Double Down (2006)
I'm feeling lucky tonight.
Now there's a man with confidence.
MAN: Yeah, I'd love to join you, partner, but I have two ex-wives counting on me.
How about you?
I think I'll stick with my 3-iron off the tee.
Straight and safe, huh?
( Heavy accent ) Split them.
Where you from, kid? Moscow.
But my dad's business brings me to L.A. a lot.
Daddy's business must be good, huh?
( chuckles ): You are lucky, son.
( sighs )
Looks like everybody's pretty lucky here tonight.
Sit in, find out for yourself.
I lost too much already.
Maybe next time.
Just need a little fresh air.
In L.A.? Good luck.
I need my car.
Sorry, man, we're shorthanded.
It's going to be a wait.
If you want to get it yourself, I can tell you where to go.
( alarm beeps )
( gun cocks )
You want my money?
( gunshot )
Task force got the call about an hour ago.
Gunshot was reported at 10:10 p.m.
Not so far.
That makes four robberies at this location in the past six months.
First homicide, though.
Manager says they installed a camera after the last robbery.
Might get a look off that.
Also found this in the truck.
That's a lot of notebooks.
It's all numbers, equations.
Lucky for us, we know a guy.
We do know a guy.
Wallet was tossed.
Cash and credit cards are missing.
DON: Yuri Chernov.
That's kind of young for a high roller.
DON: Yeah, Huntington Tech undergrad.
Picked the wrong night to take a study break.
CHARLIE: We all use math every day, to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money.
Math is more than formulas and equations.
It's logic... it's rationality.
It's using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.
Well, I've heard about this, but I've never actually seen it demonstrated.
Are you sure this is gonna work?
DON: Hey, Charlie, I've been looking for you.
Hey, hey, hey. Come over here, man.
So this is for a lecture I'm preparing -- "Math and Molecules:
An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics."
It looks like mints and soda to me.
Well, two words: surface tension.
The stuff that gives soda its fizz is a gas, carbon dioxide.
What holds the gas inside the liquid is surface tension.
And we all know the importance of surface tension in fluid dynamics.
Bubbles of gas in the soda experience viscous drag force from the surrounding liquids.
The mints hyper-excite the thermodynamic equilibrium of the supersaturated CO2, weakening the surface tension, causing the gases to escape rapidly, very rapidly.
You guys actually get paid for this?
Despite your brother's adolescent grin, this is actually very sophisticated math here.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to do this.
Are you guys ready? LARRY: Step back.
Sure you don't need a permit or something for this?
( laughs ) Yeah!
Yeah, that was pretty cool.
So who cleans all this up now?
I am... gonna clean it, probably... later.
Uh, I'm assuming you're not here for the show.
This is Yuri Chernov, who was actually a math student at Huntington Tech.
They've got a brilliant undergrad program there.
Well, he was murdered last night and we found this in his car.
Thought maybe you could figure out what it means.
Those are probability calculations.
If I could, these equations, they just seem a little familiar to me.
Have you worked with these equations?
I don't know.
If I could just examine them more closely.
DON: All right, let me just make a copy in your office.
Hey, Larry? Oh, uh...
I'll bring it right back.
I'm just gonna make a copy, all right?
Yuri's parents are flying in today.
I don't know what I'm going to tell them.
Well, I can talk to them for you, if that would make things easier.
No, I-I should be the one to tell them.
They always liked me.
How long did you two date for?
About a year.
We broke up a couple of months ago.
May I ask why?
At first, it was just sort of a weekend thing for fun.
Then it got to be that's all he would talk about, all he'd do.
He'd play all day, all weekend.
And did he start getting into debt?
It was the opposite.
He just kept winning.
And the more he won, Yuri got into this whole player vibe -- dressing differently, acting differently.
And that's why you guys broke up?
Crazy thing is, a couple of days ago, I thought we might get back together.
He called and apologized.
Said he was going to quit.
Did he tell you why?
He said he made a mistake... a big one, but that things were going to be okay now.
Excuse me, do you mind stopping just for a second?
So Yuri Chernov is shot at close range with a nine millimeter?
