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Topic: You folks have any questions?
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 16, 2009 04:58PM)
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
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jun 16, 2009 08:31PM)
Have you ever been to Ibiza?
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 16, 2009 11:29PM)
Nope. Been all 'round the U.S.A. and to Toronto in Canada.

-B
Message: Posted by: Hansen (Jun 17, 2009 06:07AM)
Do you prefer Nike or Adidas?
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jun 17, 2009 06:08AM)
Tell me at least two methods used to "slick" a plastic card.
Message: Posted by: splice (Jun 17, 2009 06:48AM)
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?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jun 17, 2009 10:55AM)
The Monte crews in Ibiza are the best I ever seen. They use a switch that I could not work out at all.
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 17, 2009 12:10PM)
Hansen: Adidas.

AMcD: I would try polishing it. :)

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
Message: Posted by: splice (Jun 17, 2009 12:13PM)
Pretty much what I figured. Thanks for the info.
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 17, 2009 12:20PM)
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. :) 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? ;)

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
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 18, 2009 05:55AM)
[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?


[/quote]

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!
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 18, 2009 06:38AM)
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?
Message: Posted by: kannon (Jun 18, 2009 11:04AM)
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
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 18, 2009 11:08AM)
Does it bother you to taking money this way? Is there any thing that you would not do to get money?
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 18, 2009 12:35PM)
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 ;) 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. :)

-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 ;)
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 18, 2009 12:42PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 18, 2009 03:19PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: mota (Jun 18, 2009 03:49PM)
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?
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 18, 2009 08:28PM)
[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.
[/quote]

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.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 18, 2009 08:56PM)
Thank you for the info Mr. Topandball....I find it very interesting.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 18, 2009 09:17PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 21:28, Chad wrote:
[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.
[/quote]

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.
[/quote]I make shells for entertainers the real deal as you put it would never pay for my shells, so if they have a set they must have stolen them from someone who paid hard earned money for them.

The man that taught me to make the shell when I was a teen was as charming and charismatic as any con man more than most, a man the lowest morals and felt no guilt for any thing he ever did. I have earned the right to speak about this subject and try to make others aware of this type of monster.

So as far as my comments go, if you don't like the truth you can take someone else’s ball and go your own way.
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 18, 2009 09:30PM)
Thanks, Chad, for jumping up in my defense. I'm a little conflicted, though, because I pretty much agree with Tom. However, Tom, the morals of the thing are pretty clear. It's illegal, dishonest, and it hurts people to play this game for money. Everyone here should be aquainted with that. All I want to do is give ya'll some insight into the world that the game you use for entertainment comes from.

mota, I'll get to your very good questions after dinner.

-B
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 18, 2009 09:41PM)
Topandball


I don’t think he was defending you as much as he was defending himself.

I had the impression you where here for the very reason you just stated and yes I was agreeing with you and added some food for thought, to what you had already posted.

I feel I’m still paying restitution for my part in such a shell game from when I was still wet behind the ears, doing my best to see no others fall victim to such scams.
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 18, 2009 10:15PM)
How many of your team have the skills to work the mechanics?

The people I've worked with have all been able to do everything. That's cross-country road players though, which is really a higher class of player. people who stay in their home city all the time, some of them only ever learn to stick.

... I assume if your the guy tossing the cards your the target for cops, so how "disposable" are you?

not at all. You are holding all the money, for one. And there is an ethic about that as well. You can count on your mob to bail you out of jail. When we got knocked in TN, we ended up broke. All the other players in town came by the hotel and each gave us a few hundred bucks to keep us going.

If it isn't just for the money what is it for?

I don't know if you've ever experienced drug or gambling addiction. It's a high like no other to play a mark beautifully, leaving him broke, and still laughing (sometimes). It's very similar to drug addiction - that's the best way to describe it.

How do you see yourself?

See above.

What is your "role" in society?

No positive role, except maybe a few people learn an important lesson. I all honesty, a mark will always be a mark; they just might not fall for the same thing twice, but they will fall for something else down the road. Some might learn their lesson.

Do your groups stay together a long time?

If Haynes aka Gambling Sam were still living, I'd still be with the same mob now, and that would make 4 years or more. When we met other players on the road, we'd mob up for the day. But the core mob that I came into had been playing together for many years in Philly.

Do you ever have romantic issues within the group?

Not me. Heard of things with female players though.

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

Yes. We have a whole set of lingo that we use, ad well as saying some words in carny.

What's a week in the life like?

Hopefully, we make some money. Sometimes you end up broke. Travel a lot. Hurry up and wait. Play poker and dice (yes, I trimmed players. They're a major mark for me for gambling).

