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Lifestyle :: Travel :: Kimo's Vegas :: The Man With the Golden Arm, Part I

The Man With the Golden Arm, Part I

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California Hotel Las Vegas

On May 28th, 1989, a Hawaii man walked up to “Craps Three” and set a record that stands to this day. Stanley Fujitake held the dice for 3 hours and 6 minutes, 118 rolls. On the anniversary month of this historic event almost 19 years later Kimo’s Vegas talked with the Sr. VP of the Downtown Region, John Repetti (who was the General Manager) and Casino Manager, Jeff Weiss (who was the Shift Manager)  of the California Hotel when the longest roll in craps history happened. The following excerpt is from an interview that will continue next month and be posted on Kimo's Vegas.

KV: Take us back 19 years ago, how popular is crap’s at the Cal?

JR: From the day we opened our doors in 1975 craps has always been the #1 game of choice for the Hawaii people. This is unusual because in most casinos in Las Vegas and all over the world blackjack is usually the game of choice but at the California Hotel the dice tables are the ones the people usually enjoy.

KV: Getting back to Stanley Fujitake… what’s his story was he a regular guy at the Cal?

JW: Stanley was a regular customer for 20 years, he would come every holiday weekend and he was a known player and always a good shooter… the players knew when Stanley was on the tables and he always had the magic about him and this was a night when he extended that magic a little more.

Tumbling Dice

KV: Take us back to that evening Jeff you were working…

JW: It was about 1:30 in the morning on a Saturday night and that was Memorial Day Weekend. The dice pit had been busy all night long. The players were milling around from table to table and Stanley landed on what we call Craps Three. It was a pretty full table and not a lot going on and he just kept on rolling and rolling and rolling… at this point it was about 2:30 in the morning and the graveyard people had started to come in (at 3 o’clock in the morning when we changed shifts back in those days) and I remember the point was 10 and everybody was at the maximum bets. The hardway… you could not even see the layout. The first roll when they counted the game was a winner 10 hard. On that roll we probably gave out about a $100,000 dollars between the pass line winners and hardways. His next roll that came out was a four and the roll after that was a winner four hard. Another $100,000 went out and then he continued to roll for about another hour and thirty five minutes after that.

KV: So you’re 90 minutes into this thing that nobody knows where it’s going, is everyone out there doing the $1,000 (pass line bet)?

JW: I would say probably about 75% of the table was at the maximum bets on the pass line and place bets at that point.

KV: We’ve heard that Stanley got involved in the roll and wasn’t betting high… he knew what he was doing on the table right?

JW: Oh yes, Stanley knew exactly what he was doing, he was very educated in how to play the game, even though he was shooting he was concentrating very hard and his bets were up there also...

Craps Table

KV: Hawaiian people are usually reserved but describe for us what happened every time he hit a point.

JW: Everyone was just screaming they were four deep behind the table watching this roll because it was something so unusual and every time he threw a number or winner people were just screaming…

JR: We have a company policy where Jeff has to let me know when we’re losing certain amounts… it was 2:30 in the morning I was sleeping and the first phone call, I’d heard a bunch of yelling in the background and Jeff told me we are down over $100,000 and he’d been rolling for an hour. I said OK Jeff (this is not unusual at the Cal we have these kinds of rolls quite regularly), I would say Jeff call me back when they 7 out and let me know what the damage was. Fifteen minutes go by then Jeff calls back, I figure Jeff’s gonna tell me they 7’ed out, he’d say John we’re down $300,000 and they’re still rolling. I say OK call me when it gets to a half a million, after the third phone call I think I better throw some clothes on, because people may want to get paid off in checks and I sign the checks. Keep in mind I live about 20 – 25 minutes from the hotel. I walked into my office and turned the game on and you couldn’t see the table, the people around, it was probably in excess of 100 people… two or three deep trying to watch the game.

Next month on Around Hawaii check out “The Man with the Golden Arm, Part II”. Find out what happened to the original table, how much the Cal lost that day, and how the Golden Arm club began. Get more Las Vegas news at MidWeek and at Kimo's Vegas.

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Regarding the Kilauea volcano lava flow.

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