Right, nine mil, I mean, there should be some casings.
Yeah, none were found.
You know, the witness from the last robbery at the casino described a .38 caliber.
The whole thing feels like a different guy to me, so different gun.
What's up, boys?
What's going on?
Check this out.
We found these in Yuri Chernov's dorm room.
Ah, driver's licenses, fake IDs.
DAVID: He had different wardrobes in his closet, hair dyes in his bathroom.
Yeah, look at this.
He's got a different look in each one of these.
COLBY: Checked his transcripts, straight A student, total math geek.
Well, none of this fits that profile, right?
No, but the ex told me that he was playing the player role, and that he wanted out of it.
Did we get anything from these security cameras?
Nothing. They're blind spots.
Should we check inside?
Club's eye in the sky, right?
Yeah, maybe we can find someone shadowing the kid.
Something wrong, Charlie?
I've been thinking about this lecture I gave on applied probability.
What, the famous casino night?
Oh, yes, "Applying Probability to Games of Chance."
An Eppes classic.
Turning the class into a mini-casino and applying probability theory to roulette, poker, blackjack.
Gets kids hooked.
I gave that lecture as my guest lecture at Huntington Tech last year.
Wait, you're not seriously proposing a causal connection between this student's death and your lecture?
Students gamble, Charlie.
Remember those MIT students?
They took the casinos for millions.
How about the book that just came out on blackjack strategy?
What was it, "Busting Vegas?"
Okay, maybe this student read that book.
Look, if anything, I think I'm the one to proffer a mea culpa here.
The moment Don showed me these equations, I recognized them immediately. What?
These are calculations for card counting, blackjack, to be precise.
You're a blackjack stud?
Was a blackjack stud, okay?
And in the unfinished biography of my life, that is very much a closed chapter.
Outside of bulk calculations, what's involved in card counting?
You said you attended my lecture.
I had to duck out after roulette.
I was prepping for my orals, sorry.
Yeah, yeah, so much for an Eppes classic.
Well, blackjack is all about math.
The point is to hit 21 without going over.
The game is ruled by conditional probabilities.
What you see affects what you're going to see.
If an ace is dealt, then there's one less ace in the remaining cards.
And knowing how the cards are likely to be dealt works to the card counter's advantage, because players can ask for a card whenever they want.
But a dealer must take a card when the total is below 17 and can't take a card when the total is between 17 and 21.
So lower value cards favor the dealer, because there's less likely chance that he'll bust.
The opposite is true for picture cards.
Each of them are worth ten.
They favor the player, because the more of them that are left in the deck, the more chances for the dealer to bust.
WOMAN: 24, dealer busts.
Now keeping exact track isn't easy, but card counters use certain techniques, like, uh...
Like assigning general values.
Uh, plus one for cards two through six, minus one for picture cards, aces, tens, zeros for seven, eight, nine.
Well, I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that allow the card counter to keep a tally?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. High number count favors a player, they make their bets accordingly.
Doesn't that attract attention?
Yeah, of course it does.
Sometimes with grave consequences.
You got caught.
"Eyes In The Sky" has Yuri Chernov gambling for seven hours that day, starting at 3:00.
He made 20 grand.
All right, so high roller, a lot of cash, same as the other robberies...
MEGAN: Except none of the other robberies escalated to violence.
That's what I was going to say. Let alone homicide.
And I don't see Chernov challenging a guy with a gun.
Well, so, then we're talking murder.
MEGAN: Yeah, and then you throw in the fake IDs and the disguises, and I just think there's something more here than a robbery gone wrong.
I see what you're saying, and I agree.
Hi, guys. Hey.
CHARLIE: Larry has something he'd like to say to you all.
Yeah. Um, Don, I owe you an apology.
I withheld, uh, my insights due to personal discomfort with, uh... past non-scientific exploits.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What... What are you talking about?
The notebooks that you found in Yuri Chernov's car -- they're filled with card-counting equations.
CHARLIE: Larry thinks that Yuri was card counting at blackjack at the club.
Yeah? How do you know that?
MEGAN: Are you saying that you were a card counter, Larry?
