SanchoPanza
SanchoPanza
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May 23rd, 2011 at 6:37:33 AM permalink
Meet the blackjack player who beat the Trop for $6 million, Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million
high roller
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 3:00 am | Updated: 7:35 am, Mon May 23, 2011.
By DONALD WITTKOWSKI Staff Writer |

ATLANTIC CITY - He took Caesars for more than $4 million, burned Borgata for about $5 million and then topped it off by beating Tropicana out of $5.8 million.

For Don Johnson, it was an incredible streak of good luck at the Atlantic City blackjack tables.

"I'll take luck over any other skill," Johnson said, laughing. "There's no magic to this. Eventually, someone would whack them. I'm just glad it was me."

Johnson, 49, of Bensalem, Pa., is the chief executive officer of Heritage Development LLC, a Wyoming-based company that uses computer-assisted wagering programs for horseracing.

He confirmed in two interviews with The Press of Atlantic City that he is the blackjack player who has been single-handedly scorching the casino industry in the past six months. His identity previously had been a mystery, known only to the casinos where he was a pampered high roller.

By Johnson's account, he won $4.23 million at Caesars Atlantic City in December. Next, he conquered Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, winning about $998,000 in December, then $1.8 million in March and April and $2.25 million over two nights later in April. Most remarkable was his haul of $5.8 million during a 12-hour spree at Tropicana Casino and Resort in April, a record loss for the casino. Multiple sources in the casino industry confirmed the accuracy of Johnson's story.

In all, Johnson racked up about $15.1 million in blackjack winnings during a six-month span, although he acknowledged incurring some undisclosed losses along the way. "I don't wear Kevlar," he said. "I'm not bulletproof. I do have some losses in between."

His huge wins capped a casino gambling career that started with him placing $25 bets at blackjack about 15 years ago. As he became more proficient, he transitioned into high-stakes wagering. At Tropicana last month, he was allowed to bet up to $100,000 a hand. "That's the highest I've ever heard of," he said. . . . atlantic city press
teddys
teddys
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May 23rd, 2011 at 8:23:16 AM permalink
His winning exploits at the blackjack tables have recently made the casinos wary. Johnson said he has been banned at the Caesars and Harrah's casinos in Nevada and was turned down by Resorts and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Unlike the past, the casinos are no longer willing to give him a 20 percent discount on his losses or shower him with other high-roller perks, he explained.

"I don't think they will let me play anymore," he said of the Atlantic City casinos. "But it's not going to change my life. If I don't play blackjack, I'll just go to the horse races."
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 23rd, 2011 at 10:00:08 AM permalink
Quote: SanchoPanza

At Tropicana last month, he was allowed to bet up to $100,000 a hand. "That's the highest I've ever heard of," he said. . . .



I was told that Packer was permitted to play up to three hands of blackjack at $50K apiece. But rumor has it that baccarat players are allowed to go much higher. To the best of my knowledge only the Golden Nugget has maximum limits of $15K posted (i.e. you don't need special permission) which are the highest in Vegas for blackjack. The Tropicana website says $50K, but they must have made an exception.

As far as I can see Tropicana is still way ahead of the game despite the $6M loss. The publicity should do even more for them.

He could probably sell that sweatshirt of $100K.
DeMango
DeMango
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May 23rd, 2011 at 10:03:24 AM permalink
So he didn't count? Did he flat bet? Run a progression? Inquiring minds want to know.
When a rock is thrown into a pack of dogs, the one that yells the loudest is the one who got hit.
thecesspit
thecesspit
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May 23rd, 2011 at 10:27:55 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I was told that Packer was permitted to play up to three hands of blackjack at $50K apiece. But rumor has it that baccarat players are allowed to go much higher. To the best of my knowledge only the Golden Nugget has maximum limits of $15K posted (i.e. you don't need special permission) which are the highest in Vegas for blackjack. The Tropicana website says $50K, but they must have made an exception.

As far as I can see Tropicana is still way ahead of the game despite the $6M loss. The publicity should do even more for them.



I've been told Packer was allowed 50k sterling per hand on 5 hands in various London casinos.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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May 23rd, 2011 at 10:41:35 AM permalink
Putting it in perspective, his win at the Tropicana is equivalent to a $5 player winning $290.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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May 23rd, 2011 at 11:29:53 AM permalink
Yeah, but that doesn't make the newspapers....
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
WatchMeWin
WatchMeWin
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May 23rd, 2011 at 11:41:03 AM permalink
I am so happy for the guy. And for the casinos to ban him from playing is terrible. They really are making too much noise about this. There are whales that have millions of dollars in credit lines. I know a few that have won millions. I also know many that have lost millions. They dont refuse those who drop millions on trips, nor do they exploit it. Perhaps its the media to blame. Hell, Phil Ivey, walks up to the craps tables on any given day and will either win or lose a mil within an hour.
'Winners hit n run... Losers stick around'
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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May 23rd, 2011 at 11:41:06 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

Johnson said he has been banned



Why ban him? they should want him back so they can win their money back. Maybe he means they have banned his terms, which perhaps include not having to flat bet?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: 典hanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell! She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
sunrise089
sunrise089
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May 23rd, 2011 at 12:49:44 PM permalink
Do we even know if this guy is ahead? Tales of wins with unspecified losses intermixed aren't exactly rare. Considering the guy apparently flat-bet and didn't do something less repeatable like pressing wins and having a huge streak I see no reason variance won't catch up to him.

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