What’s better than a really good winning story? A great winning story!
We gathered up these 4 stories that show us that knowledge and understanding of your craft can help you place educated, low-risk bets. As the saying goes – don’t try this at home, these are professionals.
The Weather is Always Great for Floyd
Floyd Mayweather is one of the most famous boxers in the world. He has had a remarkable career, and he is far from finished. This coming May he will finally meet Manny Pacquiao in Vegas for one the most highly anticipated boxing match in recent years.
Mayweather’s acute understanding and inside knowledge of sports gives him a special edge when engaging in sports betting. He is well-informed and through careful calculating Mayweather knows how to place safe bets.
His most famous bet yet was in June 2013, when he put $5.9 million on the Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Finals. For most people this is an insane bet, but keep in mind that Mayweather is a very wealthy man. The Heat lost the sixth playoff game in the series to the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, and prepared for game 7 against the Pacers again, but this time in Miami.
The odds were against the Pacers, and Miami hadn’t lost back-to-back games throughout the finals. So Mayweather knew exactly what he was doing, placing a well-informed bet. The Heat easily won 99 to 76, and Mayweather took home another $5 million.
Who Knew FedEx Was So Good At Blackjack
This story is an all-time favourite and it involves the transportation and shipping global giant FedEx, and its founder and CEO Fred Smith.
Smith’s big win story takes place in 1973, when FedEx was just a small, young company with only $5000 in its bank account. Smith got a $24,000 jet fuel bill. If he wouldn’t pay it, no flight would leave the ground. He applied for a loan with General Dynamics and was turned down. Smith realised this was a ‘nothing-more-to-lose’ situation. Either he paid the fuel bill, or FedEx will have to shut down.
Smith withdrew the $5000 from the bank account, and took a flight to Las Vegas. He sat at a Blackjack table and through a lucky streak made it into $27,000. When he got what he needed for the fuel bill he stopped. FedEx was saved from bankruptcy, and the rest is shipping history.
Though this story first reads like a wild-card one, Smith had very little to lose. Like he said to a friend, “If I hadn’t tried, or haven’t won, the result would have been the same. I had nothing to lose – those $5000 alone wouldn’t make a difference.”
A Great Big Win, 19th Century Style
Not all great winning stories happened in Vegas. Our next story takes us to the flashy, ritzy gambling heart of Monte Carlo – the Beaux-Arts casino. This is one of the grandest winning stories in Monte Carlo’s history, you probably know it. It was immortalised in the song “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”.
Back in 1873 Joseph Jagger (no relations, we checked) was fed up from his work as a mechanical engineer in the cotton industry. His professional experience taught him many things about machines, one thing in particular: some mechanical machines have small imperfections. He applied this understanding to a surprising conclusion – some roulette wheels must have a bias, must not be perfectly balanced.
Off Monte Carlo he was, six helpers he hired, and sent them to the Beaux-Arts casino to watch and record every winning number on all six roulettes in the house. When he looked at the results it was obvious that one of the six wheels had a bias. Nine specific numbers on one side of the wheel won over and over again, more often than chance can support.
The next day, dressed in his finest attire he walked into the casino and in three straight days of playing that specific roulette with those specific 9 numbers, won $300,000. Remember that this feat of clever conclusion-drawing was in 1873. This sum is the equivalent of $5 million in today’s money. Mr. Jagger placed a well-informed bet, almost risk-free. Careful observation and some basic math dealt him a winning card.
The Greatest Poker Player – You Just Can’t Hold’him
You can’t finish any list of great wins without Phil Ivey, widely considered the best poker player in the world. A league of his own, you might say: he has won, thus far, 10 World Series of Poker bracelets in just 14 years – the fastest of all times.
Ivey is a master of his own craft. He is, after all, the best in the world. He is the Tiger Woods of poker, or the Michael Jordon; not many can beat him, but everyone wants to play against him. One memorable such game was in 2006 in The Wynn Resort hotel in Vegas. The Dallas billionaire Andy Beal just had to play against Ivey. He didn’t care about the money he knew he would lose to the number one poker player in the world – he just wanted to play. They played heads-up Limit Texas Hold’em with stakes at $50,000/$100,000.
No big surprise, Ivey won, and won mega big time. He took home $16 million after a three-day game. Beal said after that he had a blast, and that Ivey is indeed an amazing poker player.
ESPN spent four days with Ivey and put together this short documentary about him. Definitely worth watching.
So what can we take from the above 4 stories? They all knew exactly what they were doing. They placed educated bets, based on either their unique knowledge, or recognizing that the chances were in their favour. Mayweather knew the Heat didn’t lose back-to-back all season, Mr. Jagger did his careful research, and Ivey rarely loses in poker, especially when his is playing with an amateur. And Smith? He had a streak of luck and nothing to lose.
The other thing to learn his is that Knowledge is Power. We are in the gaming arena, and slot is a game of chance mostly, but better understanding the game can help you better your chances of winning, like with these four stories.
Have a look at our How To Play page, improve your understanding of the game and my the slot be with you!