"Winner, winner, chicken dinner."
Those words had been dancing around my head all night.
I mean, it's Vegas lore, that phrase.
Just ask any of the old-time pit bosses, they'll know.
It was a Chinese dealer at Binion's who was first credited with the line.
He would shout it every time he dealt Blackjack.
That was over forty years ago, and the words still catch.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. There it is!
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner."
Yeah, try it.
I had heard it at least fourteen times that night.
I couldn't lose.
First of all, what I was doing wasn't illegal.
There were certain institutions and people that frowned upon it, but it's legal.
And not everyone can do it.
Just those with gifted minds.
I have a gifted mind.
That's what got me into all this mess.
I was counting cards and I was up over $640,000.
All right! I'm just gonna have to split those tens.
- Splitting tens. Splitting tens again.
Well, that's all right. I've been winning and losing for years.
We used hand signals, too.
Folded arms, the table's hot.
A touch to the eye, we need to talk.
And a hand running through perfect flowing hair meant only one thing.
Get out. Now.
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner."
Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke.
President, American Legion math league.
TA to professors Wilkins and Sanders.
Both of whom are friends of mine, and who wrote glowing recommendations.
And you're accepted early into school here at Harvard Med, pending graduation from MIT. It's very impressive.
The Robinson Scholarship is comprehensive, as you know.
It's a free ride. And free rides don't come easy.
We have seventy-six applicants this year, only one of whom will get the scholarship and most of whom have résumés just as impressive as yours.
Some kids grow up wanting to play for the Red Sox.
You know, some grow up wanting to be, I don't know, a fireman.
I grew up... well, really, I just wanted to come here to Harvard Med.
And now that I've gotten accepted, it seems to only come down to the money.
Which I don't really have.
So, what I'm trying to say is that I really, really need this scholarship.
Did you rehearse that?
Yeah. Like, fourteen times in front of the mirror.
Unfortunately, desire doesn't figure into this much.
The Robinson is going to go to someone who...
Somebody who just jumps off the page.
Oh, well, then, I'm also involved in a science competition.
We're building a robotic wheel that can navigate itself using a proprietary GPS system.
Well, I'm designing the system. So...
Ben, last year, the Robinson went to Hyum Jae Wook, a Korean immigrant who has only one leg.
Well, I have both my legs.
Well, have you considered cutting one of them off?
That was a joke.
Ben, it's all about the essay.
You need to really explain to us what makes you special.
What life experience separates you from all the rest.
What can you tell me, Ben, that's going to dazzle me?
I'm so sorry I'm late.
Where is your jacket? Oh, I got it. I got it. It's right here.
This is no way for the new assistant manager to come to work.
Congratulations. How does $8 an hour sound?
Wow! Wow. That's great, Warren. Thank you. Thank you.
You slept with him, didn't you?
Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Yes, you did.
I'll sleep with him, too, and I'll get $8 an hour.
So Palmer finishes up his lecture, right? And I say to him, "well, professor Palmer, you're gonna need at least fourteen capacitance probes
"to get the kind of results that you're looking for," okay?
So then he says to me, "Miles, don't you think that's a little excessive?"
And I get up, I swear to God, Ben, I get up in front of the entire class and I say, "you can never have enough capacitance probes."
Oh, my God. What the hell is wrong with you?
I hope nothing. You just got promoted, man. You should be happy.
I just gotta write this essay for the Robinson Scholarship, and I have nothing.
And the reason that I have nothing is 'cause, well, I've done nothing.
Oh, give me a break, Ben. What?
You have everything.
You blow me out of the water, and I'm a cerebral stud. Is that nothing?
Yeah, well, it doesn't dazzle.
Hey. It dazzles me, mister.
You know, ever since I was sixteen, I crushed exams.
I took on extracurriculars. I showed up early.
I even sat up at the front and I stayed late.
Man, I gave up everything.
You know, I gave up fun. I gave up sex.
I don't think you gave up sex.
Okay. Maybe not sex. Yeah, you didn't give up sex.
All right, all right. Not sex, but...
It just annoys me that the one thing that is stopping me from going to Harvard Med is money.
You know, tuition fees and living expenses alone cost over $300,000.
It's outrageous. It's astronomically high. I get that.
You know, I just thought there was more to life than just money.
Well, look at the bright side, I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.
Happy birthday, honey. Thanks, Mom.
Thank you, love. Kisses.
Make a wish.
Make a wish. Okay.
Did you know Miles did the frosting on that? You see that?
It took me five minutes to figure out it was a fibonacci series...
...Where the next number is twenty-one. Now you're slipping, Cam.
Cam, you owe another six bucks.
No, no. I didn't eat any of the buffalo wings.
Oh, really? That's great. Well, we're not doing it that way.
We're just dividing equally. So let's say you pay.
I got it, all right? No, no.
I got it. I got it. I got it. I got it.
It's your birthday. You're as broke-ass as I am.
I just wish now I had eaten some of those wings.
So, I nailed the specs on the 2.09 last night, after nineteen cups of coffee.
Check it out. You are kidding.
What is this? You're kidding!
This is good. Miles, this is good.
Yeah, well, it better be 'cause this is what we've been working for since we got here.
This is called destiny.
You know, there is the... thank you.
There is the possibility that we might not actually win this thing.
Oh, yeah? Bite your tongue! Bite your damn tongue!
we don't date, we don't travel, we don't have any money.
The only thing that we do have is the 2.09 competition.
If we can't even win that, what's the point?
Hey, hey. Look at this!
No, no, no, no.
Yeah. We suck.
Your father would be so proud of you, Ben.
Do you remember anything about him?
Not really. Maybe when he shaved?
Yeah, I think I watched him shave.
So, what are your plans for the rest of the night?
I don't know. I'll probably just go back and work on that essay.
Ben, you're working too hard.
Between the job and school and the 2.09, you've had no time for just yourself.
You have to squeeze in a little time for fun, Ben.
You only turn twenty-one once. And it goes by very fast.
Okay. All right.
Good night. All right, good night.
Don't come home before 3:00. All right.
Now, who can explain Newton's method and how you use it?
You can use it to solve nonlinear equations.
That's impressive. That's really good. I mean, I'm very impressed by that, especially since my class is called nonlinear equations.
All right, now somebody tell me something I don't already know.
