The Two-Suitcase Gamer Named William Bergstrom

Some gamers follow elaborate systems when playing Craps at casinos. Others just choose a method and stay with it, trusting the probabilities. One such example at Craps is the ‘don’t pass line’ and it works this way:

How the ‘Don’t Pass Line’ Principle Plays Outplay-593207_960_720

  • If the first roll of the dice is a two or a three, the player wins;
  • If the first roll is a seven or an eleven, the casino wins;
  • If the first roll of the dice is a twelve, the result is nobody wins;
  • Any other opening number creates a marker called a ‘point’;
  • A dice roll of seven before the point number reappears is a win;
  • If the point shows first, the casino wins and the player loses.;

The Day Gamer William Bergstrom Got Lucky

Bergstrom, then aged 29, walked into Binion’s Horseshoe Casino on September 24, 1980 with two suitcases. One contained $777,000 earned from real estate income. The other suitcase was full of fresh air. This was Bergstrom’s first visit, but he knew Binion’s had no limit on the first bet a player placed there.

Bergstrom put the entire $777,000 on the table betting the ‘don’t pass line’ explained above. The shooter established a point on six and then rolled a seven two throws later. After casino owner Benny Binion loaded $1,554,000 in the suitcases, William Bergstrom picked them up and disappeared.

The Day Lady Luck Let William Bergstrom Down

He repeated his success four years later with a $538,000 stake. His only visible sign of excitement was he took his mother to see a show. Six months later, Lady Luck finally let him down at the very same Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, when the shooter opened with a seven and he lost a cool $1,000,000.

Our takeaway from this is threefold. In the first instance, we should use our winning formulas sparingly after a big win. In the second instance, we should not be over optimistic. If we were ahead by $1,315,000 after two visits to a casino, then perhaps we should take the money and retire!