I have developed an unhealthy fear of every middle-aged white guy in a suit.
Stocky, slicks his hair back—you know the type.
I assume he wants to stare daggers at me and whisper into a phone. I assume he is about to cross his arms and stand off to the side while watching every hand I play and every card that comes out of the shoe. I assume he feels like mopping his brow and flipping through a binder of surveillance photos; that he yearns to invite me to pick up my chips and step back from the table; that he has a hankering to inform me that I am more than welcome to play slots.
I assume too much.
This has started happening at the bank and the airport. I felt a back off coming recently before I realized I was at church.
I have developed an unhealthy fear of phones ringing; of taps on the shoulder; of people walking up on me from behind; of security guards milling about talking into shoulder radios; of anyone running through a casino.
Has this happened to you? Stay strong and play on. When you get that feeling, more often than not you you need to play on. Mutter to yourself, “Bring on the backoff, fools, I dare you,” if it helps steady your resolve. Bolting at every hint of possible ouster would only serve to deprive you of massive amounts of EV. Sometime heat comes and then goes away altogether. It’s never an exact science.
I was leaving a casino recently with an extra five grand in my pocket, congratulating myself for having gotten no heat at all, and a comped room for the night to boot. Suddenly a floor manager burst through the doors behind me yelling “Stop! Stop!” after me and running at me like he was going to tackle me.
“The cashier forgot to pay you this,” he said In his hand he had two quarters.