Bueller. Anyone? Bueller.
Newton stole it.
I'm sorry? Newton stole it.
Joseph Raphson published this same method fifty years earlier.
And if the start value is too far removed from true zero, then it fails.
I'm sorry, what's your name? Ben. Ben Campbell.
So Ben Campbell suggests that Joseph Raphson was the original author of this method.
Well, if that's the case, then why didn't he get any credit?
Well, for one thing, Newton had a better publicist.
And for another, after 1700, we know very little about Raphson other than the fact that he discovered the Kabbalah about 300 years before Madonna.
All right, now, let's give Ben a chance for some extra credit, shall we?
We're gonna call this the game show host problem, all right?
Ben, suppose you're on a game show.
And you are given a chance to choose from three different doors, all right?
Now, behind one of the doors is a new car. Behind the other two, goats.
Which door would you choose, Ben?
Door number one?
Door number one. Ben chooses door number one.
All right, now, the game show host, who, by the way, knows what's behind all the other doors, decides to open another door. Let's say he chooses door number three.
Behind which sits a goat. Now...
Ben, game show host comes up to you.
He says, "Ben, do you want to stay with door number one
"or go with door number two?"
Now, is it in your interest to switch your choice?
Yeah. Well, wait.
Remember, the host knows where the car is so how do you know he's not playing a trick on you?
Trying to use reverse psychology to get you to pick a goat?
Well, I wouldn't really care. I mean, my answer's based on statistics.
Based on variable change.
Variable change? But he just asked you a simple question.
Yeah, which changed everything.
Well, when I was originally asked to choose a door, I had a 33.3% chance of choosing right.
But after he opens one of the doors and then re-offers me the choice, it's now 66.7% if I choose to switch.
So, yeah, I'll take door number two, and thank you for that extra 33.3%.
People, remember, if you don't know which door to open, always account for variable change.
Now, see, most people wouldn't take the switch out of paranoia, fear, emotions.
But Mr. Campbell, he kept emotions aside and let simple math get his ass into a brand-new car!
Which is better than that goat you've been driving around campus.
All right, everybody.
That's the end of the day. Thank you very much.
Your graded papers are down here at the end.
You can pick them up on your way out.
I am invincible.
Guys, Jill Taylor, ten o'clock.
Man. That's brutal.
You know, you should just ask her out, man.
It's not like she's a rocket scientist or anything.
Oh, wait, she is.
Well, why don't you ask her?
Because I'm already dating someone.
Yeah, your right hand doesn't count, Miles.
It does the way I use it. It does the way I use it.
Hey, you know what? Maybe I don't even want to go out with her.
Yeah, that's funny.
You know, you say you want a life experience, right?
Well, I'd say getting down with that would definitely qualify.
You have to follow me now.
Excuse me? You have to follow me now.
Where are we going? You'll see.
Our honored guest.
How you doing, Ben? I'm okay.
You ever been in this room before? Yeah.
Organic chemistry in my freshman year.
How'd you do? Well, I got an A.
Professor Rosa... Micky, please.
Is there a problem with my paper?
Well, you found a more efficient method for finding true zero than Isaac Newton and that, my friend, is not so much of a problem as it is a major ass-kicking.
Although Newton has been dead for over 250 years, so it wasn't exactly a fair fight.
So, is this some kind of a math club?
Don't be rude, people.
You ever studied blackjack? No.
No, really? Well, it's really simple, actually.
You play against the dealer.
You're given two cards.
Face cards are worth ten points.
The closest to twenty-one wins.
If you go over, you lose. If the dealer goes over, they lose.
It's the most popular card game in the world.
It's a game with memory.
Cards drawn are the past, ones to come are future.
And the best part, it's beatable.
Are you talking about counting cards?
No. I'm talking about getting very, very rich.
You count cards, right? All of you?
As a team, yes.
When? Weekends. And Christian holidays.
Where? Vegas, baby.
So, why are you telling me?
Well, let's just say a spot opened up on our roster.
Jimmy got a job at Google.
Jimmy got a job at Google? Yeah, it's catchy, I know.
Well, if you're making so much money at this, then why did he take it?
Ben, I said Google, not Sizzler.
Yeah... this is crazy.
No, Ben. This is profitable.
Yeah, I can't do it. So, I'm sorry.
Come on, Ben. It'll be fun. Yeah, Ben, it'll be fun.
No, it's not that. It's...
I just got a promotion at my job, so it's kind of not a good time for me.
We pay better.
Look, I can't just go to Vegas on weekends.
Why not? MIT's on cruise control for you, you've already gotten into Harvard Med.
I mean, what do you have to worry about?
How did you know that? I like to take an interest in my students.
Well, I'm also really involved in the science competition.
You know, the 2.09 competition?
Wait, no. I'm building a car that drives by itself.
Yeah, well, it's something I've been doing with my friends for over a year, so it's kind of important.
Ben, let the car drive by itself.
Listen, you not only have a gifted mind, but you're also composed.
You don't give in to your emotions. You think logically.
Ben, you were born for this.
You'll have more fun than you've ever had in your entire life.
Thank you. But I'm really not the right guy.
So I'm sorry.
I hope this little conversation we just had will remain private.
No, of... No.
You're one of my favorite new students, and I'd hate to lose you, if you know what I mean.
I'm just not sure it's me. It's boring...
...it's boxy, it's blue. How is that not you?
So, how much is this thing gonna run me?
Oh, well, let's see, the belt's $49.95, minus 15%.
The jacket's $589.99.
The pants, $285.99, minus 10% for both.
Unfortunately, the shirt's not on sale, but I can knock off 5% from the $69.99.
The shoes were just marked down from $155, so you're looking at $1,042.68.
I'm pretty good with numbers.
Yeah. I guess so.
Yeah, so let me know when I can ring that up for you guys.
Yes. Thank you. Thanks.
Could you help me? Oh, yeah. Yeah, sure.
I'm looking for a tie.
Oh, well, we're having a 15% sale on the ties.
And if you want, I could probably get you an additional 10% with my employee discount.
This one's nice. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
This one has actually been treated with our patented nano-Tex fabric protection, you know, to repel liquids and stains.
Well, that's really functional. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's pretty functional.
Face me. Stay still.
Despite being tempted by the nano-Tex repellant, I'm actually not here for a tie, Ben.
I came to see you.
