Shell Game rears its ugly head
The Shell Game is back with a vengeance on CTA trains.
Both my daughter and Tattler reader Chris saw the guys in action last week. And Chris provided this short video:
Here's Chris' description of the guys schtick:
The Shell Game team is back! I watched in horror as a team of three very sketchy looking individuals defrauded a young man of $45. A man sporting a ratty old suit and a hat that went out of style in 1965 entered from the next car, and walked down to my end of the train. He carried a large flat card in one hand, and offered to double anyone's money who guesses correctly which of three yellow bottle caps hides a little red ball, after he has, of course, shuffled them.
There was one very enthusiastic taker, who immediately doubled his $20 to $40. Never mind that the winner was dressed like the man in the hat and looked like his brother. One of my fellow passengers, a young man of about 19 or 20, I would say, was looking very interested in this game. To encourage him, a toothless woman, clothes as well-worn as the shuffler and the first winner, cheered him on: "You can't beat this! Go for it - double your money." But the shuffler raised the stakes: "Who can show me forty? I'll only do it for $40 now."
The young man reached for his wallet - the rest of the passengers winced. Out came the forty dollars, and the sleight-of-hand practitioner began to shuffle around the caps. "Oh, it's that one for sure!" cried the man who "won" the first contest. "Don't listen to him, it's under there!" shouted the toothless woman. "Shut up, no helping!" was the dealer's retort.
He played annoyed quite well. The young contestant made his pick, and lost his $40. "Don't give up now," said the first contestant. "I won $40. You can win it back." Succumbing to the gambler's fallacy, our tragic figure put in his last $5, hoping to make it $10. I hope he enjoyed his $45 ride on the El."
If you see these guys on the train, call 911 and tell the operator what train you're on, in what direction you're moving, and to which station you're headed. Also, call the motorman on the call button if you can.