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Sam, Ginger & Nicky's History

When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And, for a while, I believed that's the kind of love I had.

Before I ever ran a casino, Ace Rothstein was a hell of a handicapper, I can tell you that. I was so good, that whenever I bet, I could change the odds for every bookmaker in the country. I'm serious, I had it down so cold, that I was given paradise on earth. I was given one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas to run. The Tangiers.

By the only kinda guys that can actually get you that kinda money. Sixty two million, seven hundred thousand dollars. I don't know all the details...

((Largely taken from the movie script narration, up to the point that their story here starts.))


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC)
...matter of fact, nobody knew all the details. But it shoulda been perfect. I mean he had me, Nicky Santoro, his best friend watching his ass. And he had Ginger, the woman he loved on his arm. But in the end, we fucked it all up. It shoulda been so sweet too, but it turned out to be the last time that street guys like us were ever given anything that fucking valuable again.
Feb. 6th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
At that time, Vegas was a place where millions of suckers flew in every year on their own nickel and left behind about a billion dollars.

But at night, you couldn't see the desert that surrounded Las Vegas. But it's in the desert, where lots of the town's problems are solved.
Feb. 6th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC)
A lot of holes are in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. 'Cept you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talkin' about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna be coming along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night.
Feb. 6th, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
Who could resist? Anywhere else in the country I was a bookie, a gambler, always looking over my shoulder, hassled by cops day and night. But here, I'm Mr Rothstein. I'm not only legitimate, but running a casino, and that's like selling people dreams for cash.

I hired an old casino pal, Billy Sherbert, as my manager, and I went to work.

For guys like me, Las Vegas washes away your sins. It's like a morality car wash. It does for us, what Luordes does for humpbacks and cripples.

And along with making us legit, comes cash. Tons of it. I mean what do you think we're doing out here in middle of the desert? It's all this money. This is the end result of all the bright lights, the comp trips, of all the champagne and free hotel suites, and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.

That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. And their cash flows from the tables, to our boxes, through the cage, and into the most sacred room in the casino. The place where they add up all the money. The holy of holies, the count room. Now this place was off limits. Even I couldn't get inside, but it was my job to keep it filled with cash, that's for sure.
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
They had so much fuckin' money in there, you could build a house outta stacks of a hundred dollar bills. And the best part was, that upstairs the board of directors didn't know what the fuck was going on. I mean, to them, everything looked on the up and up. Right?

Wrong. The guys inside the counting room were all slipped in there to skim the joint dry. They'd do short counts, they'd lose fill slips, they'd even take cash right outta the drop boxes. And it was up to this one guy, standing infront of about two million dollars, to skim the cash off the top without anybody getting wise, the IRS or anybody.

S'funny how, in the count room, nobody ever seems to see anything. Somehow somebody's always lookin' the other way. They're countin' money, who wants to bother them? I mean God forbid they should make a mistake and forget to steal.

Meanwhile, you're in and you're out. Past the jag-off guard
who gets an extra C-note a week just to watch the door. I mean it's routine. Business as usual. In, out, hello, goodbye. And that's all there is to it. Just another fat fuck walkin' outta the casino with a suitcase. And that suitcase was goin' straight to one place. Right to Kansas City. Which was as close to Las Vegas as the midwest bosses could go without gettin' themselves arrested.

That suitcase was all the bosses ever wanted. And, they wanted it every month, so the fat Morman fuck had to fly in with suitcases once a month. Nice and easy.

The bosses would come from all over the place. Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, all over the midwest. And they would meet in the back of this produce market in Kansas City, and nobody even knew it. One of the guys made his mother do all the cookin'. Now these old greaseballs might not look it, but believe me, these are the guys who secretly control Las Vegas. Because they control the Teamster's Union. And that's where you had to go if you wanted to borrow money to buy a casino. Nobody got a Teamster's loan unless the guys in this room knew they were gonna get their little suitcases. Specially guys like Remo Gaggi, the outfit's top boss, definitely the most important guy in this room.
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
As far as the world was concerned, Andy Stone, the head of the Teamsters' Pension fund, was a legitimate guy. A powerful man. He even played golf with the President. But Andy also took orders, and when he was told to give a Pension Fund loan to Phillip Green, for sixty two million, seven hundred thousand dollars for the new Tangiers, he did what he was told.
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Now here was the perfect front man. I mean what the fuck else could he be? He didn't know too much. He didn't wanna know too much, specially that the bosses made the Teamsters lend him the money. He wanted to believe the Teamsters gave him all that fuckin' money 'cause he was smart.