Great questions! Keep them coming guys, I'm feeling like I'm in a revealing type mood lol.

Tom, I hear ya man. You're doing what you gotta do. Re. preventing others from falling victim, you're fighting an uphill battle. Some people are just determined to be marks, and you can't wake the dead.

Re. the morality of this, I believe that the mark's loss is caused by his inclination to take advantage of someone, and he is responsible for his actions. I also firmly believe that this fact does not do anything to mitigate our culpability for being the agent of that loss.

-B
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 18, 2009 10:19PM)
Mota, your questions are very deep, and I want to elaborate on them at another time. If I haven't more thoroughly answered the following questions withing like a week or two, please remind me.

How do you see yourself?
What is your "role" in society?
Do you talk your own language when you aren't hustling?

-B
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jun 19, 2009 12:16AM)
Topandball,

To correlate with my [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=316642&forum=190&42] other thread[/url]:

1) Do you ever work by yourself?

and

2) How much did you (personally, not the entire mob) make today? And if you weren't out today, then the last day you went out?

This is amazing and insightful information you're giving, btw.

~jamie
http://www.whatizit.net
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 19, 2009 12:46AM)
1) Yes, when I find a mark and I'm not with a mob.

2) Well, at the moment I'm on the road with another thing, not playing so much at this game. So I can't really give you a direct answer. Were I working with a mob, I personally would have made today anywhere from a few hundred bucks (often) to a few thousand (far less often)

Wish I could give you a more interesting answer lol. (I REALLY wish I could tell you something like "40 thousand")

-B
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 19, 2009 01:07AM)
Have you ever stood on a hill over looking a city or town and yelled "Get ready, cuz I'm taking you down!" and then laughed like a maniac while flicking a cigarette down and stomping it?
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 19, 2009 01:22AM)
LOL!!! I'm going to do that! It will feel so GOOD!
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 19, 2009 06:08AM)
[quote]
Tom Bartlett wrote:
The man that taught me to make the shell when I was a teen was as charming and charismatic as any con man more than most, a man the lowest morals and felt no guilt for any thing he ever did. I have earned the right to speak about this subject and try to make others aware of this type of monster.
[/quote]

I have no idea how "knowing some dude" qualifies you as "earning the right" to talk about anything.

That's like some kid whose dad was in the military trying to talk with me about the Marine Corps. If ya ain't been there, then you have NO right to talk about it. You're just talking smack.

What's more. Don't tell me a gambling casino owner is going to make it into a high level of heaven than a shell game worker. Those places don't have multi-million dollar establishments because of a couple "lucky" roles of the dice. They calculate the experimental probability of their games with extreme precision. So, the shell game offers no chance to win. If some people don't understand that gambling is bad for your soul (and pocket book), then why should the casinos be the only ones to rake in the money?

More to the point.

Topandball, I'd like to know what happens when some mark wants his money back. Do you just yell "cops" and run? Turn the big guy (in the mob) on him? Or does he typically just feel bashful and slink off?

Do you think the losers ever catch on to the fact that it's not just one guy working this game?

If someone shouts "hey, these guys are working together" what do you do then?

How do you get rid of this guy and not ruin your work spot (should I call it a pitch?)

How do you take a guy for all he's worth and then get him to leave and bring in a new guy with money without a "losing" atmosphere.

Are you just constantly keeping multiple marks in play and interspersing that with one of your mob winning? Seems like people would catch on if they hung out and watched long enough.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 19, 2009 06:50AM)
Whoops...meant to say the casinos calculate the Theoretical Prob. The geek in me couldn't let that one slip ;)
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 19, 2009 07:21AM)
Chad,

You sound like an angry young man conning himself into believing he has the right, to take whatever he wants, when ever he wants, from everyone he wants. That is truly a sad way to live your life. But I’m sure what topanball or I have to say about it wont change a thing.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jun 19, 2009 11:04AM)
How about we cut the preaching in this thread (and forum).

It's really not welcome, asked for, or on the topic in terms of what management set this forum up for in the first place.

Nobody gives a rats a_ss, so drop it.

[b]Everybody[/b] knows the Shell Game is a con that rips folks off for money......but it's also a reality that this forum was set up [i]precisely[/i] to talk about exactly this topic.

The forum wasn't set up to preach about the moral character of those who play the shell game for money.......we already know all about it.....and have already declared that we don't care.
It's an educational journey into the craft of the Shell Game and the mindset of those who play it.
If you're not interested in sharing that journey, it would be appropriate for you to get off the bus.

Really, the "anti shell game" comments aren't welcome here at all. Additional personal comments directed at Chad are so unwelcome as to be little more than the flaming posts that they're intended to be.