Blackjack's a great game.
No, look, it's easy to learn and there's really not as much strategy to it as people think.
I grew up on it, actually.
You grew up on it? Yeah.
Every night after dinner, my father and I would play.
I knew basic strategy before I was, like, nine years old.
If I won, he'd take me out for ice cream.
And what if he won?
He'd still take me out for ice cream.
Oh, yeah. Sure, yeah, he's your dad.
Ben, you should feel the thrill of winning more money than you can possibly imagine.
I think you should come to Vegas.
'Cause I'm guessing that you could probably use a break from this place.
I just can't.
Okay. If you change your mind, you know where we meet.
You're welcome any time.
You know, I think the best thing about Vegas is you can become anyone you want.
What's the count? Plus nine.
No. Plus eleven.
Dude, I lost count twenty cards ago. Don't call me "dude."
Plus nine? You're just following Jill.
People, please. We had a total of seventy-six cards that came out of the deck.
Twenty-three were high cards with a value of minus one.
Seventeen were neutral with no value at all, and the rest were low cards with a value of plus one.
How could you lose the count? Plus thirteen.
The count. It's plus thirteen.
Pull up a chair.
What is it? Plus twelve. Eggs.
Twelve eggs in a carton.
Now what? Plus nine.
Cats have nine lives.
Every card had a value.
A high card, minus one. A low card, plus one.
The rest, zero.
Plus thirteen. Plus eight. Plus nine. Plus twelve.
I was studying all day, every day.
But it wasn't physics, chemistry and engineering. I was back to simple math, used in ways I could never have imagined.
The team had a system.
And to go unnoticed, we created a whole new language.
Words were numbers, and numbers were words.
Plus seventeen. Magazine.
Plus six. Gun.
Plus fifteen. Paycheck.
Is this chemistry review?
Plus fourteen. Ring.
Plus sixteen. Sweet.
Use it in a sentence.
Man, that sugar's sweet.
Because I knew the count, I knew which cards were left in the deck.
That's how I knew what to bet.
You're doing great.
Micky, I just want to let you know that I'm only doing this for Medical school, which is $300,000.
I mean, if I can get anything close to that, then I'm done.
Well, in the first place, Ben, it's not "if," it's "when."
And second of all, I get it. I completely understand.
You do? Yeah. It's a means to an end.
Look, they've got this new computer software that reads people's faces, so who knows how long this gig's gonna last for any of us?
What if we get caught?
Our system keeps us under the radar, you'll see.
Anyway, counting cards isn't illegal.
So, there's no danger in it at all? No, Ben, it's safe. Very safe.
You think you can beat the system?
This is the system, beating you back.
You wanna count cards, you do it in Atlantic city.
Get him up. Come on, kid.
Count to five.
Count to five! What?
Count to five so I know you don't have brain damage, you can go home.
Start with one.
One, two, three, four, five.
Good. Now, stop counting.
You're crazy, everybody knows to split eights.
My grandmother splits eights.
Not against a ten. It's a sucker play.
Look, you're choosing to play two hands against the highest up card a dealer can have, right?
Against a five or a six, it'd be fine.
Against a ten or an ace, it's a sucker play.
Yeah, Kianna, save it, all right? Jill's right. All right?
Choi, why don't you explain to Ben how we do?
Oh, all right.
So, our team is divided into two kinds of players, spotters and big players, right?
So if you think that this table is the casino floor, then salt and pepper shakers are your spotters.
Spotters are just sitting at the various Blackjack tables and they're betting the table minimum. They never fluctuate their bet.
That's right. Spotters never raise the bet or play any kind of progressive system.
That's how we stay under the radar, and that's why we never get caught.
Exactly. Okay, they're just sitting at the table, betting the table min, and they're keeping the count waiting for one of these decks to get hot.
Right. And then when one of the decks gets hot, the spotter at that table signals in the big player.
This... mustard. Give me the mustard, honey. Please.
Well, I'm always the mustard, so...
When I get the signal for the hot deck, I stumble over like some drunk rich kid, or some zoned out dot-com millionaire, and I throw down big money.
So the big player bets big and still keeps the count.
When the deck cools, he cashes in.
It's not as easy as it sounds.
Oh, yeah, it's not, you know, because if grey poupon over here ever loses the count, it's up to his table's spotter to give him the signal to get out.
And you know the signals, right? Yeah.
Okay, what's this?
The deck's hot. Right.
We need to talk.
The deck's cooling.
And get out. Get out now.
Good. I think he's gonna be ready for our little trial run tomorrow.
There's a trial run?
Where? You'll find out.
You Ben? Yeah.
Go, go. You go.
No more bet. No more bet.
Come on, money.
Whose side are you on?
Thank you. Sorry, gentlemen.
So, Henry, did I tell you I read about this place in a magazine?
You wanna put that money down? Yeah. $300.
You bet, sir?
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner." All right.
Can I get another drink, please?
What the hell are you doing?
What are you doing? I haven't done anything! Get off me!
Get off, I haven't done anything!
Please. Please let go.
What's the count? Please don't hurt me.
I said, what's the count? Look, I haven't even done anything!
What's the count?
Oh, you've gotta be kidding.
Sorry, we had to make sure you'd keep the count under pressure.
Welcome to the team.
We didn't mean it.
It's okay, Campbell, I cried inside that bag.
Fisher and Jimmy have always been the big players.
I want you to take Jimmy's place.
I've never done this.
I know that and I understand.
But I don't trust the girls, and choi is, well, choi.
Look, I've been teaching for more than fourteen years, and I've never had a student as impressive as you.
Your brain is like a goddamn Pentium chip.
You're gonna do great. You know how I know that?
'Cause you remind me of myself twenty-five years ago.
Yeah. Yeah, I'm in. Good. Good.
There's one more thing, Ben, and this is important.
We're counting cards, we're not gambling.
We're following a specific set of rules and playing a system.
I've seen how crazy it can get at those tables, and sometimes, people lose control.
They give in to their emotions.
You will not.
Get some rest.
Some rest? Yeah, we're leaving tomorrow.
Tomorrow? I have a quantitative literacy paper due Tuesday.
No, you don't. I don't?
No, I spoke to professor O'Reilly.
I told him you were helping me with a special assignment, and he understood, so he gave you an A.
You see, Ben, amazing things can happen from the inside.
