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Topic: Naples, Italy Street Hustlers
Message: Posted by: kpkilburn (Jan 4, 2003 05:23AM)
I'm living in Naples, Italy and just wanted to share this with you. Many of you have probably seen street gamblers with the "guess which cup the ball is under" routines. This was my first experience in seeing it "live".

My wife and I were walking down the street in one of the busier areas downtown. I noticed a group of people and realized that they were betting, so I stopped (at a distance) to watch.

I couldn't seem to get a good view because "someone" was always in the way. No matter which way I walked, someone got in my way.

Only after a few minutes, I then realized that this was deliberate. Two of the "players" were actually working with the man and would signal each other to move one way or the other to block the back and side views. They were good. I could barely detect any eye movements or communication between them, but they were doing a good job of blocking the action.

It was amazing to see people plop down huge amounts of money to guess where the ball was, not even realizing that they would never guess. (The only ones that "won" were one of the two friends.) I stood there long enough to confirm that the two guys blocking and winning were actually working with the hustler.

I also saw a three-card monte being done and again, it was interesting to see the turnovers when someone actually got the right card.
Message: Posted by: thehawk (Jan 4, 2003 07:27AM)
I saw the same at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. They play the same game there but I decided to just watch.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 5, 2003 03:06PM)
Hey, guys. I am currently writing the third in the series of School for Scoundrels notes, The School for Scoundrels Notes on the Shell Game. We are always on the lookout for anecdotes and info, and especially, photos, of the three-card monte or shell game being played on the street.

Sure would love it if you were able to give a more detailed account of your experiences for publication.


Contact me here, or at whit@whithaydn.com
Message: Posted by: EranRaven (Jan 6, 2003 01:50PM)
Did the guy dealing have a "girl friend" behind him?
Message: Posted by: nitram (Jan 7, 2003 03:59AM)
Why, was it you ?
Message: Posted by: EranRaven (Jan 9, 2003 07:47AM)
No, but she is also usually part of the "act"
Message: Posted by: kpkilburn (Jan 9, 2003 01:26PM)
Not sure. I didn't notice.