Some folks have no reason to continue inciting in this thread (or forum), unless its their intent to preach and flame.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 19, 2009 11:36AM)
Tom, I'd love to hear stories about "Deacon Dan" and your experiences with him
if you ever wanted to start a thread about it.

I'm quite enjoying topandball's posts, I think they're invaluable for anyone with
a serious interest in the game. It's not like I'm gonna run off and do what he does, he's just giving an inside looksee into a world that I'd never see otherwise and I'm grateful to him for that. He's not dealing "shell game crack" and gonna turn us all into cold-hearted hustlers.

It's true, this forum says upfront what it is. Just like it's not appropriate to go into the 'Gospel Magic' section and lecture on the non-existence of G*D, it gets old quick to lecture here against the evils of sin.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jun 19, 2009 11:47AM)
[quote]
Just like it's not appropriate to go into the 'Gospel Magic' section and lecture on the non-existence of G*D, it gets old quick to lecture here against the evils of sin.
[/quote]
Much more clearly put and to the point than my post above.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jun 19, 2009 12:06PM)
Topandball,

I'm trying to approach this thread as if I was going to start a new job (not that I plan on it). What questions would I like answered before I started- assuming there was no training beforehand and I was just thrown into it. Here's what I've come up with (in my mind, you and I, and a few others, are walking down the street in some unknown town on our way to work):

1) What do we call the spot where we stop and set up? (i.e. "We need to move to a new [blank]. There's no money here."

2) Are we looking for a crowd or a particuliar sucker. And if it's the latter, are there any clues to help identify him?

3) Do our roles ever change during the day or am I the spotter all day?

4) Are we al paid the same? Or is there some sort of seniority or job-based scale of pay?

5) When we get to our spot, do we all split up and appoach the game at different times? Or do we all start together?

6)What's the signal for police and what's the procedure?

7)Where do we meet if we get split up? At an old warehouse (like the movies, lol) or will it be a coffeshop or something? Will we all be there? If we split up, do we need to move towns?

I'll pause here and tie my shoe while you answer those ones (if you like).

Thanks for this- this is great!

~jamie
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 19, 2009 01:49PM)
Topandball,
I too, am anxious to hear more about your experiences and enjoying most of the poster comments.

Chad attacked me for stating that I agreed with topandball. I did not say anything about God or the church and I was not preaching to any one. I was just sharing some of my direct knowledge of how and why the game is played. If I struck a cord with anyone, it was not my intent and I apologize but it does not change the facts about the people that use the shell game to swindle.

I also have not posted anything negative about the shell game being used for the purpose of magic and after all this is a magic forum.

If I have posted anything that is considered flaming report it and it will be deleted.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 19, 2009 03:02PM)
Tom, that's not the point.

The gist of your previous posts are more appropriate being posted in the "Right or Wrong" section.

This section is a conversation about scam artist psychology/stories/strategies.

Anyone referring to anything religious, meant it as a metaphor.

The metaphor was a reference to your perceived moralizing about "right & wrong"

That's all.

Capiche?
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jun 19, 2009 03:34PM)
Actually Tom, this sub-forum [i]isn't[/i] a magic forum. It just happens to be on a magic web board.

Read the note from management which describes the original purpose of the forum.
Here it is to save you the trip:
[i]Serious discussions on Three Card Monte, Fast and Loose, The Shell Game and other such scams.[/i]

This forum exists to discuss the three shell game as a hustle.........which is exactly what we're doing.

Passing judgment on those who may play the shell game as a hustle is flaming, and it's also off-topic in terms of what this forum exists for.

Saying essentially "report me" if you think it's flaming is a blatant cop out.
Try to police yourself Tom, as we all do.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jun 19, 2009 05:20PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-19 16:02, reese wrote:
Tom, that's not the point.

The gist of your previous posts are more appropriate being posted in the "Right or Wrong" section.

This section is a conversation about scam artist psychology/stories/strategies.

[/quote]That is exactly what I was doing. I was not pointing to the transgressions of any one in particular and I mean that. I Think the shell game, fast and lose, and the rest of the sure thing scams are far less a crime than the scams some bible salesmen, some doctors, some evangelist and some politicians use to get money and power.

Besides I’m certainly not snow white, nor would I ever claim to be, like I said I just trying to make restitution for my wrong doings not trying to point the finger at someone else.

The other point I was trying was that no mater where you come, what color your skin is or anything else 'WE" all con our selves into justifying our actions and there are people from all races and nationalities that feel like the “MAN” has done to them, so they have the right to do it to everyone else. This is part of the psychology of a con.