You'll get a call about details later.
So did the girls go on ahead, huh?
Oh, yeah. They got a lot more bags to check, you know?
Well, wait for us by security 'cause Ben and I are gonna hit the head.
No, I'm good.
No, I really think you should go. It's a long flight.
No, I'm okay. We're going to the bathroom.
Honestly, I really don't have to go.
I don't care what you have to do. Look, I really don't have to...
Please just shut up.
Why are you looking over there? Look, I don't...
I don't care. Shut up. Get in here.
What are you doing? Let's go.
Pull down your pants. What?
Don't ask questions.
Shove these in your underwear. Why?
You want me to do it? 'Cause, I swear to god, I will.
Why can't we leave it in the bag? Because it shows up on the scanner.
And we're not about to have them confiscate $250,000.
No. Why do I have to do it? 'Cause you're the donkey boy.
You really suck at not asking questions.
What's a donkey boy?
Step forward, sir. Thanks.
In the basket, please. There's a table when you get to the line.
Act casual, think casual, be casual.
Remove your keys, any metal objects. Laptops out, please.
If you have liquids in a Ziploc bag, please show them to us now.
Thank you. You're welcome.
Your boarding pass.
You forgot your bag.
Nice going, Campbell.
Hey, Ben. Basic strategy says you should hit that.
Burt, Moishe, Vladimir, Mona, Miss Sommers, your new identities are on the bar.
So glad you could make it.
Yeah. Your dad's a diplomat with the Russian consulate.
You live in Washington, D.C.
Your hobbies are backgammon, chess and long walks on the beach.
I don't like my name. Why not?
"Sierra Sommers." Do I look like a Sierra?
Well, you have a lot of clever outfits. You'll figure it out.
Just pretend you don't speak English. Then you don't have to change your hair.
You know, I thought this was legal. Why do we have to use fake names?
Well, it is. We not only use fake names, we use disguises.
It's for the benefit of the dealers to make sure you're old enough to gamble and it allows everyone to be different people in different casinos.
Hey! You steal the Bible, you go to hell. That's the way it works.
Like I'm not going already.
Yeah. All right. Now, listen.
Ben, this is for you. All the casinos have cameras in the ceiling.
They're called "eyes in the sky."
For their benefit, order a tonic water and lime and act a little drunk, and at all times, you don't know each other.
Let me say that one more time, you do not know each other ever.
And what's our motto?
Don't get caught counting. Don't get caught counting.
Thank you very much.
How come you don't play?
Oh, I did. I played for a long time and I was the best. But I'm retired now.
Take my advice, Ben, it's always best to go out when you're on top.
Welcome to Vegas.
No more bets.
All right, here we go. Big money, now. Big money.
Let me tell you about Blackjack, honey. You ever hear of basic strategy?
Oh, see, now that sounds really complicated.
I'm Sierra sommers from Charleston. Pleasure.
Here to double my family's inheritance.
I don't know.
Sweet. Too sweet.
Eight. The count's still plus sixteen.
Ten. That's minus one.
Count's plus fifteen.
Eight. Still plus fifteen.
Nine. Plus fifteen.
Five. The count's sixteen.
Eights. Split eights.
Can I split those?
Sir, please don't touch the cards. I'm sorry.
Jack. Count's plus fifteen.
Ten. Plus fourteen.
King. Nine. Plus thirteen.
Jack. Plus twelve.
Nine. Still plus twelve.
So what's a monkey? Face card.
All right, face card. Come on, monkey. Okay, monkey.
Monkey! Come on, give us a monkey!
Monkey! Come on, monkey, monkey, monkey! Monkey.
All right, all right.
I need to quit.
Could I color up, please?
What's this? It's last night's take.
We split it five ways.
So, what do you think?
Yeah, it was fun.
You were good. Really?
Yeah. Came in quick off the count. You acted the part.
You weren't afraid to play big, and you got out when you were supposed to.
And you made more money than Fisher.
I was pretty nervous, actually.
You know, but after a while, it felt kind of easy.
Not for everyone.
Yeah, it's just simple math.
Good. We can do some serious damage with you.
Here's the thing I told Micky.
You know, I'm only really doing this just to pay for Medical school.
You know, $300,000 and then I'm out.
That's what they all say.
No, really, I mean, I'm just doing this to pay for Harvard.
It's just a means to an end for me.
I believe you.
Hello? We have a team meeting in five minutes.
Where's everybody else?
I don't know. Fisher was right behind us.
Oh, Fisher, you didn't sleep.
I did. With Ida. Ida?
She's a dancer. I pulled her out of Sapphire.
And ida's her dancer name? Yeah. After her grandmother.
Choi, where the hell you been? Unattended maid cart, ninth floor.
I've been busy this morning.
All right, guys, let's get something clear.
This is not summer camp and I'm not your counselor.
This is real, world-class moneymaking business.
Kianna, slots are for losers.
Fisher, peelers are stealers.
You made five grand last night, so would you stop stealing nine-cent pens and everything you can get your hands on from the maid's cart? It's embarrassing.
But, Fisher, what the hell were you up to last night?
Three separate occasions, the spotters let you know that the deck was cooling, but you kept on anyway.
You either lost the count or you lost your head.
In either case, I don't wanna see it happen again.
Jill, nice disguise last night.
And Ben, good work. You came out of that chute like a pro. Keep it up.
Hey, Fisher. Win like a man, lose like a man.
Micky, I didn't play into a cold deck three times.
You know what's worse than a loser?
Someone who won't admit he played it wrong.
Take it up with Ida.
Who the hell is Ida? Shut up.
Who the hell is Ida? Shut up.
There goes that paycheck.
Money plays. Money plays, up to the limit.
How's she doing?
Oh, that doesn't matter, man.
The way I see it, yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery.
It's all what you do in the moment, baby.
Just lost another property.
Who is it this time, Caesars or The Mirage?
That was a fourteen-year account.
They opted to go with the new software. I know, Terry, I know.
We got absolutely murdered in pits four and five the last couple of nights.
Okay, Clark, I'll take a look at the tape.
By the way, you wanna lose the cigarette?
There's no smoking in here, you know that.
I appreciate it.
End of an era, my friend.
Ben. Time for school.
I seem to keep waking up to you.
Don't get used to it.
I'm glad you came over this morning.
