Gambling in Las Vegas

4 Main Protagonists in Louis Theroux’s Gambling In Las Vegas (Including ‘The Mattress King’)

Image by Freepik4 Main Protagonists in Louis Theroux's Gambling In Las Vegas (Including 'The Mattress King')One of my favourite gambling documentaries has to be Louis Theroux’s Gambling In Las Vegas which aired back in 2007 on BBC 2. After all these years later (17 years), I can still remember this crazy cast of gamblers and their stories. Presented by Theroux he heads to the Las Vegas Hilton to reveal the world behind the myths of casino culture. Directed by Stuart Cabb, it also stars Richard Wilk, the ‘Whale Hunter who had clients commit suicide over gambling losses’ tempting The Mattress King to gamble hell-and-all cash.

This episode had a run time of 60 minutes and well received by viewers and critics alike.

Let’s reminisce about a few of these infamous gamblers which include:

1) Allan Erlick ‘The Mattress King’:

Allan ‘The Mattress King‘ is a high-roller gambler (a whale) who enjoys a gamble at Las Vegas. He’s seen sitting at the roulette table winning $50,000. Louis asked: ‘You’re winning money, why not stop now?’ Allan replies with a smile: ‘Gamblers never stop.’ You just knew it was going to take a downward trajectory from there. Allan, from Toronto, Canada is a high-roller on a mission to bet big. He gets the best suite in the Hilton free of charge (the most expensive room he ever stayed). As his friend Richard Wilk’s says: ‘This is your home for three days!’ He has his own butler, too. Allan says: ‘I could go to any hotel but I go where Rich goes. We’re friends first, business later. We’ve had one argument in 10 years! He works for the casino but he’s rooting for me to win.’ Louis says: Vegas, they didn’t build this place on winners!’  The next morning Allan was ready to roll to the sound track of Elvis Presley ‘It’s Now or Never’. Playing roulette, Allan couldn’t find a winner. he was risking $4K a spin. Louis asks: ‘Is there any technique to where you are putting the chips?’ Allan says: ‘I’m just picking what I feel. I’ve been gambling since I was 16. My wife doesn’t like me gambling. It’s not a good thing.’  On the second day Allan was losing heavily after losing $80K on the slots.  Alan says: ‘Who is counting? It’s a gambler’s problem, knowing when to quit!’

2) Martha ‘Gambling Her Son’s Inheritance’:

Martha, a heavy smoker in her 80s, has been a regular at the casino for over 7 years and lost over $4M. The casino even paid for the memorial service of her late husband (Sam). ‘It was so beautiful. It  didn’t cost me one penny!’ She sits at the slots playing with a smile on her face and without a care in the world. However, he long-suffering son (Seth) (clearly in a no-win situation) says he doesn’t mind his mother gambling away his inheritance.  She says: ‘Whatever is left he can have.’  I’m sure Sigmund Freud would be able to explain this family dynamic. Casino man Tommy Brown looks after Martha Ogman, a retired doctor, who plays high-limit slots. Tommy said: She’s our number one guest, a beautiful woman.’ Martha says: ‘This is my second home!’ What’s more surprising (or not) is that she’s been going to the casino for the last 10 year, every day.  Tommy say: ‘We value her! It’s a place of enjoyment. We don’t want you to lose your house.’  The next day Louis joins Martha to play the slots. He asks: ‘Is there any skill involved?’  She answers: ‘No!’ Louis asks if Martha is addicted to gambling. She says: ‘I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life. Why would I stop, I’m enjoying myself?’ Louis asks: ‘Are you going to run out of money? ‘ She replies: ‘No.’ Martha said: ‘My husband and son never tell me what to do. I do what I think is right.’ ‘If there’s nothing left, there’s nothing left.’

3) Richard Wilk: ‘Whale Hunter!’:

The man who brings the biggest gamblers into the casino and make sure they keep gambling. Supposedly, one of his closest friends Allan Erlick ‘The Mattress Man’ is in his sights. Wilk’s calls him ‘The Mattress King’ because he owns one of the biggest mattress businesses in Canada. Wilk’s says: He’s a friend, high-roller and the godfather to my little girl!’ (I wonder what he does to his enemies!).  Allan truly is a lamb to the slaughter. When talking about Allan losing an estimated $160K he says: ‘Who am I to tell people what to do with their money?’

