The Poker Joker Forum >> Legends of Gambling >> Message started by: Five Fingers on 04/23/06 at 10:02:15
Title: Hall of Infamy: Jimmy Chagra
Post by: Five Fingers on 04/23/06 at 10:02:15
Texa based, Jamiel 'Jimmy' Chagra was a high-rolling drug dealer who liked to recklessly wager his ill-gotten gains. He was famous for showing up at the Las Vegas Country Club carrying two shopping bags full of cash and being flanked by bodyguards.
In the casinos he was known as a lavish tipper. Following a sky-high run at a Caesars Palace craps table, he tipped the croupier $600,000. In his locker there, he routinely stashed $900,000 in cash.
In 1979, Chagra was indicted on conspiracy charges for the murder of a Texas judge and started a life sentence in federal prison on related charges.
"He came to town (Vegas) for a final fling while he waited for his case to come up... Chagra's money was black as pitch, but he was not interested in cleaning it up - only enjoying it while he had time. Naturally the only casino willing to allow him to gamble for the deranged sums he insisted on was Binion's Horseshoe...
The Professionals were delighted to teach him (Hold Em) but were awed by the size of the games he wanted to play. The minimum table stake was $50,000, but few of them risked sitting down with so little, because time after time Chagra would throw in $20,000 bets blind 'just to liven up the game a little'.
There would be an average of $2 million on the table every night.
With reason, in the weeks Chagra was there, it is said, he beat the Horseshoe for between $2 million and $3 million at craps and blackjack. Early one morning, he got up from a bad session at poker, strolled across to the craps table, bet £100,000 on a single throw of the dice, won, and went to bed."
Jamiel Chagra was released on parole in December of 2003.
Source: The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez
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