In 1873, the roulette player Joseph Jagger, made roulette history. He hired six men to keep track of the winning numbers at roulette wheels in a Monte Carlo casino. Reviewing this information, Jagger found that specific numbers were hit more than others. He was able to win $400,000 at this casino, basing his “luck” on the idea of teamwork.
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Several years later, another gambler, Charles Wells, visited the same Monte Carlo casino. Charles Wells was later known as the “Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”, because he was able to win over 2 million francs in two days. A song written by Fred Gilbert and entitled “The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” has immortalized Wells.
In the year 2004, Ashley Revell, a Londoner, sold all of his belongings and arrived at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas with $135,300. This was a well advertised stunt and was broadcast on the British Sky One channel – live. He put all his money on “Red” at the roulette table in a “double-or-nothing” bet. The ball landed on red-7 and Revell walked out with his net value doubled to $270,600. It is bets like this that make people famous roulette players. Revell later said it was a really crazy thing to do, and he would never do it again.
With the advent of computer technology, roulette players began looking for ways to “cheat the house” with computerized systems.
In 1955, two MIT students, Edward Thorp and Claude Shannon, created a computerised device that could predict the odds of the game of roulette. There is no record of how much they won, if at all, but their names are remembered because of their ingenuity.
In the 1970’s, a group of students at the University of California Santa Cruz, who called themselves the Eudaemons, after the Eudaemonistic philosophy of Aristotle, invented a small computer which increased their odds of winning at roulette. They used it for a short period of time in Las Vegas, earning themselves $10,000. But then their device short-circuited and burned one of the group, which ended their roulette days.
A recent addition to the “famous roulette players” was a Spaniard, Gonzalo Garcia- Pedayo, who went to the Casino de Madrid and used a computer device to determine which number was hit most often on the roulette wheel. He managed to win over a million dollars over a period of several years. However, the casino caught onto his device and took him to court, but the court ruled in his favour.
I hope you have enjoyed this short article about some of the worlds most famous roulette players. The next time you take a trip to a gambling city to play roulette remember that there is a lot of history behind this wheel, many millionaires made, and even more that lost it all just for the chance to become rich at the most popular game at the casinos.
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