Mikki Mase – The Gambler Who Beat Vegas and Changed the Course of Gambling Forever

Listen to this news articleLISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE:

Welcome back to the second installment of our exclusive interview series with Mikki Mase, the legendary gambler who reshaped the Las Vegas casino scene. In the first part of our series, Mikki shared his experiences on what it takes to get banned from Vegas, speculated about visiting Las Vegas casinos together, discussed why he got out of being staked, and introduced his Shaken Hearts initiative. Now, Mikki dives deeper into his gambling strategies, comparing poker to chess and the exhilarating risk of baccarat to skydiving. He also reveals what his real guilty pleasure is, which might come as a shock to some of you. Join us as we continue to explore the fascinating world of Mikki Mase, the man who changed Vegas forever.

We all remember your epic bluff with 54o against Garrett Adelstein. Can you walk us through your headspace during that hand?

So, I was very bored, and before the cards were dealt, I committed in my head to play a big pot. I just wanted some action, and the cards I was dealt actually weren't a terrible bluffing hand. I had low connectors, so I could easily have the hidden nuts, and I made a big pre-flop open. Everybody folded except for Garrett, so I isolated him. If his cards don't hit, then he would have to fold any future bets, which was a great spot to be in when I knew I had intended on bluffing if I missed. It also allowed for an easy exit, if he applied enough pressure back and the cards came not in my favor, which I would have to fairly assume were his favor.

And I wanted to put some feelers out to see how strong he felt about his hole cards. So, when the flop came, they were not in my favor, which meant they must have been in his. I made a bet; he raised; I called. I didn't feel he made an overly aggressive bet, so I thought he was putting out a feeler. And when he saw that I called quickly, probably, it lowered what he—how strong he felt he was sitting with his hand.

When the turn came, I bet again; he called, and he didn't raise me again, which means he was probably on a drawing hand or hoping to see my reaction on the river. So, he flat-called only. The river came, and I barreled, and he folded, and it happened exactly the way I thought. The run-out on the board, he would have to have only a couple of some very specific cards. There were two specific cards, really, that would give him a hand that he was guaranteed to call with. So, I was betting on the fact that he didn't have one of those, and I felt that he didn't have one of them based on the betting that took place during the hand. Win or lose, I really just wanted some action. I was pretty bored at that time.

Did you make the play just because it was Garrett on the other side of the table?

It wasn't a personal thing against Garrett; it could have been any player. When I made the pre-flop open, there were seven or eight other players still holding cards. Any of them, or all of them, or just a few could have called, and I would have been in the same position when the flop came. It just so happened that I was capable of isolating Garrett in that particular spot. Most of the players at that table were either professional or close to it, so I think they all would have responded the same, which would likely have been a fold, and I would have won the hand with a bluff. No matter who the player was, I think the better the player, the more they would have understood the story I was telling, because they would be able to put themselves in my shoes.

Why is poker boring?

Poker is a very boring game. It's like playing chess. You don't play chess for excitement. Poker is long, drawn out, and frustrating. You often have to rely on luck, so even when you're playing with the optimal skill, if luck isn't in your favor, then you wasted all the energy using your mental bandwidth and brain capacity. It's just a boring, long, drawn-out game. It's not very exciting to play. It’s not very exciting to watch. It's not a bad thing that it’s boring, by the way. There’re a lot boring people. There’re people that like boring things. There’re people that have other boring jobs. It's not bad that it's boring. It's just not my preference. I like exciting, I like exhilarating. I like intense. Imagine how boring it is to watch poker. It's more boring to play poker because you can't even look at your phone, or look around, or get a snack. You're just stuck at the table for 8 to 12 hours. I do consume a lot of poker when I feel like not being excited, when I feel like staying calm, when I feel like sitting on my couch for extended periods of time. Watching poker is a great film. But to create that as the baseline for my life, I think I’m setting myself up for a boring life.

So, why do you think people play poker if it’s so boring?

Well, I think most people are boring. I think that most people are average by the definition of the term average. Most people are average. So, what I think is exciting would be considered average if everybody did it. Most people are average and average is not exciting. If it was exciting, then exciting would be called average.

Would you say the same about every other casino game besides baccarat?

