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Life in the fast lane3 February 2015
Still, I actually didn’t feel too bad for him because he was something of a creep. He would not let the dealers switch positions while he was in the “point cycle” of the game (i.e., where the shooter is trying to hit his point and not seven out). He did not want anyone to talk to him. “Don’t look at me unless you have to,” he said on numerous occasions. He loved making a show of his play because dozens of people stood around the table watching him. If he were an actor and not a producer we’d say “he chewed up the scenery.”
I saw another thing happen in Vegas as well. A craps player won a shade over one million dollars in less than an hour. He was betting about the same amount as the Hollywood producer, except he was a much nicer man. While he reserved his side of the table, he allowed other players to play the other side of the table. A lot of mega-high rollers won’t do that.
You might say that the “bad guy” justifiably had his head handed to him and the “good guy” was rewarded for his decent behavior.
Unfortunately, gambling does not work that way. In random games your character is not important; chance determines everything. That Hollywood producer could have won over a million and that nice guy could have lost over a million. As they say, “Let the chips fall where they may.” (Does anyone say that any more?)
I’ve played blackjack and baccarat in high-roller rooms across the country and I’ve seen mega-high rollers in action. I’ll define mega-high rollers as those players who bet $10,000 or more per decision. There is probably not a game in the casino where someone has not plunked down such wads of cash to test him or herself against Dame Fortune. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, not unlike the small rollers betting 5 dollars a decision. Lady Luck doesn’t really care who you are or how much you bet; she’ll play with anyone.
But there is one thing that mega-high rollers have that small bettors don’t and can’t have — the wow factor. Seriously, when you see someone betting $100,000 at the craps table or at blackjack or at baccarat or on those high-end slot machines, you don’t just yawn, scratch your head and think, “I might as well hit the buffet.” No, you look at them and think, “This person is betting more than double what the average worker makes in a year!” You’ll see others just staring too.
Mega-high rollers come in all different types, just as small rollers do. Nice people, rotten people, relaxed people, tightly-wound people. Some take their play ultra-seriously; some pretend not to care whether they win or lose.
But the size of their bets makes the size of their person have epic proportions. Big money does make a difference. Usually big money, in our minds, equals big person. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said in his short story "The Rich Boy," "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me."
I still remember what that creepy Hollywood producer looked like. I still remember that other nice craps player’s face. I’ve forgotten just about everyone else I ever saw or met in my life.
My most recent view of the very, very rich occurred at Bellagio a few years ago. There was this Japanese porn star with two of his associates — OK, women of the night or bought women or “adult movie actresses” — at a craps table. He was betting $1,000 Pass Line and Come bets roll after roll, being up on every number. That totaled $30,000 a roll when he was up on all the numbers because he took full odds.
He also gave his “girls” a thousand a roll to do with what they wanted. They threw the money out on various proposition bets. He had no problem with others playing at his table, so a few friends and I started to play at his table. Aside from the huge amounts of money this guy bet, his “girls” were instructed to give us a show — which meant somewhat clothed versions of what they must do in their movies or in the privacy of various male’s rooms.
That and the money lured a giant crowd. Some of the male onlookers, obviously enjoying the “show,” actually cheered at times and those cheers had nothing to do with the craps game.
Now, according to Wikipedia, the average height of a Japanese man is 5’7”. This guy seemed to have the height of Godzilla and for the life of me I can’t remember if I was taller or shorter than him in real life, because his money made him loom large. In the world of casino gambling, this man was truly a giant striding the earth.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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