"Vegas" Dave Oancea started his career as a professional gambler by taking out a $10,000 student loan, going straight to Vegas, and putting it all on red. Telling his story to Mel Magazine, Dave says: "It hit, and I turned the 10 grand into 20. That started my bankroll. I dropped out of school the next day and began betting on sports for a living." That high tolerance for risk is what led Vegas Dave to his current business of placing big bets on longshot sports results—and business is booming. In 2015, he won $2.5 million after betting $140,000 on the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series, a story that was enthusiastically reported in the local Las Vegas Sun. He placed the bet one week into the season, at 30-1 odds, and the payout is the "largest futures bet win in sports gambling history," Mel Magazine notes.
Oancea had to spread the bet around to 15 different Las Vegas casinos, because after winning big with sports futures bets before, no casino would allow him to place such a large bet in one go. He's banned from Westgate, Vegas' biggest sports book, and the MGM Grand, and he's limited at several other casinos. "Vegas loves losers but hates winners," he says. Dave believes his win will likely never be replicated in sports betting, because no one else puts down so much money at such long odds. He does lose sometimes—for instance, his World Series pick this year was the Texas Rangers, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs—but he points out that even in that case, he's up overall on the Rangers this season, because he won a million bucks on a $300,000 bet that they would win their division. Click for the full story. (More baseball stories.)