Have you ever had a decent run at the table? Well, probably not as good as this guy: Pedro Grendene Bartelle who placed a bet on Red 32 (a $35,000 bet say some papers, although this is disputed- see below. It was the Sun and the Mail that reported the bet as $35k- they are not exactly famous for sticking to the truth).
Anyway the number came in, reportedly netting him a cool $3.5m MILLION. There’s a discrepancy here straight away as a single number pays out 35:1, so he would have had to have bet $100,000 to win that much.
Video Clip of Pedro Grendene Bartelle Winning $3.5 Million (or a lot in any case) on Red 32.
Why $3.5 million I hear you ask when the pay off on a single number bet is only 35:1 which would have netted him “only” $1.2 million. Well, if you look closely at the table, there is a possible explanation as you’ll see that it looks like Pedro didn’t just make a single number bet on number 32. He made a modified Complete Bet on number 32- that’s a bet that covers the number from every possible combination of Inside Bets- so the single number bet, the Split Bets, the Square bets, the Street Bets and so on.
He hasn’t covered all of the angles, it looks like he’s just covered the 8 numbers around the bet with Split Bets- let’s call it a “Mini Complete” bet.
And that’s an important distinction. You might think that the tower of chips on 32 is going to fuel that massive pay-out. And you’d be right. But those 4 piles of chips that surround the number are also going to be paying out at 17:1. And when the ball dropped into 32, all of those bets hit too. Kerching!
It’s a similar strategy used by Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United Football Club, who pulled off a similar coup on the number 17. He went for the full complete bet.
The Brazilian El Pais newspaper reports the bet at $ 50,000 (160,000 Brazilina reais). Looking at the table, that looks more likely but then we don’t know the value of those chips and the secrecy shutters have come down. So it looks like we’ll never know. According to a former croupier from the Conrad, it is unlikely that the casino would allow such a big bet on a single number so probably there is some exaggeration going on.
But the fact that it was the Grendene family might have swayed it (they are former shareholders of the hotel). Any Pit Boss looking at might have judged that the odds were very much in the casino’s favour with such a low coverage bet. Oops!
It’s safe to say it was a big bet though, and by the look of their reaction is was a big win too!
The Complete Bet
The idea behind the Complete Bet is as follows.
You maximise your pay-back on an individual number as you have covered it from all possible angles. If this is your favourite number and you just know it’s going to come in (or you have placed a magnet under the number on the wheel), you make a Complete Bet to go full throttle on that number. It’s kind of like going “All in” in poker. It’s expensive though! You can play these kinds of bets online on the more advanced games like Premier Roulette Diamond.
The other reason that people like to make Complete bets, is to hedge themselves to some extent, just in case the ball happens to land on numbers surrounding the target number (on the table, not on the wheel). You are not going to hit the big jackpot, but you are protecting yourself to some extent by covering the Split Bets, Street Bets, 6 line bets, square bets and so on, because you will also be covering more numbers- which means more table coverage.
If you look at Pedro’s bet, he’s weighted his bet on the single number. That’s why the chips are towering above the surrounding ones. I bet that was bravado at the end of the betting period.
Wine Spillage? Once Pedro’s number comes in, he leaps into the air with his friends. I wonder what happened to that nice glass of red he was enjoying before the spin? That’s probably all over someone’s shirt.
He took a big punt with a big stack of chips on the number while he was playing the tables at the Hotel Conrad in Punta del Este, on the Uruguay coast. He looks pretty calm before the bet- then all hell breaks loose.
What started off a a bit of showing off in front of his friends paid off handsomely for the Flip-Flop businessman. His uncle, Alexandre Grendene Bartelle, co-founded Grendene, the world’s largest manufacturer of flip flops. They own the hugely successful Havaianas brand (I’ve put a fair bit of money into their coffers over the years).
Pedro Grendene Bartelle, is president of Vulcabras-Azaleia which is a shoe company. Bartelle’s uncle, Alexandre Grendene Bartelle, is a Brazilian billionaire who co-founded Grendene with his brother and Lucky Pedro’s dad Pedro Grendene Bartelle, in 1971. Vulcabras-Azaleia is the third largest footwear company in Latin America, after Alpargatas and Grendene which is also owned by the family of course.
So they are not short of a bob or two!
His uncles net worth? – $2.1 billion. So that $3.5 million win only accounted for 0.2% of his uncle’s net worth. Actually, when we put it like that, that sounds pretty decent for a one off spin….
How Did He Make the Bet?
Let’s take a look at the bet in a bit more detail, shall we?
He’s mostly gone for the number 32 on a single number bet with a huge tower of chips. Bet he’s also hedged to a certain extent, on Split Bets that cover 8 numbers around 32: 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35 and 36. So he’s effectively covered 24% of the wheel with a big weighting on the single number (that’s assuming he is playing on a single zero wheel).
I am guessing, to a certain extent, as we don’t really know which chips are his- I think we can safely assume they are the ones around the number- Let’s call this the Straight-Split Combo bet.
That’s still a very risky bet (especially with that amount of money), but it’s also cannier than you think at first glance. I mean, would you bet that much money on a 1 in 37 shot? You’d be crazy to, right?
But then again, would you bet that much money on the red where you have just shy of 50% chance of winning (remember the zero pocket). A $35,000 bet covering just over 24% of the table takes some courage- Pedro’s gone for Dutch variety I see. But I guess it’s easier if you are loaded to begin with anyway.
I wonder if Uncle Alexandre, who built up the company from scratch, was happy about it! I think we can file this one in the “Don’t Try This At Home Section”………
Conrad Punta del Este
The Conrad Punta del Esta in Uruguay, where he made the bet, doesn’t look too shabby either”. Check out the Conrad Suite
Again, I presume that’s the room he was booked into? If it wasn’t, I bet it was the room he moved into after he’d got back from playing at the tables. I expect the champagne in the mini-bar was all hoovered up.
The casino has 75 tables: 18 roulette tables in the main floor (looks like that’s where they were) and 7 more in the exclusive Club Conrad section.