Prolog—Part 1 of 3: 1981: Meeting Mr. Cool (BioVlog 1 of 384)

I’m Richard Turner, and to protect the innocent, and that is sort of me, I’m going to use pseudonyms when referring to my dealings with the mob.

Thanks to the constant publicity from the television shows, radio interviews, and print media, my reputation as a skilled “cheater” continues to grow.

At my performing venue, the well-connected bartender quietly confides, “Richard, I have another slick operator, a card mechanic, Mr. Cool. He runs big games, and he’s dying to meet you.”

(Like my mentor, Dai Vernon, who chased after every crooked card mechanic he could find, I’m always eager to meet cheating enthusiasts.)

I tell the bartender, “I’m willing to meet with him.”

The bartender arranges a get together for the following Friday night. My driver Jim and I head straight to the riverboat’s lounge. Jim spots some guy who waves at us and says, “I think I see him, Mister Rick.”

I know I have to use others to see what I can’t see. I say, “Describe him. I want to have an image of this guy in my mind before I sit down.

Jim says with that sly laugh of his, “That gangster looks like some typecast mob boss. Obviously, he knows about images and having the right look. His wardrobe is from some fancy men’s magazine like GQ or something. It looks Italian like a mafia dude would wear. His hair is slicked back, every hair in place. His nails are highly buffed like a girl’s. And, Mister Rick, as if designed for some gangster film, on his little finger is a huge diamond ring.”

“Thanks,” I say. “I’ll see you around 10:15.”