacky lifestyle of longtime owner Jackie Gaughan. At one time, Gaughan owned over a quarter of the available property in Downtown Las Vegas (according to the Las Vegas Sun) and he lived the Vegas lifestyle through and through. Perhaps his most outlandish betting forays came when Skylab, the United States’ first space station, was set to come back to Earth in 1979. Like a few others, Gaughan took bets on the time and place of re-entry, but he went beyond the competition, laying odds on everything from New York City to the roof of his beloved hotel, itself. Reportedly, that one was going to pay out 10,000 to 1. Eventually, Skylab landed in Australia.
Huckleberry Seed is no rookie. The California native first hit the big time in 1996 when he won the coveted World Series of Poker Main Event, collecting the $1 million first-prize. He showed excellent judgment at the poker table during his career, amassing over $7.5 million in live earnings. That judgement slipped, however, when he bet fellow poker legend Phil Hellmuth that he could stand in the ocean, with the water up to his shoulders, for 24 hours. No newbie himself, Hellmuth, who has a record 14 World Series of Poker bracelets, took the bet. Seed only lasted three hours and had to hand over $24,000 to the “Poker Brat.”
Frederick Smith, the founder of FedEx, is personally worth $2 billion, and his company is estimated to be worth roughly $30 billion. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and Ferraris. In 1971, Smith started the company with his $4 billion inheritance. Two years later, he was down to just $5,000. Desperate, he did what any sane person would do and went to Vegas. Within a week, he turned his remaining dough into $27,000 at the blackjack table.
That wasn’t enough to save the business of course. But as Smith wrote in his book, “Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx’s Incredible Journey to Success – The Inside Story,” he saw the victories as a sign that his fortunes were changing. It urged him to continue hunting for investors, and he eventually raised $11 million more.
Photo credit: Roadsidepictures, Flickr. [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0].
OnlineGambling.LV brings you the best online gambling sites to make sure your experience is as safe and profitable as possible. Whether your gambling interest is out bluffing your opponents in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, playing Vegas-style casino games like slots or roulette, or sports betting on who’s going to win the next Super Bowl, or a combination of all three, you will find the best online gambling site to suit your needs. Our expert online gambling site reviews will help you find out who’s got the best odds, games, cash bonuses, deposit options and payouts, customer service, and a whole lot more. Welcome to OG.LV, and may the odds be ever in your favor!