Mikki Mase: How Winning Millions on Baccarat Can Get You Banned from LV for Life

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Mikki Mase is one of those gambling celebrities people just want to consume more of. Known as the King of Baccarat, @dirtygothboi, or the man who beat all the Las Vegas casinos and got banned, Mikki is a controversial player who’s caught the eye of the public. In the last few years his enigmatic persona has sparked heated online debates: is he a mastermind or a con artist? Here at CasinoReviews.net, we've taken the initiative to uncover the truth. Through this interview with Mikki, we’ll show you the real deal behind all the Instagram and Vegas controversies. This is just Part 1 of the Mikki Mase interview series and we promise you to reveal the man behind the myths.

We had this conversation while Mikki was at his home in LA, where the weather was chilly but that was fine cause in his words, he likes the cold. When we started talking and I asked him the question: Who is the real Mikki Mase? he started off with the cliché: I am the guy who played in Vegas, beat all the casinos and got banned. I am a gambler, a poker player, and a baccarat player… I stopped him. That wasn’t the real Mikki. I asked him: will this be the first thing you’ll say to someone who doesn’t know you? Hear what he said after.

Who is the real Mikki Mase?

I'm just some guy and I just try to pack as much experiences in life as I can every day. We have a short time here and I have been afforded the opportunity to have a lot of resources to do things, to find out what I like and don't like. I'm really just some guy.

I'm a normal person, there's things I like and things I don't like, I just happen to use cards as one of my crutches to gain the resources to find out what I like and don't.

It’s been said that you made your money through either rehab clinics, by being a trust fund baby, or by beating the unbeatable game – baccarat. But let's hear it from you – what's the real secret sauce behind your success and what is the thing that made you rich?

I'll tackle the trust fund first. It's a pretty good conspiracy, right it's like a pretty good idea if you wanted to come up with your own version I of how I got money like I think that one is probably one of the better ones. The only problem is that all my tax records and casino win/loss statements have been released so even if I came from a trust fund, I still beat the casinos. That fact doesn't change so people often that say trust fund are trying to negate the fact that I achieved any form of history and I changed history and I beat the casinos and the casinos how to adjust their games accordingly. Whether I did that with money that came from my old business, whether I did that strictly from gambling, or whether I did that from a trust fund I still did it and the records have been released they're public information. You can just look them up right now online. There’re videos, there's photos. Yeah, you know you've seen it.

So, people say it’s either or, but it’s actually kind of both?

No, I didn't get a trust fund. I'm not a trust fund kid. I don't think there's an issue with having a trust fund. But no, I wasn't fortunate to get that. I’ve always been pretty open about my family's history. They had been a wealthy family when I was young.

They lost everything when I was a young teenager and I've been on my own and not raised by my parents since I was very young, so my family lost everything when I was like somewhere around the ages of 13 or 14 which is also when I stopped living with my parents and if they could have given me like money and stuff growing up after that, they would have but they didn't have it anymore so it's not a trust fund. I never got a trust fund but even if it was a trust fund, you can't negate my tax statements and my casino win records. No matter where the money came from, I still beat the casinos.

You did make a lot of money on the baccarat tables. In fact, you made so much money (millions) that they banned you from Vegas. There's this idea floating around that if you win big, casinos might just show you the door and your story is like a case study for that. What's the real deal when a casino decides you're too hot to handle?

In America, they don't drag you into a room. That's a thing of the past, they no longer will use physical force as a deterrent, but it depends what you're being backed off for.

So, there's like slot hustlers who will be trespassed, right, there's certain people like card counters. What happens with a card counter: it’s is super obvious, a card counter. They have card counters in the surveillance office like top-notch card counters. They also have software to detect card counting and this is for blackjack.

So, when they detect someone's card counting, they will be approached by an executive and usually what will happen is either: they will be limited and forced to flat bet, so they won't be trespass or removed, they'll just say, ‘Hey, you can't change the amount of your bet, you have to pick a dollar back and that's what you're going to bet every hand’ which immensely mitigates the edge of card counting.

Card counting, that’s still a thing? Aren’t the technical advancements in casinos making it no longer possible?

It's definitely possible. It's definitely a big thing in the AP community.

And what exactly happened to you when you were banned? How did they do it?

