If you had a 5 day winning streak at the roulette table and came away £1.5m richer, would you consider that a success? Most of us would, but not the Makarska King of Roulette, as he is known in his native Croatia.
Juste Puharic (Jušta Puharić) is a legend in his native land, where plenty of stories are told about his gambling exploits. He’s been banned from many of Europe’s largest casinos because he has cleaned them out. He seems to have made some big money playing roulette and poker which he has invested in the stock market and property.
Entrepreneur or Gambler? Same Thing, Right? He is the owner of a shipping company and has invested in real estate, restaurants, and an energy business. He’s the classic “anonymous rich man” who lives in a villa next to the sea in Brist near Gradac, owns a number of apartments in Zagreb, and assets abroad.
But he’s anonymous no more……
The Croatian high roller sued the Park Lane Club Casino after a big winning streak in 2015 after a dispute regarding an agreement he said he made with the casino prior to a huge gambling spree on the roulette tables. He bet £27million in just five days and claimed the casino had reneged on a deal to give him ‘cash-back’ on his bets. He claimed they refused to pay commission owed after he came out on top to the tune of £1.5m. He got his winnings though.
The story is that the Croatian Whale agreed the cash-back incentive to play at the casino. The Park Lane Clubbosses (Silverbond Enterprises Ltd) deny that they ever agreed to the cash back offer.
You can’t feel too sorry for the Croatian Whale though- he won £1.5m after betting £27 million at the table and he might just get the cash back anyway, if he wins the day at London’s High Court. That win represents a player edge of 5.6% over the casino. Not bad, seeing as it’s normally the house on top at around the same rate.
He is claiming a debt owed of almost £250,000 in ‘cash-back’.
Mr Puharic had his successful roulette run between 26 and 30 May 2015. The big question is: “How did he do it?” Don´t worry, we are digging around, watch this space!
The exact figure he is claiming is £243,518: a 0.9% commission on his bets of £27,057,621, to add to the £1,466,056 winnings that he scooped at the wheel.
The Park Lane Club insist they don’t owe Mr Puharic anything and don’t care whether he played at their casino or not. So there!
Jušte Puharić is also famous in London for suing a Mayfair hotel from which he is claiming five million pounds, as they confiscated 2 Rolls Royces and 2 classic Mercedes with Geneva license plates from the hotel garage.
The 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, the 1971 Rolls-Royce Phantom, the 1979 Mercedes-Benz 600 and the Mercedes-Benz Pullman were or are owned by the Iranian chess player and the last heir apparent to the throne of the Imperial State of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. Does this story get any weirder?
The cars were confiscated by the hotel for a debt from a guest who went bankrupt (they say). The other story is that the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane, allowed a bankrupt businessman — who was not the cars’ owner — to remove the vehicles from its garage.
Jušta Puharić says that the cars were his property and that he paid 4,000 pounds a month for renting the parking spaces in the hotel. Err, you couldn’t make it up, right? Rumour has it, he won the cars in a game of cards (he plays a mean hand of poker too).
Puharić has also hit the headlines in Croatia for the loan of 838,000 pounds to Davor Šuker, the former president of the Croatian Football Association. Šuker was investigated for tax and Puharić was dragged into the legal proceedings. The headlines? “Davor Šuker borrowed eight million kuna from a famous gambler!” Whoops.
About the Park Lane Club
The Park Lane Club is an exclusive private member’s club, one of London’s newest and most sought after. It’s located in Mayfair nestled between London’s best known 5* hotels.
They’ve gone to town on its architecture with crystal ceilings and plenty of bling. Probably more up and coming money, we’d say, than the Establishment.
The doors are open 24/7 with plenty of classic table games including American Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and Three Card poker.
If you are more into virtual roulette, they have Electronic Roulette as well plus 20 Slot machines linked to Major and Grand Progressive Jackpots.
There’s an outdoor gaming terrace for the smokers (all the clubs seem to have these now),