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MicroBob
10-18-2004, 08:42 PM
An incredibly sad story.
Great Detroit Tigers home-run hitter and fan-favorite with multi-millions in retirement blows it all and is running from the law.


http://www.detnews.com/2004/tigers/0410/17/a01-306142.htm

WC64
10-18-2004, 09:18 PM
Wow that is a very sad story

plj8624
10-18-2004, 09:24 PM
wow that is just awful. Serious gambling addiction:

On a February day in 1999, Cecil Fielder walked into the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City just before noon, and filled out an application for credit.

Under “Income/Assets,” he included: “Salary — $5 million.”

Under “Other Casinos,” he listed a $100,000 line of credit at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.

Trump extended Fielder a $25,000 line of credit. That money, plus whatever cash he had started with, lasted a day and a half.

Fielder requested, and was given, another $25,000 line of credit.

That was gone in two hours and 40 minutes.

The casino lent him $27,500 more.

That lasted less than 20 minutes.

The casino extended Fielder’s credit by another $50,000.

The minute-by-minute records stop there, but the file contains a total. By the time the binge was over, Fielder owed the Trump casino $580,000.

miajag81
10-18-2004, 09:28 PM
I have very little sympathy for "compulsive gamblers" themselves, but I do feel sorry for his family.

MicroBob
10-18-2004, 09:41 PM
It's very reminiscent of the story of Leonard Toes (think that is his name).

The former beloved owner of the Philadelphia Eagles who lost everything over the course of several drunken BJ nights in AC.

Saw the story on HBO's Real Sports in 2001 or 2002.
He owned an entire NFL football team and lost millions of dollars at the BJ tables.
He now is pretty much penny-less and lives in a smallish apartment that his former coach and friend Dick Vermeil pays for. His former butler or driver or employee (or something) continues to care for him and bring him groceries and looks after him just out of loyalty from his past employment with him.


Leonard was asked by the interviewer what he would do if he was given $250,000 right now (or something like that) and Leonard responded that he would probably gamble it in AC.


In the story, it was reported that Leonard was so drunk he could barely sit in his chair or handle his chips or sign his name for another line of credit...yet the casinos were depicted as practically falling over themselves to keep the credits and chips coming and to keep him playing.


I don't really know how truly accurate these stories are but I suspect there is a grain of truth in how the casinos are depicted and I have always scoffed at the Harrah's WSOP-commercials "we want our problem gamblers to be responsbile" type of spots that run during the WSOP.

Harrah's is a different company of course so it's not really fair of me to say anything bad about them specifically....I'm just scoffing at the general hypocricy within the industry.


When I dealt BJ at a casino for 8 months I saw a bunch of people lose money they clearly couldn't afford to lose. This was a low-roller joint....so it was the type of clientele where I suspected the $500 or $1k they were losing would seriously inhibit their chances of paying the rent (if they're wearing the shirt of the grocery-store that they work at what else am I supposed to think?).

We got the whole bit about how to supposedly identify 'problem-gamblers' and report them to your supervisor during orientation. But it was never enforced. The only gamblers who would ever get tossed would be low-rollers who were creating a negative atmosphere (generally abusive to other players....very loudly using the F-bomb repeatedly, etc).

Nobody ever gets tossed for 'losing too much' or out of general concern that 'the rich guy' is too drunk to be making responsible decisions regarding his money.

One dealer friend of mine facetiously told the floor on his way to break "ummm....I think I should report the problem-gambler at my table". He knew they were already aware of him. He was hammered and losing a ton and was their new favorite customer. They were licking their chops with this guy.
The floor picked up on the fact that it was just sarcasm and they laughed. EVERYONE within the casino KNOWS that players who lose loads of money are always welcome.


Again, these are just my general impressions.
Perhaps there are other casinos out there with a higher standard of ethics than my experiences would lead me to believe.

4thstreetpete
10-19-2004, 12:11 AM
I learned a long time ago that a casino is a business just like anywhere else. I was young and naive then but I hated the politics that were involved there. I worked at a few places and most were generally enjoyable but I worked for one owner who was a total ass and would take dealer's tip money and would fire you on the spot if the dealer was losing money for the casino.

Nonetheless, players who dump a lot of money were ALWAYS welcome. But despite all this we actually had a few people there with lots of integrity.

I remember one time a high roller came in who was generally a nice guy. He gave lots of tips to the dealers and was just fun to be around. This day however he was drinking quite a bit and was losing a boatload. One of my pitboss (some young asian kid) heard what was going on and had the dealer stop dealing to him, helped him cashed out the rest of his chips that he had left and paid for his taxi to take him home to make sure he was ok.