I think almost every other game is exciting; I think Blackjack is the most exciting. It's a savage game of just degeneracy and aggression and money in and out. And because you have to bear losses in blackjack, you have to have losing hands. You're going into it knowing you're putting so much money on the line, a brand-new car or a house, or whatever it is, knowing you're probably going to lose that hand. Because you have to be able to bear losses in that game, so it's such a different state of mind. It's such a different game, it's a different beast. I mean, you know, I'm allowed to max bet 75k in blackjack, and I flat bet. I know that I will have losing hands, and it's exciting. I'm sitting here with $75,000, and I can't wait to lose this hand because I believe on the next hand, I'm likely to have a double or a split and win 150 or 225k.

What is one of your guilty pleasures?

You know what I am addicted to? Watching people play Plinko. You know what Plinko is? Plinko is a type of slot game; it's usually on online casinos. It's like a big triangle and it has all these prongs in it. The prongs make the shape of the triangle, like, all throughout, and you pay a dollar amount per ball, so $10, $100, $1,000 a ball, whatever—that's your bet. And when you click the button, the ball falls from the center of the triangle, and depending on where it lands, in which prong, you'll either lose money, or you'll a multiplier.

So, if you spend $100 on a ball and you hit the button, you spend the $100, the ball comes down, and it'll either land in 0%, which means you lost $100, or it'll land in half a percent, which means they pay you $50, but you also lose $50 because you spent 100. Or it'll land in 10x, so now they'll pay you $1,000. It'll land in 100x; now you got $10,000, or it'll land in Thousand X; you got a million dollars for a $100 bet.

And you could change how big you want to bet the ball, but it goes down the triangle. You're always rooting, you're like, "Go wide, go wide!" because the wider it is, the bigger the multiplier. It's like ASMR; I just enjoy watching it. I can't help myself; I find it mesmerizing. I just love watching it and rooting for the ball to go wide. I want to see these people win.

What gives baccarat the edge over poker?

Putting the money in baccarat when you slide your chips is the same thing as when you step one foot right over the edge of the plane, and you're like, "Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes," and then boom, you just go. You let go of the money, it's out, and now you're just plummeting to Earth at, you know, so fast, and that's what it's like to bet on baccarat. Poker's long and drawn out; it's like taking the stairs down from the plane back to the Earth. Boring, who wants to do that? I want to go fast. I want it now.

You have over a million followers combined on all your social media profiles but don’t call yourself an influencer. Clearly people love your content – why?

A guy who would beat the casino, beyond these MIT geniuses and whoever else, probably would assume to have a certain aesthetic. And I think I am polarizing and the opposite. So, I think it was such an interesting mix that it gained a lot of people's interest, and they were like, "We want to know more." And the more they asked, the more I told, and the more interesting things they found out about me. And they just were super engaged. I think, not as much my physical appearance, as more my aesthetic or style, is very captivating. I show them the insights to a unique lifestyle that most people were unaware existed, and I do it with this style that is my own, which is that I don't really care about these other things. I care about what I care about, and they are my own and they’re personal to me. And if you don't like them, you don't have to watch. But people find it interesting, I think.

You mentioned that you post things that you care about. What do you truly care about besides this content that you publish on social media?

What I care about is also very challenging to portray online, and sometimes I don't desire to share some of the things I care about. I care about learning; I really love to learn. I love to understand, I love to dissect ideas or concepts. I care about happiness; I care about experiences. I care about leaving behind something that can be utilized after my time, and that would be a way of extending my life at the sole purpose of benefiting for the greater good. If I can leave something behind that still helps people after I'm gone, then I've lived more than just my life. Most people live one life, their life, but if they leave something behind that other people can also use, then that's the only way to live more than one life.

When I die, I don't know if people will use my information, my guidance, my tools, my businesses, my charities. I don't know if people will use anything; there's no way for me to know because I'll be dead. But I think that's the best thing I can do, the most altruistic and pure thing I can do, is spend my life making sure that even after I die, my life was there to provide an opportunity for other people's lives, and that's the only way to live more than one life.

What’s next for Mikki Mase? Any big moves on the horizon, either in gambling or otherwise?

