Latest News | 29 Nov 2020 | By Sun International
GrandWest punter reigns supreme in Black Pearl roulette tournament
Sun International’s biggest and best gaming tournament is back with a bang, with a 2020 champion crowned and over R2 million in prizemoney awarded on Saturday evening
Unflappable Capetonian Ray Adam edged out 51 other competitors to earn bragging rights – and a cool R1 million in prizemoney – after claiming the Black Pearl roulette tournament 2020 title on a thrilling evening at the Time Square Sun Arena in Pretoria.
It was the culmination of a painstaking process that began back in July when the groundwork was laid for the return of the Black Pearl nationwide tournament, which had been off the Sun International agenda for a few years. Free to play and exclusive to members of the Sun MVG loyalty programme, it attracted unprecedented interest, as punters from 11 Sun International properties all over South Africa did battle during the qualifying rounds, beginning in October.
With its namesake wheel and simple rules, roulette is the most dynamic and accessible of the table games on the casino floor, and so the tournament served to attract new punters, along with existing poker, blackjack, and baccarat players. A reaffirmation of Sun International’s commitment to the gaming engrained in its DNA, the Black Pearl was also a reward for top-tier MVGs as they indulged in glitz, glam, and spin-to-win thrills after months of lockdown.
“Sun International is known for excitement, energy, and big nationwide tournaments. Coming out of the lockdown period, we wanted to do something to thank our customers, giving them some fun and excitement and bringing the ‘sizzle’ back to the casino floor. And they have responded, chasing points and contributing to an electric atmosphere,” said Sun International Hospitality COO Graham Wood
“I can’t give too many secrets away, but in 2021, our guests can look forward to more tournaments like Black Pearl."
– Anthony Leeming
Sun International CE Anthony Leeming added that there were plans for nationwide tournaments that appealed to punters across the entire Sun MVG database, giving the casual gaming fan an opportunity to win big, as Sun International continued the return to its core activities.
“I can’t give too many secrets away, but in 2021, our guests can look forward to more tournaments like Black Pearl. We want to show our customers that they are important to us and give them an experience that only Sun International can deliver: A real wow and sizzle.”
With just five of the 14 total spins completed,there were only two competitors left at the table: Adam and a rival representing Time Square | Picture by Zuzi Seoka
The atmosphere was certainly electric during the opening rounds at the Time Square Casino, which resembled a sports stadium at times, as boisterous supporters got into the “ole-ole-oles” and even the croupiers danced up a storm.
The field of 52 was whittled down to the final four over the course of the day, as fate and fortune sent their missives in black and red ink – and the very occasional green. In light of social distancing requirements, tables were limited to four masked players, who had undergone temperature screenings and completed medical questionnaires. There were groans and air punches as players put differing styles on display – some going all in from the very start and others adopting a more conservative approach to securing the win.
And the ante was raised further when the action moved over to the adjacent Sun Arena for the final.
On an evening when the legendary Mike Tyson returned to the ring, finalists swaggered to the roulette ring in boxing gowns, to boxers’ favourite Eye of the Tiger and the Sun International anthem We Will Rock You, ready to go blow-for-blow, spin-for-spin. With just five of the 14 total spins completed, there were only two competitors left at the table: Adam and a rival representing Time Square.
After a barren spell of three or four spins, Adam was able to hold off the Pretorian and finish well ahead on chips. As the fireworks went off around him and the crowd got stuck into a celebratory Jerusalema challenge, the entrepreneur from Cape Town remained remarkably calm.
Adam says he was confident of the win from the start, as roulette is a game he knows inside out. He’s travelled all over the world, playing – and winning – tournaments in the world’s most renowned casinos and is coming off a big victory in Vietnam earlier in the year.
“I take a ‘work hard, play hard’ approach to life and it’s helped me succeed thus far. I’m really happy with how well this Black Pearl tournament was organised and hope to be next year to defend my title,” smiled Adam.
Expect even bigger, more thrilling tournaments in 2021, as Sun International goes all out to bring the very best in gaming to a new generation of passionate punters.