Keith Everett

The Rise and Fall of Charles Deville Wells: The Man Who Broke The Bank In Monte Carlo

There are many wretched tales of huge wins and losses written in gambling lore, but few tales captivate and mystify quite like the story of Charles Deville Wells, the man who famously broke the bank in Monte Carlo. But before Wells’s fateful run at the roulette tables, his life was already filled with intrigue and audacity as a confidence trickster.

Born in 1841 in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, Wells displayed a penchant for mischief and deception from an early age. He dabbled in various schemes and cons, earning a reputation as a skilled manipulator and swindler. Wells’s early exploits included ventures such as selling bogus inventions and engaging in fraudulent business dealings.

He Was A Charismatic Swindler

Despite his dubious reputation, Wells possessed a charismatic charm that often allowed him to elude suspicion and garner the trust of unsuspecting victims. His ability to weave elaborate narratives and convincingly portray himself as a man of means and influence proved instrumental in his success as a confidence trickster.

However, Wells’s penchant for deception eventually caught up with him, and he found himself entangled in legal troubles. Undeterred, he continued to pursue his dubious schemes, always on the lookout for the next opportunity to turn a quick profit.

It was against this backdrop of deception and intrigue that Wells’s path crossed with the legendary Monte Carlo casino. In the late 19th century, Monte Carlo was renowned as the ultimate playground for the rich and famous, a glamorous destination where fortunes were won and lost on the spin of a wheel.

From Confidence Trickster To Casino Legend

In 1891, Wells arrived in Monte Carlo with grand aspirations and a daring plan. Armed with a sizable bankroll and an unwavering belief in his own luck, Wells set his sights on the roulette tables of the famed Casino de Monte Carlo. Little did he know that his audacious gamble would soon make him the stuff of legend.

Wells’s method at the roulette table was simple yet daring. He placed large bets on a single number, defying astronomical odds in the hope of a massive payout. To the amazement of onlookers, Wells’s bold strategy paid off in spectacular fashion. Against all odds, he began to rack up consecutive wins, amassing a fortune in a matter of days.

As word of Wells’s incredible run spread, he became the subject of intense fascination and speculation. Some hailed him as a masterful gambler, while others suspected foul play or divine intervention. Yet, regardless of the rumors and theories, one thing was certain: Wells had achieved the seemingly impossible feat of breaking the bank in Monte Carlo.

The Payout

Overall he won between $40,000 & $50,000 Dollars in just 3 days, remember, this was 1891, this would be worth around $2,000,000 in today’s money.

In the aftermath of his historic run, Wells’s life took a dramatic turn. He basked in the adulation of admirers and enjoyed a brief period of wealth and luxury. However, his newfound fortune proved fleeting, and he soon found himself embroiled in scandal and controversy once again.

Accusations of cheating and fraud dogged Wells wherever he went, tarnishing his reputation and casting a shadow over his remarkable achievement in Monte Carlo. Eventually, his luck ran out, and he was arrested and convicted of fraud, serving time in prison for his crimes.

Despite the ignominious end to his story, the legend of Charles Deville Wells lives on as a testament to the unpredictable nature of fate and the allure of the gamble. His incredible journey from confidence trickster to casino legend continues to captivate the imagination of storytellers and gamblers alike, ensuring that his legacy will endure for generations to come.

Charles wells lived out his final years in London and died broke in 1922 owing two weeks rent.


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