I have something I wanna give you. Oh, yeah?
I want you to have this.
That's a lot of money.
I've been saving for a long time. It's for Medical school.
I know it won't pay the whole way, but it should help.
Ma, I can't take this.
This is your money. You worked hard for this.
For precisely this reason. I wanna help pay for Med school, Dr. Campbell.
Well, you know what? You don't have to.
'Cause I got the Robinson scholarship.
Yep, they're gonna pay the whole way.
Why didn't you tell me? Well, because...
I wanted it to be a surprise.
And actually, I just found out today.
I can't believe it! Oh, my god!
This is amazing. I am so proud of you.
I knew the hard work would pay off. Yeah, I know.
So, listen, you keep this, all right? It's yours.
What are you doing?
I'm just jumping up and down on my bed.
What? You never did that when you were a kid?
No. Not really, never. No.
So where were you this weekend? I tried calling you, like, fifteen times.
Oh, yeah? I ended up having to go to New Hampshire to help my cousin move.
You didn't bring your cell phone?
Your cell? Your phone? You didn't bring that?
No, I forgot it. I ended up leaving it here. So, you know.
Yeah, well, you missed a hell of a dorm party on Saturday.
We almost had a girl there.
Let's do it!
She is an eight.
No way. She's a 7.649. I was rounding up.
Hey, I thought we agreed we weren't gonna round up anymore.
But if we win the 2.09, I'm asking her out.
Wait. Ben? Ben, you only owe eight bucks.
Hey. Can I get you a beer?
Sure. Yeah? Okay.
Excuse me. Can I get two bud lights, please?
How you doing? I'm okay.
Are those your friends over there?
No. No, I've never seen them before in my life.
Could you just excuse me for one second?
Guys, I'm serious. What are you doing? You're staring.
Yeah, we know.
Yeah, well, can you not?
I think it's gonna freak her out a bit, don't you think?
Yeah, I got a feeling we're a little more freaked out than she is right now.
So how do you know her?
Did you, like, take some self-help seminar or something?
Jedi mind trick, huh? Jedi mind trick. Like that Luke.
You will drink beer. Right. Right, right.
There is a fortune on the table now, and it's all up to my dad.
It's getting ridiculous.
He actually needs to stop the table play, track down my uncle and take a loan.
No, are you serious? Yeah.
They let him, and he does.
He ends up with, like, two nineteens and two twenties.
The dealer turns over a seventeen.
It's soft. He needs to take another card.
No. Don't say a four. Is it a four?
It's a four, yeah. It's a four. My god.
Not a great Christmas that year.
So, what does he think about what you do? Does he know?
Oh, no, he's long gone, Ben.
My dad's gone, too.
So, you know, when you came into the store to ask me to join the team, was that because...
Well, you know, was it because Micky asked you to?
Look, we've had three classes together.
You gave that presentation on combinatorial algorithms that nobody understood.
You're the smartest person in every single one of those classes, Ben.
That is why you're on the team. And that's why I came into the store.
No, no, not so much...
Oh, god. I'm so, so sorry. No. It's fine.
It's not a problem. I don't know why I just did that.
Don't apologize. Are you sure?
Yes. Shit, this is my stop.
You're getting off here? Yeah, I've gotta get off.
But, really, don't worry about it.
I don't know, it's just 'cause we've been drinking, and...
It's just we're on a team, we work together.
I get it. Just don't feel bad about this.
Okay. Sure. Bye.
My world was flashing by at a million miles a minute.
I had saved over $100,000.
Only $200,000 to go.
But there was still one thing I couldn't get off my mind.
The moment we left campus, the concept of vectors and formulas were replaced with counting, shuffle tracking knowing when to hit and knowing when to color out.
I was becoming a pro on all levels.
I made more money in one trip to Vegas than I would have in five years, nine months, twelve days and six hours at J. Press Menswear.
In Boston, I was just Ben Campbell.
But in Vegas, I could be anyone I wanted.
You know what I'm gonna do? You know what I'm gonna do?
I'm gonna throw a half-mil down on the one hand. Come on. Hit me!
One night, I'd be the high-rolling heir to a pharmaceutical fortune.
Leon, could you make sure there's some champagne, maybe some strawberries waiting in there for me.
I may not be alone.
The next, I'd be the hottest video game designer on the west coast.
There it is.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
No, please, keep going. This video's priceless.
I'm not gonna lie.
It did get, well, a little confusing sometimes.
Operator, how can I help you?
Yeah, room service.
Excuse me? Honey, we don't do room service.
What do you mean, you don't do room service?
I mean, we don't do room service.
In Boston, we had a secret.
In Vegas, we had a life.
Micky said I was gonna have more fun than I could possibly imagine.
And he was right.
Hey, Jamie. There you go. Nice.
It was too good to be true.
There you go. All right, my night just got better. Thank you, Joe.
And it felt like it was never going to end.
Clark? I think I got something over here.
Take a look at this.
That guy? He's a kid.
He was on the tape from last week. Got a big roll and he's crushing your table.
Plus, he ordered a tonic and lime.
Tonic and lime. What does that mean?
It means he wants you to think he's drinking.
Okay. So is he counting or is he just getting lucky?
He's not running a progressive system.
He doubled on ten when the deck was heavy, but he didn't on eleven when it got lighter.
How can you tell if it's heavy or light? I'm counting.
Tell me something, Cole, if you can count that well, why are you still consulting for us?
I've been asking myself the same thing.
Let's just say I like being on your side of the hustle.
Bring up a frame of that for me on the printer.
So, Terry, I heard you guys are losing a lot of work to that biometric facial recognition software.
Just gives us a little bit more time to focus on you guys.
That's impressive software. They do.
Here he is.
I still think there're bigger fish to fry out there.
So do I.
He's mad at me and jealous of you.
But don't worry. Greatness evokes that reaction sometimes.
Don't worry about it. I gotta go. All right.
Hey. What's going on?
He just didn't like the subject I chose for my final paper.
That's bullshit, Ben. What?
I know when you're lying, I'm your best friend.
At least I thought I was.
Are you on drugs, Ben?
Because there's a group that meets at Simpson hall on Saturdays.
No, no. Cam, I'm not on drugs, okay?
I'll go to the meeting if you need me to.
Why didn't you tell me you quit J. Press?
I don't know.