4) John Rominelli & Tim Nordahl: ‘Salesmen On A 3-Day Blitz’:

I’m not sure which is John or Tim, but the one with the beard looks quite smug telling Louis he is up ’10G’, while detailing that his friend over the year is down $160,000. Which he says, smiling: ‘It’s not true! He’s full of it! I’m not in the hole at all.’ I must admit I love these two gamblers. You just know something is going to go tragically wrong after the ’10G’ man says: I try to play as consistently as possible.’   I can’t help smile at the two friends who keep laughing at each other and almost insisting each is a big-time loser. Louis asks: ‘Will you be doing any gambling tonight?’ The smug bearded man replied: ‘Absolutely.’ Laughing, he says: ‘Isn’t that why people come to Vegas?’   Later that evening Louis met up with the pair who had been on The Strip. It had been 24-hours since he last talked to them. Louis asks: ‘What happened?’ The bearded bloke, looking half stressed if not nervous said: ‘I’m down 14 or 15K, plush the ’10G’ I won!’ Louis says: ‘So, you’re down $24k.’ The bloke replies: ‘It sucks!’ He smiles as Louis asks: ‘Have you been having a wonderful time?’  He carries on gambling, with his friend smiling in the background, saying he is going to teach Louis how to win. (You can tell this is1n’t going to end well). Chewing gum, John an extrovert gambler says: ‘I’m not a quitter.’  Playing roulette with Louis (who was winning) John continued to lose. He says: ‘This is unbelievable. I haven’t won a hand in half an hour.’  John walks away from the table a dejected figure clearly stressed out. Tim bets $400 on a hand and wins. ‘That’s how you do it, man.’ We see the camera zoom to John at another table shaking his head after losing more cash. He comes back to the table to see how Louis is doing. Louis asks: ‘How you doing?’ John replies: ‘Forget about me.’ John’s losing streak continued. To be fair, I felt sorry for John. Tim says: ‘Don’t be negative.’ In the background we hear the familiar sound of Elvis It’s Now or Never. With John chasing his losses Louis finished the evening with one last big bet. He won! Tim said he lost $4K. ‘Only bet what you can afford to lose.’ He points to John in the distance laughing, he says: ‘That’s what you don’t want to do!’ Louis asks John: ‘How you doing?’ He replies: ‘Horribly.’ Tim starts sing: ‘You gotta know when to hold’em, you gotta know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.’ It’s truly a scene of desperation.

Excellent TV.

Photo: Freepik

Can You Remember Allan Erlick Gambling In Las Vegas? (The Mattress Man)

Image by FreepikThe Mattress Man Allan Erlick on Louis Theroux Gambling In Las VegasWhatever happened to Allan Erlick AKA ‘The Mattress King’ who was a high-roller gambler in Las Vegas in Louis Theroux’s Gambling In Las Vegas? I’m pretty sure it was originally broadcast in 2007 on BBC 2. With a run time of 60 minutes, we saw a selection of gamblers in a TV programme that captured the fascination of many viewers which at times seemed surreal.

Allan Erlick was a Canadian businessman who sold mattresses for a living and fondly known on the show as ‘The Mattress Man’. He was known as a whale, a term given to gamblers who seemingly have no limits on the money they spend. The Mattress Man was given a executive penthouse for free by the casino, everything complimentary. However, there was a price to be paid and that was his commitment to splash the cash and gamble like money (his money) was going out of fashion.

At one point we saw Allan playing two slot machine at once. Some of these machines cost $5,000 a spin. He couldn’t find a winner for love nor money. Later, he played blackjack and was losing money hand over fist. To make it worse, Louis Theroux couldn’t stop winning. The only difference was that he was betting small stakes compare to The Mattress Man who said he didn’t mind losing $250,000 a day. I hate to imagine what he lost by the end of his ‘vacation’. He left the way he had come in a free limousine but looking like he’d had the stuffing kicked out of him. Not quite as plump as one of his mattresses.

It was said that The Mattress King went on to sell his company. Some suggested this may be down to gambling losses. Other comments online said they had seen him as an Uber driver. Whether this is true or not we can only imagine. However, the story of all main characters on Gambling In Las Vegas was one of loss. Each and every player, bar Louis Theroux, lost their shirt (or blouse).

Most didn’t look that worried about their losses.

I guess that’s what happens when you get used to losing cash.

Photo: Freepik

*That isn’t a photo of Allan on this mattress

Riding High in Vegas: Exploring the World of High Roller Gamblers and their Lavish Freebies

whale high roller gambler in las vegasIn the glitzy realm of Las Vegas, where extravagance knows no bounds, a select group of elite gamblers is known to dominate the casino floors—the whales. These high rollers, often individuals with significant financial prowess, are lured by the thrill of high-stakes gambling, and in return, they are showered with an array of lavish freebies and perks that go beyond the imagination of the average visitor.

