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History of the Casino at Monte Carlo

The main casino at Monte Carlo is what people think of when they think of the casino lifestyle.

The images called up by the thought of James Bond destroying the baccarat table are images of Monte Carlo. Prince Charles III of Monaco ordered the creation of the Monte Carlo quarter including a casino in order to boost the country's economy.

Charles Garnier, who was the architect of the Paris opera, built the casino in the Baroque style. Francois Blanc bought a concession to run the gaming at the casino for 50 years. In 1898, that concession moved to a private company with a major government interest, the Societe des Baines de Mer. Since it opened up in 1863, high rollers from all over the world have flocked to the Monte Carlo Casino to try their luck.

Notable Moments in Monte Carlo History

In 1873, Joseph Jagger, an engineer from Great Britain, recorded the results of six roulette wheels at Monte Carlo. He eventually discovered a serious bias in one of the wheels that caused certain numbers to come up more frequently. Jagger used his knowledge to win millions of Francs. Jagger lost some money back when the casino rearranged the wheels, but Jagger found his wheel anyway. Ultimately the casino was able to stop Jagger, but not before he earned the title of "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo."

In 1891, a con artist named Charles Wells arrived in Monte Carlo with money freshly conned from investors and hit the roulette wheel. Using the risky and debunked Martingale System where you double your bet every time you lose to eliminate losses, Wells went on a lucky streak and won a million Francs, making him the second to earn the title of Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.

In 2004, in response to the explosion in popularity of the World Series of Poker and televised poker tournaments in general, the Monte Carlo casino hosted its own poker tournament, the Monte Carlo Millions. Phil Ivey, a famous poker pro, was able to weed through most of the 80 competitors who put up $14,000 to compete, but was stopped in third place, with Jani Sointula taking the top prize.

In 2005, Ivey redeemed himself by winning a million dollars in the second Monte Carlo Millions for a first place finish. He went on to win a Monte Carlo Millions Invitational Event sponsored by FullTiltPoker the next day.

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