231. A man convicted of writing bad checks to casinos has written a book that he predicts will become a national bestseller. Entitled "A Casino Is Born Every Minute," the 250‐page book details James Duncan's successful and unsuccessful attempts to beat casinos. Duncan is serving a five‐year sentence for grand larceny in the Las Vegas city jail. He wrote 18 bogus checks, ranging in value from $3,000 to $10,000, at 17 different casinos. "My only mistake was cashing that last check at the same casino I had cashed the first check at," said Duncan. "They were waiting for me."

Duncan only has a few months left before he is released from the jail. During his incarceration, he used the library facilities and computers to write his book. He completed the book two months ago and is now shopping it around to various publishers.

Books about gambling and casinos are very popular. People like to read about gangsters, beautiful women, flashy cars, posh hotels, and the exciting possibilities of winning it all and losing it all. Duncan says he was the first card‐counter in Las Vegas. He claims that he made almost $1 million at blackjack. Then, other card sharks started copying his technique.

"They abused the system," said Duncan. "They got greedy. If they'd been like me, and just won some here and there, different places and different nights, the casinos wouldn't have gotten suspicious so fast." When the casinos realized what was going on, they started using two or more decks at the blackjack tables to thwart the counters. They escorted out anyone they suspected of counting cards. Duncan had resorted to writing bad checks after "mismanaging" his card‐counting winnings.

8.5, 58.5, 5%, 14.0, 281
Vocabulary: abuse attempt beat blackjack* casino claim convict escort greedy incarceration* larceny* posh predict release shark suspect suspicious* technique thwart PLUS are bad beautiful become been bogus book born card cash check computer count counter deck detail different Duncan fast flashy gambling gangster got grand had has have here is jail James library mistake national now only popular range resort same sentence shop success system value various was were what when will win winnings won would write  *not used in newXword

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