Friday, June 16, 2006
"The Suicide Table" Virgina City, Nevada
At the Delta Saloon was a 1875 Suicide Table. It was called this because three previous owners are reported to have committed suicide because of heavy losses over this table. The story written over the door tells this brutal tale:
"Originally, it was a Faro Bank Table brought to Virginia City in the early 1860s. The owner, supposed to be one Black Jake, lost $70,000 in one evening and shot himself. The second owner, whose name is lost in history, ran the table for one nights play. He was unable to pay off his losses. One report has it that he committed suicide and another report has it that he was saved the trouble. The table was then stored for some years because no one would deal on it. It was finally converted into a 21 Table sometime in the late 90s. Its black reputation seemed to have been forgotten, until one stormy night a miner, who had been cleaned out in some other gambling house, stumbled in half drunk. As the story goes, he gambled a gold ring against a five dollar gold piece, and won. He played all night long and by morning had won over $86,000 in cash, a team of horses, and an interest in a gold mine, everything the owner of table had in the world. That caused the third suicide.
Many famous men have gambled for high stakes, leaning on the green cloth, watching the turn of a card. Fortunes have been won and lost on it. The Suicide Table is truly a relic that is replete with memories of the old town, and who knows, perhaps the ghosts of the old timers are still leaning on their elbows, watching for the turn of a card."