Tips and Tricks

High Stakes and Big Wins: Tales from the Casino Floor

Casino and gambling-themed movies are a Hollywood mainstay. The glitz and glamour of this world is captured in box office smashes like George Clooney’s Ocean’s trilogy, while grittier tales are told in movies like Rain Man and Rounders. The thrill of winning and the agony of losing are both well-documented in these films. However, it is not often that we get to see the behind the scenes of casino life — the everyday grind and the emotional roller coaster that comes with it.

In High Stakes and Big Wins: Tales from the Casino Floor, author Frank Scoblete draws on his decades of experience walking the casino floor in search of great stories to tell. He covers a variety of topics, from celebrity sightings to cheap motels, family curses and indigestion, to the countless adventures that come with being an advantage player. The reader will feel like they are right there, experiencing all the emotions that go with gambling. This is the first exquisitely-illustrated anthology of its kind that takes advantage players out of their anonymity and into the spotlight to share their experiences. Each story is chock full of What-would-you-do moments and brings the reader face to face with the reality that casino gaming is more than just winning big money. There are also big loses, big screw-ups, celebrity sightings, entanglements with the law and mafia at home and abroad, loneliness and panic.

From the craziest whale stories to casinos that are sued by players for their unpaid debts, Scoblete pulls out 10 of the most interesting and incredible tall tales* that he has encountered during his time as a professional gambler, strategy writer and casino chronicler. This book is not for the faint of heart and includes a few truly frightening tales, such as the story of Anargyros Karabourniotis (better known as Terry Kashiwagi) who lost over $15 million at the tables before being found dead in his hotel room stabbed 150 times with a samurai sword. This documentary film is a rare glimpse into the daily lives of a handful of slot machine managers who are on the front lines of the gambling industry.

Through a series of open-ended interviews, Dr. Schwartz gives the viewer a prospective on how the development of slots has changed over the years, and how these professionals are responsible for bringing those changes to fruition on the casino floor. Their stories are both heartbreaking and uplifting. Ultimately, these men and women are the unsung heroes of the casino world. This is a film that should not be missed by anyone interested in the history of casino management and the development of slot machines.