Geismar's Amazing Blackjack Run
Plenty of people brag about turning a few dollars into a fortune at the blackjack table but hedge fund manager Michael Geismar has a true gambling story for the ages.
Geismar was in Las Vegas in May 2012 for a conference when he embarked on a run at the blackjack tables most players dream of. Over the span of just a few days Geismar turned a $300 bet into a profit of $710,000.
He took a seat at a blackjack table at the Bellagio and arranged for a $10,000 marker, pushing out a bet of $300 and never looking back. Within a few shoes he'd doubled it to $20,000 and started increasing his bets.
Geismar used a basic strategy where he'd keep increasing his bets with each win, then would drop back down after a loss. Pressing your bets can lead to some big wins if the cards run well for you, which is exactly what happened to Geismar, who started betting up to $10,000 per hand and quickly built up a profit of $300,000.
He reportedly spread the wealth around as well, tipping dealers and cocktail waitresses tens of thousands of dollars before he finally called it a night. Geismar walked away with a $460,000 profit, sleeping well with bricks of $100 bills tucked in his hotel room safe.
Like a lot of gamblers on a heater, Geismar heard the siren's call of the table the next night. Taking a seat at the same table, he quickly lost $20,000 and called it quits. Rinse and repeat the next day, with two more blackjack sessions resulting in a loss of $90,000.
Promising himself he'd go home with at least $300,000 of his winnins, Geismar took one last tilt at the tables on the final day of the conference, which saw other attendees gamble with him during his last hurrah at the Bellagio tables.
His own cards were still running cold but Geismar started backing the rest of the table, betting between $5,000-$9,000 on the hands of other players at the table in addition to his own smaller bets.
When the table started winning Geismar kept pressing the action, bumping up his own bets to the table limit of $10,000 and backing up other players to the max as well.
The table finally broke in the wee hours of the next morning, with Geismar adding $410,000 in profits to his previous winnings. After a celebratory breakfast he headed home with $710,000 in total profits from hsi run at the tables, all launched with an initial $300 bet.
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