Daredevil Bets: A Las Vegas Gambler’s Guide to the Most Extreme Wagers

Placing risky, high-stakes bets is a way of life in Las Vegas. While most gamblers stick to standard games like poker, blackjack, and roulette, a small subset of thrill-seekers constantly search for the next extreme, daring wager. These “daredevil” bets go far beyond just trying to win money – they are about the adrenaline rush that comes with putting it all on the line.

In Las Vegas, it seems there is no bet too crazy or too dangerous for someone to take. From multi-million dollar prop bets on the Super Bowl to see how long you can survive in a haunted house, people are willing to put big money down and risk it all for a huge payday. While these bets seem crazy, they are also a massive draw for the city and the casinos that offer them. People come from all over just for the chance to watch someone attempt something incredible and defy the odds.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the most bizarre, most extreme daredevil bets that have taken place in Las Vegas over the years. We’ll learn about the legendary gamblers that have taken them on, the stakes involved, and the insane lengths they’ve gone to win. Whether you love high-stakes gambling or just enjoy hearing stories of people doing the seemingly impossible, these daredevil bets in Las Vegas will surely entertain.

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An Introduction to Daredevil Bets

An Introduction to Daredevil Bets
An Introduction to Daredevil Bets

Daredevil bets, or “prop” (proposition) bets, are precisely what they sound like wagers proposed by gamblers on outcomes not part of traditional casino games. They originated decades ago when professional gamblers wanted to bet on unique events or scenarios they came up with. The term “daredevil” comes from the immense risk involved in many of these bets.

Unlike sports betting, daredevil bets allow gamblers to wager on anything imaginable. If both sides agree to the terms, the chance can involve outrageous stunts, surviving dangerous situations, outrageous eating challenges, and more. The critical elements of a daredevil chance include:

  • Being proposed by the gamblers, not the casino.
  • High risk is associated with a significant potential payout.
  • Betting on a situation whose result is unknowable.
  • Allowing gamblers to bet on things beyond typical casino games.

The stakes in daredevil bets can range from a couple hundred dollars to millions. At the lower end, they can involve silly or fun challenges between friends. At the highest levels, they become significant media events covered by news outlets and TV specials.

While most gamblers are happy with the adrenaline rush of traditional games, daredevils always seek the next incredible thrillβ€”the chance to risk it all and potentially win more money than they’ve ever seen. Let’s look at some of the most legendary, unbelievable daredevil bets that have captured attention in Las Vegas.

Famous Daredevil Bets in Las Vegas History

Famous Daredevil Bets in Las Vegas History
Famous Daredevil Bets in Las Vegas History

Stu Unger’s Roulette Spincarathons

One of the greatest professional gamblers of all time, Stu Unger won three World Series of Poker Main Event titles in his career. But poker wasn’t the only game he could dominate; Unger gained a reputation for his daredevil bets on roulette. His most famous challenges involved spinning the roulette wheel for endless hours over several days, betting on his ability to withstand fatigue and frustration.

One such bet had Unger spinning a roulette wheel for 72 hours at Plaza Casino in the 1970s. As crowds gathered to watch this epic endurance show, Unger reportedly drank over 20 cups of coffee to stay awake. Ultimately, he profited over $60,000 from this single daredevil bet. He also won numerous other stakes by spinning roulette wheels for 16, 24, or 48 hours straight.

Unger’s marathon roulette sessions illustrated his superhuman gambling abilities. But they also highlighted his battles with addiction, which ultimately led to his untimely demise. Still, his name lives on in Las Vegas lore as one of the greatest daredevils at the tables.

Hubert Cokes’ Pool Hustling Marathon

Hubert Cokes' Pool Hustling Marathon
Hubert Cokes’ Pool Hustling Marathon

Daredevil bets aren’t just limited to casino games. Legendary pool hustler Hubert Cokes engineered some of the most unbelievable prop bets of all time based on his skills with a cue.

