On the one hand, there’s gambling responsibly. By this, we mean using your disposable income to play a few games and have a great time, but not putting so much money down that your entire livelihood relies on the results. On the other hand, there’s Ashley Revell. So, what was so crazy about this one particular gambler, and why is his name worth mentioning? Let’s start from the beginning.

Ashley Revell was a born gambler, with little in the way of inhibitions to stop him from pursuing his goals and ambitions. One of those ambitions, apparently, was obtaining the ultimate rush of putting your entire life savings down on a single bet. Revell started by selling off everything that he owned, which was no small feat. Imagine getting rid of your house, car and other possessions on a whim, just to see what would happen if you truly put Lady Luck to the test. When complete, he had exactly $136,000 with which to play an incredibly high stakes game of roulette at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

While he could’ve truly put his sanity to the test by going for a straight-up bet on a single number, Revell kept things reasonable by leaving his ultimate decision between red and black. Before you think that this was a sure thing, consider, for a moment, betting your entire life’s work on a flip of a coin. If you did that, you’d still have slightly better odds than Revell with his ‘safe’ outside bet.

With the chips on the table and the rules thoroughly explained, the coupier started the wheel’s spin and dropped the little white ball that would ultimately decide Revell’s fate. Without a moment’s hesitation, he pushed his chips to the red rectangle and anxiously awaited the results. In what was likely the longest ten seconds of the young man’s entire life, he watched the ball bounce and roll around the slowing roulette wheel. We imagine that time stood still for a moment as the ball fell securely into one of the wheel’s slots, revealing the result of the high stakes wager.

As the camera watched his face, his changing expression quickly spoiled the result. The ball had landed on red, and Revell had successfully completed a dance with destiny that few will ever match. With $272,000 in his pocket, Revell retired from the casino, off to begin a new adventure.

Revell invested the winnings in a new online poker company, but that wager didn’t pay off quite as well. The site went out of business in 2012. Despite the rather somber ending, Revell’s experiences have led to a collection of films and television shows telling the unique story. The events were originally filmed as a mini-series titled Double or Nothing, but it was also featured heavily in a documentary called THS Investigates: Vegas Winners & Losers.

So, do you have what it takes to put it all on the line for a single game of roulette? Are you willing to risk your entire life savings for an unrivalled shot of adrenaline? Don’t feel bad; neither do we!


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.