And where they got Green from? Who the fuck knows? All I know is that Green was an Arizona real estate hustler, who barely had enough gas money to come and pick up his own fuckin' check. And of course it was the bosses' man, Andy Stone, who gave all the orders. Not the chairman of the fuckin' board Phillip Green.

Now all they needed was someone they could fuckin' trust to run the casino. And who better than Ace? I mean, he was already in Vegas a couple o' years, he had the fuckin' place clocked. But typical Ace, give him a shot
at runnin' a casino and he tries to talk you out of it.
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
"I don't know if I could do this even if I wanted to." Sam told Andy Stone. "The Gaming Commission would never give me a license. I have at least two dozen gambling and bookmaking pinches on me."

"You don't have to have a license to work in a casino. All you gotta do
is apply for one. The state law says that you can work in a casino while they're processing your application. They got a ten-year backlog."

"What happens when they do find out?"

"Why would they want to find out? We're puttin' a hundred million
into this desert. Why would they want to lock us out? They'll never find out. All you gotta do is keep changing your job title.

Like, uh, from Casino Executive to Food and Beverage Chairman. They take your application, they put it at the bottom of the pile. I know guys been workin' there for years, don't have a license."

"It's a tough proposition, Andy. You know if I did it, I'd have to run it my way."

"You got it."

"I'm serious, no interference."

"Nobody's gonna interfere with your running the casino. I guarantee it."
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
And that's how they got Ace to take over, they wanted him because Ace ate, slept and breathed gambling. They worked out a real cute job title too, Tangiers Public Relations Director, but the only thing he ever directed was the casino.

He made his first bet when he was fifteen years old, and he always made money. But he didn't bet like you or me, you know having some fun with it or shit like that? He bet like a fuckin' brain surgeon. He had to know everything, this guy. He'd find out the kinda inside stuff nobody else knew, and that's what he'd put his money on.

Even back home years ago, when we were first hangin' out together, he'd know if the quarterback was on coke. If his girlfriend was knocked up. He'd get the wind velocity so he could judge the field goals. He even figured out the different bounce you got off the different kinds o' wood they used on college basketball courts, you know? He'd be working on this shit day and night, there was nothing about a game he was gonna bet on that he didn't know about.

Season after season, the prick was the only guaranteed winner I ever knew. But he was so serious about it all, that I don't think he ever enjoyed himself. But, that's just the way he was.

But back then the bosses didn't a give a fuck about whether he enjoyed himself or not. To them, he was a cash register. All they had to do was ring the bell and take the money. Especially Remo, he was a fuckin' degenerate gambler who always lost. I mean unless Ace made his bets. Ace made more money for them on a weekend than I could do heisting joints for a month. Whatever Ace picked up on the street, he told Remo. I mean fixed fights, doped horses, crooked fuckin' zebras, locked-in point spreads. He told fuckin' Remo everything. And to tell you the truth, I don't blame him. Keeping Remo happy with money was the greatest insurance policy in the world.

So now, on top of everything else, I gotta make sure no-one fucks around with the golden Jew.
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we made a great pair. I made book, and Nicky made sure we always collected. The old men loved us and why not? They all made money with us. How did Nicky collect? Don't ask.

While I was tryin' to figure out why a guy was sayin' what he was sayin', Nicky just hit him. No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And if you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep coming back and back until one of you is dead.
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Listen, with me protecting Ace, he made a fortune for the bosses. And that's what got him to Vegas. He was a money machine, a tremendous earner for these guys. As soon as he took over, he doubled the fucking drop. With Ace, the casino never saw so much money. And the bosses? They couldn't be happier.
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
In Vegas, I had to keep a few juiced-in local cowboys working. They were close to the, you know, good old boys. I mean, without us, these guys, they'd still be shoveling mule shit.

But still, I had no choice, I had to take care of them. These yokels ran the state, they passed the laws, they owned the courts. I had dozens of politicians and state officials coming through that place every week. Why not make them happy?

