Vegas Loses One of Its Finest Citizens

October 2, 2009

bobstupakPoker-enthusiast and Vegas visionary, Bob Stupak passed away, much to the disappointment of his fans. Known as a huckster, performer, and stunt puller, Stupak entertained Vegas for decades. Such “stunts” he’s infamous for include a $1 million winning wager he placed on the 1989 Super Bowl and a two-minute opportunity to play with the Harlem Globetrotters that cost him $100,000.

Publicity was Stupak’s middle name, and perhaps one of his most successful endeavors was his dream to erect a futuristic Vegas casino with an outer space theme. His original plan was to call it Bob Stupak’s Vegas World, but in the end, his vision of building the tallest observation tower in the country with carnival rides atop it, would be called the Stratosphere.

Other ideas he envisioned for Vegas was a Titanic-themed condo-casino with condominium timeshares situated between four smokestack towers with an elaborate casino occupying the adjacent iceberg.

Stupak’s life was peppered with ups and downs and extreme accomplishments, many of which he survived by his luck, charisma, and determination. About 14 years ago he came through a motorcycle crash that put him in a coma and broke all the bones in his face. He also won a $5,000 event at the 1989 WSOP scoring $139,500 playing NL 2-7 draw to become the world champion. During his career, he made the final table of that same event three additional times. These are just a sampling of the crazy stories that defined his fulfilling life.

Las Vegas gambling man and oddsmaker, Lem Banker, who advised him on his legendary million dollar Super Bowl bet said, “Bob was a decathlon gambler — sports bets, propositions, poker — everything at once. He had a lot of heart and a lot of brains.”

Ultimately, though leukemia got the best of him and he died at the age of 67. He will live on as a legend in Vegas history, though, just as he would have wanted it.


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