Is it Jill Taylor? No.
What about Harvard?
It'll find a way of working itself out.
Look, I gotta go. I'll see you. Ben.
I think the worst part of it was not being able to tell anyone.
But for the first time in my life, the world made itself easy for me.
Here you go, sir.
And I liked it.
That's for you.
We just made $210,000.
Now, Ben, this is how we play!
And play we did.
Nothing cost too much.
Nothing was out of reach.
I guess you could say the casino host of fate gave Ben Campbell a major upgrade.
Dorm rooms turned into high-roller suites.
Bicycles became stretch limos.
And college bars that were always filled with frat dudes were upgraded to, well, something more interesting.
Hey, baby. Where you in from? I'm from Boston.
On a convention? No, business, actually.
What line of work you in, mister?
I count things.
My name's Sierra.
Hi, Sierra. I'm Salvador Sanchez.
Would you like a private dance, Salvador?
Well, that all depends on how much it's gonna run me, Sierra.
$20 a song, three song minimum.
Good evening, Mr. Klein. Hey, Frank. It's good to see you.
Jeffrey, you're taking my money.
You are so lucky you're cute.
'Cause if you weren't cute, I'd leave. You know that?
Jeffrey. My brother from another mother.
How you doing? You good?
I'm good, I'm good, Mr. K. What, are you back in town for business?
It's all business in this town, right?
Well, with your money, I'm sure it always is.
Oh, damn, I forgot my ring.
I don't wanna bet that. That's for keep.
$100,000 going out.
Thank you, Jeffrey.
Cole. Your boy's back. Yeah.
That's him, right? There he is.
And he brought a whole lot more money with him.
That is a hell of a suit, by the way.
That is some aftershave he has going on. Sir, could you not? Please.
This girl's only betting the table minimum. Why's she keep looking at him?
Terry, rewind the tape. I wanna see if she signals him to come to the table.
We don't use "tape" anymore, old school. It's digital now.
Never mind. Terry, rewind it.
She's playing the table minimum.
Now, in a second, she's gonna do something.
She's gonna raise her hand, scratch her head... there it is.
That's the signal. See? She gave him the signal.
He comes to the table. I'm telling you, they're working together.
Show me a computer that can do that.
You look familiar.
I know you, don't I?
I don't think so. No?
Oh, sure, you look exactly like that guy in Rain Man.
Oh, yeah? Well, people say I look like tom cruise all the time.
Oh, yeah? No.
The other one, the... what's his... the retard.
I just love that scene in Vegas when the retard wins at Blackjack.
You look just like that.
What I could never understand, though, is how someone so retarded, could win so much.
Hey, Jeffrey, his brother from another mother, how did that retard win so much?
You know what, sir? I think that maybe... Okay, get your hands off me.
Oh, I didn't mean it.
His luck'll run out eventually. It always does.
Hey, Ben... No, Ben, stop it!
What the hell is the matter with you? Hey, come on! Ben!
Oh, you think that's funny? You think that was funny? Shut up!
I understand, Ben. We don't need anymore...
This is not the time. Okay?
I want to thank you for confirming my choice in Ben.
Now go home.
What? You're off the team.
I was drunk, I was... I don't care what you were.
I'm not leaving.
Yes, you are.
What are you gonna do about it, huh?
You've been the big man for a long time, but you just acted like a child.
So I want you to pick up the ticket and go home, because if you don't, you know exactly what I'm capable of doing, don't you?
All right, listen up.
Casino's gonna change out their chips, just like the MGM did after the Tyson fight.
That means we got less than twenty-four hours to cash in, or we're gonna be sitting with two hundred grand of worthless plastic.
So we'll cash out. It's too hot.
They're gonna be dissecting the eye in the sky footage of Fisher's little power play.
So let's do it right now before they can do that.
Are you deliberately slow?
What about them?
What about them?
They can cash in the chips. The casino's just gonna think they're tips.
Cashing out. Thank you.
Thank you. Thanks, sweetie.
Thanks, hon. Thank you, baby.
I love a parade, don't you?
You know, there's a word I don't throw around all that often.
Hey, Kianna. Let me hold your bag for a second.
Thanks, baby, here.
Oh, no problem. Anytime.
Watch. Watch, watch. Ready? Okay, I'm watching. That's beautiful.
No, it's great, you just need to get your knee a little higher.
So the hard rock comped me a suite.
That's cool, that's great.
You wanna see it?
All right, take care, Bobby. All right?
God, it's cold.
Hey, what time is it?
He's only forty-five minutes late. Show a little Patience.
Oh, look. Here he comes.
Guys, I'm sorry I'm late.
You know, you could try returning a call once in a while.
Good of you to show up, man. It's not like we're cold or anything.
Hey, did you bring it? Yeah, I got it. There it is.
And you're sure you didn't inlay the software on more space than the parameters suggest?
No. It's just one-fifth of the free face.
Let's fire this mother up.
I don't understand. It's the wrong size.
What the hell, Ben? This is an 8k. Right.
Yeah, we needed 16k!
I can't believe this. I thought it was an 8k.
No, you didn't. Yeah, I did.
No, you didn't. You knew the entire time the discrete was 16k.
Damn it, Ben.
It's gonna take us two weeks to get a fresh 16k from the fabrication.
And another five days, minimum, to get it ready to press.
Miles, calm down, all right? It was an honest mistake.
You know what? I think we're gonna have to go at this without you, man.
You're gonna what?
No, no. This is just as much mine as it is yours.
We've been working on this for over a year.
I know that. But your heart just isn't in this anymore.
Are you serious?
You know what? I don't even care. Honestly, I don't even care.
You know why?
'Cause no one in the real world gives a shit about the 2.09 competition.
You know, it's just something that you build up in your head to make yourselves feel important.
You guys are pathetic.
Welcome back, Mr. youngman.
Thanks, Joseph. It's good to see you. Good to see you, too.
Good evening, Mr. Zach. Welcome back to the red rock.
Nice to see you.
Anything I can do for you, let me know.
I guess you play big or you don't play at all.
Honey, there you are. Let's go. We don't wanna miss the show!
Honey, we're actually playing a game here.
Yeah, so you know what?
Why don't you run upstairs and wait for me there? Okay?
All right. Let's go.
Yeah, all right.
I've got the worst headache right now.
Ten. Come on, monkey.
