As the United States continues to take steps towards legalization, gambling is finally making its way out of the shadows. With legalization comes jobs, entertainment, and tax revenues. But despite all the good that it can bring, we must take the story of Trent Wetzel as a cautionary tale.
From the outside, Trent's life appeared to be perfect. He had a dime of a wife, 3 beautiful daughters, a BMW, and a house that screamed wealth. I had the opportunity to speak with those close to Trent, and it quickly became apparent that Trent's life had been on a steep decline for years.
Trent was a well-known gambling addict. His father, his grandfather, and his great grandfather were all gambling addicts. He consistently lost thousands of dollars every single week, trying to win back his losses. There wasn't a bet that Trent wouldn't take.
His friends described his life as an ongoing version of Scott Van Pelt's Bad Beats. His closest friend, Charles, reflected on watching Trent's downfall, "His gambling really started to go off the rails as his family life began to fall apart. Trent would constantly complain about his wife's Hulk-sized daddy issues. He wanted to leave his family, but I told him he knew what he was getting into when he married Jesse. I mean, the best man at the wedding smashed her 5 years prior. The chick wore a backless dress to show her tramp stamp. How do you not realize how much you're fuc…"
I cut him off. I need him to refocus on the gambling aspect of Trent's life, so I ask him to go into more detail about that. Charles continues, "Like I was saying; Trent's gambling really started to grow out of control. There's no worse time for a gambler's life to go into the shitter than in the summer. There's no sports bet on, no way to get your mind off things. I knew Trent was at his complete breaking point when I watched him gamble on a minor league cricket game in Sri Lanka."
According to police records, it appears that Trent lost his shit following a thousand dollar bet on the Little League World Series. He bet on Mexico only to watch them blow a 6-3 lead the final 2 innings to Venezuela. He jumped in his car, called his wife, and told her he was jumping off the Golden State Bridge that day.
Jesse quickly reached out to the police who met Trent at the scene. He was standing on the ledge threatening to jump. Luckily, the San Francisco police had their best negotiator there, Officer Ramirez.
Ramirez meticulously brought up point after point trying to convince Trent to change his mind. After a 2.5 hour standoff, Ramirez knew he had to bring out the big guns. He yelled, "Trent, you don't want to do this. If not for you, do it for your 3 beautiful daughters. Think of the massive daddy issues you'll inflict on your 3 little girls. Do you want your daughters to have tramp stamps? Infinity symbols on their wrist? A rose on their foot? The only thing you'll be remembered by is the feather tattooed on their inner bicep!"
It appeared Trent had heard enough. He broke down in tears. He loved his daughters too much to have them get a geometric shape tattooed on their forearm. But as he turned around to step off, an on watcher came out of nowhere to yell, "BET YOU WON'T JUMP!" Trent quickly responded, "FUCK YOU!" The man yelled back, "100 TO 1 ODDS! DON'T BE A BIT…"
Speaking with Trent's family and friends, they all seem to give the same message: "This is how Trent would have wanted to go out…on a heater." He won that bet, and the happy story doesn't end there. The man who bet him would, in fact, pay up. Trent had even won
enough to have an open bar at the funerals after party. That man who bet Trent would also end up marrying Jesse and helped raise their 3 beautiful daughters. So, in the end, is gambling a dark path that will lead you into a life of disdain and sadness? Well, I guess it just depends on how you look at the story.
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