I also remember stories when I was dealing and we had our regulars who come in. There was one lady who fell asleep on my table. /images/graemlins/confused.gif some people just don't know when to quit. Saw her everyday grinding it out for a few dollars a day.

Anyways thank god I got out of there and went to work at some better establishments. Worked a few decent venues after that and generally had a lot of fun.

I guess I know first hand how gambling can ruin some people. I have a relative who owns a chain of restaurants in New Orleans and was basically a multimillionaire. His family came to our house one day and I remember opening the door and this stunning perfect 10 supermodel greeted us. Turned out it was his wife. They had a huge house, nice kids, a nice collection of vintage cars.

I just found out last year that apparantly his wife along with his mother amassed an insane amount of gambling debts and they lost everything. They would hit the casino everyday and it didn't take them all that long. Lost the house, the cars and are filled with debts from creditors, etc. She soon left him and the kids and now he has nothing left. He contemplated suicide for a while. It's a complete mess. It's stuff like this that makes my family so against any form of gambling whatsoever.

Lately I've been thinking about this a lot. Are we as poker players any more different than what these people are doing? Would you consider poker gambling? Sure you can say we're winning players and that we are not like 'them' because we're responsible with our money. But when it comes right down to it, aren't we still gambling. I'm sure lots of people are having their lives ruined by playing online poker.

A few years ago I would've never felt this way. Now I guess I've matured a bit and just did some soul searching. I mean, I think most if not all 2+2 players here are winning players, and I'm thinking of the money that I've won and it's a very big sum. All this money has to come from somewhere, and don't forget to mention the rake which is astronomical.
Basically there's too many people online who are losing their shirts. This is the first time that I've ever felt this way, that what I'm doing is bad for the soul.

Justin A
10-19-2004, 01:54 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I have very little sympathy for "compulsive gamblers" themselves, but I do feel sorry for his family.

[/ QUOTE ]

Why no sympathy for the gamblers? It's a very serious disease. Although it's your choice. I expect you don't have any sympathy for alcoholics either. Either way it's understandable.

Justin A

youtalkfunny
10-19-2004, 05:27 AM
Gambling gets a bad rap in that Cecil Fielder article.

The article details several gambling debts, close to a million dollars.

But he blew over 40 million! It lists several failed businesses he invested in.

But being a lousy businessman doesn't make for much of a story, I guess.

icetonez
10-19-2004, 06:30 AM
Luckily for the family, their greatest financial asset, Prince will make much more than they were ever worth in their prime. And at this point maybe it's just the mother and sister he helps out.

PokerPaul
10-19-2004, 11:15 AM
Thats the exact same thing i was thinking of, the eagles owner.

Some might question why one would gamble, when you already have everything money can buy, and some extra gambling $$ isnt going to make a difference.

A psychologist once told me that for many its not just about winning some $$$. When you win a big hand or session at poker, or BJ or whatever, it further gives you an emotional 'high', like a drug. The sense that you outplayed the casino, makes you feel special, and possibly even more so in poker, where you actually outsmart numerous other players to win pots.

When you further add to this that the casino staff and environment feeds into treating you like a VIP, with all the kind of attention and perks to make you feel special, all the while with you earning glances and jealous looks from other casino patrons in a very visible environment.

Most people can control their gambling, but i can see where some, particularly high rollers, can become suseptable to this.

I was at the palms last year, and i was playing some BJ, and the dealer told me there was some high roller there that weekend, and she dealt to him the previous day. Said he was a rude [censored], and that he was down about 800k since then.

A couple minutes later me and my friend went to grab a bite to eat, and we had to walk along the BL tables leading to the buffet area. Lo and behold, they had one of the BJ tables in the open area (not high roller pit), cordened off for this guy and he was playing. We just walked by the table and glanced over casually, and then noticed the guy was playing 2 hands, 20K each, and had good sized stacks in front of him.

It took a couple of seconds to sink in that he was likely the guy the dealer was talking about. Well as soon as we figured it out, he went into a tirade, and yelled at us to keep moving (we never stopped or said anything actually), and for us to mind our business. Then he started cursing a couple of times. My friend and i just looked at each other and raised our eyebrows thinking the same thing.

So anyways, we stopped about 50 ft further down the aisle as we were trying to decide where to eat. All of a sudden the guy starts screaming from his table for us to keep moving, waving his arms in a gesture to shoo us away, even though we were no longer paying him any attention.