Fourteen. Come on. Come on, monkey.
Sixteen. Monkey. Come on.
Pete, you're killing us.
I guess it's not my night.
Are you out of your mind?
I don't know what happened.
I messed up. I'm sorry.
Oh, you're sorry.
Well, see, now that's what I've been waiting to hear, Ben. As long as you're sorry.
I'm out two hundred grand, but Ben's sorry! Everybody hear that? Ben's sorry!
So we can all go back to being friends and laughing over cocktails!
Come on, Micky. It can happen to anyone.
They get on a rush and they lose control.
You shut your mouth. This is business.
Hey, I let you down, all right? I get it.
Excuse me? You let me down? I don't care!
Let me make one thing clear to you, I am not your father!
You are not my friend. This is a business.
You are only as good to me as the money you make, and, right now, it's not worth a hell of a lot!
You're gonna give me back everything you lost.
I can't do that! That money was for Harvard!
I have made you so much more than what I just lost!
It doesn't matter, Ben.
You had very clear instructions, and you didn't follow them.
You didn't do your job. You weren't counting, you were gambling!
Well, why aren't you out there, then, Micky?
I mean, we take all the risks. Seems to me like you don't do shit.
This isn't about me, you arrogant little infant.
You can all find your own way back to Boston.
And, Ben, you're gonna pay me that money, every penny, one way or the other.
And you damn well know it.
I need a drink.
Yeah, well, we don't need him.
Yeah, okay, Ben. No, I'm serious.
Why do we need him? We have our own money now.
You know, his cut was 50%, and he doesn't even play!
Why do we need him?
Hey, you know what I think?
I think we play out the weekend, and I think we do this without him.
No. No, I don't think that's a good idea.
I think we should go back to Boston and figure this out.
Yeah, well, why don't we let the team decide?
I'm with Jill. This is Micky's thing. Micky brought us together.
And then he drove us apart.
I mean, you saw how he played Fisher against me.
Choy, what do you say, man? You wanna make some money?
Kind of. Really?
We need a hundred grand just to play. You're talking about risking our own money.
All I'm saying is that we try it. You know?
If we make the investment, then we take all of the winnings.
All of it.
Now I need a drink.
What are you doing? What?
What are you doing?
Well, we're printing money.
What, you think just 'cause Micky left that we're gonna stop?
No, I could do this. I can lead this team.
You know, I'm not the same guy I was back in Boston.
Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
You know, isn't this exactly who you wanted me to be when you first came into the store to buy a tie?
What happened to "$300,000 and I'm out"?
What happened to "a means to an end"?
How much do you have? What?
How much do you have? I got enough.
Come on, Ben. How much do you have saved back in Boston?
I've got three hundred and fifteen grand, all right?
Then why are you still here?
Because I wanna still be here. I like being here.
So does everybody else.
So come on, Jill. Are you in?
You are the big player, Ben.
Yes, I am.
Yeah, can I get a drink?
Rose, I wanna thank you.
You have been most accommodating.
All right, that's for you.
Okay, take care. Hey, good luck.
Hey, how we doing here, people?
Yeah, I'm gonna put you on hold while I track him down.
Just got an interesting call.
There's nobody left to fire us. Planet Hollywood is our last client.
I don't know about that.
This is Cole.
Queen of diamonds. Your lady luck tonight.
You're doing good.
You're a real winner.
Sometimes. Just like everybody else.
Now, why don't I believe that?
Maybe you're just smarter than everybody else, huh?
Yeah, I bet it's been that way your entire life.
Except it just recently started paying dividends, am I right?
I'd split them.
Deck's heavy as hell and since I've been here, the true count's at plus seven.
Kianna. I think we have a serious problem over there.
Walk now! Oh, shit. Oh, shit!
Let's go. I'm out. Thank you. Let's go, Jill. Let's go.
I think we need to call security or something.
Yeah, I don't think they're gonna help. Let's go! Come on.
Let's take a walk, huh?
Come on, kid. See if we can't get you that chicken dinner.
It's called biometrics.
Biometrics. It's sort of like a fingerprint of your face.
See, when the player sits down at the table, the software, it reads this...
Biometric profile. biometric profile of your face, cross-references it with a database of counters.
Software'll probably put you and me out of business, but it still can't do this.
You understand all this. You go to MIT.
My name is Cole Williams.
And if I ever see you in this town again, I will break your cheek bone with a small hammer, and then I will kill you.
Please. Please just take the money.
You can take it.
Tell me, how's good old Professor Rosa doing, huh?
Oh, yeah. Me and Micky, we go way back.
I spent years, chased him all over this town.
Giving him beat downs left and right, only to find him at the tables a week later.
He was very persistent.
And then, one September night, when I was in Barstow at my father's funeral, my casino was taken for seven figures.
Can you imagine that?
The most ever taken by a single counter in one night.
'Course I was, naturally, unceremoniously fired.
Funny thing, though.
I never saw Micky Rosa after that.
Cauchy was the first to make a rigorous study of the conditions for convergence of an infinite series.
And was concerned with developing the basic theorems of the calculus as rigorously as possible.
No? All right, moving on.
Isn't it true Cauchy stole from his students?
Yes, I heard that. What's your theory on that?
They say he used his students for their brilliance, then discredited them and stole their equations,
stole their hard work.
Well, that wouldn't be the first time a teacher was accused of that.
I think what he's referring to is Vladimir Stupnitsky, yes?
He was a student of Cauchy's who accused Cauchy of stealing his four-volume text on this analysis and publishing it under a pseudonym.
Of course, nobody knows what really went down there.
They never did prove it, and without the proof, it's a little like it never happened.
And, you know, it's a real shame, because if Stupnitsky had just realized that he shouldn't have crossed Cauchy, this was the dispute, if he'd been able to get beyond some of the personal mistakes that were made, I have no doubt that Cauchy would have worked with him again, and they could have done great things together.
But, as history shows us, some students never learn.
You should get that eye looked at.
What? Micky's taken everything.
He's taken the money, taken away Harvard Med, even MIT.
What are you talking about? Micky, he's taken everything.
I gotta find a way to get it back.
Are you insane?
You just got the shit kicked out of you and you won't let this go!
Look, what am I supposed to do, Jill? I've just lost everything!
I don't want to lose you, too.
Ben, you were dragged away in Vegas.
