Love him or hate him, once thing is irrefutable – the Packer dynasty knows how to make bulk dollars. Especially Kerry Packer himself.
The Aussie media tycoon, once considered to be one of the country’s most powerful men, built an empire that earned him a net worth of AU$6.5 billion by the time of his passing. As it turns out, his legendary exploits weren’t limited to the boardroom…
Throughout the entirety of the 80s and 90s, Packer’s ‘accomplishments’ during recreational casino visits gained considerable notoriety. In all fairness, you’d probably play it fast and loose if you were a billionaire of this magnitude too.
These ‘accomplishments’ reportedly got so out of hand, that the present-day recounts of them blur the line between fact and fiction. To this day, many remain unclear on what did and did not happen. A story that is perennially mentioned, however, involves a single night at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas (as all good stories do).
On this particular night, Packer was making the rounds and allegedly playing US$250,000 hands at several (yes, several) tables. This apparently ended very fortunately, as the high-rolling punter apparently won a total of US$20 million. But the story doesn’t end there.
As many have claimed, Packer was in such good spirits about taking home his newly generated millions that he saw fit to tip the MGM staff as much as US$1 million. Between how many staff has never been confirmed; personally, I’d like to imagine one card-dealer hitting the jackpot simply by standing near Packer. Still, a million split a handful of ways – two dozen even – is quite a lot of cheddar.
If you ever find yourself trawling through the interwebs for more legendary punting exploits from the man himself, you’ll come across some pure gold. Maybe the one about how Packer played £15 million on four different roulette tables only to lose it all. Or perhaps the time a Texan businessman tried to out-piss Packer by yelling “I’m worth $60 million!”. To which Packer produced a coin and asked “Heads or tails?” – ostensibly to show he was willing to throw away said Texan businessman’s entire net worth on a 50/50 chance. Though there’s not a shred of doubt in anyone’s mind that he would have followed through with it.
Now that’s a big dick move.