The salient point here is that casinos and clubs, even other players -- they regard card counting as cheating, and this practice has led to certain acts of violence on occasion.
COLBY: The only thing is, Professor -- and I don't mean to dis your theory -- but we've been looking at this tape, and this kid -- he's been drinking and throwing money around haphazardly.
I mean, it doesn't really look like a system.
It just looks kind of like dumb luck.
And the sum total of said dumb luck?
To beat the house, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
Can-Can we somehow just roll back to the point where Yuri Chernov first begins to play?
Okay, now, the card counter faces one major obstacle to success...
Transparent betting patterns.
In order to make money, a card counter has to raise or lower his bets based on-on the count.
That's right, and that's where the team comes in.
A team uses a spotter to count.
Now the spotter will bet small.
He stays inconspicuous.
But that spotter will signal the big player when the count is high.
There you go, right there, that's him.
MEGAN: Okay, so you're saying the guy in the purple, the preppy guy, is our spotter?
Well, I mean, unless he just has an itchy ear.
DAVID: Wait a minute.
That guy that just walked in, in the yellow and green -- we've seen him before, right?
Yeah, actually, he was playing earlier, and he was throwing money around the same way Chernov was.
Was this guy playing with our spotter, the preppy guy?
They were at the same table.
Well, there you go.
LARRY: And then there were three.
So, we're looking at a team of card counters...
Yeah, well, look, if that's who got Chernov killed, we better find those partners, 'cause they're next.
DAVID: All the kids are in disguises.
It might take some time to find them.
If Chernov was a student, maybe the other two are, also.
You know where to go.
All right, see you later.
Larry said these card rings often have a backer who puts up money at the beginning, and then takes a percentage of the split.
Maybe the guy got tired of the split.
All right, so the backer's a suspect, but I don't want to rule out that club yet, either, you know?
CHARLIE: So, you had a gambling problem.
It only makes you that much more colorful, you know, Larry?
Just-Just so you realize, you know, this wasn't some hobby.
This was a calling.
This was our way of just demonstrating to the world the power of mathematics.
So winning money had nothing to do with it?
Not at all. No.
Not initially, but listen, remember that a mathematician named Ed Thorpe had already created a sensation back in the '60s when he wrote this book called "Beat the Dealer."
Now, in response to that book, casinos introduced the card shoe.
Actually, they were called "perfesser stoppers."
And a few mathematicians like myself, I mean, we saw it as a challenge.
David versus Goliath, uh, wits and nerves versus cameras and high tech thuggery.
What do you mean "thuggery"?
Oh, listen to this.
I was playing at a private card club in Atlantic City.
I was up $20,000.
And the manager and two pit bosses -- they took me into the back room where they were cracking nuts with pliers, and they told me that mine were next.
But they didn't... I mean, you're still...
No, I remain whole, but I had friends whose fingers were broken, who had kneecaps reconfigured.
I mean, they said we were cheaters.
No, we were playing smart.
Smarter than these kids today.
We weren't losing our lives.
( computer beeping )
COLBY: You got face recognition?
Our high rollers versus the Huntington Tech online face book.
I'm still trying to get used to the idea of Larry Fleinhardt, the player.
COLBY: They say Einstein was a chick magnet, right?
All right, that's our spotter right there.
Jason Brewer, 19.
Second year math major.
Local boy, West L.A.
And our rich South American, Ignacio Nadal.
I wonder if these two kids have any idea how much trouble they're in.
I've given you statements, handed over tapes.
We want to help.
These robberies aren't good for business.
Actually, we're not sure that the shooting was a robbery.
There are indications that the victim is part of a card-counting scheme.
I can't really say you look surprised.
Surprised people cheat? No.
What happens when they get caught?
We walk them out the door.
You think we shoot 'em?
Maybe one of your employees got a little overzealous?
Guy wins five grand, I'm not risking 20 to life going after him.
That's just Economics 101.
Did you know there was a card-counting ring working your club?
If I knew, they wouldn't be here.
I still think I'm going to need to see a list of employees over the past six months, particularly the ones working security.
'Cause that's just Law Enforcement 101.
