Ask any casino player where the number one gambling destination is in the world and the answer you’ll invariably get is – Las Vegas. Where else? It’s a gambling Mecca: a city with 122 casinos and almost 40 million visitors a year. Historically, it’s a place where people have made and lost fortunes. In 2004 Londoner Ashley Revell, a professional gambler, set out for Sin City to make his own fortune under extraordinary circumstances.
The majority of us would perhaps consider saving up over a number of years so we could pay for the holiday and have a pot left over to gamble. For Ashley Revell, a natural risk-taker, this would have been a little too ‘traditional’. Instead he did the unthinkable: he sold everything he owned. Through car boot sales and auctions, he flogged his car, his clothes and all his worldly possession, which included the £40,000 he had saved for a deposit on a house. In total, the 32-year-old from Kent managed to raise a staggering £76,840.
This gave him more than enough to start his trip off with a bang. By now, we’re guessing that you might be thinking that he took that £76,840 and spread the money out over the next few days, just so he could savour the experience and hedge his bets. You would be wrong. All along, Ashley had a different plan entirely. He headed for the Plaza Hotel and Casino, went straight to the Roulette table and, with his life-savings on the line, bet it all on red. That’s it. It was that simple. Lady luck must have been looking down on the London gent that day, as when the wheel spun (for what must have seemed an eternity) the ball finally came to rest in the snug pocket of the number 7…red. In one spin Revell had gambled with his life (not literally!) and doubled his money, walking away with just shy of £154,000. His friends and family, who had flown out to support him, were understandably elated as he victoriously punched the air. His decision to choose red had been taken at the last minute.
A bold move by anyone’s standards. What makes it even harder to believe is this was his first casino experience and he picked to play the ultimate risk game to prove his worth. He said after the win: “That was just the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life”; but acknowledged that it was easy for him “to say now I have won of course.” The event was broadcast on Sky One and Ashley’s mammoth win has since been the inspiration for game shows such as Red or Black. He has also made numerous TV and radio appearances speaking about his experience. In an interview with the Sun newspaper, he is quoted as saying: “It was just one of those things you talk about but never do. Then I thought, ‘This is something I’d actually like to do. Why not?’”
Now that takes dedication and nerves of steel – an all or nothing gamble and one of the purest bets possible. Ashley Revell is sure to go down in the history books for such an incredible wager.
Where is he now?
Ashley Revell used the winnings from his roulette gamble to found an online poker company named Poker UTD. He also owns a company called iGaming Recruitment that matches online gambling companies with prospective employees.