Miss Guided has been having fun responding to comments on her recent interview. She got so carried away in replying to one particular comment that she brought author Richard Turner, The Cheat along to share some stories. Before I knew what was happening, we ended up with such a long conversation that Miss Guided convinced me to post it as a separate blog entry. That angel can be very persuasive!
It all started with a comment from Jay:
Texas hold’em is one of the best. I wanna play again asap!
I guarantee you don’t want to play with Matt McCain or Richard Turner. You’ve already lost if you play against either of them.
Miss Guided said:
Texas Hold’em Jay, My happy Hold’em human Matt is the mirror of the author of Re-Deal. Like you he would play through the day. However, I must say there were times he would appallingly pitch the aces from the center as he would play. But those days are far from today where he now prefers to honestly play.
Richard Turner, the author of Re-Deal A Time Travel Thriller, is a card mechanic. He does not do tinker toy tricks. He demonstrates the most demanding moves ever formulated for swindling with cards.
The mirror of my man Matt has received million-dollar offers to swindle with his center deal, but he is now a born-from-above man and uses his second dealing skills to stir and stimulate rather than swindle the sucker.
You may have seen the mirror of my man Matt on that box humans seem to stare at from the snow season to the summer. Miss Lillie, can you select a few shows to share with our Hold’em human Jay?
Certainly, Miss Guided. Richard’s unparalleled touch with a pack of 52 has been written about and featured on dozens of TV specials around the globe, such as That’s Incredible, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, The 700 Club, The Paul Daniels Show on the BBC, and World Geniuses in Japan. Publications across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Times Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, and Genii Magazine have profiled Richard.
Miss Guided responded:
So Mister Human Hold’em Jay, I will now let Richard turner tell you why he doesn’t double deal this day.
Richard Turner joined the conversation:
Well, Jay, this goes back to the 80’s. I did something that was stupid and could have been hazardous to my health. I was the resident cheat on a riverboat for six years, and I met a lawyer who talked me into playing in a poker game with two other attorneys and one banker.
He told me, “We are all in the same business of cheating, so if you have ever dealt with a lawyer or banker, here’s a chance to get some of your own stolen money back.”
We played all night long, and my confederate and I cleaned everyone out without anyone being the wiser. Everything continued smoothly until the last hand when I picked up the deck and, by touch and without thinking, said, “There are two cards missing.”
The banker sitting to my right leaned over and in a low, suspicious voice asked, “How can you pick up a deck and tell there’s two cards missing?”
The two cards were found under the place mat of one of the attorneys across the table from me, and it wasn’t my partner. It was another cheat. The banker did not know what to think. One player hiding cards under a mat, while another player could pick up a deck and tell the cards were missing.
And now, as they say, the rest of the story: Two years later, after the airing of my appearance on That’s Incredible, I was sitting at a Coco’s Restaurant when a man came up to my table and said, “You’re Richard Turner. You once cheated me out of a bunch of money! I’m the banker who questioned how you could pick up a deck and tell two cards were missing from the pack.”
My stomach instantly plunged. I remembered the game well. I was wondering what the guy was going to say or do next—maybe do a Doc Holliday and pull a gun? During the game I had found the banker to be a cold and stern player.
To my shock and surprise, the fellow thrust forth his hand and grabbed mine. With an excited smile, he said, “I saw you on That’s Incredible! I just wanted to say Hi! It was a great show! Now I know how you could tell there were two cards missing! Wow, it was a privilege to have been cheated by you!”
As the banker walked away, I was left sitting there with my mouth hanging open.
Thank you, Miss Guided and Richard, for sharing that amusing story.So did you learn any lesson from that?
I decided no more cheating with a partner. I must be honest and say I did have a few more slips, but not in the past 18 years.
Richard, I understand it was a different story if they openly challenged you as “The Cheat.”
You bet! If you challenged me knowing me as The Cheat, you were in trouble, like the carpet dealer in San Diego. I decided to remodel one of my homes to fit my antique furniture. I went to a carpet store, and the owner recognized me from a TV show I had been featured on. He introduced himself as the proprietor and offered to personally help me find my carpet. As we looked at the different carpet selections, the owner told me how he was particularly impressed with how I could pick off from the deck the exact number of cards requested. He insisted I must be using some kind of funny cards with an indexing system. I told him I could do it with any pack of cards—I could even do it with his personal business cards.
I found a carpet to my liking, and we went back to the owner’s office to complete the sale. We were sitting at the man’s desk when another customer came in and asked the owner for one of his business cards.
As the customer left, the owner remembered what I had said about being able to pick off a specific number of his business cards. He turned back to me and said, “Are you telling me you can do it with these?”
I said, “You bet.”
“Then do it!” the owner said.
“Hold it,” I said. “You don’t work for free. So why should I?”
The owner said, “So you really can’t do it with my business cards. It’s just an act! I knew you must be using some kind of trick deck!”
I said, “Tell you what. If I do it with your business cards and get the number you ask for, you give me the carpet for free. If I don’t get it with your cards, I’ll pay double for the carpet.”
