intercal  asked:

I have *got* to ask: what did you do that involved moving such large amounts of money? If you don't want to answer, that's fine and sorry for imposing, but that sounds like it would be at least... *mildly* interesting.

I was on a gambling team. I was a spotter, and assistant manager. I would travel around to half a dozen casinos each day looking for things to play. Then if I found something we would call in 10-100 people to come in and take all the seats. These were big banks of video poker or keno machines with progressive jackpots. So, if there were 25 seats, we would call in 25 people to take all the seats and play it until one of us got the jackpot, trading out for a new set of 25 people every 24 hours. Usually we couldn’t get the whole bank because there were competing teams, independent competitors, and local semi pros who would chase jackpots.

Occasionally these jackpots would take an inordinate amount of time to go off. I played video poker for four days straight once, and we had one jackpot we chased in 24 shifts for two weeks. When things like that would happen, with 25 people each feeding thousands of dollars a day into a machine, you can run out of money quick. So my job included going places where the bosses had other money in play, like card clubs or sports bettors working for them someplace, and get money to transport back to keep our thing from falling apart.

The first time I went I met an old Italian guy named Anthony at a gas station in West Hollywood. He walked up and said, “Are you < a name that’s sort of like mine>?” And I said, “Uh, maybe…” and started to correct him, and he just tossed a grocery bag with $80k into my lap and walked away without another word. I always wondered if he ever accidentally gave the money to the wrong guy, since there are a lot of the people in the world with my name, little less all the ones that are sorta close to mine…

Anyway, yeah I traveled around and did all sorts of weird things. I stood behind a guy playing Pai Gow tiles at a casino in the bay area for a couple weeks, acting as an extra set of eyes to spot cheating. Went to 2:1 blackjack promos where every blackjack pro in America would show up and start fighting each other for seats. Banked a blackjack-ish game down in Texas. My misspent youth.