MagicbyAlfred wrote:Unfortunately, Bill was himself addicted to gambling, and typically lost all his copious winnings (hundreds of thousands of dollars) at the Faro table.
Erdnase seems to have had a similar problem. Read the passage on "pretty money" in expert: “Hazard at play carries sensations that once enjoyed are rarely forgotten. The winnings are known as "pretty money," and it is generally spent as freely as water.”
MagicbyAlfred wrote:Since this is, after all, an Erdnase thread, it seems fitting to quote from what is said of three card monte in Expert at the Card Table: ""But there is not a single card feat in the whole calendar that will give as good returns for the amount of practice required, or that will mystify as greatly, or cause as much amusement, or bear so much repetition, as this little game; and for these reasons we believe it worth of unstinted effort to master it thoroughly." Interestingly, it would seem from the foregoing quote that Erdnase's orientation toward the game was as a form of magical entertainment, as opposed to a con for card cheats.
I absolute agree. Erdnase describes it as amusement, as something to perform and entertain socially, not as a way to take the money.