For politicians like our State Senator, everything was on the house. These guys won their comp life when they got elected, so hey, why not take advantage of it? Still, the politicians came cheap, we could handle them.

It's a whale like K.K. Ichikawawho plays thirty thousand dollars a hand in baccarat. That's the one you really gotta watch. He plays fast and big and he has the cash and the credit to turn out your lights. About a year ago he cleaned out a couple of casinos in the Cayman Islands. Downstairs he takes us for two million, and upstairs he takes free soap, shampoo and towels. Another billionaire cheapskate who loved his free rooms, free private jets and two million of our money.

But we got him back. I had our pilot tell him the plane was on the fritz. Then he missed the commercial flights connecting with Japan. We got him back with a whole floor of rooms to himself. And once he was back, he played small. He bet one thousand a hand, instead of his usual thirty thousand a hand.

But I knew the trick with whales like Ichikawa, was that they can't bet small for long. He didn't think of it as winning, he thought of it as losing. So, he upped his bets. Until he dropped his winnings back and gave up a million of his own cash.

In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing, and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose.

In the end, we get it all.

In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye in the sky is watching us all.

Plus, we had a dozen guys up there, most of them ex-cheats, who knew every trick in the house.
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
"Yes! I told you I was hot tonight." Ginger had the attention of every player around the table, and more besides. And while she rolled, she skimmed off the chips straight into her purse.

"Oh! I'm sorry." She apologized to the man as the roll failed. The rest of the table applauded and Ginger dazzled them all as she thanked them. "Thank you, sir. I appreciate it."

"Thanks. Take care, Steve. Take chances, drive fast." She tossed the croupier a tip across the table.

"This hundred is for you, love. Thanks for your time."

"Come on." She looked at the tip as if it were a joke.

"What's the matter?"

"What do you mean, what's the matter? I made a lot of money for you, I want my cut." Ginger's irritation with the man was growing.

"What money? I've seen you stealing from me."

"What money? Look at the stack of chips, don't gimme that shit. I want my half." She snarled aggressively.

"I've been watching you all night."

"I want my money."

"Your bag is full of fucking chips."

"I didn't steal anything from you. Get lost!"

"Get lost? Get lost?"

"Yes! Yes! Well, how about that?" Ginger grabbed the rack of chips and tossed them recklessly into the air, then another then another. And with a self satisfied swagger as she walked away leaving the table in chaos, she caught the eye of Sam 'Ace' Rothstein.
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
What a move.

I fell in love right there. But in Vegas, for a girl like Ginger, love costs money.

Ginger's mission in life was money. She was a queen around the casino. She brought in high rollers, and helped them spread around a lot of money.

Who didn't want Ginger? She was one of the best known, best liked and most respected hustlers in town. Smart hustlers like her
could keep a guy awake for two or three days before sending him home broke to the little woman and his bank examiners.

When I gave her two fifties for coke and asked her if there was any change, she told me she had a few games on the way back. But that was all bullshit, she just pocketed the cash.

Ginger had the hustlers code. She knew how to take care of people, and that's what Vegas is all about. It's kickback city. She took care of the dealers, pit bosses, floor managers, but mostly she took care of the valet parkers. The guys who could get you anything, and take care of anything. Ginger took care of the parkers, because they took care of the security guards, who took care of the metro cops, who let her operate.

The valet parking job was such a money maker, they had to pay off the hotel manager just to get the concession.

But one thing I could never understand, was that she could have everything under control, except for her old pimp boyfriend, Lester Diamond. The Ginger I knew wouldn't even look at this creep. He was a moocher, a card cheat, a country club golf hustler, a scumbag. Chasing dentists for a few bucks. I mean the guy was always broke, he always had a story. And somehow she could never turn him down. The way Ginger saw it I guess, was that Lester was just an unlucky guy. Somebody had to take care of him.

But nobody had to take care of Nicky. I mean, he took care of himself only too well. That's why every badge back home wanted to nail him. Even after a little vacation they hassled him at the airport. I mean Frank Marino was there to meet him, but so were the cops. This time they wanted to pinch him for some diamond burglary in Antwerp. They were ready to blame him for anything, no matter where it happened. And they were usually right.