1) Defining the Whales:

The term “whale” in the casino industry refers to a high roller gambler who consistently wagers substantial sums of money. These individuals are not merely testing their luck at the slot machines or trying their hand at blackjack for entertainment; they are serious players with significant financial means. Casinos actively court these whales, recognizing the potential for enormous profits from their substantial bets.

2) Exclusive Accommodations:

One of the most coveted perks for high rollers is the opportunity to stay in exclusive, opulent suites that are beyond the reach of the average guest. Many high-end resorts and casinos in Las Vegas boast luxurious penthouses and villas with stunning views, private pools, and personalized concierge services. These accommodations provide a sanctuary of comfort and extravagance, creating an immersive experience for the discerning tastes of the whales.

3) Personalized Services:

High rollers are not just patrons; they are VIPs deserving of white-glove treatment. Casinos go to great lengths to provide personalized services to their esteemed guests, from dedicated hosts and private transportation to expedited check-ins and access to exclusive lounges. The goal is to ensure that every aspect of the high roller’s stay is tailored to their preferences, enhancing their overall gaming experience.

4) Gourmet Dining Experiences:

Whales are accustomed to a lifestyle of luxury, and Las Vegas casinos spare no expense when it comes to offering them gourmet dining experiences. High rollers often enjoy complimentary meals at the finest restaurants within the casino resorts, with menus curated by renowned chefs. From intimate private dinners to exclusive chef’s tables, these culinary experiences are designed to satisfy the most refined palates.

5) Front-Row Entertainment:

Beyond the casino floor, high rollers are treated to front-row seats at some of the most spectacular entertainment shows in Las Vegas. Whether it’s a world-class concert, a mesmerizing magic performance, or a dazzling theatrical production, whales can expect VIP access and premium seating. The goal is to provide an all-encompassing entertainment package that complements their high-stakes gaming activities.

6) Private Jet Travel:

For the most esteemed high rollers, the perks extend beyond the casino resort itself. Some casinos offer private jet transportation to whisk their VIP guests directly to Las Vegas, ensuring a seamless and luxurious travel experience. This level of exclusivity adds an extra layer of convenience and glamour to the high roller’s journey.

7) Cashback and Comps:

The allure of high-stakes gambling is not without its tangible rewards. Whales often enjoy lucrative cashback incentives and complimentary perks, known as comps, based on their level of play. These can range from free hotel stays and meals to exclusive event invitations and access to high-limit gaming areas. The more a high roller wagers, the more extensive and valuable these complimentary offerings become.

In conclusion, the world of high roller gambling in Las Vegas is a realm of excess and indulgence. The lavish freebies and perks provided to whales extend far beyond the traditional rewards offered to the average visitor. Casinos spare no expense in catering to the whims and desires of their elite patrons, creating an unforgettable experience that transcends the ordinary. For the high rollers, a visit to Las Vegas is not just a gamble; it’s a journey into a realm where the stakes are high, and the rewards are nothing short of extraordinary.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Top 5 Gambles in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Las Vegas, often referred to as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” is synonymous with high-stakes gambling, dazzling lights, and non-stop excitement. As visitors flock to the iconic Strip, they willingly engage in an array of gambles, not just limited to the casino floors. In this article, we delve into the top five gambles that define the Las Vegas experience.

1) Casino Games: The Classic Gamble

The heartbeat of Las Vegas lies within its world-renowned casinos, offering a plethora of classic games where fortune can be won or lost in the blink of an eye. From the spin of the roulette wheel to the shuffling of cards at the blackjack tables, visitors willingly partake in the timeless gamble of chance. Slot machines, poker rooms, and high-stakes baccarat are just a few of the many temptations that lure gamblers seeking the ultimate thrill.

2) Nightlife and Entertainment: The Social Gamble

Beyond the casino floors, Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, and its nightlife is an enticing gamble in itself. From swanky nightclubs to extravagant live performances, visitors roll the dice on unforgettable experiences. Buying tickets for a headline show or securing entry into an exclusive club involves a gamble – will the night live up to the hype? In a city where entertainment reigns supreme, the social gamble is a bet on creating lasting memories.

3) Fine Dining: The Culinary Gamble

Las Vegas has transformed into a culinary destination, boasting a diverse array of world-class restaurants helmed by renowned chefs. However, indulging in the city’s gastronomic delights comes with a price tag. Visitors often gamble on dining experiences, hoping that the exquisite flavors and innovative dishes will justify the expense. From celebrity-chef eateries to hidden gems off the Strip, the culinary gamble in Las Vegas is a feast for the senses.

