You always drown alone, and there I was. . . .
It was 10 AM, and I'd kissed my two small children good-bye, told my wife that I was headed to work, and then sped to the Horseshoe. I had a $1 million check wadded up in my pocket and I didn't know it. For the past seven months I'd written checks, illegally, off an internal account at Universal Federal Savings and Loan, cycling more than $200 million in and out of the bank to fuel my gambling. I was on the binge of all binges. I had no idea that in a week I'd be walking into the same casino, at nearly the same time, needing to win at least $3 million to keep the bank from collapsing and my world from falling apart.
I was thirty years old, arguably the biggest gambling addict on the planet, and I was headed for a crash of epic proportions.
On the surface, Adam Resnick was your typical guy next door, a dynamic young businessman, a devoted husband and father of two. But Adam spent nearly two decades as an obsessive gambler, chasing his habit from casino to casino, bookie to bookie, winning and losing millions, often in mere hours--until one day he received a phone call that was his moment of reckoning, and that marked his transition from lifelong addiction to awareness and recovery.
Bust is a white-knuckled cautionary tale of wild risks and desperate measures. Introduced to gambling at the age of six, Adam was a whiz kid who was winning tens of thousands before he was out of his teens. A successful businessman, he won and lost fortunes betting on blackjack and sports--and wrote more than 130 bad checks to cover his losses. His high-rolling lifestyle opened the door to a universe designed to prey on his weaknesses; his life became an endless parade of demanding bookies, enablers who lent him cash at punishing rates, and casino staff who'd do anything to keep him in action. And, finally, he found what seemed like the answer to his prayers: an insider at a community-owned Chicago bank who gave him access to virtually unlimited-- and unauthorized--funds.
It all came to a head one fateful morning when a phone call informed him that he had twenty-four hours to deposit $3 million into a bank account. Faced with financial ruin, he drove to an Indiana casino, won up to $8 million in one night . . . and then lost it all before he left the table. That frenzied binge--captured on casino videotape--led to the bank's collapse, and to the conviction of Adam and two others on charges of check kiting and bank fraud.
A narrative of breakneck highs and crashing lows, Bust is one of the most vivid--and sobering--portraits of addiction and redemption ever captured on paper.