What happened to me? Well, it happened one at a time, so every casino responded differently. Some like the Wynn only let me play there two times ever and I actually am a net profit loser at the Wynn. When you look at the two plays I had I think I lost four million one time, and then I won only two and a half million or so something like that the second time. So, you could say, ‘Well, you're still a loser, why would they ban you?’ They saw the potential of me winning more, they saw the manner in which I won, and they saw the way I was effective in the game was beyond what should have been the standard understanding of the game.

More people get limited or restricted or banned from casinos, from sports than anything else.

But those guys usually are really cut and dry. Their betting accounts are generally done online and they will be immediately restricted so no matter what the limit is, they'll be cut to like $10 a bet or their accounts will just be terminated and then no longer be able to log in. It's easier to get banned or restricted through sports than it is casino.

You said all casinos responded in a different way towards you. How was the Wynn you described so far, and how about the rest?

I post all the time casinos throwing me out and banning me. Some will make up a reason. Some will come up with the most ludicrous or asinine excuses on why I'm not welcome on property and they'll blame it on something that's not correlating to gambling.

There was a casino that said I touched too many forks in the VIP lounge which is ridiculous.

There's a casino that said I yelled and scared the dealers - that's ridiculous. There's a casino that said I had a fight with a valet driver except I wasn't even the state of Nevada at the time of the alleged fight. I flew in that night.

Let’s say we stroll into The Venetian right now – what goes down? Am I going to miss the chance to hit it big just because I am with you?

You would be escorted out with me as my company, but you it would be very unlikely that they would legally trespass you. They would escort you out just for being with me, but you would be likely able to return on your own accord on a different date. It would be a problem that we all have to deal with. When you're not with me, they probably wouldn't rustle your feathers.

I think that a lot of them are confused as to exactly what it is I've been doing. So, they just don't want to take chances with any liabilities. If I came in with people, they're unsure of your role in the relationship with me and they just rather not take a chance.

So, casinos practically don’t know what exactly you are doing, right? It is a mystery to almost everybody. Have you ever planned to disclose that information at all?

Not really. I have a dollar amount that I'd be willing to sell this information for.

Could you say that more people could become like you and develop the same skills?

It's definitely possible but I think the casinos are regularly adjusting and adapting their hidden edges. I think what's pretty likely is the casino will continue to make attempts to pay me for that information, so they can seal their gaps before the players find out. I may have said too much…

Now, not everyone might be aware of your Shaken Hearts initiative. It's a fascinating pivot, going from the adrenaline-fueled world of high-stakes gambling to setting up a community focused on helping addicts. How did you decide to start that cause?

Shaken Hearts is a nonprofit organization that I founded and operate, that at no cost at all will help anybody who struggles with gambling addiction, drug addiction, mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or other things, to find the help they need to recover from their addiction. I discourage gambling every chance I get, I think gambling is an evil thing, and I don't want to see anybody gamble because they're likely to lose and they don't have to put themselves through that, but it is of addictive nature just like drugs and alcohol, and mental health, you know, so it's a foundation that at no cost at all will help these people who struggle find help.

It got started because a lot of the rappers I became friends with go through their own drug addiction and mental health, and they knew that I don't drink, I don't drug and that I'm straight-edged, and they would ask me for help, and coming from the rehab business I was able to offer what's known as a scholarship. It's a free ride into rehabs and mental health facilities, so I'd offer some of my friends a free ride into rehab to try to get them back on their feet and slowly one of my buddies, who owns one of the rehabs said, ‘Do you think somebody can give me a shout out so I can try to generate business for the money I'm losing giving this guy a free ride?’, I said ‘Yeah, but I don't think that's going to be effective. I think there's a more efficient way to reach people who don't know that help exists and I was working with Famous Dex, and he and I came up with the idea to create a funnel that could directly reach out and impact the consumers that need help and that's how he and I created Shaken Hearts.

You are really into this – helping people, right? Is it a passion to you?