DAVID: When was the last time you saw your son, Mrs. Brewer?
About a week ago.
My husband and I have been out of town. Paris.
Have you spoken to him since you've been back?
We got in late last night, and when we got up this morning, it looked like Jason was already gone.
Should I call my husband at work?
I mean, is my son Jason in trouble?
We hope not, ma'am.
It just seems that a couple of his college friends may have gotten themselves into a bit of a jam.
You're talking about Ignacio and Yuri.
You know them?
Jason and the boys have been hanging out together quite a bit.
We try to give Jason his space.
That was the whole idea of his taking over the guest house.
We keep this for emergencies.
COLBY: Were you aware of this, ma'am?
No. As I said, we...
Try to give your son his space.
The kid's running a little casino out of here.
Probably uses it to practice. Practice? Practice what?
COLBY: Your son plays an awful lot of blackjack, ma'am.
What are you talking about?
Yuri Chernov was shot last night.
Please let us do our jobs, ma'am.
I'm going to go call my husband.
I think that's a good idea.
Take a look at this.
Looks like Yuri Chernov wasn't the only one using fake IDs and disguises.
Wait a minute.
Check this out.
Wow, looks like they were keeping pretty careful records.
Yeah. Any luck, it might lead us to their backer.
Now, if I can take this data here and isolate the student's gambling history, maybe I can analyze the money flow, maybe find a pattern.
You could use multivariate time series analysis to break the money down by specific days, even hours.
That's a really good idea.
Oh, once again, my living room has become a Cal Sci annex.
Your-Your living room. My garage is full.
All of my cognitive theory work, so...
ALAN: Why am I not surprised? What is this?
AMITA: Well, the student who was murdered -- he and his two friends were members of a card-counting team.
Don asked Charlie to have us look at this data to see if we could discover who was bankrolling them.
Isn't that called cheating?
Card counting is not cheating.
It is the application of probability theory to a game.
ALAN: Yeah, well, all those schmucks who play the game for fun -- they think it's cheating.
LARRY: Well, those are the same schmucks that should stick to slot machines.
ALAN: Well, you see, that's why I like playing poker.
'Cause I can handle the ones that try to take advantage.
Poker, I mean, you got to have a mind, a pair of eyes.
These probability grids -- they go way beyond simple high-low counting.
These were math students, Larry.
LARRY: Oh, oh.
This-This is not undergraduate work.
You're saying someone helped them?
You know, this is reminding me of someone.
There was this guy Leonard, and he and I were in graduate school together.
When the casinos opened in Atlantic City, we were there the very first day.
We were using counting systems, probability grids like this, though these are at a much higher level.
Well, why haven't we heard this name before, Larry?
I don't... It's just not a... a part of my life that I'm particularly proud of.
I mean, I've moved on from my obsession.
But not so with Leonard.
He lost his wife, he lost his career, and he was a man of great promise.
I'll tell you something.
Whoever did this was a mathematician.
You can bet on that.
We were able to reach Ignacio Nadal's mom in Detroit.
Says he missed his weekly call home.
She seems worried.
All right, well, that's two kids no one's heard from.
The fake IDs and disguises in Brewer's place, you got to assume Nadal's working the same angle, right?
Anything in the dorm?
No, looks like he cleared out of there in a hurry.
So both of these kids are on the run.
Hey, I was just looking for you guys.
Larry came up with a name.
The probability grids and algorithms found in Jason Brewer's place -- he thinks there's a chance they may belong to Leonard Philbrick.
He says he could be our backer.
Well, why don't you guys just run it down, see if you can find out where the guy is.
You don't have to.
I Googled Philbrick's name on the way here.
He's living in Long Beach.
He teaches high school math there.
Well, that puts him right next door to the Huntington Tech campus.
( phone ringing ) Yeah, Eppes.
All right, we're on our way. Yeah.
LAPD just found Jason Brewer.
MEGAN: Time of death was 8:00 a.m., and the commuters heard the shots, but by the time they found the body, it was too late to lock up the building.
SID said it's a nine millimeter.
Same kind that killed Chernov, huh?
Single shot to the head.
