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Sophie Evans–The Girl at the Bar

Sophie Evans

Sophie Evans

Closed Monte: The Girl at the Bar

—a monte script by Whit Haydn and Sophie Evans

“Mark is in town on business, and is sitting in a quiet, expensive bar near his hotel. It is late, but he is intrigued by a beautiful, sexy lady who is sitting alone at the bar. Mark watches until he’s sure she isn’t waiting for someone. He approaches her, and the two begin to talk.

“The girl, Dianne, is both flirtatious and in high spirits. She is dressed well and acts like she has money.

“Mark buys her a drink. Dianne warms up to Mark, and he begins to think this night might be more interesting than anticipated.

“A second man, Jack, comes over to the bar to order a drink. Dianne engages him in conversation, and pretty soon Jack begins to compete with Mark for the lady’s attention. It turns out that Jack is an amateur magician, and he does a few simple card tricks, but they are not very impressive.

“Dianne is wild about them. “You’re really great! Do you do that thing with the three cards? Like they do on 42nd Street?”

“Jack launches into a lecture on the trickery involved in that swindle, and explains that no one can keep up with the cards when they are thrown by an expert card sharp such as himself.

“Dianne insists on a demonstration, and gets ticked off when she is wrong several times in a row. She is obviously very competitive, and doesn’t like to lose.

“Jack tries to quit as he begins to sense that the game frustrates her. She refuses to let him quit. “Look, I’ll bet you twenty. Don’t be such a chicken. It’s only money for Chris’ sake. Come on. Twenty on the ace this time.”

“She shames Jack into playing for money.

“Each time she plays, she misses.

“Dianne turns to Mark all in a twist, “Can you follow this? I can’t figure it out…”

“Mark says he can keep up with it pretty well. He was right every time so far, after all.

“Dianne bets another twenty, and when Mark suggest a card, she turns it and wins. She puts her palm on Mark’s chest, “You’re great!”

“Jack says, “Well look, I’m not going to play against the two of you.”

“As Jack orders a drink and is talking to the bartender, Dianne winks at Mark to get his attention, and then touches her lips with a finger. She then marks the back of the ace on it’s corner with a smudge of lipstick and gives Mark’s hand an excited squeeze.

“When Jack turns back, Dianne is insistent that he give her a chance to get the rest of her money back. Jack is now obviously unhappy with the way things are going.

“He refuses and starts to leave.

“Dianne holds him by the arm. “Oh, come on. I’ll bet you $500 that I can get it this time. I’ll put up $250 and my boyfriend here will put up $250.”

“Mark starts to protest. Dianne squeezes his knee and whispers into his ear, “Let’s you and me spend his money tonight! Come on, baby, help me show this sleaze up!”

“Mark still hesitates. Dianne whispers again, “Oh, you’ve got the money—I saw it when you bought the drinks. Don’t be an idiot. Nobody passes up a sure thing!”

“Mark gives in.

“Jack is now copping a real attitude. He puts down his stakes, and Mark and Diannematch. Jack throws the cards and turns to Dianne, “But you have to pick the card, not him. And no help.”

“Dianne stands right up to Jack. “The bets already up. We didn’t agree to that. We both put up money, its up to us to decide who chooses. Go ahead, Mark. You pick one.”

“Mark reaches for the card with the lipstick on the back. The card that he knew was the ace…

“It’s a loser.

“Jack looks up at Dianne and Mark. “You two tried to cheat me, didn’t you?”

“He picks up the money and turns away, as he walks off he says, “Shouldn’t try to kid a kidder…”

“Dianne turns to Mark. “I can’t believe it! I think I’m going to be sick. How could that have happened? Look, buy me another drink, I go to go to the ladies room.”

“Mark sits at the bar nursing two drinks for what seems like a very long time…”

— From School for Scoundrels Notes on Three-Card Monte by Whit Haydn

Photo is from a painting by Sophie Evans’ father, John Dupret.

Nice review from “Down Under”:

Australia’s Honest Con Man’s Blog

Getting taken twice by Soapy Smith

From Jeff Smith:
“Some of my favorite stories involving Soapy and his Tivoli Club in Denver are the times he was able to swindle the same dupes twice. A good confidence man can take any victim once, but only a great one can take the same victim twice on the same day. Think of the smooth intellect needed to fool a man twice.

“You need to know that I don’t condone or admire crime. However, anyone who studies Soapy for the shortest amount of time ends up admiring his methods, much the same way a police detective might admire an intelligent crook. My website has a saying I changed around to meet my needs. “He left his mark on history, so we won’t become one.”

“My book has two such examples in which victims were lured back into the Tivoli Club after having gone to the police and complained about the first case. In the example below the victim did enter the den a second time but was able to escape before he was taken again…so he says.”


“Twice inveigled into a Gambling Den on Seventeenth Street. The latest hold-up on Seventeenth street is reported from the gambling rooms over the Tivoli saloon, Seventeenth and Market streets. As the result of a brief experience in the notorious resort Rudolph Hann mourns the loss of $95 in hard cash which he earned by the sweat of his brow on a Kansas ranch.

“The lamb from the Sunflower state floated into Denver Friday night and put up for the night at one of the cheap down-town lodging houses. There he was evidently spotted and yesterday forenoon as he meandered out to view the scenes of the rising metropolis he was approached by a smooth stranger who inveigled him into the Tivoli gambling rooms. Three men were playing cards at one of the tables.
“The new comer was presented with a handful of checks and in five minutes he arose, loser by $130. Upon applying at the police station he was sent back to the place accompanied by an officer, and succeeded in recovering $35. Before night Hann was inveigled a second time into the building but made his escape and took the first train for his old home in Kansas. He related his story to a News reporter as the train left the union depot.”
Rocky Mountain News, 1893

Tired of politics as usual? Join a virtual party…

GACP Membercard

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School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle

Chef Anton teaches School for Scoundrels
School for Scoundrels will begin on Sundays November 6, 13, 20, 27, and on Mondays November 7, 14, 21, 28 at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

The course is $160 for the eight hours–two hours a night.

You can switch nights from Monday to Sunday or vice-versa–the same lesson is taught on Sun and Mon at 7:00 pm.

Contact Mark Wilson at (800) 367-8749 for reservations.

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