Cashiers at Binion’s casino were signing up long rows of poker players unfortunate enough to lack an online sponsor to the World Series Main Event. Baseball hats competed with sunglasses, which fought for space with toothpicks, bad breath, leather jackets, an occasional cowboy hat, blackberries, leather pants, the body odor of a World Wrestling Federation locker room, gold medallions, hairstyles like doughnuts with too much glaze, and—in the case of one long-time 24-year-old viewer of High Stakes Poker—all of these. Apparently, these fellows were prepared to be read-less for Binion’s indifferent staff. At one of the cages, a stunned young cashier was regarding a fellow far too young to be found anywhere in the building but the video game arcade on the casino’s north end. Immediately she requested identification. The young man slid a plastic card across to her on top of a brick of hundreds. She squinted at his ID with one eye.
“Ernest Timothy Baumgardner-Blackwell-Smith,” she read.
She coolly regarded him above the glasses perched on her nose.
“If you’re over 21, I’m an African princess, and my name is Princess Marvelous Shaneequa.”
“Cool. I own an island, Marvelous.”
“The last time you grew a whisker on that face was never.”
"I decided to name it the Death Star."
"If nothing else, you got a story on you."
“If I pay an extra five thousand, can I get a seat next to the window?”
“Young man, this is a casino. There are no windows. Look, you’re cute, so I’m going to be nice. Do you know that if you cash in this event with a fake ID, you could end up in federal prison? And if you don’t cash in this event with a fake ID, you could end up in state prison?”
A large man in a security guard’s uniform suddenly loomed next to Ernest Timothy Baumgardner-Blackwell-Smith. He leaned into the window.
“Problem here, Landa?”
“Oh no,” she said, laughing. “This boy was just trying to change some quarters.”
The guard looked at Landa, the brick of hundreds, and the boy, and then walked away.