No casings were found.
We did find his backpack in the trash, though.
Phone numbers, addresses, and this.
Yeah? What's this?
Wow, look at this --
J, K, Q, A...
Jack, King, Queen, Ace.
Some kind of card sequence list.
Ticket agent remembers selling Brewer a one-way bus fare to Vancouver.
Stuck out because Brewer didn't have the money.
Older guy paid for the ticket with cash.
You get a description? Actually, better than that.
They just ID'd the older guy that was with Brewer.
Same guy Charlie and Larry pegged as a possible financial backer for these kids.
All right, well, looks like they might be right.
That's just horrible.
His mother collapsed when we told her about him.
I can only imagine.
I doubt that.
You don't think I had anything to do with it?
Well, he was shot in the head at a bus station within 30 minutes of you buying him a ticket.
As far as we know, you were the last person to see him alive.
I think, uh...
I think I better talk to my lawyer before we continue this.
Yeah? Why don't you ask them in there what they're gonna think about you recruiting their kids to hustle cards, Leonard?
We know all about you, Professor.
About your dreams of putting your crew together, about your past gambling debts.
I don't know what you're talking about.
DON: No? Well, why do phone records put you in touch with Brewer, Chernov, and Nadal within the last six months?
You finally put together a team, and now two of them are dead.
I didn't hurt Jason or Yuri.
I could never do something like that.
Where is Ignacio Nadal?
I don't know.
Is he on the run from somebody?
Look, these kids -- they came to me.
They found articles I'd written and a system I developed.
What, you taught 'em, and you bankrolled 'em, right?
Until last month, yes.
Why? What happened then?
They told me they found some new backer.
Somebody with substantially more money.
And you just took that in stride?
I didn't kill Jason Brewer.
All right, Leonard, why don't you tell us what you were doing in the bus station then?
He needed help.
He was on the run, and his parents are out of town.
He had nobody that he could turn to.
I would never do anything to hurt these kids.
I was their teacher.
MEGAN: We need to find Ignacio Nadal.
We put a trace on his mom's phone.
We're monitoring his cell provider.
He makes one phone call, we're on him.
What about friends or classmates?
Aside from Chernov and Brewer, this guy's pretty much a loner.
Colby? Hey, guys.
I think I got something.
Remember that girl the other night who was with Ignacio on the tape?
With an "I." Yeah.
Check this out. She was not just with Ignacio.
She was there other nights.
MEGAN: She's with all three guys?
Yeah, all of them.
See, I went through Jason Brewer's address book.
I found her number.
It's her work number anyway.
MEGAN: The Bareback Club?
She's the main attraction.
So, who do we think should do that interview?
( hip-hop music playing )
Check out the midday crowd.
COLBY: Looks like a bunch of dads got separated from their families on the bus to Disneyland.
( music continues )
I'm sensing premeditation.
We're looking for Brandi, and don't start pouring.
I'll tell the DJ to cut the music.
Whoa, hold on a minute.
One song's not gonna kill anybody.
Relax, have yourself a soda.
Let the Disneyland dads have one last look.
Yeah, I was there that night with Ignacio, but I left early.
So you knew him? I know a lot of people.
How about people who get murdered?
COLBY: Not yet.
I don't understand.
We saw the surveillance tapes.
You were there with two other guys besides Ignacio.
Oh, my God.
We're trying to make sure that doesn't happen to Ignacio.
Have you seen him?
Has he tried to call you?
Why'd you leave early that night?
I had another date?
Did that date have a name?
We'll be discreet.
And Ignacio -- was he a date, also?
Well, then be exact.
I provide a service.
Not that service.
What, were you their math tutor?
They needed me to pull off their act.
With me on their arm, it gave them some credibility.
So you knew they were counting cards?
Nobody's that lucky.
So, what did you get out of the deal?
A lot of money.
Did you notice anybody following them?
Anybody watching them?
You're up five, ten grand, people are watching.
I told Ignacio some day they'd get made.
So you think that's what happened to them?
Nobody likes to lose money.
MAN ( over PA ): Guys, put your hands together for Sapphire.