Most everyone know the psychology of the mark and you can’t smarten up a chump but not everyone know the way the player thinks and that is the reason I asked my questions and posted my comments, at least until Chad came down on me. It is some times very hard to convey in words ones thoughts and have the reader read them the way we intended.

I really didn’t mean to ruffle everyone’s feathers, I will not post again to this thread.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 19, 2009 05:49PM)
Tom, I want to hear your thoughts.

Thx, Tim
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 19, 2009 06:13PM)
Tom: Questions about eh mindset of a conman are exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you.

Jamie: Great questions! I will answer them very soon. I'm getting quite a backlog lol!

-B
Message: Posted by: mota (Jun 19, 2009 07:22PM)
How does a person work singulo? What are the strategies, patterns, and money move you would tend to use? ...or would you just win more than you lose?

How else is it different than working with a crew?

What, if anything, do you think should be done differently by workers than it is done now?
Message: Posted by: splice (Jun 22, 2009 10:50AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-19 20:22, mota wrote:
How does a person work singulo? What are the strategies, patterns, and money move you would tend to use? ...or would you just win more than you lose?
[/quote]

I think if working single-o you must win more than you lose, otherwise you're in a bad spot. Single-o workers don't have the latitude that crews have in moving the money around.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jun 22, 2009 03:23PM)
Whit Haydn's newest DVD on the shells details a method that would work great for single-o. It's basically group play taking multiple bets, doing whatever maneuvers you like from Whit's arsenal, and you collect from the high players and pay out the low players. No crew required for this strategy, although a lookout and some backup would always be nice.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jun 26, 2009 01:21AM)
Man, I hope nothing happened to topandball- this is a fascinataing topic!

~jamie
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 26, 2009 07:23AM)
Yeah,

I'm feeling a bit guilty for tossing the thread around. Hope it's not the reason for this silence. If so, I apologize to Tom et all for getting off topic. I shan't post in this thread again.

Chad
Message: Posted by: topandball (Jun 26, 2009 12:18PM)
Folks, I'm around. Haven't been able to get online in a while. I will pick the thread back up when my situation is better for internet access.

-B
Message: Posted by: No. 92 (Jun 29, 2009 09:33PM)
This thread is rather silent, too bad.
Message: Posted by: splice (Jul 2, 2009 03:48PM)
If you look above your post you will see why. Stuff happens. Once topandball has access again I'm sure things will pick up.
Message: Posted by: No. 92 (Jul 5, 2009 05:38PM)
I certainly hope so, as I'm rather enjoying this thread.

I'm very happy to say that most of my questions have already been asked by others.
Message: Posted by: ray raymond (Jul 6, 2009 06:46AM)
Top and ball, are you on the bonnaroo grifter video. the one school for scoundrels use?
Message: Posted by: Garret D (Jul 6, 2009 11:26PM)
I know you've been talking about shells and the like so far, but I was curious about the process (if any) of getting involved in a card mob- do you have to stick to it on your own until you happen to bump into the right people? I remember reading in one of Simon lovell's books that there are a few select hand gestures that are made when you sit down at a table... Are those still used, or is that as old as "the sting"? Or would you just start a mob with others who are interested... Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: NurseRob (Jul 23, 2009 03:16PM)
I am just learning the shells, and found this thread fascinating. I am so gonna start playing my kids for their milk money now! I hope TopandBall comes back for more stories..
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Jul 30, 2009 09:27PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 23:15, topandball wrote:
Re. the morality of this, I believe that the mark's loss is caused by his inclination to take advantage of someone, and he is responsible for his actions. I also firmly believe that this fact does not do anything to mitigate our culpability for being the agent of that loss.

-B
[/quote]
Topandball......you have a legal background? I found this part of an earlier post very well written.
My question? glad you asked.....
what is your favorite hustle? what is your favorite type of mark? how many places do you travel a year?
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Aug 26, 2009 03:08AM)
Did we ever find out what happened to Top? This was one of the greatest threads ever...

~ jamie
Message: Posted by: topandball (Sep 23, 2009 01:48AM)
I'm still alive guys (and gals). I've not had any convenient internet connection for quite some time. Been staying in cheap motels.

magicmind: No legal background. I just have thought about issues of morality in great depth. And thank you for the compliment.

People, I'm really very interested in answering your questions, but I have been very busy of late. I will be back to (attempt to) answer all the questions I have backlogged here. So many good questions!

-B
Message: Posted by: luvisi (Sep 23, 2009 09:29AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 13:35, topandball wrote:

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.
[/quote]

I'm guessing that the "tell him what you just told me" line is said from one hustler to another? What happens next? What is told?

