kneelb4zod
kneelb4zod
Joined: Sep 9, 2011
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December 4th, 2011 at 8:35:47 PM permalink
I'm flying in this Thursday night. The rooms we got were pretty cheap and I'm assuming that is due to smaller crowds this time of year. I'm wondering if anyone recalls weekend table limits being different while visiting this time of year.

Also, I'm wondering if anyone can humor me with a story of an hour long roll in craps or two. Just to make my daydreaming at work more accurate of course.
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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December 5th, 2011 at 5:16:27 AM permalink
Quote: kneelb4zod

I'm flying in this Thursday night. The rooms we got were pretty cheap and I'm assuming that is due to smaller crowds this time of year. I'm wondering if anyone recalls weekend table limits being different while visiting this time of year.

Also, I'm wondering if anyone can humor me with a story of an hour long roll in craps or two. Just to make my daydreaming at work more accurate of course.



Tom Breitling vividly describes the craps roll that nearly sank the Golden Nugget Casino in September 2004. Two young partners had bought the famous casino the previous January, from MGM-Mirage who thought it was going nowhere. They wanted the money for the City Center project. The story is long, so to read the entire story go to the website link.

Quote: Tom Breitling

Holding The House Up
“Royalty is coming.”

Well, Johnny D. didn’t say it exactly like that. Mr. Royalty is what we’ll have to call a guy whose real name I can’t tell you. The House doesn’t reveal the identities of its gamblers. But Mr. Royalty is a good cover. There’s plenty of truth and irony in it.

The truth is Mr. Royalty was able to swagger into The Golden Nugget carrying a pillowcase stuffed with hundred dollar bills over his shoulder because of the royalties he was making off a line of video games that he’d created. If you’re a man between eighteen and forty, you know his games. You’ve probably played them. One of his games grew so popular, rumor is he sold it outright for $40 million.

...

The idea was to create a buzz that would make people want to leave The Strip and take the twenty minute drive downtown to be at The Nugget. Most of all, we wanted The Nugget to be the spot in Vegas to place a bet.

If every other casino was offering gamblers five times odds, Tim figured, we’d give them ten. If your limit was $50,000 a hand at your hotel, Tim might let you play for $100,000 a hand at The Nugget. The strategy was pretty simple. We’d give you a better chance to win than anybody else and let you bet more.

When you throw that kind of chum into the water, you’re going to attract sharks like Mr. Royalty. We didn’t want his profanity, but we sure wanted his pillowcase. And more than that – we wanted the action.

We wanted people to tell their friends how Mr. Royalty had come with stacks of hundred dollar bills that had been wrapped in plastic, vacuum-sealed, and trucked direct from the U.S. mint. When other high rollers got a whiff of mint in the air, they’d want in on the action, too. There are less than a hundred gamblers in the world with more than a million-dollar credit line. At one point, four of them came to visit us on a single weekend.

There was only one problem. We were gambling. We were still building up our clientele. And we needed a few others betting like Mr. Royalty that night in order to make the percentages work for us. The numbers were still in our favor — even with the special odds Tim was cutting Mr. Royalty. But we wouldn’t have to sweat out a run of luck if others were betting big at the same time. Because, then, even if Mr. Royalty did win big, percentages pretty much guarantee that together the others would lose at least enough to balance the books.

So we were vulnerable that night. We were vulnerable to one wild wave of luck.

And it just so happened that Mr. Royalty was on the Bonzai Pipeline.

He’d pulled up at The Nugget one night at the end of September in his $350,000 Maybach and six hours and three minutes later walked out with $4,753,200 of our money.

A week later he came back in for three and a half hours and took us for another $1.5 million. But let me give you an idea of how insane his touch had become. Before he even got to the dice pit, he sat down at a slot machine and hit a $100,000 jackpot.

Tim and I had taken the keys to The Nugget only ten months earlier. In less than ten hours, Mr. Royalty had basically wiped out what was going to be a great third-quarter profit. To us, that was more than just a figure on a spreadsheet. It was a number that told the world we weren’t just a couple of kids who got lucky and hit the jackpot during the dot-com boom. It told the world we were entrepreneurs who knew how to make a business soar.

That number was now gone. The critics in the press who sneered whenever Tim and I took a risk that flopped would now have more ammo. And we didn’t need Ed Borgato, the man who tracked our finances and who was eating dinner with us that night, to remind us that in two weeks we owed our investors a $7.5-million interest payment. But he did anyway.

There are few people in this world who believe in themselves more than Tim. What’s that expression? Sometimes wrong, but never in doubt. Only now his eyes were puffy. The eighteen-hour workdays and the beating we’d opened ourselves up to by extending the high limits was taking a toll on both of us.

When Johnny D. came over to our table to alert us that Mr. Royalty was on his way over again, I felt my heart squeeze. I didn’t know if this was the night we’d get it all back, or if the Bonzai Pipeline would turn into a tsunami.

It was nearing midnight. We’d been working since eight in the morning. Our day was just beginning.

I headed to the security room with Ed to watch on the surveillance cameras. Tim got up to greet “our guest.”

Mr. Royalty came through the doors with a small entourage like a fighter walking down an aisle of a packed arena to enter the ring. Didn’t matter that his belly looked like he’d been training on Krispy Kremes. Dressed in sweats, he was bobbing and weaving with a cold-blooded snake-eye stare. There’s a description for that sort of entrance in Vegas. He walked in, they say, like he wanted to change the name of the joint.

Johnny D. went to make sure Mr. Royalty’s private table was just right. Right for Mr. Royalty, and right for The House. We needed dealers at that table who wouldn’t be intimidated, and a boxman with an iron bladder. On that table, one simple mistake on a dealer payout could cost us $100,000. And one of the many items on Mr. Royalty’s list of requests was that the boxman – the guy sitting at the center of the table responsible for all The House’s chips – could not leave his seat even if he had to take a piss. These demands drove Tim crazy. “It’s not his hotel! He does not make the rules!” But we wanted our money back. What could we do?

The chips were neatly stacked — yellows, whites and blues. The yellows were $1,000. The whites were $5,000. The blues were $25,000. Mr. Royalty was putting up a million in cash to start.

Tim walked over. That was one of the things we prided ourselves on. There were hardly any casinos left in Vegas where the customers could meet the owners and have a conversation on the floor. People loved this. It made them feel special. It made them feel at home. It made them want to come back.

But the greeting between Tim and Mr. Royalty was a different sort of hello. “Hey, welcome back,” didn’t really mean “Good to see you.” It was more like the formality of two boxers tapping gloves in the center of the ring – just before they tried to knock each other’s brains out.

... (go to website)

kneelb4zod
kneelb4zod
Joined: Sep 9, 2011
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December 5th, 2011 at 8:25:44 PM permalink
Thanks pacomartin. That story should keep me sufficiently ineffective at work tomorrow. Have you read the book? Sounds interesting.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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December 6th, 2011 at 4:48:33 AM permalink
Quote: kneelb4zod

I'm wondering if anyone recalls weekend table limits being different while visiting this time of year.

Table limits are often driven by crowds. As crowds diminish the pit bosses tend to not be overly inspired to raise limits or to keep them raised. Weekend limits often get jacked up automatically but may very well not stay up for long.

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