Office getting cramped?
Uh, it's being cleaned.
After months battling the maintenance department, you know, I gave in.
How's it going? Ugh!
I'm having trouble isolating the students' gambling histories, as we discussed.
To find a pattern that'll yield the identity of the backer.
Maybe the killer.
No luck so far.
You know, I-I could really use your help, Larry.
Hey, did you two know that Yuri Chernov was a Tasker Scholar?
He was the first member of his family to go to college.
Jason Brewer -- his IQ is off the charts.
Ignacio Nadal may be the most, I don't know, gifted of them all.
CHARLIE: Well, don't you take solace in knowing that clearly, you're not the only brilliant thinker to fall under the allure of gambling?
I need your brilliant thinking right now.
I'm-I'm... I-I just can't make sense of these figures.
If I could be as vague and opaque as Larry, I'd say if the new backer is behind these killings, then maybe you need to look behind these numbers.
Yeah, she's right, Charlie.
It's like... it's like money moves.
Like planets, it's very movement reveals truths.
You really think these kids are laundering money?
On a pretty big scale.
So they take money they couldn't account for legally, and use gambling to legitimize it?
They use the card club as their washing machine.
Look. Look how the money flow altered a month ago, when I believe a new backer came onto the scene.
These kids changed the way they purchased chips.
And in any 24-hour period, they never exceeded $10,000.
Right, 'cause they stayed below the IRS reporting limit.
So there's no record of the cash they started with, and a few thousand winnings doesn't really seem like a big scam.
That's where they were smart.
We have three students.
Right. With multiple IDs.
CHARLIE: Which they used to create three separate card club player accounts.
So, we have three students with three separate player accounts cashing out $9,900 a night.
That's $89,100 per visit.
Playing six or seven days a week for a month.
So, that's got to be at least, what...
I mean, it's over two million, right?
To be precise, in one month, that's $2,138,000.
So where's all that money go, back to the backer?
They wired their money from the player account to an offshore account where...
Right, it disappeared.
So we can't trace it to the backer.
This kid Ignacio is the only one who can tell us where it is.
Which I'm sure the backer knows, as well.
♪ This is it... ♪ CHARLIE: You ever been to one of these?
A few times. My dad's dragged me.
He's into it.
My mom always takes away his credit cards before we come.
Table six just went to a plus 18 count.
Is that good? Oh, yeah.
I've got to tell you, I'm feeling so uncomfortable about this.
Larry, all you've been telling me is that the only way to understand this game is to sit at the blackjack table and play the game.
Charlie's right, Larry.
The students were doing very complicated equations in a high-stress environment.
You know, I need to feel how they felt.
I need to play how they played.
I-I need you to teach me.
I don't think you understand just how truly narcotic this is for me.
Can't you just see this as-as field work?
Unfortunately, it is a poppy field.
I'm warning you both, we're standing at the precipice.
This is the event horizon of a black hole.
♪ There's just one place for me ♪
♪ This is it ♪
♪ Yeah, just one place to be ♪
♪ This is it ♪
♪ I'm so happy to be here ♪
♪ When I look around, it's clear ♪
♪ Yes, it's perfectly plain to see ♪
♪ There's the cream of the crop ♪
♪ This is it ♪
♪ On my list at the top ♪
♪ This is it ♪
♪ Couldn't ask for nothing more ♪
♪ Like a hope that I adore ♪
♪ If there's one place I fit ♪
♪ This is it... ♪ Well, nothing like the sting of over-oxygenated air and endless pecuniary promise.
You know, this used to be about demonstrating the power of mathematics.
Okay, well, there is that, too.
I think we should call it a night. What?!
Yeah, let's get out of here. How about field research?
Come on, we got table four over there just ripe for the picking.
What is he doing with those cards?
LARRY: Some clubs introduce a fresh deck at the dealer shift change.
Just prevents players from marking the cards.
People actually do that?
I know players who can cut a multi-deck stack at exactly 52 cards.
Some players do other feats, like shuffle-tracking.
Yeah, well, no shuffle by human hand is exactly perfect.
Some cards remain together.