Anyways, after we ate, we wandered back along the same path and he must have gone to the bathroom as his table was still there, but significantly fewer chips. Maybe he cashed out, i don't know, but i can't help but admitting i hoped he lost it all.

Anyways, we went straight to a cab and went to another casino, as we were customers too and felt we shouldnt have to endure that.

Either the guy was way in over his head and was going ballistic, or he's just an [censored] and likes to talk down to people. either way i guess the casino was all for this.

Sponger15SB
10-19-2004, 01:15 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Anyways, we went straight to a cab and went to another casino, as we were customers too and felt we shouldnt have to endure that.


[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah for sure! I can't believe they didn't throw that jerk out on the street immediatly! I for one will never play at the palms casino.

MrDannimal
10-19-2004, 01:36 PM
The businesses he was involved in aren't given enough detail to indicate that they were all failed. Even so, the total amount he listed as assests from them as $6 million. given other exaggerations he's made about assets, that number is probably high.

He has over $1 million in listed gambling debt. There are plenty of other debts that are just listed as loans, which could just as easily have been cash borrowed for one reason but used for gambling instead.

I also don't think you can say he blew over $40 million, which was what was listed as his career earnings. Some large portion of that went to cost of living. You can argue that living a life of luxury is blowing money, but it's farily common for superstar athletes so I don't think saying he "blew it" is fair.

ResidentParanoid
10-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Saw something like this on a cruise lately. There was this incredibly outgoing, friendly guy, with some kind of disability that made it difficult for him to walk. He also drank a lot. He had enough money to have a "posse" of 3 people, 2 guys with ponytails, blonde chick with breast implants a perfect tan and willing to show both off. Anyway, for 2 or 3 hours, I sat at a blackjack table with the man and his posse, and I saw him lose something like 10-15K over a couple of nights (while I was there). Maybe not much in his world. I also heards stories that others told me about other times when I wasn't at a table with them. I estimate he lost 20-30K or more overall. It was enough to start to make the bimbo nervous (sorry, no more plastic surger this month). Anyway, the casino kept extending credit to him 1 or 2K at a time, even though he was clearly drunk and out of control. Should they have stopped? Who knows. The guy is on a cruise and is having fun. If it were me, I would have given the guy free tickets to something on the ship and sent him and his posse off. But then I wasn't making money off the guy.

jakethebake
10-19-2004, 02:25 PM
If he's a grown man and not mentally handicapped, he's responsible for himself. Shouldn't be up to the casino, the cruiseline, the government or anyone else to protect him from himself.

mmcd
10-19-2004, 04:29 PM
Lately I've been thinking about this a lot. Are we as poker players any more different than what these people are doing? Would you consider poker gambling? Sure you can say we're winning players and that we are not like 'them' because we're responsible with our money. But when it comes right down to it, aren't we still gambling. I'm sure lots of people are having their lives ruined by playing online poker.

Good poker players are analogous to the casinos.

Bad poker players are analogous to the degenerate pit game players.

MicroBob
10-19-2004, 04:32 PM
I too would be curious how much of this he actually lost at the tables and how much he lost in various other stuff.

If $1-mil is the listed amount of his gambling losses you have to suspect that he lost significantly more than that on different occasions at different casinos. Might have bought in for cash at some other places. Who knows?


I know that Mike Tyson had some unbelieveable expenses leading to his financial troubles. Monthly $100k jewelry-expenses and bizarrely excessive stuff like that.


I just don't understand how it's possible to get so crazy with that much money that you lose it ALL. If you have $40-mil or so it shouldn't be that hard to jsut hang on to a million or 2 after you idiotically blow through the first $38-mil.

Bobby Digital
10-19-2004, 05:30 PM
Daaaaaamn, sad story. He signed a ball for me when I was 10, seemed like a very nice guy.

ResidentParanoid
10-20-2004, 10:01 AM
[ QUOTE ]
If he's a grown man and not mentally handicapped,

[/ QUOTE ]

In this particular case, the guy may also have been mentally handicapped (I'm guessing he was in a bad accident of some sort) and/or he was really drunk most of the time. Still a friendly and likeable guy. Remembered my name every time I say him over a few days and greeted me like I was his oldest friend. He was playing like a child, building chip sculptures when he was ahead. Never complaining or showing any anger when he lost. Gladly handing chips to his posse $500 at a time so they could join the fun. Insisting they bet all of it. Completely clueless, and playing very badly. I sense his posse was taking advantage of him (outside the casino) just as much as the casino was at the blackjack table.

