Tim Myers, aka Tim Naki, opens up about brutal reality check after $1m blackjack heater goes cold

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A young New Zealander has walked away from a virtual blackjack table $500,000 (NZD) richer and with new-found fame — but his tale is not without a fair deal of warning and immense loss.

Tim Myers, 31, better known on social media platforms as Tim Naki, stunned the world in recent months after turning $1500 into $1,000,000 with an audacious blackjack challenge.

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Myers, a former farrier from Taranaki in New Zealand, began his challenge by betting 10 cents for each of his Instagram followers on one hand daily.

But as his follower count surged, so did his bet sizes.

The aggressive approach made his early wins crucial, as any significant losses early on could have depleted his bankroll entirely.

Myers’ aggressive strategy, combined with a healthy dose of good luck, saw him rapidly scaling up his bets in tandem with his social media growth.

In blackjack, the house edge typically hovers around 0.5 per cent.

This slim margin means that, statistically, the house wins 50.5 per cent of the time, leaving the player with a 49.5 per cent chance of success in each hand.

In the early stages of his challenge, Myers experienced a significant streak, winning seven out of his first 10 hands.

By Day 50, with 320,000 followers, he was betting over $32,000 per hand.

Given the aggressive scaling of his bets relative to his follower count, Myers faced a constant and substantial risk of losing his entire bankroll.

Myers’ journey to $1,000,000 was achieved on May 4 with a monster $115,000 gamble.

But after 90 days at the virtual table and a brief stint of consecutive, massive $100,000+ losses, Myers staked a final $195,000 on a single, unsuccessful bet, leaving him with $500,000. 

The following day, he told his 1.3 million-strong fellowship he was calling it quits.

“It’s day 91 and sadly there is no blackjack today,” he said, thanking those who came along for the ride. 

Myer had spoken ad nauseam about implementing a hard floor to his losses, his “dumb luck”, and the inherent risks of gambling throughout his campaign, and on Wednesday, he shared some free advice with news.com.au.

“There’s no secret to winning, but there is a secret to not losing and that is just don’t bloody gamble,” he said from Calgary, Canada, where he and his fiancee are currently travelling.

With the turbulent ride now behind him, Myers revealed a side not seen in his daily, minute-long gambling clips, including the immense mental strain of coping with $100k losses and relentless trolling.

“There were a lot of people who wouldn’t be happy unless they saw me torch the entire lot and when I hit a million people start losing their s**t, saying, ‘stop now!’,” he said.

“With the algorithm, I think I was popping up like weeds on everyone’s Instagram accounts – I knew of the power social media has and how quickly things become widespread, but I didn’t actually anticipate it would go nearly as widespread and huge as it did. It still hasn’t even really sunk in.”

He now admits that what unfolded, including his “gut-wrenching” seven-hand plummet from $1 million to $500k, is perhaps a good example of why one shouldn’t gamble.

“Taking that hiding at the end was a stark reality check for myself and also for all the followers,” he said.

“It’s certainly not something anyone should try and replicate.

“I went into each day knowing fully well that with the law of averages, there was going to have to start being some losses more than likely.

“The final run probably left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, like ‘holy s**t, this guy’s just tourched over $500,000 in the final seven hands’.”

He added: “Yeah, I lost $500,000, but you take the glass half-full option and you think, ‘well, I won $500,000, and I have this ridiculous following now, and easy to dwell on the loss, but it’s also been a booming success really’.”

Myers revealed he is taking a short break before returning to the digital felt for another week-by-week challenge with much lower stakes.

“I’m gonna go with another blackjack series where I’ll bet Monday to Friday, and if I finish net positive, I’ll share some of the profits with the followers. And if I finish negative, they all come up with a punishment,” he said.

“I’m sure they’ll have me shaving my head and get all sorts.”

As for his new-found riches, Myers said he has already paid off his upcoming wedding to partner Deidre and “pumped a little bit off the mortgage” on his New Zealand farm property while planning to reinvest some into future social media content.

In addition to a $500,000 net profit, Myers’ run has also presented him with brand partnerships, merchandising, and career opportunities.

One such collaboration was with Racing South Australia, where he briefly appeared on its social media feeds as an international form analyst.

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