And the players who memorize the order look for those same groupings in the next shuffle.
That's why they're using machines now.
How do those machines work?
LARRY: Auto-shufflers, they use random number generation to create a random distribution of cards.
Because what do we know about random distribution?
It's impossible for machines to create truly random sequences.
These kids cracked the code for how an auto-shuffler shuffles.
The sequences found in Jason Brewer's notebook were in fact card-counting cheat sheets, exploiting a weakness in the random number generator found inside this box.
DAVID: That's the auto-shuffler we found in Jason Brewer's apartment.
CHARLIE: The students used it to adapt a card skill called shuffle-tracking.
Yeah, when dealers shuffle, there are little runs of cards that stay together.
So the players will look for them to reappear.
CHARLIE: And clubs try to prevent this by using the auto-shuffler.
But, as we all know, machines aren't perfect.
And the kids took advantage.
Right and how'd they do that?
First, they must have analyzed this mechanism.
So an auto-shuffler shuffles using a system of multiple shelves, depositing the cards on shelves in a seemingly random order.
But the shuffles aren't really random, because the random number generator controlling the auto-shuffler is governed by a fixed algorithm.
And these kids figured all that out?
That's not all they figured out.
This specific card club had a policy.
On dealer shift changes, they would introduce new decks, sealed straight from the factory.
Now, these cards are in a preset order.
Now, knowing this staring order, as well as the algorithm enabled these students...
DAVID: To know the cards that were coming before they were even dealt.
That kind of math problem is way beyond our three students.
Their teacher was Leonard Philbrick.
He had to have helped them. Oh, he did more than that.
I just got off the phone with the auto-shuffler company.
Guess who they hired as their math consultant.
He created the auto-shuffler's algorithm?
MEGAN: Yeah, which he could have then given to Ignacio and the students, right?
Which means that he could have easily designed an algorithm that had a much shorter period to follow.
Thousands of steps, instead of billions.
Okay, so they were cheating, which gives the card club motivation to go after them.
MEGAN: Yeah, but let's not forget about Philbrick.
All that "I was their teacher" stuff goes out the window, if the students stole the scam and ran with it.
What was I supposed to do, admit I stole a trade secret?
Used it to cheat a card club out of thousands?
Would have been a start.
You could have used it as mitigation at your murder trial.
I told you I didn't murder anyone.
Yeah, well, Leonard, I'm guessing you know who did.
One way or another, you're involved in this, and you're not telling us, okay?
So I'm telling you, anything happens to that kid Nadal, that's three murders I'm connecting you to.
Do you understand that?
Look, the kids got caught with the auto-shuffler, all right?
The club manager.
Next thing I know, he's at my door.
Oh, so the kids gave you up.
I warned them not to get greedy.
Knowing that shuffle, you can make returns of 200, even 300 percent every few hours.
Yeah, but not without someone noticing.
Marius caught them, day one.
And that's how the dirty money came in.
He's got connections with drug distributors on the East Coast.
So you made a deal -- your asses for the money laundering scam.
What else could we do?
So what went wrong?
Well, the kids got cold feet.
They wanted to come forward, admit to the gambling fraud, the money laundering.
What happened then? Marius found out?
The recent high roller robberies presented a perfect opportunity -- a cover for Yuri's murder.
As for Jason, Marius must have followed him when he came to see me.
That's got to mean Ignacio is next.
I guess he doesn't want to leave any witnesses.
Where's Marius, the manager?
( sniffs )
Yeah, here we go.
I got a dead body here.
Lock this place down.
DON: All right, so Marius isn't the killer.
So we have to figure out who would want Marius dead.
Well, how about the people he was laundering for, these east coast drug dealers.
I mean, if you think about it, Marius got a bunch of college kids involved in money laundering, only he loses control of them.
So what, he killed them all to keep it quiet?
Obviously he didn't keep them quiet enough.
Well, we know he's going after Ignacio next.
Yeah, 'cause he's the one last witness.
You, why are you so quiet over there?
It's statement Marius gave to the LAPD.
The night Yuri Chernov was murdered, he says he started work at 7:00 P.M.
What are all these calls coming out of his office first thing in the morning?
