The world of gambling is full of horror stories, and we are going to tell you a few now. So, the text below is not for the faint-hearted! Now that we have the warning out of the way, let’s start.
There were many deaths during a poker game in the Wild West. It didn’t look like a bunch of nice guys in hoods sitting quietly at the table – back in the days, if you couldn’t shoot well and fast, then you shouldn’t start playing cards.
“Wild Bill” Hickok was a sheriff, an excellent marksman, and Old West legend. On August 2, 1876, when he was playing five-card stud at a saloon in Dakota, a drunken visitor ran into the place, shouting “Damn you! Take that!” He shot Hickok in the back of the head, “Wild Bill” died instantly. At that moment, he was holding the Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs, Eight of Spades, and Eight of Clubs; the identity of the fifth card varies.
The murderer was hanged, “Wild Bill” Hickok became a folk hero. And the combination of those cards have become known as the “Dead Man’s Hand” (AA88).
Now, imagine the situation: you are playing poker in good company, listening to music, suspecting nothing bad. But then an unexpected message arrives straight at the back of your head, in the form of a .45-caliber bullet. Scary? Well, what did you expect? Poker is not a toy for children!
Akio Kashiwagi, Japanese real estate tycoon and one of the best gamblers in the beginning of the 1990s, was a mysterious person. The son of a carpenter and a fan of baccarat, he traveled the world with four bodyguards who ensured that his face was never photographed.
When Donald Trump needed publicity for his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, he invited Kashiwagi to play, and the gambler took the challenge. Japanese businessman played baccarat, wagered in huge amounts and started to win from the very beginning. But he didn’t like the media’s attention, so played only for 70 hours and left for Japan $6 million richer.
But Trump made a deal with Kashiwagi, and he came back again later. At this time, however, he lost more than $10 million, and had to quit while still owing Trump. The total amount of Kashiwagi’s casino debts was $15 million, and maybe it was one of the reasons that he was killed in January 1992, in a murder still unsolved to this day.
There were rumors about the Yakuza involvement, as the legendary gambler was stabbed 150 times with a samurai sword.
On the dark side of gambling, bets on “Who will die first?” thrive. It is cynical, yes, but we talk about money here. Betting on the timeframe when someone will die is called a dead pool, and it first became popular in motorsport in the early 20th century.
Dead pool games usually start on January 1 and run for 12 months, with punters picking out sportsmen or celebrities who they think will die within the year. Pope Francis or Clint Eastwood? Woody Allen or Roman Polanski? Charlie Sheen or Magic Johnson? Choose now, because all bets cut off on the first day of 2020.
Well, we better stop scaring you now. We actually love our readers, and only wish you all the best. So, when black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween!
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