I have three TV shows coming out this month.* If you turn on Discovery Channel right you'll see my face non-stop. I'm in all the previews for my new show. We are creating a bunch of other shows and movies. I started acting recently, so now I'm in; I've already done a few movies, and I'm shooting more this year, so I'm doing a lot of movies and TV shows. It's been really fun; it's been really cool, and again, I'm just some guy, so the fact that all these big movie stars are requesting that I be in the movie with them, or I co-star, or even when I have cameos, it's just so humbling and it's really cool, and I'm having fun on this journey.

*Disclaimer: Please note that the interview with Mikki Mase was conducted prior to the release of some of his TV shows mentioned herein. Consequently, some of the details regarding the shows and their release dates may be outdated.

What’s the name of the Discovery show you are in?

I think it's called Hustlers, Gamblers, Crooks. Each season, each episode, I think has like two people in it, I think something like this, but I'm season one, episode one; it was my sizzle that helped land the deal with Discovery Channel, so I play quite a prominent role in the series.

My IMDb just updated with one of the movies I just filmed; it's called When It Rains in LA, and it's a thriller, and it's about a murder that happens in Los Angeles and then a series of unfortunate events surrounding the daughter of the victim while trying to find out who murdered the parent. I play a character named Seth, and that was pretty cool, and I am scheduled for four more feature presentations. I'm in four more movies this year as of now.

From gambling to movies. How did your life take this turn?

It's funny how it happened. Somebody had seen me play poker on TV, and they're a movie producer, and they also enjoy poker, so they saw me and they saw my enigmatic personality, and they thought I was very captivating, and they reached out. They got my information through the owner of the TV show that I play poker on, and he said, "Can I, we," he said, "Will Smith and I have a movie about gambling coming out, can we hire you as a consultant to make sure all the gambling scenes are accurate to gambling?" and I said, "No problem." And as we started going over this script, he just started to see, he goes, "You're like a natural role for one of the supporting roles," and I go, "Yeah, I don't know. I mean, you're describing my lifestyle, you know, full-time gambling," and he goes, "Can I just offer you a role in the movie? It's one of the supporting roles." I go, "That's a major role. I'm happy to do it, but I'm not really an actor." He goes, "Well, why don't we do this: Me and Will Smith are filming a different movie before this one. Why don't we give you a small role in the first one to see how you do on camera, and assuming you're good enough, then we'll keep you in this big role in the second film," and I said, "Yeah, of course. I get two for the price of one. Why would I say no?"

My mom keeps sending me screenshots of all her friends that didn't know I was on TV, and they're seeing me in all the previews on Discovery Channel, and they're freaking out to my mom, and my mom's really proud, and she's sending me these screenshots, and I see how proud my mother is and that's like really cool.

Is acting difficult for a gambler? How do you really feel about the switch you are making?

It's so hard, way harder than it looks. It's so hard, so new to this that I couldn't even give advice. I have acting coaches, a lot of them. I have all these people helping me because I'm not a real actor. I didn't ever plan on being in movies; I don't know what I'm doing, just having a good time. What I've done in gambling countless times has never been done before. I've changed the course of gambling forever. I beat Vegas, and Vegas had to adapt to that. I got banned for winning too much. I became the most famous gambler in history. I became the most influential gambler in history. I have partnered with the biggest stars on the planet because they love my personality, and they only discovered my personality by seeing the original videos of me gambling.

They were interested in the gambling, they looked more into me, they enjoyed my personality, and they would invite me with them to collaborate or partner on other things, and then that rolled into movies. There's never been a poker player in history that went from being a poker player to then being a movie star, although there is the opposite; there are multiple movie stars who are now poker players. So, I'm doing things in a way that's never been done before, and I keep changing history, and what an exciting journey this has been.

For the full story, watch the full interview on YouTube.

We hope you enjoyed this second part of our interview with Mikki Mase, where he gave us a closer look at what he really thinks about poker, the thrill of playing baccarat, his love for the game of Plinko and much more. For more exclusive stories and insights from the world of gambling, stay tuned to Casino Reviews. We're dedicated to bringing you the most exciting and informative content about the people who shape the casino industry. Don't miss out on our upcoming features!

More Interviews


Leave a Comment

user avatar
My Name United States of America
Your Comment

User Comments

Comments for Mikki Mase – The Gambler Who Beat Vegas and Changed the Course of Gambling Forever