Andru
Message: Posted by: Magic Marine (Oct 29, 2009 02:51PM)
Is topandball around? Looking forward to hearing more from him.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (May 23, 2011 01:22AM)
Two years later and I still think about this thread from time to time. Too bad he never came back!
Message: Posted by: TimonK (May 28, 2011 07:45PM)
Wow, this is a great thread :) ! Thanks for all the answers you are giving us!

It could be that this was already asked, but if so I couldn't find it.

1) You mentioned that you perform at sports events and so on - how do you manage to get the licence for that?

2) Do you ever get caught out by police, especially on those public events? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Best greetings, and bad luck to your marks ;D.

Timon.
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 30, 2011 11:58AM)
Indeed this was a very interesting discussion. I think many of us begin by concentrating on the mechanical aspects of a performance, such as the actual manipulation of the shells . . . as illustrated here, the far more important work is the manipulation of the audience . . . the marks or pigeons . . . and that's something that usually requires teamwork . . . it's more like an elaborate illusion show than a one-man tour de force of prestidigitation . . . the psychological attitude is obviously key.

The psychology of how the crew works, how the members work with each other, and how they all contribute to the performance is interesting, and so is the psychology of how the crowd is worked in different situations.

There was some discussion above, also, as to whether or not it is "right" to practice the three shell game.

All considerations of morality aside, it was clear from the OP's comments, that you have to develop a certain mind-set in order to function. At least he made it clear that he was not a selfish psychopath who could blithely take other people's money away from them; he had to "con himself" into doing it first. I think the psychology of that is interesting. There are many difficult things in life that we have to "con" or convince ourselves into doing, after all.

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=418193&forum=297&2]In another thread in another forum,[/url] the highly experienced Mark Lewis made a comment that I think illustrates the sort of psychological space you would need to get into, in order to practice the shell game as an actual "con":

[quote]There is a major difference between selling Svengali decks and performing it at a booking or for casual entertainment. It is your mental attitude that makes the difference. That is why many magicians make lousy pitchmen. They are thinking "magic show" instead of "ripping off the punter".

A good pitchman is a street wise sharp character who when you shake his hands you have to count your fingers afterwards to make sure they are all there. A good entertainer is thinking "value for money" A good pitchman would be heartbroken if he thought his punters were getting value for money.

A good magician believes in the Thurston philosophy of "I love my audience". A good pitchman believes in the Mark Lewis philosophy of "I utterly hate these verminous people in front of me who have my money in their pockets" {[/quote]

I think that's the psychological "trick" you have to effect: you have to actually come to believe that it's [i]your money[/i] that those "verminous people" somehow happen to have in [i]their[/i] pockets.

A friend of mine who lived on the Mescalero Reservation for many years told me that Geronimo's Apache Band actually believed, as a fundamental part of their world-view, that all 4-legged animals in the world belonged to them. Thus they were never rustling cattle or stealing horses, they were just taking actual physical possession of their own property. I think the Maasai have the same attitude regarding cattle. The Conquistadores had the same attitude towards the entire Western Hemisphere!

Woland
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Feb 5, 2014 09:08PM)
4 years later and I still think about this thread. Top was a guy that I would have given anything to spend a day with. I wonder what ever happened to him.
Message: Posted by: MatthewSims (Feb 9, 2014 06:50PM)
I just read this entire forum. Certainly an invaluable resource. Seeing as Topandball is not around, is there anyone that can speak on these scams from the perspective that he could (being a legitimate con artist, and one who works the games on a regular basis for money)?
Message: Posted by: vanp8 (Dec 16, 2018 08:40PM)
MatthewSims I just read this forum also. Hope everything is well with Topandball. I found this interesting and informative. I realized a long time ago I would have difficulty taking other peoples money but vicariously I like the stories. As I posted on another thread I almost became a victim (mark) of TCM. But it really showed me how big the crew could be. If someone else is qualified I'm sure we would all like to hear more insight.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 18, 2018 01:58PM)
Top and Ball is the real deal. He joined a team, Gambling Sam's, on the Scoundrels Forum. Sam was a poster on our forum. The Scoundrel's Forum has been dead for several years. His team appears on video in Youtube.

Most of the jargon that is in print is way out of date. Some goes back to the 1800's. Some is English, some American. Don't expect the players to use the terminology you find in books.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Bones (Dec 18, 2018 04:06PM)
I miss the old Scoundrels Forum.
It got a bit weird there in its final days (with a rather odd women who posted crazy stuff pretty well non-stop), but back when Sam and Top and Ball were posting, it was a fantastic forum. One of a kind.
If you knew where to look, the Scoundrels Forum contained information not available anywhere else in a public venue.