March 14, 2012
The Man Who Broke Atlantic City

Don Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards. Who could? At the height of his 12-hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute.
Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. Inside, playing at a green-felt table opposite a black-vested dealer, a burly middle-aged man in a red cap and black Oregon State hoodie was wagering $100,000 a hand. Word spreads when the betting is that big. Johnson was on an amazing streak. The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. His winning run had been picked up by the casino’s watchful overhead cameras and drawn the close scrutiny of the pit bosses. In just one hand, he remembers, he won $800,000. In a three-hand sequence, he took $1.2 million. […]
Johnson didn’t celebrate. He didn’t even pause. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. He was just getting started. […]
Johnson’s assault on the Tropicana was merely the latest in a series of blitzes he’d made on Atlantic City’s gambling establishments. In the four previous months, he’d taken $5 million from the Borgata casino and another $4 million from Caesars. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide.
Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? Nobody gets that lucky. How did he do it?
Read more.

The Man Who Broke Atlantic City

Don Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards. Who could? At the height of his 12-hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute.

Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. Inside, playing at a green-felt table opposite a black-vested dealer, a burly middle-aged man in a red cap and black Oregon State hoodie was wagering $100,000 a hand. Word spreads when the betting is that big. Johnson was on an amazing streak. The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. His winning run had been picked up by the casino’s watchful overhead cameras and drawn the close scrutiny of the pit bosses. In just one hand, he remembers, he won $800,000. In a three-hand sequence, he took $1.2 million. […]

Johnson didn’t celebrate. He didn’t even pause. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. He was just getting started. […]

Johnson’s assault on the Tropicana was merely the latest in a series of blitzes he’d made on Atlantic City’s gambling establishments. In the four previous months, he’d taken $5 million from the Borgata casino and another $4 million from Caesars. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide.

Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? Nobody gets that lucky. How did he do it?

Read more.

  1. thesecretnews reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. worldthoughmyeyes reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. thereelingnightshowhost reblogged this from criminalwisdom
  4. bkim reblogged this from theatlantic
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  6. -pacifictime reblogged this from peterwknox and added:
    Interesting read. Anything that helps me not do homework is bound to be, but I’m sure it would’ve been under normal...
  7. pinkstargirl reblogged this from criminalwisdom
  8. illogicallylogicalchick reblogged this from peterwknox
  9. peterwknox reblogged this from thegreg and added:
    Sucker for these as well.
  10. viva-machiaveli reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. thevandalsociety reblogged this from criminalwisdom
  12. jmchau reblogged this from criminalwisdom
  13. cradelikz reblogged this from criminalwisdom
  14. criminalwisdom reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Don Johnson [not the actor] won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly...
  15. alexkim reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    now thats some real live shit.
  16. jcsnyc reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. chrislindsay reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. aviatrixes reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I looove these kinds of stories. My history of probability book has an entire section on casinos/casino heists/etc. and...
  19. infearandfaith reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Wow, go Don Johnson. Good read too. I miss writing pieces like this.