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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » You folks have any questions? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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topandball
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I know that you are interested in how this game is operated for real; how we live, how we work; also in how we relate to each other and to society as a whole. It's a very fascinating subculture that we are a part of. Ask your questions!

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
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Have you ever been to Ibiza?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
topandball
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Nope. Been all 'round the U.S.A. and to Toronto in Canada.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
Hansen
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Down Under
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Do you prefer Nike or Adidas?
AMcD
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stacking for food!
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Tell me at least two methods used to "slick" a plastic card.
splice
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Canada
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Let me paint you a picture first.

There's a guy with interest in these things. He may know some moves but he's green as far as operating with any kind of crew. He'd like to give it a try. Run the shells and do it well. Or just be part of the crew and work the game up, get the marks to put up their money.

Does he build a crew from the ground up, and hopes and prays he gets it right? Or does he go around and try to get broken in by an existing crew? He may not have any friends in the game that he could call up on. So what's his path?
tommy
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The Monte crews in Ibiza are the best I ever seen. They use a switch that I could not work out at all.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
topandball
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Hansen: Adidas.

AMcD: I would try polishing it. Smile

splice: Tell the guy this. Hoping and praying will not get it right. It will get you locked up or hurt. So don't try to start a mob. As far as finding a mob, I can't really help you. If you just walk up to someone and tell them you want to learn the game, there is no way you will get it. The only way is if they need you for some reason. In my case, it was that I was white, well-spoken, and had some knowledge of the game already. I happened to ask the right people at the right time, and they needed me to help themselves make money. I did help them, and in the process learned the game. This sort of thing happens very rarely. Usually players are folks who knew each other from their area of the city, and were involved in other crime before someone hipped them to the game.

Now, if he were to play single-o, learn to use moves under fire, and learn how to get action from the marks, he might someday run into a mob who could use him and would train him. I wouldn't recommend it, though. PLaying with a mob is much safer. (Like sex, not safe, just safer)

tommy: sounds interesting. If I ever get overseas, I'll have to check them out.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
splice
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Pretty much what I figured. Thanks for the info.
topandball
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Questions received by PM:

Hi B -

Got a few questions for you....

How did you start out in the business?

Got in touch with a player who was looking for a white guy to help open up new venues. We talked, I could tell he was the real thing, and also good at what he did. Can't explain it, but I could just tell he was a master. Turned out to be the case. I flew out to Louisville, and got right to work!

How did you first meet up with your crew/mob?

I first got in touch on a magician's forum. That was probably the only time that has ever happened. Smile I will not say where, because there is no way anyone could do now what I did then, and I don't want a forum inundated with misguided requests.

How much of the lingo that is bantered around in movies do you actually use (ropers, closing the gate, boosters etc.)

None. Well, almost. And it depends on the movie I guess. If you could tell me what those words mean, I could maybe give you the ones we use. Nicholas?

What motivates you to share your experiences on the Café?

I got into this through magic, and I know that magicians are very curious about these things. I know I was. I also feel that it's a very fascinating subculture, and few people outside the life are able to appreciate that.

What's your REAL name? Smile

My name is Lefty MacGee, and I was born under the money tree. I got 20 dollar bills all over my clothes; got 50's and 100's stuffed down in my toes. Let's gamble!

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2009-06-17 13:20, topandball wrote:

How much of the lingo that is bantered around in movies do you actually use (ropers, closing the gate, boosters etc.)

None. Well, almost. And it depends on the movie I guess. If you could tell me what those words mean, I could maybe give you the ones we use. Nicholas?




Roper/Inside Man: Brings in victims
Closing The Gate: Shills crowding out unwanted players or people with cameras
Boosters: People who bet to show the game is fair

I would LOVE it if you could post a blow by blow account of what goes down when you work a pitch from the moment you arrive until you leave!
FunTimeAl
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I'd like to know if you work sporting events, festivals, concerts, bars, etc...

I was working as a substitute balloon twister at a Buffalo Wild Wings last night and a group of 4 roofers started asking me for balloons. They were a bit drunk and a little rough around the edges, but they wanted cats and dog balloons for their kids.

Anyway, I do a bill switch with a tip they give me and they go ape ship over it. So, I pull out the 3CM and start having some fun with them. Well, they were ready to throw down for big money quick. I was just playing around, but they wanted to gamble.

That probably would've ended very badily if they had lost their money. Point being, I had no idea how easy it was to get things going. I was just playing around.

So, TopandBall. Where do you all work?
kannon
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Hey, Also what are you playing: 3CM / Shells / Matchboxes do you mix it up lol or just stick to one?
how many of your team have the skills to work the mechanics?
... I assume if your the guy tossing the cards your the target for cops, so how "disposable" are you?

Cheers
My work and the Mtangulizi here http://kannonsworks.weebly.com featuring work on drawing duplications, a fiddle-free billet tear, bar mentalism, pendulums
Tom Bartlett
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Our southern border could use
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Does it bother you to taking money this way? Is there any thing that you would not do to get money?
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
topandball
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Wow. I go to sleep for a little bit, and now I have all these very very good questions to answer!