Maybe somebody else was using his office.
COLBY: Maybe he was just lying.
DON: Yeah, but why would he lie about that?
Maybe he didn't want anyone to know he was at the club when Yuri arrived.
What? CHARLIE: Constrained dynamics.
Chernov's car was parked in a security camera blind spot, right?
Yeah, the whole corner was obscured.
All right. Do you have an overview of the card club parking lot?
Yeah. That's it right there.
Chernov arrived late afternoon, well before the evening crowds showed up.
Why the hell would he park his car this far away from the club's entrance?
That doesn't add up.
More than that, it defies mathematical principles.
Constrained dynamics is used to analyze everything from traffic flow in supermarkets and malls to the mechanics of granular matter...
Meanwhile, back in the parking lot?
Applying constrained dynamics, the parking lot should have filled up in a predictable pattern starting with the spaces closest to the entrance and fanning out like a wave, like, like a wave.
Given the time that Yuri arrived, I see no reason why he parked his car this far away.
Unless he wasn't the one who parked it.
All I did was park his car.
Right. In the back of an empty lot.
Hey, Willie, you want to be charged as an accessory here, huh?
Look, the man paid me 500 bucks to park the dude's car by the fence.
What man? Marius?
But I saw him talking with Marius that morning.
Before that, he was with the dude who got whacked.
You're saying the guy that paid you knew the victim.
Yeah. A Latino dude, a young guy.
Came to the club all the time with two friends.
That day he was wearing a soccer jersey and a lot of jewelry. and a lot of jewelry.
He played both of his friends and Philbrick and Marius?
And if he's killing witnesses...
He's got one left.
Philbrick's heading towards his car.
I've got Philbrick.
Suspect's acquired. He's moving in.
Where is he?
He's on the other side of the car as he's tracking Philbrick.
I got him.
If you have a second, can I talk to you on my calculus grade?
This is not a good time, Karen.
But I really need...
Karen, please walk away now!
You guys, move, move!
Keep your hands where I can see 'em.
Make a move for that gun and you're dead.
You set me up.
COLBY: Yeah, just like you set up your friends.
And then you were going to kill him.
Up to your knees.
Put your hands behind your head slow.
You told us the money was there, remember?
All we had to do was take it.
If Yuri and Jason hadn't punked on me, it would have worked out, too.
It looks like you gambled and lost, pal.
Well, I see once again you've escaped all responsibility for your actions.
Oh, Leonard, you must be very proud of yourself.
Well, what's it been, 25 years?
I see your name in journals.
Academic life has treated you well.
What are you doing here?
I'm just waiting on you.
How could you do it?
You know what the game did to us.
How could you visit such a fate upon young gifted minds?
Those kids came to me.
And instead of sharing your wisdom, two are dead and another's going to prison.
These kids were a second chance for me.
Don't tell me you don't remember what it felt like to beat the house at their own game.
You were the best I ever saw, Fleinhardt, and you just walked away.
That's right. I never looked back.
When the numbers are running you, instead of you running the numbers, it's time to take your money off the table, Leonard.
Men make choices they have to live with.
Well, you know, I know two who will never get that chance.
So Philbrick cut a deal: two years probation.
ALAN: He got lucky.
Oh, yeah, if you want to call it that.
Again, I apologize for not coming forward sooner.
Ah, it's all right.
No, I was tormented. I was mortified.
Look, you stepped up ultimately.
Larry, do you realize that without your help, we would have never figured out those students were money laundering.
Not to mention giving Charlie a taste of real action at the tables.
What are we talking about blackjack for?
Let's play a real game.
A real game? Poker!
All the math in the world is useless against a good read, steady nerves.
I have had enough action to last a lifetime.
Besides, poker is for professional card players and underemployed celebrities.
DON: Yeah. I'm out, too, actually.
The last time I played with you, I ended up eating mac and cheese for a week.
Come on. We'll go sit outside.
You can tell me about the gambling days.
I guess it's you and me.
Texas Hold 'em, no limit.
What do you say we bet the house?
You're not, you're not serious about betting the house.
I'm always serious.