In one particular bet, Cokes took on a challenge to play pool for 24 hours straight against a rotation of challengers in 1964. The venue was Hard Times Pool Hall, where Cokes took on over 200 competitors throughout the day and night. As spectators bet on whether he could go the distance, Cokes won over $19,000 from the marathon.

Like Stu Unger after him, Cokes utilized coffee, cigarettes, and sheer determination to stay awake and sharp. At times, he was rumored to have moved around the table while wearing dark glasses to prevent his eyes from giving out. In the end, Cokes proved victorious in this battle of skill and endurance. He cemented his legacy as one of the pool’s first legitimate hustle celebrities.

Don Johnson’s Famous Baccarat Streak

Baccarat attracts big-money gamblers thanks to its high limits and large payouts. Back in 2012, notorious high roller Don Johnson made waves with one of the hottest daredevil betting streaks on record in the game. He bought three significant casinos for over $15 million in just a few months.

Johnson wasn’t just getting lucky; he negotiated terms with the casinos for better odds by betting big. His streak relied on “comping” agreements that gave him rebates on losses if he exceeded specific volumes. This minimized the downside risk and gave Johnson leverage over the house.

The ripple effects of Johnson’s baccarat streak were felt across Las Vegas. Not only did he become an instant celebrity, but the casinos changed their betting terms to prevent similar runs. While Johnson’s daring bet wasn’t a conventional daredevil challenge, it took the same iron willpower necessary in many prop bets. He pushed the Baccarat limits into uncharted territory.

Ashley Revell Goes All In

In 2004, a 32-year-old man from London named Ashley Revell shocked gamblers by betting his entire life savings on a Las Vegas roulette wheel. Revell sold off his car, clothing, and other possessions to build a bankroll of $135,300. He then wagered it all on a single spin at the Plaza Casino.

A large crowd gathered to witness Revell’s daredevil bet. The anticipation reached fever-pitch levels before Revell calmly placed his stack on red. Incredibly, the roulette ball landed on Red 7, doubling Revell’s money instantly. His courage was rewarded with a $270,600 jackpot.

Ashley Revell’s life-changing roulette spin caught the attention of the national media. It highlighted just how far gamblers will go for the right daredevil bet. Revell risked everything he owned for one shot at overnight riches. This high-roller prop bet exemplified the heart-stopping excitement that makes these bets so compelling.

Billy Walters’ ‘Frankenfish’ Wager

Legendary sports bettor Billy Walters is renowned for his big-money wagers on events as diverse as golf, football, and the Oscars. But in the 1980s, he grabbed headlines with a particularly daring daredevil bet themed around the pursuit of a bizarre world record.

At the time, the record for the giant goldfish in captivity stood at 2 pounds, 4 ounces. Walters made a public $100,000 bet that he could break the record in just seven months. He then set out to genetically engineer a giant goldfish, earning the nickname “Frankenfish” in the media.

By utilizing selective breeding methods, Walters produced a behemoth goldfish weighing over 4 pounds. He named it “Super Goldie, 4 lbs., one oz., and collected it on his public wager. The outrageous stunt demonstrated Walters’ knack for combining skill and showmanship into compelling daredevil bets.

Ranking the Top Daredevil Bets by Season

Ranking the Top Daredevil Bets by Season
Ranking the Top Daredevil Bets by Season

Daredevil bets come fast and furious in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at some of the craziest events each year on the Strip:

Season 1: Super Bowl Prop Bets

The Super Bowl annually brings out the most daredevil bets in Las Vegas sportsbooks. With the entire world watching, degenerate gamblers propose absurd wagers on events like:

  • Which shade of Gatorade will be poured on the victorious coach?
  • How long will the national anthem be sung?
  • Will any athlete perform the Lambeau Leap?
  • Will a spectator enter the field during play?

With millions of dollars on the line, the Super Bowl allows bettors to dream up crazy props. Seasoned gamblers get in on the action, taking advantage of mispriced exotic bets.