Nicholas: We don't use those words, but we do all that stuff. There are not roles like that, though. All the sticks do all those things. Roper: "Drag that mark." we say drag a mark. closing the gate: we say block him out. but there usually aren't unwanted players Smile anyone watching is a potential better (bettor? usually I know these things...) Boosters: never used that word. cop and blow is what we call it. cop is to win, blow is to lose.

The script, eh? he wants the script! lol. Yes, there is a script. It's not written down, and it is somewhat fluid, but theere is a definite script that runs the game. When a new mark is in the game, we "take it from the top," starting with "grab that mark," and the stick saying something like "hey man help me out. I don't want nothing from you, but this guy blah blah blah if I win I'll give you half blah blah blah anyway he's right over here." That's the beginning.

Chad: all those places. The only places you missed are: flea markets, and anywhere we see a mark and one of us says, "tell him what you just told me!" And you're off! It's very extemporaneous the way we play.

kannon: Red card, pea, a few other related items. Mostly the pea, but red card is stronger for certain marks at certain times. (Plus if you lose your ball AND both your backups, what else you gonna do?)

Tom: No. Yes.

To elaborate, the first person you have to con is yourself. You have to convince yourself that what you so is okay for some reason. Most of us do it by believing that marks are stupid and greedy, selfish and therefore deserve what they get. The black players (which is most of them) also can tell themselves that wince the white man kept them in a bad position, and arguably still does, they are entitled to take from society. For myself, I am not an antisocial person really. I do care about people, and want them to be happy. This makes it very difficult to lie and cheat for a living. When I'm playing a mark, I am in a completely dissociated state. I am not really connected to what is happening, so I can't feel empathy for the vic, except insofar as I can know what he's feeling in order to manipulate those feelings. That's the only way for me to do this kind of work; if it feels as if it's not really me doing it. I'm ashamed to say I actually enjoy it most of the time. The term "blood-lust" comes to mind. More than you asked, but there you go.

As far as what I won't do for money, there's plenty. It's not about the money. Not completely. When you are playing, it's all about the money, and getting it all. But to choose this life, it's not for the money. I chuckle at the thought. Smile

-B

P.S. I apologize for the somewhat less polished style (and the poor editing) of this post. I started writing about 15 seconds after I first woke up, because I wanted to get you some answers, before I got more questions! You'll notice it got a little better as I woke up Smile
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
topandball
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And one more question from PM:

Can you give me a rough idea what a monte or shell worker would make working today? Is your “work week” more or less that a 40 hour. Do you have to keep moving around with your work or are you able to settle down and work one place?

Well, that all depends. That's like asking what a shop owner makes, without telling me where he is, and whether he's got a little deli or a Super Walmart. Some guys are out there getting 20 dollars, spending it on crack, wash, rinse, repeat. Maybe less washing and more drugs. It's really sad, and I wish they could be free of it. High powered players on the road, playing big events, well the sky is the limit. A really really good weekend at a good festival, you could be talking high tens of thousands for the weekend. There's also the time (someday) when you will send a mark to the bank for all his savings. It's been done, and may someday happen again.

If by settle down, you mean stay in one city all year, plenty of people do that in NY. I prefer the road. Follow the money!

Thanks. I knew you guys would have some great questions.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
Tom Bartlett
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Topandball,

I certainly think you are right that people who do the shell game or deal drugs and commit murder con themselves first into believing that what they are doing is ok, that they are the injured party and they are just getting even for the injustice they have suffered but believe me it crosses all racial, gender and ethnic lines and reaches from the bottom of the economic base to the top of the corporate ladder and all the way to the white house.
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
mota
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If it isn't just for the money what is it for? How do you see yourself? What is your "role" in society?

Do your groups stay together a long time?

Do you ever have romantic issues within the group?

Do you talk your own language when you aren't hustling?

What's a week in the life like?
FunTimeAl
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Quote:
On 2009-06-18 16:19, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Topandball,

I certainly think you are right that people who do the shell game or deal drugs and commit murder con themselves first into believing that what they are doing is ok, that they are the injured party and they are just getting even for the injustice they have suffered but believe me it crosses all racial, gender and ethnic lines and reaches from the bottom of the economic base to the top of the corporate ladder and all the way to the white house.


Tom, I'm a little surprised about how righteous you sound. You're a shell maker for goodness sakes. If you don't like the real deal, then stop flirting around the edges and profitting ta boot. There's more than a little hipocracy in that.

Topandball is offering some great information. I happen to know a shell worker/3CM guy who has not hustled in a few years now. Topandball's posts are bang on what I've been told.

If ya don't like it Tom, take your ball and go home. We won't mind. Just don't jump on the hustling joint of a magic forum and start profitising on a soap box. Get off your computer and go to church if you wanna be around like minds.
MagicSanta
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Thank you for the info Mr. Topandball....I find it very interesting.
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