Over the weekend we were in Silicon Valley at the incredible Google campus. I hope this is the future of workplaces. It encourages you to work hard, be dedicated to your employer and provide you with exceptional amenities in your workplace. They provide free food, coffee shops, child care, animal facilities, rec rooms, music and yoga pods and much much more. The article today is a very interesting example of recognizing opportunity and seizing it. The dollar amounts have all been adjusted to reflect today’s values
As a child in New Jersey, young Richard Jarecki played rummy, skat, and bridge, and continually won money from his friends. With a brilliant mind he went on to study medicine. In the 1950s, Jarecki gained a reputation as one of the world’s foremost medical researchers…but his true passion lay in the casino. In 1960, he developed an obsession with roulette, a game considered to be a game of chance. But Jarecki was convinced that he could beat the system.
Jarecki noticed that at the end of each night, casinos would replace cards and dice with fresh sets — but the expensive roulette wheels went untouched and often stayed in service for decades before being replaced. Like any other machine, these wheels acquired wear and tear. Jarecki began to suspect that tiny defects such as chips, dents, scratches, and unlevel surfaces, might cause certain wheels to land on specific numbers more frequently than randomly prescribed.
The doctor commuted between the operating table and the roulette table, manually recording thousands upon thousands of spins, and analyzing the data for statistical abnormalities. He experimented until he had a rough outline of a system based on the previous winning numbers. He wanted to perfect the system and “beat” the wheel. After months of collecting data, he scraped together $100, and despite having never gambled he went to the casino. In a matter of hours, he converted his $100 into the equivalent of $41,000 today.
In the mid-60s, Jarecki took up a post at the University of Heidelberg to study electrophoresis and forensic medicine. He won a highly prestigious peace prize (one of only 12 awarded worldwide) and gained entry into an elite group of doctors and scientists. But Jarecki continued to keep tabs on biased tables — and prepare for his next big move.
Flush with cash, Jarecki purchased a luxury apartment near San Remo, a palatial Italian casino on the shores of the Mediterranean. Through studious observation, he identified a table that had a habit of landing on #33 far more than usual — a result of the “constant friction of the ball against the wheel.” In 1968, he drove his white Rolls Royce to the gambling den and, over 3 days, proceeded to win $360,000. Eight months later he returned, winning $1,400,000 in a single weekend, and depleting the casino’s on-hand cash at two different wheels twice in one night. Teetering on bankruptcy, the casino owner had no option but to issue Jarecki a 15-day ban… for “being too good.” The night the ban was lifted, Jarecki returned and won another $717,000, so much money that the casino had to give him a promissory note.
In May 1969 in the Italian Riviera, the 38-year-old medical professor placed a $715,000 bet on a single spin of the wheel. He wasn’t leaving it to chance. He’d spent thousands of hours devising an ingenious method of winning, and it net him more than $8,000,000.
Eventually, San Remo gave up and replaced all 24 of its roulette wheels at a steep cost to the house. It was, they ceded, the only way to stop the best player they’d ever seen. Today, most wheels have gone digital, run by algorithms programmed to favor the house.
In 1973, Jarecki moved his family back to New Jersey, where he became a commodities broker. With the help of his billionaire brother, he multiplied his fortune 10 times over. In the early ‘90s, Jarecki relocated to Manila where he remained until his death in 2018, at the age of 87.
Dr. Richard Jarecki certainly died a winner.
How do you get a professional roulette player off your front porch?
Pay him for the Pizza