Monday, September 10

$5 Chess Game, Best-of-Three, Zuccotti Park


This isn't about the protests and stuff. That's strangely confusing and I couldn't figure out what the occupy lot are on about. 

But this is about getting hustled. I got hustled once in my life when I was in school. And it was the 3 cup and a ball trick. 

Very simple trick and I fell for it. Ended up losing a months pocket money on it. I was 2 years younger than you at that time. I felt like a complete idiot and still do. But it was a good learning experience. Here are some lessons that I learnt from it. 

If something is too good to be true then it most definitely is false. You will see these offers about getting rich quickly and those are invariably fake. 

Second, always know how much you are willing to lose. That's what I call as fuck off limits. You will lose money. On stocks, on purchases, on dates, on everything relating to money. Thats not a problem. The problem is when you don't have a stop loss limit. And stick to it. Have the discipline to walk away from extreme losses. Define decide dedicate. For example you are making losses in your portfolio but your excuse was that you don't want to lose on transaction fees. I told you to decide on your losses and select some other stocks. What that tells me is that you haven't learnt about your loss levels, you don't have your discipline to cut your losses and the fact that you missed the deadline means that you are still not at the level of dedication. So what are you going to do?

Final lesson learnt, there is no free money. The only money you can be proud of is what you earn through hard work son. Winning through crime or lotteries or gambling etc. etc. is sure to get you in disaster. But learn your figures, angles, your own abilities and characteristics. Rely on yourself to earn money, son. That's the way to have a peaceful nights sleep. Easy money ends up in tears. 



$5 Chess Game, Best-of-Three, Zuccotti Park []

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Fading the Vig: A Gambler’s Guide to Life: $5 Chess Game, Best-of-Three, Zuccotti Park. Download our app and get Internet Tendency optimized for your device,
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car horn is stuck and he’s mouthed “I’m sorry” three times already.

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Fading the Vig: A Gambler’s Guide to Life

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David Hill is a gambler. Each column will tell the story of a single bet that he made and examine what that bet reveals about life in America.

See all articles from this column

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$5 Chess Game,
Zuccotti Park.

BY David Hill

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It’s six in the morning in Zucotti Park. Quiet hours started at eleven, but that isn’t stopping the kid behind me from singing and playing Bob Dylan’s greatest hits on his guitar. I politely tolerate it until he starts to play “Rainy Day Women.” That cinches it.

“Knock it off, it’s quiet hours.”

I point to the sign nearby that lays out the self-mandated rules about music. He scowls at me as he puts his guitar back in its case.

I’m usually more patient than this. Maybe I’m feeling punchy because in two hours the police are supposed to show up and arrest all of us. More likely it has to do with the fact that I’m down two pawns going in to the endgame.

“Sorry, man, but this is a money game,” is all the apology I can muster. I have to focus.

It looks bad now, but you should have seen me earlier. I got here around three, right after the rainstorm quit, after getting several emails and text messages that the cops were planning to storm the park at seven. I packed my bag with extra clothes and some comic books, wrote the National Lawyer’s Guild phone number on my arm, kissed my wife on the forehead and told her I was going to go get arrested at the park. She mumbled something like “good luck” and rolled back over to sleep.

When I arrived at the park people were trying to settle in and get some rest. It had been a rough night of rain that likely kept a lot of people who were planning to help occupy the park away. There were only a couple hundred people here, drying off, straightening up, and winding down.

I walked over to the chess table. Bystanders held their cell phones over the table to offer the players some light. I watched a game between an Eastern European student with a backpack and a young Middle Eastern man in a baseball cap. One glance at their position told me these guys were patzers. I asked them how much they were playing for.

“We aren’t gambling.”

No shit. I asked who has next; the onlookers all shook their heads. I sat down and played the Middle Eastern kid and end up holding the table for the next couple of hours. I’m no chess master. My last rated game had me around 1450. But tonight I was king of the park. It isn’t saying much. This is no Washington Square Park. The players in Zuccotti Park are an embarrassment to the lumpenproletariat park-dwellers of New York City. Then James showed up.

James was a young Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx. He worked for the MTA, a member of TWU Local 100. He had on a 59fifty Yankees cap, a grey hoodie and a backpack. He was polite and pleasant. Like me he had a wife and baby at home. He kept texting his wife to let her know he was still okay and not in jail. He told me he was “a little rusty.” I beat him pretty easily in our first game. I even let him take back a few moves. I felt like a goddamn grandmaster. Then he brought me back down to earth with one question.

“You want to play for money?”

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“So you’re a hustler?”

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