The new version of roulette: Russian-style
Russians in the city of Perm are being swept away by a new gaming craze – Electrified Russian roulette.
In the traditional, deadly game of Russian roulette, a bullet is loaded into a single chamber of a revolver. The barrel is then spun, and competitors take turns placing the gun against their heads and squeezing the trigger. The winner is the player whose brain remains bullet-free. It’s a game with a low RTP, but losing streaks are extremely uncommon.
Now, a former mixed martial arts fighter named Valeriy Eschenko has invented a version of the ‘game’ which is basically the same, except that the bullet is replaced by an electric shock machine. Also in Eschenko’s version, each player has a gun and each holds their weapon to the side of their opponent’s head, firing simultaneously.
The loser is the first player to get zapped in the head.
Eschenko came up with this electrifying pastime after being forced to retire from his MMA career. He was diagnosed with the rare nerve condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, and ended up in hospital in a coma.
“It was connected to the constant sparring and fights; all my body parts were paralysed. I couldn’t even move my fingers,” said Eschenko. Given time to think, the ex-MMA fighter contemplated what he could now do for a living. “Finally the idea of this ‘Russian roulette game’ crystallized. This was a new extreme but, at the same time, safe game.”
Eschenko hosts competitions in home city of Perm twice a month, and entry is a mere 270 Russian Roubles (around £3.20). The winner is the last player standing – sometimes literary.
Just like poker, stronger players can ‘bluff’ if they can prevent themselves from reacting to the charge zapping from ear to ear. A ‘push’ is decided by the referee, who declares the winner to be the player who reacted ‘best’ to being charged.
“It absolutely is worth the money. I have never had so many emotions,” said one unnamed head-zapper. “When you are waiting for this moment of shot and are not sure if you are going to be hit or not – you have just unreal feelings.”
Despite this game’s popularity in Russia, it seems unlikely to be one seen in Las Vegas casinos any day soon.