The owner asked for 17 cards from the stack and I handed him 17 cards. The new carpet looked really good with my antique furniture.
Another good story, Richard.
During my years editing Re-Deal I learned many of the stories in the book about offers made to Matt to cheat were based on actual offers you received from the mob. Would you mind sharing a few with us?
Because of my ability to cheat undetectably, I could be a very rich … dead man. I have been wined and dined by some of the most powerful crime families in the country. After seeing what I could do with the cards, a mobster offered me a thousand dollars a day to come work for him. I said no! He said 2K a day. After I still refused, he then invited me to tell him how much it would cost to buy me. I had images of waking up to a horse’s head!
Tell my readers about that offer from overseas.
Miss Guided said:
Oh, I’m partial to that particular parable.
That offer came from the Middle East. I was first offered $10,000 a week to play for oil money. I said no. They said $20,000 a week. After a series of refusals, they finally upped the offer to one million dollars. Once again my answer was no!
Wow, a million dollar offer! I’ve never had a million dollar offer to do anything. Since Miss Guided conned—I mean convinced me—to put this conversation up as new blog post, we have time for a few more stories if you’re up to it.
Another powerful crime family who would watch me aboard the riverboat approached me about doing a little business. I told them about the offer I had from the Middle East and that I had said, “No, thanks.”
They strongly told me don’t take the offer! They said, “In a situation like that, you will be 100 per cent used. Do you know what that means?”
I told them, “I know what it means. It means they kill you when they’re done with you.”
One of the mobsters said, “The Arabians own half the world, and we own the other half. We can arrange for these games to take place here in the United States, and we’ll back you here.”
Lillie, at that very moment I thought to myself, Wow, I will be 100 per cent used in my own country. I’ll die here in the US! Now that’s the deal I’ve been looking for! Buried in American dirt!
I’m glad you’re not buried in American dirt. Perhaps we should wrap up this conversation.
Miss Guided said:
My happy Hold”Em human hasn’t told you the tale of the terrible travesty of that evil traveling jewel man. You must hear that story. That could have ended in terrific tragedy and termination of Mr. Cheat’s earthly life.
Okay, let’s hear one more story of how you managed to avoid pushing up lilies.
Very funny, Lillie!
This was the most frightening offer of all. I was on an airline flight to a performance when the stranger in the seat next to me lowered his paper.
“Hello, Mr. Turner,” he said. “We have talked by phone, but I wanted to talk to you in person to discuss doing a little business together.”
I must say, I was startled. This was something from a Godfather movie. No one knew I was on that flight. And that was just the beginning. After that incident, this very scary creep would be waiting for me at restaurants. He knew about my likes and dislikes, very personal things! The man would call me on hotel lines when I was a thousand miles from home, inviting me to join him downstairs for dinner or a drink.
He was a diamond broker from South Africa, and he tried to give me a five-carat diamond pinky ring just to show me his good faith. As another bribe, at one meal he gave me the business and personal numbers of Johnny Carson, suggesting I might like to be on the Tonight Show. I gave the numbers to some friends with the police. After an investigation, they determined the numbers were legitimate.
The police decided I needed protection and should know how to use a gun. For six months I was trained by Chuck Curtis, the captain of the SWAT team. He armed me with a Walther PPK, which I still have today.
That’s scary. Is that where the story ends?
No, things didn’t stop there. Over one dinner, he told me how it cost him $400,000 to buy off a judge for a murder he had committed.
However, the most frightening moment came when he offered to have my wife or anyone else I chose murdered. He said it would be an accident or there would be an explosion, and no one would ever know I was behind the killing.
He said all these things to try and entice or intimidate me into accepting his 200,000 to 300,000 dollar offer to cheat in high-stake card games over in South Africa.
You’re still not pushing up lilies so I take that you again said no.
I did not accept anything from these gangsters or anyone else. Like in the movie Godfather, I didn’t want to wake up to a horse’s head.
I decided to avoid even the appearance of bad behavior and instead to give back. Over the past two decades, my beautiful wife Kim and I have had the privilege to speak to tens of thousands of kids and many corporate executives on the wonderful opportunities God has given to us in this great country to reach our dreams honestly.
Miss Guided said:
My man Matt and Mr. Cheat here make me proud.
I know you have dined with the rich and famous and received many honors and awards because you have chosen to use your talents honestly. For all the Hold’em players out there, we thank you. And thank you for taking the time to visit this humble little blog.
Richard and Miss Guided, we must close for now. At another time, I’d like to ask you about the karate character Juan, aka Kicker, in your novel Re-Deal. I know you’re a fifth degree black belt and many of the stories in Re-Deal also relate to your fighting experiences. If you don’t mind talking about it, I’m sure my readers would like to know how you can fight when you can only see shadows.
On April 2, I leave for an eight-city tour, but I’ll be happy to visit again and answer questions as time permits.
Thank you and thanks to all your blog friends! And please let us know what you thought of Re-Deal A Time Travel Thriller.
Whew! This long conversation all came about from a single comment. Though Richard and Miss Guided will be here only a couple of days to respond to comments, they’ll be back later in April.