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Ben Affleck and Other Losers: 4 Most Epic Blackjack Fails in Human History

May 26, 2014

Ben Affleck

From Ben Affleck to Terrance Watanabe, the blackjack scene is peppered with epic fails from those who are stupid enough to get caught counting, to those making big bets while drunk. We’re going to show you some of the epic fails from blackjack history.

Unlike games like roulette or craps, blackjack is a game which can be played to skew the odds in your favor if you have smart strategies or cryptic card counting skills.

However, sometimes it can backfire, check out these guys who have certainly added themselves to the blackjack hall of fails.

Ben Affleck and his card counting scandal

Card counters are a dime a dozen, and it’s universal knowledge that casinos don’t like advantage players who win at blackjack all the time and clean out the casinos, which is why a big part of playing blackjack well is fooling the casino.

But card counting and getting caught can be a little tricky if you’re a high-profile player like Ben Affleck.

Rather than being the biggest loser, Ben Affleck played blackjack far too well, and got a lifetime ban from the blackjack table at the Hard Rock Casino.

Counting cards might not be illegal, but casinos don’t like to lose.

Ben might not be a loser in blackjack, but as you can see, it’s possible to fail the game by playing it too well.

Fraudulent losses

Unlike Ben Affleck, Omar Siddiqui, an executive at an electronics company definitely put the loser in the blackjack fail list.

Siddiqui was a successful chap for a while, with a nice salary and a good job. However, he soon discovered what it felt like to win a blackjack game and got hooked.

However, it looks like Siddiqui’s initial wins were just down to beginner’s luck, since he lost a total of $65 million at blackjack.

How do you lose $65 million at blackjack? Easy, if you bet $200,000 a hand without strategy and card counting. We’re willing to bet the casinos loved this guy.

To make matters worse, Omar Siddiqui’s bankroll came from a skimming fraud, which landed him in prison with a sentence of up to 40 years.

The biggest loser

Terrance Watanabe certainly became a household name on the Las Vegas gambling scene after a yearlong gambling binge that resulted in $127 million losses.

Worst blackjack mistakes a player can make:

• Believing blackjack is all about luck. Blackjack is not about luck and you can make the odds swing in your favor if you employ basic strategy.
• Using a progressive betting system. This doesn’t change the casinos edge one bit, and just means you’ll lose more money.
• Playing when tired or intoxicated. As we could see from the above examples, playing blackjack when you’re not in top form could lose you a ton of money.
• Playing a single-deck game that pays 6-5. These games increases the house edge by 1.4%, which means the game is not in your favor.

Watanabe took a trip to Las Vegas in 2007, and then never left. He became addicted to the high-roller life and his fortune slipped through his fingers over time.

He sometimes lost as much as $5 million a day, gambling 24 hours straight and played three $50,000 hands of blackjack all atonce.

His intoxicated games of blackjack at the casino are more tragic than funny, and he is credited with one of the biggest losing streaks in Vegas’ history.

Watanabe was said to be plied with alcohol and prescription drugs by the casino, and has been charged with four felony counts for refusing to pay up the final $14 million he owed the casino, and also could face 28 years in prison.

His story should be one of caution to all blackjack players out there not to drink and gamble. Watanabe consumed two to three vodka bottles a day, taking problem gambling to another level.

The drunken gambler

Watanabe’s story of intoxicated gambling is not the only occasion in casino history. A California man is suing a Las Vegas casino after having lost $500,000 at blackjack while drunk.

Over the Super Bowl weekend, Mark A. Johnston is refusing to pay the large debt he owes to Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, claiming that the casino served him so much alcohol that he suffered a blackout.

The newly opened casino has refused to comment on the matter, but Johnston claims it’s not a matter of being a sore loser.

“I’ve lost half a million. I’ve lost 800,000. I’ve lost a lot of money. This has nothing to do with that,” he said, ”Obviously I can afford what I lost.”

It looks like Johnston’s blackjack fail of half a million has more anger rooted in the principle then actually losing money.

”This is about you almost killing me,” he says angry to the casino, “What if I had gone to bed that night, with all those drinks in me, and I threw up on myself and I choked and died?”

As you can see, there is more than one way to fail at blackjack. Do you have any blackjack fails to share with blackjackchamp.com?


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