Father, Frank Fertitta Jr., got start as a dealer for Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. Created gambling halls aimed at Sin City locals. Station Casinos public in 1993. With brother Frank III and Thomas Barrack, took company private for $9 billion in cash and assumed debt last year. Dwindling casino valuations offset by America's thirst for extreme fighting. Bought professional mixed martial arts outfit Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001 for $2 million; fruitlessly spent $44 million to improve operations, image. Tried to sell; took off market when no one would offer more than $4 million. Debuted reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter 2004. Today firm employs 275 fighters; most have incomes exceeding $100,000 a year. Company worth more than $1 billion; monthly pay-per-view fightfests each average 5 million buys. Average ticket price to live UFC event: $250.