Season 2: WSOP Main Event

Every July in Las Vegas, the World Series of Poker Main Event is a magnet for risky wagers. Top poker pros often make silly prop bets against each other as they compete for the championship. Examples include:

  • How many times a player will say a particular word at the table?
  • Who will bust out of the tournament first?
  • Crossing the Las Vegas Strip in the fastest time
  • Eating disgusting food items for money

These bets create side action to keep things fun during the long tournament. They also showcase poker’s roots as a gambling lifestyle beyond just playing cards.

Season 3: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

The July 4th holiday is marked by the renowned Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, where competitive eaters push human limits. Las Vegas casinos let daredevil bettors wager on metrics like:

  • The winner eats total hot dogs and buns
  • The margin of victory between 1st and 2nd place
  • Will the winner beat the current world record?

The stomach-churning action makes for perfect daredevil betting. Bettors in the know can capitalize on insider knowledge of the top eaters. This event encapsulates the sheer extremity of daredevil wagers.

Ranking Daredevil Comic Runs

While Las Vegas gamblers chase thrills at the tables, comic fans get their daredevil fix from the pages. Created by Stan Lee in 1964, Marvel’s Daredevil follows the adventures of blind lawyer Matt Murdock and his crimefighting alter ego. Here are the most beloved comic runs featuring the Man Without Fear:

5. Daredevil by Charles Soule

Charles Soule’s run from 2018–2020 takes Matt Murdock back to his roots as a streetwise, gritty hero. The New York setting and legal focus help make this a solid starting point for new readers.

4. Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis

Bendis’ run in the early 2000s introduced mainstream fans to a darker, modern tone. Fan-favorite characterizations of Daredevil, Kingpin, and more stem from this influential era.

3. Daredevil by Ed Brubaker

Brubaker expanded on Bendis’ vision from 2006–2009 with a pulp-inspired noir flair. Murdock spirals into depression as new villains push him to his lowest point.

2. Daredevil by Frank Miller

Miller revolutionized Daredevil in the 1980s, transforming the second-rate hero into a flawed, grounded icon. His run solidified Daredevil as one of Marvel’s most complex characters.

1. Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky

Zdarsky’s current run pays tribute to Daredevil’s past while forging a bold new path. No other creative team has skillfully balanced humor, action, and heartβ€”a must-read modern classic.

For 57 years, talented writers and artists have left their mark on Daredevil’s mythos. These definitive comic runs showcase Matt Murdock at his darkest, funniest, and most human. There’s no shortage of daredevil thrills for comic book fans.

The Best Daredevil Story Arcs, Ranked
The Best Daredevil Story Arcs, Ranked
The Best Daredevil Story Arcs, Ranked

Beyond total comic runs, certain Daredevil story arcs stand out as all-time greats. These epic storylines would make fantastic source material for movies and TV shows.

10. Daredevil: Guardian Devil (Issues #1–8)

Kevin Smith kicks off the 1998 relaunch by pitting Daredevil against a demonic child who may be the Antichrist. Wild religious themes introduce Smith’s unique take.

9. Daredevil: Out (Issues 32–36)

In this 2021 story, Daredevil’s identity goes public. Chip Zdarsky cleverly analyzes how Murdock’s world would react to the revelation.

8. Daredevil: Yellow (Issues #1–6)

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale revisit the blossoming romance of Daredevil and Karen Page in this stylish early-days tale.

7. Daredevil: Born Again (Issues #227–233)

Frank Miller’s definitive Daredevil story sees the hero ruined and destitute after the Kingpin learns his secret identity.

6. Daredevil: The Murdock Papers (Issues 47–50)

Beloved 1970s, run by Gerry Conway, defines Daredevil’s abilities and pits him against the classic villain Mr. Fear.

5. Daredevil: Wake Up (Issues #16–19)

A 1990 psychological thriller where Daredevil goes up against the demonic Muse while recovering from injuries.

4. Daredevil: Underboss (Issues #26–30)

Ed Brubaker introduces the dangerous new crime boss, Lady Bullseye, in this action-packed 2006 story.

3. Daredevil: Hardcore (Issues #46–50)

Brian Michael Bendis gives Kingpin a gritty makeover in this early 2000s arc, now seen as a classic.

