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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Is 3 Card Monte alive in any country/city? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

panlives
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It seems to be extinct in its spiritual home town, New York City.

I saw an isolated team working on the Vegas strip last year. The police washed it away after a few, fleeting minutes.

Does it still flourish anywhere on the planet?

Reports from the field are appreciated...
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Whit Haydn
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It is just moved off the main streets. It is being played in pool halls, car washes, parking lots, music festivals, and other places. The Texas Twist and other closed monte versions are more viable now.
panlives
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Quote:
On 2010-10-25 14:22, Whit Haydn wrote:
It is just moved off the main streets. It is being played in pool halls, car washes, parking lots, music festivals, and other places. The Texas Twist and other closed monte versions are more viable now.


Hi Whit,

It is always an honour to get the goods from you.

Can you elaborate?

With thanks, as always.
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Whit Haydn
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Closed Monte is monte played under the radar, as opposed to Open Monte which is apparently open to all comers. Open Monte requires more shills generally than Closed Monte--they have to divide up the work of the Outside Man so they can move things along quicker.

In Closed Monte, a victim is singled out, qualified and drawn into the game, usually by one guy--the Outside Man (known in the old days, as a Roper or a Steerer).

When there is a lot of community focus on Open Monte, it usually just goes "underground" to places it is less noticeable, and done with as little footprint as possible.

You are talking to a guy at a car wash, and another guy starts showing off his skill with the three cards, and the guy you were talking with suddenly starts betting, and you get drawn in, lose, and then hear "That's my car!" and both guys walk off.

This can happen in a pool hall, or at a tailgate party. Carmen D'Amico did a version I wrote up in my book on Three-Card Monte called the Dry Cleaner & Tailor's Ploy, where D'Amico and another guy always took little dry cleaning and tailor's establishments at the three card monte.

The Girl at the Bar is another Closed Monte script, and many of the stories in Devol, Mason and Tarbeaux are of the Closed Monte type, as is the description of the Three Card Monte scam pulled by Canada Bill Jones as witnessed by A. Pinkerton of the Pinkerton detectives.

The Texas Twist is a script seen mostly in the south, and uses a "Salt and Pepper Team" or scam artists who are black and white partners who usually target a white guy as a victim. This is also described in my book.
ray raymond
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I have seen it done in Cleveland Ohio outside the browns stadium after a football game
panlives
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Quote:
On 2010-10-29 18:21, Whit Haydn wrote:
Closed Monte is monte played under the radar, as opposed to Open Monte which is apparently open to all comers. Open Monte requires more shills generally than Closed Monte--they have to divide up the work of the Outside Man so they can move things along quicker.

In Closed Monte, a victim is singled out, qualified and drawn into the game, usually by one guy--the Outside Man (known in the old days, as a Roper or a Steerer).

When there is a lot of community focus on Open Monte, it usually just goes "underground" to places it is less noticeable, and done with as little footprint as possible.

You are talking to a guy at a car wash, and another guy starts showing off his skill with the three cards, and the guy you were talking with suddenly starts betting, and you get drawn in, lose, and then hear "That's my car!" and both guys walk off.

This can happen in a pool hall, or at a tailgate party. Carmen D'Amico did a version I wrote up in my book on Three-Card Monte called the Dry Cleaner & Tailor's Ploy, where D'Amico and another guy always took little dry cleaning and tailor's establishments at the three card monte.

The Girl at the Bar is another Closed Monte script, and many of the stories in Devol, Mason and Tarbeaux are of the Closed Monte type, as is the description of the Three Card Monte scam pulled by Canada Bill Jones as witnessed by A. Pinkerton of the Pinkerton detectives.

The Texas Twist is a script seen mostly in the south, and uses a "Salt and Pepper Team" or scam artists who are black and white partners who usually target a white guy as a victim. This is also described in my book.


Thank you, Whit.

This is a potent reminder that I have to read your book closely.

I was savouring every word but had to put it aside due to work and other mundane drudgery.

Here I go, back to my bookshelf!
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Sleeveless
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The sailors here in San Diego talk about it and the shell game being played in the back of the buses on payday. If you want to see it you just need to know where to look.
tpearman
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I live in Downtown Los Angeles and I have witnessed it being played on several occasions by the jewelry district on a two box stand and newspaper taped to the top.
jakeg
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I get into Manhattan fairly often, and cannot recall ever having seen a monte game, or a shell game for that matter. I must be hanging out with the wrong crowd.
MagicSanta
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San Francisco near the train station and outside Pier 39.

In the South Bay (San Jose area) some guys were doing it at highschools and the children were lining up bo be skinned.
tpearman
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It would be fun to chronicle some of these in photographs, however it is likely that the operators would not be very willing to have their photo taken. It is definitely still around if you know where to find it.
BobMc
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Quote:
On 2010-11-26 19:37, jakeg wrote:
I get into Manhattan fairly often, and cannot recall ever having seen a Monte game, or a shell game for that matter. I must be hanging out with the wrong crowd.


3 card Monte was pretty common in Manhattan in the seventies and maybe eighties. I don't know if it was Rudy Giuliani who cleaned it up, or if it happened even before he was mayor, but I haven't seen a game openly played in many years.
jakeg
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Quote:
On 2010-11-28 15:04, BobMc wrote:

3 card Monte was pretty common in Manhattan in the seventies and maybe eighties. I don't know if it was Rudy Giuliani who cleaned it up, or if it happened even before he was mayor, but I haven't seen a game openly played in many years.


Maybe that's why he didn't get the nomination.
Jacques
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Last time I saw it, it was in NY on Canal street near Chinatown in 1993. It was still quite popular because I saw three different groups. They all broke up when a woman started shouting and hitting her husband who just lost some money...
Lawrence O
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Watched a full crew of American hustlers performing a Hungarian Monte (just learned the name from Whit) in Paris (France) on the bridge in front of the Eiffel tower: it's alive and global.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Donal Chayce
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Last night Jon Armstrong showed me video footage he recently shot on his iPhone of a monte crew working in broad daylight just off of Las Vegas Blvd. He was able to capture a mark losing a $100 bet after two shills suckered him in.
DrSammy
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I was walking on the strip in Las Vegas few years ago (this was when the Aladdin was in the process of becoming Planet Hollywood). It was about 10 or 11 in the morning and I was walking North from the M&M store when I saw a crowd. I thought that there might be some sort of street performer, but it turned out to be the monte in action. I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with the approach. The leader clearly had the mechanics of the 'game' - he managed to take in over $1000 from a single mark inside of 2 minutes - but the shills weren't acting as I expected. They were very obvious about their association with the leader, aggressively pointing at people in the crowd and bringing the potential bets closer to the action. There wasn't much of a need for shills to gate in the bettors, since the large crowd served much the same function. The lookouts made no pretense of doing anything but being there to watch for police. The shills who were laying bets were clearly friends of the others, since they all spoke alike, dressed similarly, and joked with one another. All I could think when I watched this was that they were either just learning how to work the con or that they had intentionally gathered the crowd and were drawing attention to themselves to draw attention away from a pickpocket or two though I didn't see any (I know...You never actually see the good ones).
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No. 92
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I see them on 34th street from time to time, usually by Madison Square Garden.
diehards2080
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Its rare to see 3 Card here in NYC. In Manhattan I havent seen it in years. I see it a few times in the Bronx and Brooklyn but not much.
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