The Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City was bankrupt in 2009 when billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn sidled up with $200 million to buy the joint. After New Jersey approved Icahn's bid in 2010, the Tropicana embraced a new strategy: high stakes table games. (You can now bet $50,000 on a single blackjack hand.) Shortly thereafter, the Tropicana started getting its ass kicked. First, by this guy, who took the casino for $5.8 million in April. And now by another ragged-tooth predator, who last week destroyed the casino for $5.3 million on a Wednesday night when most of us were home watching some dumb reality TV show.
More from the AP:
Yet despite the huge losses, the Tropicana is sticking with its new emphasis on high-stakes table games play, confident that things will eventually run it its favor.
"That's just how it goes sometimes; if you bet more, you can win more," said Tony Rodio, the Tropicana's president and CEO. "We have a strategy of offering the most aggressive and highest table games limits in the Atlantic City market and we're not going to change that. If someone wants to take the shot, we'll take the action."
Lately it's the Tropicana that's been getting taken.
In April, Bensalem, Pa., gambler Don Johnson beat the casino for $5.8 million at blackjack, part of a spectacular roll that also saw him beat Caesars Atlantic City for more than $4.2 million and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for $5 million. His winning story was first reported by The Press of Atlantic City.
Rodio would not identify last week's winner, citing the casino's policy to keep the identities of its players confidential. But he did say it was not Johnson.
Last Wednesday's winner hit big at the craps table, where he was betting $100,000 at a time. He also did well at blackjack and mini-baccarat, Rodio said.
The man left a $150,000 tip for dealers when he was done raking the casino; it was divided up among table games dealers on duty that night.
The two gamblers should just team up and play for a couple weeks straight. Then they should buy their own casino.
2 gamblers take NJ casino for more than $11M [AP]