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The Mechanic by Mark Anthony Given

I spent ninety percent of my money on women and drink;  the rest I wasted. -George Best

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EVERY PRO BLACKJACK PLAYER plays at least two hands at once, it just doubles everything, and it isn’t any harder.   Ideally, I want to be at the $25 blackjack table for twenty minutes at four o’clock in the morning and be in and out with a grand or so in less time than that.   I’ll never forget the look on the faces of several Pit Bosses huddled together covering their mouths so I couldn’t read their lips.  When this thing is working on all fours cylinders, it should win one, lose one, win one, lose one, 25$ bet lost,  bet $50 win.   I got my $25 back and made $25.  After less than ten minutes I’m up seven hundred dollars and still making the same bet!  They're scratching their ass and are pulling their hair out because they never have seen this before.  Every five minutes I get interrupted to be offered a “Players Card” or “Dinner for you and a guest,” on and on;  they want me in their system to monitor what the hell I’m doing.  I got the same story for them every time:  "I’m on my way to the airport, I’ll see you next time….”
THEY NEVER SEEN a grown man in a thousand dollar dress suit mix all his different colored casino chips together in a pile, and keep playing with them like a kindergarten child.   I do that so they can’t keep a running count of how bad I’m spanking their ass seemingly at will.   If I am the only one at the table, they can look at the dealer’s bank and get an exact count.  Every few minutes they will see me pocket another few big denomination chips.  Drinking bottled water or hot chocolate and no smoking,  I could blend into woodwork if I wasn’t walking out of there with their money.  Nine hands and right at the eight-minute mark the dealer gets a tap on the shoulder, and they switch dealers to right the rhythm in the casino's favor.  It doesn’t work against guys like me.  Hand 17 they change the dealer again, and it’s some old hippy hangover from the seventies with hippy beads and tie-dye shit.  Every time she scoops up the cards for no apparent reason, she will reach over and tap the table to signal a new hand.  Her mojo doesn't work either,  even after 6 straight losses I bet 7, 8, 7 and recouped every dime not counting the double down on the second 7 bet. 
           THAT’S WHEN they bring out the Mechanic, usually a real lucky Irishman like myself, but you can usually tell the Mechanic because he has thirty or forty grand of jewels trying to blind me with his bling.  I can beat him, but twenty-five hands are my limit because my concentration starts to fail,  I’m up almost a grand.  “Color me up.”  That’s my mantra… The dealer takes his time because the last thing they want is for me to leave but I know, you haven’t 'won a dime until you make it to the parking lot.  I never even stop at the Tellers cage to cash in the chips, there’s no hurry there always open. I mosey out of there just in time to see a supervisor step off the elevator fifty feet away with a concerned look on his face and a couple of minions with him, heading straight at me.  They look at me like a lab specimen as I walk by and act like I never even notice them.  Straight thru the front door past valet parking and head straight out into the fresh air with a slight smile on my face as I walk like I know where I am going, but I’m just trying to shake the adrenaline rush off like a small line of coke without the jitters…
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Copyright 2016 by Mark Anthony Given 
All Rights Reserved

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