Something interesting that people don't really notice is I've never done paid promo, I don't do brand deals, I don't make money off the internet at all. I do the opposite. I have no interest in hurting anybody, I don't take money from any of my fans, I don't shill a product, I don't sell merch, I don't do anything that would ever take away from a fan. I do quite the contrary. I do everything I can to give them support, guidance, money, direction, infrastructure, opportunities for work. I do anything I can to help although they're too fixated on maybe the cinematic videos and stories I post, that a lot of times they overlook some of the altruism and purity that actually comes from my brand.

Never taken a dollar from a fan, I've never sold anything, I've never done paid promo I've never done a brand deal. I have no desire as the term ‘influence’ is referring to influencing the masses, and you could influence them for good or for evil, and if I'm taking money secretly and pushing products down the throats of those who follow my direction, then am I helping them or hurting them, and I have no desire to hurt.

Would you be as open to guide someone into gambling in the high-stakes world, as you are to help them beat addiction?

I don't like giving gambling advice. I do my best not to give tips or guidance because it's encouraging gambling and I think nobody should gamble. I'm a pretty big advocate for helping those who struggle and I rather spend more time focusing on helping those who have a problem than taking those without a problem and creating one.

You put them right next to each other – addiction to gambling, drugs, alcohol. In your opinion, what makes a person prone to becoming a gambling addict?

There’re actually two perspectives. There is someone who gets addicted and there's someone who is an addict. Someone who gets addicted fell victim to the problematic natures that are addictive in gambling, or drugs, or alcohol, but they're not of the genetic type of addict. They got addicted. So, for example, drugs is an easy way to explain. If you break your leg and you go to the doctor and the doctor says ‘Hey, take these pills. It'll make you feel better,’ you take the pills. Slowly you start to see that your body's building a natural tolerance. This was not a conscious decision.

Biologically, your body is responding that way. So now you say to yourself, ‘Well, I'm in pain. These pills help, but they're helping less. Let me take two of them.’ Then you're taking two pills instead of one. You run out early, you run out early and you go, ‘Wow, now I'm in serious pain and I'm in opiate withdrawal because I'm out of the medication the doctor prescribed me.’ You're not even realizing that your body had become physically addicted.

Continues in the video.

Do you think it’s easier to become a gambling addict or addicted to gambling than to become addicted to anything else – drugs, alcohol? Perhaps because of the chance to win big, the thrill, or the experience?

I think becoming a gambling addict or addicted to gambling is a smaller group of people than become addicted to drugs. I think it's harder to get addicted to gambling but I think those who do get addicted to gambling have a much, much more difficult long deep dark path than those who get addicted to drugs and I think there's a lot of reasons.

Watch the full answer in the video interview with Mikki Mase.

You never hid that you were being staked for a while, but you cut that short because of the pressure cooker it turned into. It sounds like it sucked some of the fun out of the game for you. What made you dive into that in the first place? And what made you stop?

In the very beginning I would just gamble with some of my famous friends and wasn't being staked. We just sit. We'd be out together, we'd be in a casino, we both gamble.

They would follow all my bets and we'd both win. They'd post about it and it would go viral. Then I started receiving death threats from irrelevant people, like regular non famous people that I only help the rich and famous. Why don't I help the little guy? Why don't I help the guys who actually need the help and stuff like that. And I said, well, my only objective is to help people. So, what is a way that I can take this feedback and help them the way they keep asking? I go, okay, let me try to help these people who want to stake me for small amounts of money.

And I think it lasted maybe four or five days and I never went through with it. But as I started building the program for it, I realized that I have no way to monitor where the money's coming from. If it's a safe bet. I never want to take anyone's last dollar because we are gambling and we still run a risk of losing.

And I don't know if these people are stealing for the money. I don't know if it's their rent money. Аnd I immediately realized there's way more liability than there is asset.

Story continues in the video interview.

So, people say it’s Mikki Mase the gambler, or Mikki Mase the baccarat player, but it turns out it’s just Mikki Mase who cares (he laughed at that).

In Part 2 of this interview Mikki shares even more, from recounting his legendary bluff against Garrett Adelstein to explaining why he thinks poker is the most boring game ever. He’ll also share his unexpected guilty pleasure, why is baccarat like skydiving, and discuss what’s on the horizon for him — including his upcoming roles in cinema.

For these insights and more, make sure you're subscribed to our YouTube channel and be the first to witness Part 2 of the Mikki Mase saga unfold.

Part 2 of this interview

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