We can’t all be High Rollers
A high roller and a professional gambler are two different things. A professional gambler generally sticks to poker and plays each hand as an investment. Pros enjoy the game, but they’re not really playing for fun; they’re playing to win.
A high roller is somebody who can drop eighty grand in an afternoon and write it off as a business trip expense.
If you really put your nose to the books, and you’re willing to lose a lot of money learning, you might one day become a professional poker player. Worldwide, it’s estimated that there are fewer than 200 “whales” in the gaming community, compared to thousands of pro poker players in the United States alone.
From the moment he walks onto the floor, a whale typically has something like a $5 million line of credit, because the casino knows he’s good for it. This is the world of the high roller: The casino fronts him more money than most of us will make in a lifetime just to give him a fun weekend.
Consider Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei. This guy is the world’s rightest royal, and yes, a lot of high rollers have titles like “Sultan.” The sultan was once the richest man in the world, and he controls a fortune in the area of $25 billion.
Before he starts to sound like a James Bond villain, consider that the sultan is famous for his health, welfare and community services record, making medical treatment free of charge to children, policemen and armed forces members, and is very cheap to everyone else. He has helped to establish greater monthly pensions for the elderly and allowances for widows and disabled people. If there’s a billionaire out there who deserves to live it up, it’s him.
A more notorious high roller would be Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer from Saudi Arabia who loves blackjack and baccarat. Khashoggi was responsible for the 19% profit drop at the Hilton International thanks to a single winning streak.
Players like us, we have our good hands and our bad hands, but we’ll probably never bankrupt a casino single-handedly. On the other hand, we’ll never lose a small-country sized fortune in a single weekend, either.