The thing about individual responsibility has been argued here too many times for me to address.

ResidentParanoid
10-20-2004, 10:05 AM
[ QUOTE ]
just don't understand how it's possible to get so crazy with that much money that you lose it ALL. If you have $40-mil or so it shouldn't be that hard to jsut hang on to a million or 2 after you idiotically blow through the first $38-mil.




[/ QUOTE ]

Seems like it wouldn't be that hard to hold on to enough to be comfortable. But then, if you weren't completely clueless about money, you wouldn't have burned the first 38Mil.

PokerPaul
10-20-2004, 01:28 PM
yeah, but i can somehow see the casino's point to. I guess it was worth it to them to alienate the two of us to keep him happy, as he literally probably made them a million in one weekend.

However, it all depends on just how many people he did this too...i have a feeling we weren't nearly the only ones, since a cordoned off table with someone better 40k per hand in the common area tends to attract attention.

Actually, as for the palms, its a nice place for young good looking people, but i give it maybe 1 more year before it becomes passe just like the rio. Gambling and resort offerings wise, there are way better places.

PokerPaul
10-20-2004, 01:44 PM
One thing that may be particularly tough on highly paid pro athletes is that your prime earning career only lasts about 10-12 years. During that time your making astronomical salaries, you live the life accordingly.

The problem is, once your playing years are over, no more 7 or 8 digit annual income to support that lifestyle.

Yes you may have amassed $40 mill over playing career, but once the regular paychecks stop coming in, a 50 foot mansion, with all the taxes, gardening, cleaning, maintenance, etc etc, will amount to huge $$ annually. Furthermore, it sure sounds like the wife and family had become accustomed to quite the expensive lavish lifestyle with restaurants, shopping, furtinure sprees.

It sure doesnt sound like they took even a slight step back in lifestyle to counter the regular loss in income.

Hence cec may have started to look for any way to continue that, investing in businesses that went bad, and eventually gambbling......of course im just hypothesizing.

Anyways, without high paying career after baseball, looks like they couldnt face facts that the gravy train ended.

If they had even tucked away $10 mill to live off that as a principle investment, it sounds like a lot (and it is), but even that may only yield about 600-700k annually from a good investment expert. Slash off taxes, and they're left with maybe 400k net income per year.

For the average family thats huge, but coming from where they were, that would be a big step down.

drewjustdrew
10-20-2004, 02:02 PM
I am assuming the 47mill is a gross number.
less: 5 million for agent/assistants
12 million for taxes
4 million for house renovations
3 million for actual house

This starts him with 23 million for other investments/recreation/living. Probably a more realistic starting point than the 40 million being used. Of course, it is still a massive amount to squander.

Maybe he'll be the next refrigerator Perry, working construction for a living and supplementing his income with hot-dog eating contest appearances.

MrDannimal
10-20-2004, 02:46 PM
Exactly. Then there's all the regular upkeep (cleaning service, lawn service, massive utility bills for a giant house, pool cleaners...)

then there's all the "I'm rich, so I should have sweet stuff" costs. The house had two sweet home theatres, all the cars, I'm sure there was nice clothes and jewelry and stuff.

Sure, it shouldn't be hard to save enough on top of all that in order to live comfortably when you retire, but if you're a compulsive gambler it's pretty likely that would be the first money to go.

Fitz
10-20-2004, 03:31 PM
I feel sorry for people who are ill whether it be alcohol, drugs or gambling whichever the case may be. I am, however, also a proponent of personal responsibility. This is where I feel there is often a fine line to be navigated. We have all seen players who were in over their heads. I watched a black chip crap game in Vegas one time where you could almost see some of them wince when the dice were thrown. Casinos have perfected the stretch and break for problem players; it sounds like Trump certainly did that to Fielder.

From the article about Fielder, it seems his gambling losses weren't his only problem. It appears lifestyle and business failures played a part as well. The man made 47 million dollars throughout his playing career; what happened to the rest of it? Perhaps I am being defensive because I profit from the gambling I do(As do many of us here), and I can see this as another rallying cry for the anti-gambling, overly moralistic religious right.

It isn't over for Cecil Fielder. A good bankruptcy attorney, some well chosen and emotional words of contrition and sorrow coupled with a book about his fall from grace, a tapping of the virtually endless cash of the sports memorabilia world, and he is back with more than most.

Good luck all,

Fitz

jmark
10-20-2004, 04:15 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Gambling gets a bad rap in that Cecil Fielder article.