Because Nicky enjoyed being a gangster. And he didn't give a damn who knew it. I mean, that's what worried me. 'Cause it turns out, Nicky was about to be sent to Vegas
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
I couldn't wait to get my hands on Vegas. But the bosses didn't send me out there to have a good time. They sent me out there to make sure that nobody fucked with Ace. And nobody interfered with the fuckin' skim.

And when I clapped eyes on Ace's new piece of skirt...
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
After we ate, we left Jennifer, Nicky's wife, and Ginger alone, and we took a ride to talk.

And then, he hit me with it.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Ace saw Vegas one way, but I saw it another. I saw it as untouched. I mean, they had bookies, pimps and drug dealers I could shake down. Who the fuck were they gonna run to? So I started gettin' everybody in line.

Best of all, for the first time in my life, I figured out a way not to lose.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he had a foolproof scheme, all right. It wasn't very scientific, but it worked. When he won, he collected; when he lost, he told the bookies to go fuck themselves.

What were they gonna do, muscle Nicky? Heh, Nicky was the muscle.

But still, it was nice and quiet for a while. Ginger and I presented Nicky and Jennifer all over town like regular Ozzie and Harriets.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Ace got my son, little Nicky, involved in Little League, which was great. Turned out to be one of the other coaches was a fuckin' metro intelligence cop. But it didn't matter, it was all about the kids, you know.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
And Nicky, being Nicky, he made his presence known. Especially at the casino, where he definitely did not work...

People got the message.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Me, that's why the bosses sent me out here. They wanted me to make sure none of the other crews robbed the joint. Like these two fuckin' balloon heads over there. They were gonna try to bang us out of two hundred fuckin' grand? Yeah, right, I'm sure.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Outta respect, guys from other crews got away with a warning. Everybody else, watch out.

Like the yokels here, who never heard of Nicky or the bosses back home. 'Cause they're the morons who give you the most trouble. Even after we'd catch them, they'd try sneaking back. with beards and wigs and fake noses. You can spot these assholes by watching the way they bet. Like this guy, he was bettin' lavender chips at five hundred each with only one little problem, he'd always guessed right. If he wasn't so fuckin' greedy, he'd have been tougher to spot.

But in the end, they're all greedy.

I saw that the dealer was weak, but he wasn't in on it. He just wasn't protecting his hand. He was lifting his hole card way too high. Now, here was this guy reading the dealer's hole card, and signaling his buddy at another table.

And that's just what these hustlers look for. They cruise from casino to casino looking for weak dealers, the way lions look for weak antelope. They never know what hit them. And if and when they do find out, that they just got zapped by a cattle prod, they wish they really did have a heart attack. Turns out this guy and his fuckin' pals, they were knocking this place dead for years. I wanted everybody to know that things were changed around here. We had to make an example of these pricks, that the party was over.

Within no time, everything was set in place. We got rid of the freelance scamsters, and I decided to complicate my life.

For a guy who likes sure things, I was about to bet the rest of my life on a real long shot.

When I married Ginger, I knew all the stories. But I didn't give a fuck. I'm Sam Rothstein, I said. I can change her.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
It was typical Ace. He invited the biggest people in town and he knew they'd show. Because he knew they all wanted somethin' from him. With Ace, nobody ever got a free ride, even Ginger.

With her, he still covered his bets. They had to have the baby before they could get married. He even made Jenny and me watch Amy for a few days when they went on their honeymoon. But I didn't mind, we loved the kid.
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
With over a million in cash and jewels tucked in a bank in Vegas, only for Ginger, she was secure and happy. She loved that shit.

But a guy in my line of work has to have a lot of payoff cash around. Crooked cops and kidnappers, they don't take checks. So I put two million in cash in a Los Angeles bank under the name of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins. This was strictly my shakedown and kidnapping money. And since I'd either be in jail or locked in a closet, when I needed the money the most...

I gave Ginger the only key to the cash that could get me back alive.

With Ginger and the money in place, I felt covered. And to play it safe, I switched job titles again and made myself Food and Beverage Director. This way nobody would bother me about a license.

I mean Vegas was like a dream for me. Trouble was, Nicky was dreaming his own kind of Vegas.
Feb. 6th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
To begin, I put money out on the street, chargin' three points a week. You know, juice to the fuckin' dealers.