4) Sports Betting: The Strategic Gamble

With the rise of sports betting, Las Vegas has become a hub for enthusiasts seeking to turn their sports knowledge into financial gains. Whether it’s betting on the outcome of a football game, the point spread in basketball, or the odds in a boxing match, sportsbooks offer a different kind of gamble. Visitors analyze statistics, study teams, and make strategic bets in the hope of cashing in on their sports acumen. The adrenaline rush of watching a game intensifies when money is on the line, adding an extra layer of excitement to the Las Vegas experience.

5) Real Estate Investments: The Long-Term Gamble

Beyond the glamour and glitz, Las Vegas is a city that thrives on real estate development. Investors often take a long-term gamble on the city’s growth by purchasing properties, whether it’s a condo on the Strip or a house in the burgeoning suburbs. The real estate market in Las Vegas can be unpredictable, with boom-and-bust cycles, making property investments a gamble that spans years. However, successful investors can reap substantial rewards as the city continues to evolve.

Conclusion

Las Vegas, with its vibrant energy and endless possibilities, is a city where risks are embraced, and gambles are taken willingly. Whether it’s testing luck on the casino floor, seeking unforgettable experiences in the nightlife, savoring culinary delights, strategically betting on sports, or making long-term real estate investments, Las Vegas offers a diverse array of gambles that define the essence of this iconic destination. In the City of Lights, the thrill of the gamble is an integral part of the adventure.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Soaring in Style: 5 Compelling Reasons to Fly to Las Vegas by Private Jet

5 Compelling Reasons to Fly to Las Vegas by Private JetImage by upklyak on Freepik

Las Vegas, the glittering oasis in the desert, is a city that thrives on luxury, excitement, and extravagance. For those seeking an unparalleled travel experience, flying to Las Vegas by private jet is the epitome of sophistication and convenience. Here are five compelling reasons why opting for a private jet elevates your journey to Sin City and adds an extra layer of opulence to your Las Vegas adventure.

1) Time Efficiency and Flexibility:

One of the most significant advantages of flying to Las Vegas by private jet is the unparalleled time efficiency it offers. Commercial flights often involve time-consuming processes such as check-in, security checks, and boarding. With a private jet, you have the flexibility to depart on your schedule, minimizing the time spent in pre-flight formalities. Additionally, private jets have access to a vast network of smaller airports, allowing you to land closer to your destination. This not only saves time but also provides a more convenient and seamless travel experience.

2) Luxurious Comfort and Privacy:

Private jets are synonymous with luxurious comfort, providing an intimate and personalized environment for passengers. From plush leather seats to spacious cabins, flying to Las Vegas by private jet allows you to revel in opulence and enjoy a level of comfort that surpasses commercial flights. The privacy afforded by a private jet ensures that you can conduct business meetings, relax, or celebrate special occasions without the constraints of a crowded cabin. It’s a cocoon of exclusivity that sets the stage for an unforgettable journey to the entertainment capital of the world.

3) Customized In-Flight Experience:

When you charter a private jet to Las Vegas, you have the power to customize your in-flight experience according to your preferences. Whether you desire a gourmet meal prepared by a private chef, a curated selection of fine wines, or specific entertainment options, the flexibility of a private jet allows you to tailor every aspect of your journey. This personalized touch extends to the cabin ambiance, allowing you to create the perfect atmosphere for relaxation or productivity, enhancing the overall travel experience.

4) Avoiding Commercial Airport Hassles:

Commercial airports can be a source of stress and inconvenience, especially in bustling hubs. The long lines, crowded terminals, and unpredictable security checks can diminish the excitement of your Las Vegas adventure. By opting for a private jet, you bypass these common airport hassles. Private jet terminals, known as Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), offer a more exclusive and streamlined experience. From dedicated check-in counters to expedited security procedures, flying to Las Vegas by private jet ensures a hassle-free journey from start to finish.

5) Seamless Ground Transportation Integration:

Private jet travel extends beyond the skies, offering seamless integration with ground transportation services. Upon landing in Las Vegas, your private jet experience continues as you have the option to arrange for private car services or even exotic car rentals directly from the FBO. This eliminates the need to navigate crowded taxi lines or rental car facilities, allowing you to step off the jet and into the comfort of your preferred mode of ground transportation, enhancing the overall convenience of your journey.

In conclusion, flying to Las Vegas by private jet isn’t just about reaching your destination; it’s a transformative experience that begins the moment you step onto the tarmac. From time efficiency and luxurious comfort to a customized in-flight experience and seamless ground transportation integration, the advantages of private jet travel amplify the allure of the entertainment capital of the world. So, for those seeking the pinnacle of sophistication and convenience, soaring in style to Las Vegas by private jet is the epitome of opulent travel.

Photo: Freepik