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The Whale Hunter

Steve Cyr entices the biggest gamblers to risk millions at casino games in return for over-the-top freebies and service.

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Back at the Barona that night, the gamblers shower, shave and pile into the casino's steak house before settling down for a final night of gambling. Satisfied with his $2.1 million in winnings, Mr. G-3 cashes out (despite an earlier prediction, Cyr does not throw up into a trash can). Other guys bet their limits, but don't lose prodigiously enough for Cyr to come anywhere close to his rainbow of $300,000. In the end, only four of his 16 players are losers. This rare bit of luck (good for them, bad for him) is salved by the fact that Cyr now owns these guys at the Barona. For the next year, he will receive a percentage of their losses there, and he is confident that they will return and lose.
Considering that he's leaving San Diego with an $18,000 take, Cyr admits that he's a little disappointed. Then he shrugs and says, "Hey, it ain't $300,000. But it ain't bad, either. And I got to go to the Super Bowl."
Michael Kaplan is CIGAR AFICIONADO's gambling columnist.
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