They were degenerate gamblers, coke freaks. In no time I had half the dealers in the Tangiers in my pocket.

Then, the next thing I did, I started bustin' out high-stakes poker players.
Feb. 6th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
It was so obvious. All of Nicky's half-assed mechanics were signal-happy. Signaling back and forth. Nicky thought nobody was watching him. But he was wrong. And I didn't want any of those agents near my place.

I wished to God Nicky and his whole crew would just get lost. What am I gonna do? Go back home and start a war? Nicky's a made guy and I'm not.

I can't do that.
Feb. 6th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
Ace was so fuckin' worried about his casino, he forgot what we were doin' out here in the first place. A million times I wanted to yell in his fuckin' ear "This is Las Vegas. We're supposed to be out here robbin' you dumb fuckin' hebe."

You know, Ace could be a very touchy guy. Especially when he got bigger in town. Like when he hired that Jonathan and David and their tigers away from the Palace, by building them a new stage and giving them a Rolls-Royce.

But I'll tell you, he knew how to bring in the crowds. He knew all the fuckin' angles. He brought over the whole "Femme Fatale" show from Paris, but he forgot how lazy them European dancing broads can get. He had to weigh 'em in once a week to make sure they didn't blow up like balloons.

Hey, I gotta give the guy credit. I mean, he does the most obvious thing. This is the only town in the country where a bookie joint is legit. So why not take advantage, right? So, he took bookie joints off the street, and then opened them up inside the casino.

Within a few years by doing all of this, he had every casino on the strip trying to copy off of him.
Feb. 6th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Between my innovations... and Nicky's dedication to his job. I soon had the best operation on the strip.

Back home, they would've put me in jail for what I'm doing. But out here, they're giving me awards.

But my greatest pleasure was watching my wife, Ginger, work the room. They all loved her. How could you not love her? She could be the most charming woman you ever saw. People loved to be around her.

She made everybody feel good.

There was this young kid from the casino that told me my wife was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen. Nice kid. Bright boy. What balls on this fuckin' kid! The next day I fired him.

Ginger had that effect on people.
I think she even encouraged them.

But as much as they loved her, they didn't know what really moved her. Jewelry, Furs and cash. So with Ginger happy, I was able to concentrate on what I knew best.

So I ended up working, what, eighteen hour days. Ginger was the one who wound up enjoying the best of Vegas.

Feb. 6th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
So everything was perfect, until Ginger went and fucked herself over. She'd been banging some low life, Lester Diamond, since high school and she had a real soft spot for him. So soft, that she gave him a big pile of Sam's wedge.

At least she tried to, Sammy got wise to Lester and got his boys from the casino to follow Ginger, the day she asked for the money but wouldn't tell him why. Lo and behold, the dumb bitch is only handing over the green to Diamond when Sammy walks in and clocks the pair of them, with Ginger smiling at Lester like she hadn't for him in months.

So Sam sees red. Well who wouldn't? So he takes back his money, grabs Ginger and leaves his boys to deal with Lester. They go to work on him a little, and give him a clue about what should and should not be done with Sam's money.

Ginger doesn't know if Lester is dead or alive, but she still hates Sammy's guts, so she high-tails it out to LA to get her cash from the bank. That's when I bump into her. She tells me she wants a new sponsor and that Sam is history. I take her on and we have a little fun. Boy, was that a fucking mistake!
Feb. 6th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
So Nicky makes Ginger call me from whatever dive they've ended up in. Frankly, she's a mess, and not for the first time. I always loved the girl, from the minute I caught her throwing chips around my casino, and the way she smiled at me then still always gets me when I thought about it.

If I'd know she'd slept with Nicky, I would have killed him, if the bosses hadn't first. No wonder they didn't say anything.

So, Ginger came home and she promised to try and remember what we used to be like. She told me that she'd forget about Diamond and we would start again.

Things are good so far and she's held up her side of our bargain. I'm falling in love with that smile all over again.
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[b]NATO is taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, world media reported Sunday.[/b]

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The 28 NATO ambassadors met on Sunday to decide on further military plans in Libya.

The United States transfers command for a no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, while coalition forces will continue to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces.

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

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