Every gambler, male or female, shares a dream: Stroll into a casino, step up to a craps table and unleash a monstrously long roll of the dice. We’re talking the kind of unbridled winning streak that will never be forgotten by anyone there to witness it. It is the type of dice-shooting exhibition that empties chip trays, sends gamblers into states of high-stakes Nirvana and makes casino personnel sweat.

Clearly, good fortune can hit anyone, of any gender, at any time – and that moment can never be predicted. Hell, I was once temporarily endowed with the golden hand. It happened on the gambling floor of Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, while I was reporting a story about George Maloof and his brothers, back in the day when they still owned the Palms.

I started rolling and it seemed like I would never stop. As each point mounted, those around the table exploded with cheers and I kept feeling more and more confident. The Maloofs all won well into the five-figures over the course of that session. I scored a sum in the low thousands (yes, I was a bit cheap and far too conservative with money placed on the table). In the aftermath, one brother tossed me a yellow chip. He gave me $1,000 for my trouble. He received a more than healthy return on his money and I was grateful.

Whatever thrills and remuneration I might have gotten from that run – and they were plentiful – are more than eclipsed by the rush of bliss and shower of cash produced by the gargantuan dice-rolling streak enjoyed by Patricia Demauro (and whoever else happened to be betting alongside her at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on a fateful night in 2009). Making her record setting roll all the more spectacular is that she is a woman. No sexism is intended here, but, for whatever reason, guys seem to have all the luck – or at least most of it – when it comes to casino table games. According to a recent round-ups of the biggest casino winners, it’s almost always guys who take down the big bucks at games such as craps, blackjack tables and roulette.

Maybe that just bears out the mathematical reality of the fact that dudes throw dice more often than women do. They also, myself not withstanding, tend to be the ones willing to risk big money and reap even bigger rewards. According to study done in Sweden, guys bet nearly 50-percent more than women do. Nevertheless. on the night of May 23, 2009, though, when the New Jersey grandma picked up the bones and tossed them down the felt-topped table, she threw those numerical realities out the window.

While Demauro has chosen to remain mum on the specifics of her massive windfall, it is estimated that she took down somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – after starting with a buy-in of only $100. Her 154-roll extravaganza, unfurled over the course of four-hours and 18-minutes, stands as the longest and most successive dice roll ever. What are the odds of her enjoying such a long winning-streak without sevening-out? Something along the lines of 1 in 1.56 trillion.

What makes this all the more stunning is that Demauro was a neophyte craps player. “There are all these terms I didn’t know,” she told Time magazine. “People were yelling out, ‘Yo.’ I said to John [her friend, John Capra], ‘What’s Yo.’” Even after the fact, she admitted, “I think that’s an 11.” Yes, Patricia Demauro, it is. Surely, you hit more than your fair share of them.

In the thick of it all, she correctly assessed the casino’s concern with what was going on at the table. Demauro seemed to hit every conceivable combination – save for a seven – and correctly described jumpy Borgata personnel as “men in dark suits” pressing in on the action. But as it was all going down, and the casino probably dumped millions of dollars into the pockets of players who stood cheek to jowl along the felt, Demauro had no problem admitting that her success with the dice was nothing more than beginner’s luck.

Upon catching the eye of another woman at the table, Demauro told Time, “She smiled at me and I smiled and said, ‘I don’t know how to play craps.’”

While nobody keeps solid statistics on the highest number of rolls at a craps table, the record holder prior to Demauro’s stunning streak is said to be a man, usually referred to as The Captain, who apparently knew exactly what he was doing. His exploits have been chronicled in books by 888casino contributor Frank Scoblete, a man that knows a thing or two about craps secrets. Scoblete claims that The Captain managed 147 successive dice rolls on an amazingly profitable day in 2005.

Demauro is not the only woman to have run into good luck at a casino – but, unlike her, females have a tendency to crush it at the slot machines. A 71-year-old woman by the name of Amy Nishimura took down $8.9-million by playing the same one-armed-bandit every time she visited Las Vegas. It was situated inside the Fremont Hotel, and she claimed to coax money out of the machine by talking to it. Yes, the strategy sounds improbable, but it’s difficult to argue with her success.

In Detroit, the city’s largest slot win ever was raked in by a woman. Though she lives in the area and requested anonymity, there is no doubt that she won $2,005,393 in 2015 at the Motor City’s Greektown Casino. “I saw the winning combination come across the line and the machine went dark,” she told the M Live Media Group. The woman said she thought she had “killed the machine.” Then the lights came back on, she saw the size of her windfall and thought, “Wow, I really did kill it!”

Then there is Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, a brilliant baccarat player who used extremely good eyesight and clever maneuvers to relieve casinos of more than $30 million. She played baccarat in a style that allowed her to identify card values just by seeing patterns on the backs of cards, a strategy known as edge-sorting. It earned her a nickname – the Queen of Sorts – and got her banned from casinos around the world (even though she did nothing illegal). But Sun earned her fortune at the tables, she outsmarted casino bosses everywhere and she does not seem to sweat what they think of her.

As for Patricia Demauro, the goddess of craps, she recognizes that good luck does not go on forever. A couple of nights after the big win, Demauro and her friend Capra returned to the very table that turned her into a wealthy lady. When the dice came her way, though, she passed up the opportunity to roll. “The expectations were too high,” she told Time. “I wasn’t ready to be the shooter again.”

About the Author
By

Michael Kaplan is a journalist based in New York City. He has written extensively on gambling for publications such as Wired, Playboy, Cigar Aficionado, New York Post and New York Times. He is the author of four books including Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker’s Greatest Players.

He’s been known to do a bit of gambling when the timing seems right.

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