A smattering of colour was visible across various betting circles of the layout, but it was impossible not to be drawn to the lofty tower that stood out like a lighthouse located among a collection of dangerous rocks.
The pile had been stacked and positioned by a well-kept man in a white flowery shirt, who was now doing his best to keep the animated spectators calm with a single sweeping hand gesture.
As camera phones were set to record around the wheel, the gambler remained fairly composed, taking one final sip of red wine before the croupier at the Hotel Conrad in Punta del Este, a location along the Uruguay coast, sent the ball spinning towards its resting destination.
Slowly, everyone began to lean in for a closer look. One man, possibly among a handful of friends of the big-money-gambler, had his hands fixed together in a praying position and time stood still for a moment.
Then jubilation. The ball stopped on number 32.
One person clapped, then others elsewhere in the casino began to join in like a well-drilled choir. The winner and his companions jumped around in a circle with arms around each other’s shoulders as if their team had just won a penalty shoot-out.
Allowing for currency conversion, the single bet was worth close to $35,000 and provided a payday of over $1.2million.
With someone happy to risk such a sum on a single roulette spin, it’s clear that the high roller was not your average Joe Soap.
On this occasion, the ambitious gambler was Pedro Grendene Bartelle. He is the president of the shoe company Vulcabras Azaleia.
Meanwhile, his father Pedro is the co-founder of Grendene, which is Brazil’s leading shoe exporting company and the biggest manufacturer of sandals in the world. Pedro Senior started the company with twin brother Alexandre, who was recently said by Forbes to be worth $2.1 billion.
In terms of the size of the profit, Grendene Bartelle picked the best bet at the roulette table, as a successful bet straight up on a number pays out at 35/1.
However, there is only a one in 38 chance of this bet landing on an American roulette wheel containing both a 0 and 00, which means the Brazilian businessman only had a 2.6% probability of being a winner.
If Grendene Bartelle wanted a far greater probability of delivering a profit on his $35,000, he should have considered putting $1,000 on 35 of the 38 different numbers.
More on this subject can be read here, but he would have upped his 2.6% chance of winning to 92%.
However, this would also have delivered a less substantial return of $36,000 for the $35,000 initial investment, of which only $1,000 would have been profit.
Many people have a lucky number. Mine happens to be number 5, as it was the number of Royal Athlete when winning the 1995 Grand National. This remains my only winner in the race.
Quite why Grendene Bartelle opted for 32 remains an unknown, but he may be a big NBA basketball fan.
After all, it has been the jersey number made famous by the likes of Magic Johnson for the LA Lakers, Karl Malone for the Utah Jazz and Shaquille O’Neal for the Miami Heat.
Equally, it could be a numerology thing relating to Jupiter and the Moon or a trend he had observed from watching previous spins on the wheel or, more likely, just a completely random punt.
Red is certainly the chosen colour for big roulette wins. While Grendene Bartelle profited from red 32, it was any red number that Ashley Revell was hoping for in 2004 when taking all of his life savings to Las Vegas.
Revell had cashed in all of his assets, including his house, car, jewellery and clothes to bet on one single roulette spin in a TV programme that was aired on Sky One.
Luckily, the $135,000 bet was successful when the spinning ball landed in the red 7 section.
Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United Football Club, is another big winner, having bet on his favourite number 17. It is believed that Ashley scooped £1.3 million on a single spin.
Although 17 is black, which is the same colour as the kit worn by Ashley’s Newcastle.