- Meet Daren
Daren is the magnetic lead character in the new CMT series, Man vs. Vegas. He takes on Sin City armed with $1 million of his own money, every cent he has to his name, to get revenge on the town that almost destroyed him in the late 1990s. While on his mission to regain his lost fortune, Daren recruits regular folks to play high stakes games with him in hopes that their good karma leads to winnings for all involved. Since he believes that he is taking on Vegas for everyone who has ever lost there, Daren feels he must bring people along for the ride. Whether he meets them in the elevator, spies them in line for a cab or just wanders up to their table, everyday people are taken on a wild ride with this modern day Robin Hood as he pushes them beyond their normal gambling limits.
Daren was born and raised to the age of 13 in the small mid-western town of Windom, Minn., where his early childhood was marked by tragedy. When Daren was 10 years old, his father was severely injured in a car racing accident. His father was in and out of the hospital and Veteran's home for the next eight years. His father had severe brain damage and through years of massive rehabilitation, overcame the odds and fought back to lead a productive life, becoming Daren's hero in the process. The experience taught Daren the value of perseverance and faith. With his family's approval, Daren left Minnesota at the age of 14 and moved to California where his uncle soon took him under his wing as an assistant at his venture capital firm. Daren worked his way up, got his broker's license at 19 and eventually became a venture capitalist himself. After a successful run of raising money for various start-up companies, Daren had achieved the American dream. At the age of 25, Daren was married with two children and enjoyed all the trappings of wealth -- the mansion, the fancy cars, jet-setting toys and plenty of cash. That's when Daren met Las Vegas for the first time.
Daren took his family to Las Vegas to celebrate a birthday and on the first night turned $2,000 into $180,000. He became hooked on the adrenaline rush that the town offered and found that he had no limits when on the tables. But the glitz of Las Vegas clouded too many nights and the losing consumed him before he knew what had hit. At the turn of the millennium, when the dot-com bubble burst on most of his investments, Daren's luck ran out at the tables too. He lost his hard-earned money, his house, the cars and the other toys. Even his marriage eventually fell apart.
Man vs. Vegas is Daren's story of redemption against the town that drove him to the brink of disaster. He's sold everything he owns to put together his last $1 million in cash. That's the ammunition Daren needs to take on Las Vegas, one game at a time -- until he wins back all his money or loses everything he has left trying. All along the way, Daren gambles with anyone and everyone that he feels can bring good luck to his mission. Some of these people win life-changing amounts of money on the turn of a card and some just share in the experience of betting like a real high roller at least once in their lives.