I haven't heard from you. I had no idea where you were.
You know, I'm so sorry that I hurt you.
In Vegas, I don't know what happened. That wasn't me.
Look, you know me.
You know what I'm like.
You know me.
I just... I need you to trust me.
And the winner of this year's 2.09 for excellence in the field of robotics goes to the team of Conolly and Kazazi!
That's it. That's the story.
Jill Taylor. Really?
Yeah. Yeah, really. Wow.
Yeah, it doesn't feel like "wow," Miles. I really screwed up.
Yeah, you did. But you had a life experience.
I can't believe how I treated you, Miles.
You know, you're my best friend, and I really let you down.
I really let you down. I'm sorry.
And I'm happy for you, you know? Winning the 2.09? That's great.
Jill Taylor. Really? Yeah.
So let me get this straight.
Money, girls, high-roller suites, clubs, Vegas.
Yeah, I think I probably would have blown off the 2.09 competition, too.
So we cool?
Yeah, we're cool.
But you better believe that you're gonna make this up to me, big time.
So, what are you gonna do now?
What do you want, Ben? This is an alumni dinner.
You need a diploma to come to one of these.
Wait. Stupnitsky wants back in.
Look, I've had some time to think about what you said.
I want back in.
Why now? Because I have nothing else.
All right, look, Ben. I'm not gonna lie to you. You're good, you're very, very good.
But you did exactly what I told you not to. You got emotional and then you got stupid.
Now you tell me why in the world I'd ever get back in business with you.
Look, I know I should never have disrespected you, all right? I know that.
With this facial recognition software, our window of opportunity is closing in on us.
Now, I need this, Micky. I really, really need this.
Well, the take would have to be really, really good to get me even vaguely interested.
Well, you know, that's why I was thinking maybe you should be the other big player.
You know, two big players playing big?
Hey, slow down, I haven't played in a long time, Ben.
But Fisher's out.
No one else on the team can be the big player, can they?
And if we do well, if we do really well, then you get your grades back, get to Harvard Med, and I might even get that sabbatical.
Well, amazing things can be done from the inside, right?
Just went back to the head of the class.
I gotta go be social.
All right, now listen. It's different out there this time.
The stakes are high and it's more dangerous.
But the return is gonna be the biggest.
Now they know our faces, so we're gonna wear disguises.
And we can't mess around.
I'm glad you're back with us, Micky.
Well, I couldn't let you guys come back to this town and not prove to Ben that I can do more than just teach.
But as we've all said, this game is about the past and the future, and tonight we forget about the past.
We just focus on the future.
Right. This is our last time.
Now, we all know the drill if things get ugly. We meet at the fox strip club.
Nobody leaves this town alone.
Let's go make a killing.
Let's see what we can do with this.
Seems like I'm having one of those days, you know what I mean, Jim?
I'm bringing all the luck today. I'm just bringing it all.
Anyone who's in any kind of contact with me is getting so much luck today.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! There it is.
Thank you. God, I love this town. I love this game.
And, Jim, I might even love you.
Hey, you mind if I sit down?
What's your name?
Shane? I'm about to change your luck. It's gonna become mine.
There you go, give me it all.
There you go.
Thank you. Thank you.
Such a shame, Shane!
Okay, I'm supposed to double, right?
Is this your first time, darling? I've been winning and losing for hours.
Well, that's all right. I've been winning and losing for years.
What the hell kind of streak are you on, boy?
This never happens, this never happens.
I'm just gonna have to split those tens.
Splitting tens. Splitting tens!
Split tens! Again!
Split tens! Again!
Thank you, ma'am. Give me the chips, Blinca.
Give me the chips! Come on, give me the chips, Blinca.
Come on, just give me the chips!
My bus has to leave right away. I gotta walk my dog.
I'm sorry we're making such a mess. Go, go, go, go, go.
Nice to see you. Have a good night, darling.
Come on, Jill. Come on!
Go that way. Throw me the chips. Come on, we gotta separate.
Give me the chips, I'll meet you at Fox's.
Go, go, go, go!
Come on, come on.
Move, move, move!
Go, go, this way.
All right, let's go.
Go, go, go, go! Airport!
I never saw Micky Rosa after that.
But I think I wanna see him now.
And I want you to make that happen.
I don't work for Micky anymore.
Come on, kid.
Your picture's all over the database. Your Vegas gig is done.
But I will give you one night.
And I can guarantee that you won't be bothered.
You'll make a killing, and you'll keep it all.
My name's Cole.
You just bring me Micky Rosa, kid.
I'll take care of the rest.
Son of a bitch.
Who the hell are you?
Ben. Good job.
You'll be glad to know I'm gonna have a talk with your professor, and that MIT thing?
It's gonna work out for you.
So that's it?
That's it. All right.
Oh, Dr. Campbell?
They don't have pensions in my line of work.
And the software does what it's supposed to do.
And I been chasing Micky Rosa around here for too damn long.
I'm looking at some retirement.
Leave the bag.
No. No, no, no, no.
I need this money. You have no idea what I went through to get this money.
I know, kid, but you're gonna figure out how to get everything you want in this life, 'cause you're smart.
So, you're gonna leave the bag.
Ben, give him the bag. Give him the bag. It doesn't matter. Give him the bag.
I knew you were smart.
I had a 1590 on my SAT.
I got a 44 on my MCATS.
And I have a 4.0 gpa from MIT.
I thought I had my life mapped out.
But then I remembered what my nonlinear equations professor once told me, "always account for variable change."
Look, I got money in Boston. A hundred grand.
I'll give it to you. Just let me walk away. I'll walk away.
I don't want your money, Micky. I don't need it.
But I know someone who might be interested.
He's good with numbers, too. He works for the IRS.
I let down my good friends.
But as it turns out, they weren't too bad at simple math either.
I scored the prettiest girl in school.
I got beaten down by an old-school Vegas thug who was having trouble accepting his retirement.
But I worked out a deal with him that got him a nice pension.
And I lied to my mother.
But I confessed the lie, and, well, she still loved me.
So my senior year of college, I joined this team.
And I learned this new skill.
I went to Vegas 17 times to use it.
I made hundreds of thousands of dollars counting cards.
And then I had it all stolen from me.
How's that for life experience, Professor? Did I dazzle you?
Did I jump off the page?