2. Daredevil: Devil in Cell Block D (Issues #82–87)

Frank Miller sends Daredevil to prison, testing Matt Murdock’s survival skills and determination like never before.

1. Daredevil: Last Rites (Issues #116–119)

Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark delivered an emotional gut-punch finale to their critically acclaimed run in 2009.

With decades of powerful storytelling to draw from, narrowing Daredevil’s most excellent arcs down is difficult. But these 10 tales exemplify why he remains one of Marvel’s most complex and enduring characters.

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Top Daredevil Quotes

Daredevil strikes an iconic image on the comic page, but some of his best moments come from robust dialogue. Here are some of the Man Without Fear’s most memorable quotes:

I’m not the bad guy.” Daredevil defends his violent actions against criminals.

I am not a killer. I’m just a guy without fear.” Daredevil explains his motivations.

“You can’t shut me up. Because I’m not afraid of you.” Daredevil to Kingpin

I’m no hero. Just a lawyer with an extra-curricular activity.” Murdock is downplaying his superhero role.

The hero thingβ€”I don’t buy it. You guys started it.” Daredevil rejects the masked hero label.

I’m still standing. Broken face and all.” Daredevil, after a brutal beating from Bullseye

My life is a never-ending battle between right and wrong.” Daredevil on his moral code.

I can do more than see. I can feel more than you know.” Daredevil describes his enhanced radar sense.

The price was high, but not too high.” Daredevil goes public with his identity.

I never quit. Not on a case, not ever.” Daredevil’s mission statement

Daredevil’s best writing captures the agony and ecstasy behind Matt Murdock’s vigilante mission. His powerful quotes reflect a flawed, driven hero trying to honor his values in an unfair world.

Conclusion

Las Vegas will continue pushing the boundaries of outlandish daredevil bets as long as gamblers keep dreaming up new challenges. Considerable risk brings big rewards for those bold enough to put it all on the line. But beyond the flashy bets, daredevil culture reflects our fascination with testing human limitations.

Just as Daredevil represents the struggle between heroism and mortality in comics, daredevil bettors confront their fears and weaknesses for glory. There is an undeniable appeal to attempting the impossible, even when the odds of victory are slim. So while these bets may seem crazy on the surface, they hold our attention because the best of us all have a little daredevil spirit waiting to be pushed to new heights.

FAQs

Are daredevil bets legal?

Yes, daredevil bets are legal in Las Vegas as long as they are arranged between consenting gamblers. Casinos may facilitate the chances, but the propositions are not officially endorsed gambling options.

What are the most common daredevil bets?

Some popular daredevil bets include outrageous eating challenges, surviving frightening situations, performing crazy stunts, and predicting unique outcomes around significant events.

What are some examples of super high-stakes daredevil bets?

In recent years there have been multi-million dollar bets on whether safety will occur in the Super Bowl if a fan will catch a field goal kicked into the stands, and if a poker player can stay blindfolded at a table for 12 hours.

Do casinos like daredevil bets?

Many casinos actively encourage daredevil bets because they draw attention and new customers. Even though the house doesn’t directly profit, bigger crowds spending money is good for business.

Can average tourists place daredevil bets?

Yes, while gambling whales and celebrities place the highest stakes daredevil bets, anyone can propose or participate in prop bets depending on their bankroll.

Is there skill involved in daredevil bets?

It depends on the specific bet. Bets based on feats like athletics or survival may involve skill and practice. But pure luck-based chances are more common for high rollers.

Are daredevil bets regulated?

Not officially. Any daredevil bet is allowed as long as both sides agree to the terms. But casinos can only accept bets that seem to need to be more risky or logistically impossible.

Can daredevil bets be made online?

A few sites facilitate exotic prop betting online, but most daredevil bets happen in person in Las Vegas due to the publicity factor and the need for in-person confirmation.

What happens if someone doesn’t pay after losing a daredevil bet?

Legally, the bet must be honored. But enforcement can be tricky if sums are large. Usually, public shaming and casino blocklists coerce winners into paying eventually.

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