An already very wealthy gambler from Brazil won $1,225,000 on one spin of the roulette wheel at a casino in Uruguay just after New Year’s. Pedro Grendene Bartelle, a billionaire businessman, brought some friends and $35,000 to the casino at Hotel Conrad for what would turn out to be a memorable evening on the night of January 3.
But Bartelle didn’t gamble the money away the traditional way (i.e. betting on red or black). Instead, he took a huge risk, placing a bet with 35-1 odds that is one-in-38 to hit. And hit he did, big-time.
Lucky Number 32
He chose number 32 and put his entire stack on the line. With a video camera recording the spin (see clip below) and a group of his friends at his side, Bartelle watched the ball land on his number. He then locked arms with his friends and they all jumped up and down simultaneously in celebration.
The businessman comes from wealth, so this money isn’t life-changing for him. In fact his uncle, Alexandre Grendene Bartelle, is the richest man in Brazil. Pedro is the president of a successful shoe company. The wager took place January 3, but was only recently (and incorrectly) reported in the foreign press.
An oversight in converting Uraguayan pesos to pounds, euros, and dollars was picked up and regurgitated by numerous new sites, although readers quickly caught the errors.
Big Risk, Bigger Payoff
There are a total of 38 numbers on a roulette wheel. Players can bet on individual numbers, all odd/even numbers, red or black numbers, and a few other options. Bets on which color the ball will land on, for example, are less risky and have a lower reward than if a player wagers on an individual number, which is what Bartelle did.
Main Event Champ Comparison
Poker is a game of risk. That means many poker players aren’t afraid of risk, much like Bartelle’s ballsy mentality.
Take Qui Nguyen, for example. The 2016 WSOP Main Event champion is an avid gambler. He hasn’t been known to put $35,000 on one lucky roulette number. But he was as much a casino gambler as he was a poker player before winning the most prestigious tournament in the world.
Poker and roulette are similar in that it takes some guts to win big. There is no skill factor in roulette, however. But to win a poker tournament such as the Main Event, you need the same kind of luck Bartelle had to be on your side. Nguyen, given his lack of major tournament experience, was a longshot just to finish in the money, let alone scoop the whole thing. But win he did.