Monday, December 8, 2014

Bad Beat

Organized crime has a good eye for opportunity. The 3D printer revolution had opportunity written all over it. Cheap knock-off products were only the beginning. The real money lay in the larger 3D printers that could modify the human body into any form desired. Desired?

Joe loved to gamble. More to the point, he loved playing blackjack. Joe was also pretty darn good at it. He counted cards without effort and cleaned up at casinos everywhere he traveled. Many casinos banned Joe from playing in their establishment. With fewer casinos available, he had to play for longer periods risking exposure and banishment from even more casinos. But Joe is a smart cookie. He varied his play and made off with loads of cash before a casino even knew what hit them.

Then Joe walked into a casino owned by organized crime. They knew who Joe was before he sat his tail down at the table. Joe was front and center on every monitor in the security room. The casino changed the dealer to a trusted insider able to manipulate the cars without notice. The fix was in.

Things started out great for Joe. The cards played out as expected and Joe started adding to his stack. Then the dealer went to work doing what she did best. Joe lost a few hands he should have won, but sometimes the cards fall that way. It’s called variance. Just because the odds are in your favor you can still lose. The tough part about card counting is that the cards can get ugly for a long time. Variance is an ugly lady Joe understood all too well. But Joe also understood the odds always revert to the mean. He would have a bad night or two, but eventually he would fill his pockets.

A few bad beats turned into a blood-letting. Joe asked for a marker and received it. The debts kept mounting and like an addicted gambler who knew his luck would turn at any moment, couldn’t stop. When the night was over Joe was in so far he couldn’t cover his marker. Joe was taken to a back room and explained the situation. They had him so scared he would do anything. Then they introduced Joe to their 3D printer. With nowhere to go, Joe stepped into the machine. After a few hours of training, Joe got to work in his new job as Lacy. He should have his debt paid in six or seven years. He will meet the nicest men.

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