Nine unbelievable stories straight from the casino floor

  • When it comes to casinos anything goes, but some of these stories are pretty crazy
  • From unbelievable luck at the tables to extravagant gambling runs, we’ve covered ever mad story you can think of

Casinos. The refuge of high rollers, big spenders and some pretty colorful characters. On the casino floor anything can happen – fortunes can change with one single spin of the wheel or a roll of the dice, and it often favors the brave too.

But sometimes, things happen that are truly hard to believe. In honor of the lucky, the brave and the plain stupid who have tried their luck in the casino, here’s our pick of the most unbelievable stories to come out of the casino. Hold on to your hats…

Granny who crushed the casino

Patricia Demauro Borgata rolling dice
Luckiest roll of the dice ever? Yep, and no one knows how Patricia Demauro did it

Atlantic City’s Borgata is one of the more popular casinos in the US and, back in 2013, it was a New Jersey granny by the name of Patricia Demauro who created shockwaves at the tables.

Demauro managed to roll the dice a record 154 times in a row without sevening out, the odds of which are apparently 1 in 1.56 Trillion. No evidence of cheating was ever revealed, and while she refused to say how much she had won, experts believe it was between several hundred thousand and several million USD.

An all in spin

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In 2004, a reality TV show called “Double or Nothing” saw Ashley Revell sell all of his possessions with the sole intention of betting all the money on a single spin of the roulette. The total bet amounted to $135.000 and was made at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Revell placed all of his money on red and, fortunately for him the ball stopped in 7 red, doubling his initial stake.He calmly tipped the dealer $600 and walked out of the casino with $270.000 in his pocket.

Saving FedEx

Fred Simth fedEX
FedEx founder, Frederick W. Smith tried his luck in Vegas – and came out smiling. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today, Federal Express is known as one of the most successful companies in the world, but it wasn’t always the case. Back in 1974, three years after the company was started with a $94 million initial investment, FedEx was on the verge of collapse.

The company was down to its last $5,000, which was not even enough to fuel the planes after the weekend. Frederick W. Smith decided it was time to test his luck and flew out to Las Vegas with the $5.000 in his pocket.

Smith took to the blackjack tables and managed to spin the $5.000 into $32.000, just enough to fuel the planes for a few days. This turned out to be enough for FedEx, who managed to find an investor just days later and the rest is history.

A jackpot that sent her packing

An Arizona resident by the name of Mirna Valenzuela won a $1,200 jackpot at a casino drawing. She must have been happy, but her happiness soon turned to misery, as she was deported back to Mexico after showing her passport to the casino officials. I guess someone really didn’t want to pay out that $1,200!

Phil Ivey’s Baccarat shenanigans

phil ivey legal case edge sorting
When it comes to edge sorting, Phil Ivey knows a thing or two. Phil Ivey Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Flipchip

Phil Ivey is the world’s most famous poker players. In 2012, Ivey took to London’s Crockford’s Casino where he and his companion hit the Baccarat tables.

Using what was later revealed to be the edge sorting technique, the pair were able to beat the casino to the tune of $11.9 million. Once the game was done the casino refused to pay up, claiming the pair had cheated. Ivey took the case to court, but unfortunately did not get his money back. The thing is, Ivey didn’t really cheat. Rather his gambler’s instinct took over and he used any advantage he had. You’d do the same. Right?

Gambling your life away

It is not too uncommon to hear someone gambling his entire net worth away, but when that net worth is to the tune of over $125 million, things start sounding really bad. Back in 2007, Ceasars Palace and Rio in Las Vegas hosted one of the biggest whales of all time, Terrence Watanabe.

Over the course of some months, Watanabe lost his family fortune, gambling hundreds of thousands and losing millions at a time at the famous Las Vegas strip casinos. Once the money dried out, he was sued by the Ceasars for not paying off his credit line.

He claimed the casino kept him intoxicated with expensive booze and painkillers at all times. In the end, the case was dropped, with Terrence not going to jail but not having to pay any money either. His family fortune is now gone, and maybe next time Terrence will be more prudent – if there is a next time.

The Run

Archie Karas
Archie Karas: the man who took millions from the tables in Vegas

Probably one of the most famous casino stories of all times is the one of Archie Karas. Archie was a Greek immigrant who came to America with big hopes. In his case, the hopes turned to reality as he managed to win dozens of millions of dollars by playing poker and gambling games at the Las Vegas casinos.

Karas’ fortunes dried off later in his life and Karas ended up being banned from all Nevada casinos after being caught cheating in 2013. Still, Archie remains one of the true Las Vegas legends for his early 90s run.

Matters of State

Brunei is one of the world’s smallest countries, but when you are an absolute leader of any country, money starts to add up. The Sultan of Brunei is worth an estimated $20 billion at the moment, and he and his family are rumored to be some of the highest rollers out there.

A fun story about the Brunei royal family is reportedly related to the Sultan’s wife, who regularly visited the London casinos, where she left millions of pounds and encouraged her band of female bodyguards to gamble themselves.

Prince Jefri, Sultan’s brother, is also known for living a playboy lifestyle in Las Vegas where he is alleged to spend millions gambling enjoying the family fortune to the maximum.

Babysitter wins millions

Back in 2008, it was a babysitter by the name of Jessica Agbunag who hit big in Vegas. She went there to remember her grandmother, who used to be an avid slots player. During the short week she spent in Vegas, she hit a $2.4 million jackpot at one of the machines. Maybe her granny was looking out for her from beyond?

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