Tuesday, June 23, 2009

High Stakes

In the gambling business, the highest of high rollers are referred to as "whales," and Japanese gambler Akio Kashiwagi, nicknamed "The Warrior," was one of the biggest whales on the planet. In 1990, Kashiwagi took on Donald Trump in an epic battle waged at Trump's baccarat tables. An agreement was made that Kashiwagi would gamble a stake of $12 million until he either lost it all or doubled it.
The Warrior reportedly wagered at a rate of $14 miIlion per hour, and at one point was ahead almost $7 million. His luck didn't hold, however. The "freeze out" agreement was ultimately aborted over a credit dispute. Media accounts indicate that Trump triumphed to the tune of $9 million.
Akio Kashiwagi a.k.a. "The Warrior"(1938-1992) was a wealthy Tokyo-based real estate investor who was famous for the large amounts of money he wagered at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.
Kashiwagi owned a home and office in Tokyo, out of which he ran his business, Kashiwagi Shoji Co. He stated he was the sole principal of this real estate and investment business. He claimed an income of a hundred million dollars a year and a billion dollars in assets, but his finances were so secretive that a credit review for casino officials declared his profession only as "Business."
Kashiwagi regularly played baccarat for large sums, betting $100,000 or $200,000 dollars a hand on the game, for hours at a time. He got into a legal wrangle with Donald Trump's Atlantic City casino in 1990 over a deal in which Kashiwagi was to bet $12 million.
Kashiwagi left the casino with two million dollars in chips, having lost ten million. He claimed the casino had failed to hold up its end of the deal.
On January 3, 1992 Akio was killed, stabbed as many as 150 times with a samurai sword.
His body was discovered in his home near Mount Fuji. At the time of his death, Akio still had casino debts of several million dollars.
In the film Casino, the character of K.K. Ichikawa (Nobu Matsuhisa), the Japanese high roller, is based on real-life Akio Kashiwagi.


No comments:

Post a Comment