The article details several gambling debts, close to a million dollars.

But he blew over 40 million! It lists several failed businesses he invested in.

But being a lousy businessman doesn't make for much of a story, I guess.

[/ QUOTE ]

Don't forget that his wife blew several million remodeling their house many times.

MicroBob
10-20-2004, 06:13 PM
PokerPaul brings up some good points.


Kind of related story....except the other way.


I know of a reasonably well-known NBA player (now retired) who played NCAA D-1 ball BEFORE the prop-48 academic requirements. Never would have gotten in otherwise as he really couldn't read (since then, he has come back to finish his degree).

When he got to the NBA I think they had some kind of road-trip in his first week and the meal-money was something like $100/day. It was a 7-day trip so he was handed $700 in cash.
Very concerned about this he called his former college coach (and mentor) because he just never had that much cash on him before and he didn't know what to do or how to handle it. In college-ball everything is pretty much taken care of for you but in the pros you're on your own.

The guy went on to make millions of dollars in the NBA (and to my knowledge didn't blow it all) but I suspect his family and mentors, etc kept him in check.
For others who aren't used to having money and are primarily uneducated and gullible it can be very dangerous. Easy to get mixed up in stuff you shouldn't get mixed-up in.

Cecil Fielder in his retirement days purchasing a nice home struck me as the type of individual who probably doesn't fit this mold completely and certinly he should have known better.
But the general fact remains that there are a lot of athletes who come from poor and uneducated backgrounds, some of whom have never been to 'the big city' before.

I think I saw on ESPN SportsCentury that Sammy Sosa used to keep a lot of his cash in the pocket of his baseball jersey because he just didn't really know what he was supposed to do with it.

FatMan
10-22-2004, 12:06 PM
If you read the linked story, check out where he went to college. UNLV, kind of ironic.

Bulldog
10-22-2004, 01:12 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I am assuming the 47mill is a gross number.
less: 5 million for agent/assistants
12 million for taxes
4 million for house renovations
3 million for actual house

This starts him with 23 million for other investments/recreation/living.

[/ QUOTE ]

$47,000,000 is a gross number ( link (http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/fieldce01.shtml) ) but if you think only 25% went to taxes, well, you've obviously never been in the $1,000,000+ tax bracket! /images/graemlins/laugh.gif

fnurt
10-22-2004, 01:12 PM
Hard to believe any UNLV player never saw $700 in cash, considering the history of the program.

Blarg
10-22-2004, 10:12 PM
Tyson got in a LOT of fights on the street, too. He was quite the bully, and had to pay off a lot of lawsuits because he just couldn't control himself. And heck, lawsuits are expensive even when you win. Tyson wasn't winning.

Blarg
10-22-2004, 10:20 PM
[ QUOTE ]
if you think only 25% went to taxes, well, you've obviously never been in the $1,000,000+ tax bracket! if you think only 25% went to taxes, well, you've obviously never been in the $1,000,000+ tax bracket!

[/ QUOTE ]

That's what good tax-sheltered investments are for.

Definitely with that kind of money, you don't want to be paying taxes the way civilians pay them.

top6
10-22-2004, 11:38 PM
that is just horribly sad.

i think he gets a nice pension from MLB, though, and while it's difficult if not impossible for his creditors to get their hands on that.

Lawrence Ng
10-25-2004, 02:55 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Why no sympathy for the gamblers? It's a very serious disease. Although it's your choice. I expect you don't have any sympathy for alcoholics either. Either way it's understandable.

[/ QUOTE ]

In a local small newspaper I read about 3 weeks ago covered a story about a man who was a obsessive compulsive gambler. Yes, it's a disease. It's a sickness. It's an addiction. There are social programs out there who help people like that man and he's been clean for 3 years. Now he's helping youths and others stay off his track.

People who have serious addictions with respect to gambling, drinking, heck even sex need to be help and not berated.

Frankly I think the businesses that run the gambling operations should put a much larger part of their profits back to social programs to help compulsive gamblers, but then again do they really care enough?

miajag81
10-25-2004, 09:31 AM
I see compulsive gambling as more of a behavioral flaw caused by greed rather than a "disease" or a chemical addiction. Our society is way too quick to diagnose lack of willpower as a "disease" whose patients we need to mollycoddle and forgive.

lefty rosen
10-29-2004, 01:55 PM
Does anybody think the big Cec, has played Party 15/30? He looks like the average bird at that level........ /images/graemlins/confused.gif