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Dark Contingent - Chapter 1: Debt Slaves

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posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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Damn it this hand and the flop sucks ass... with 6 players at the table my chance of winning this hand is just under 40% according to my odds calculator. However I only require a 3 of clubs or an 8 of clubs for a straight flush and the turn or river may bring that card to me. The pot is already sitting at $1692 and I need to call a bet of $185 to stay in this hand. I'm already having a bit of a lucky streak in this game so I decide to push my luck and call the bet. It pays off and the turn gives me an 8 of clubs. However at the last round of betting one player goes all in and the rest fold. It's a bluff... I can feel it based on his previous betting patterns, but I can't be 100% certain.

This is online poker so I don't have the ability to read their body language... we are reduced to a more pure form of strategy where we must carefully analyze the playing patterns of our opponents, weaknesses are revealed in this way and not by the information we leak with our body language. Everything down the speed of their actions can have significance. This is not something which can easily be calculated by any A.I. algorithm, it's a sort of intuition which will start off sloppy but become stronger and more accurate as you train and practice. I call his bluff and my intuition turns out to be correct, he had nothing but a pair of queens.

You like the taste of that defeat sucker? Straight flush, weren't expecting that were you? Ahhh... it feels good to be back on top again. Yeah I'm a professional online poker player, and if you think this is an easy job you're an idiot. To play online poker for a living requires dedication to the art of poker... sure you might say a large part of it is based on simple probability, but a lot of the game comes down to strategy. Professionals from all over the world play online poker, not to mention the automated gambling bots which play by using strategies based on the worlds best poker players or by calculating the potential result of virtually every single possible move.

In poker there's always a loser and a winner... unlike typical casino games you're not betting against the house, you're betting against other players. To make money you don't need to beat ridiculous odds, you just need to beat the other players, or most of them. To be a winner in online poker means you need to have a ruthless desire to win and the smarts to make it happen. Distinguishing yourself among the many professional players and outplaying the best bots required a hardcore level of skill and determination. There are many different versions of poker but the most popular version is Texas Hold'em and that's the one I specialize in.

But in this damn country it becomes harder and harder to gamble online. So I just take my business to underground venues where there are no betting limits. We play with virtual currencies which are easy to convert into dollars but hard to trace. I've always been what you might call a "rebel", or perhaps a more appropriate term would be derelict. Even back in highschool I was that antisocial guy who hang out in some isolated corner of the school to smoke cigarettes with a few other derelicts. My appearance matches my personality, my dark brown hair is always messed up and trashy clothes were always my style.

These days I just pull my hair back into a short pony tail but it probably only helps to make me look more like a low life thug. I never really liked school much but I liked to learn certain things and I never got into any hard drugs. I have what you might call "street smarts", the ability to read people and act quickly and calmly under high pressure situations is what allows me to play poker at a professional level. Of course a bit of math and logic doesn't hurt either. I sit most of the day in my small apartment by myself playing online poker. It's good money, when luck is on my side... but it can be a lonely job.

I live alone, as one would expect of an antisocial derelict like myself... I've lived in Canada my whole life and I'm currently located not far from Winnipeg. I like it here in this beautiful country but the gambling laws piss me off. What is their problem anyway, can't a man decide how he wants to use his money? Damn Governments always trying to nanny us as if they knew what was better for us better than us... than there's the unbearable hypocrisy, the government sanctioned lotteries and casinos. It's like tobacco and alcohol, they are Government sanctioned drugs because they make money for the Government.

Looks like everyone is checking... this will be too easy. A stream of cigarette smoke flows inches from my straining eyes as I watch the river card reveal its self. Suck it my good fellows! Another straight flush and I'm on fire lads! What's this?!? The new guy has just placed a bet of... what... 50 big ones! Is he insane? Does he really expect anyone to call that? But hold on... maybe I should call it. My gut feeling tells me my hand is better than his. I can sense it is a good hand but not good enough. This could be a chance to make some fat cash very quickly. But if I lose... I'll have to pay out nearly everything I have.

I bought into this game with 50K but I've made about 5K profit so far. Come to think of it about 40K of the money I'm using is borrowed from a loan shark. I don't have the money right now to play with the big dollars I like to bet with, but I'm confident enough in my abilities that I can temporarily borrow anything up to 50K and use my winnings to pay off the interest and leave me with a healthy sum of money. However I never planned to risk such huge amounts of money on one hand... it's not in my strategy and I have no contingency plan to deal with such a sudden loss. The question is, does the reward outweigh the risk?

Damn this punk trying to play mind games with me. I'm over-thinking this... I'm running out of time, if I don't make a move before the timer runs out it will automatically fold my hand, that's how online poker usually works. I have about 20 seconds left to decide my course of action. A quick glance at my odds calculator tells me I have about a 99.8% chance of winning... the reward certainly would appear to outweigh the risk. He can only beat me with a straight flush and a better high card or a royal flush, which is simply not going to happen. Only 10 seconds left. 5, 4, 3, 2... call!

RIVER : [Td,5c,Jd,7h,Qd]
Player 3 shows [9d,8d] (Straight Flush)
Player 5 shows [Kd,Ad] (Royal Flush)
Player 5 wins pot ($100940)

What the hell is this!!! I... lost? A royal flush, there's no way... how is that possible? What kind of sick joke is this? Those odds were unbeatable! I have well and truly screwed the pooch on this one, there's no way I'll be able to pay back that 40K quick enough now. I've scraped up every last cent for this game and now I only have about 5K left in my name. Even if I use that 5K to pay off some of the debt the remaining 35K isn't a small sum of money to owe a loan shark with the insane interest rates they charge. The only way out of it is to win back my money using the remaining 5K but that's extremely risky.

A heap of ash falls from my slow burning cigarette onto my keyboard as I sit motionless pondering my current situation. I guess this is the risk one must face if they wish to make a living based on probabilities... in a sense professional stock traders face the same dilemma. They may win most days but when things go wrong all hell can break loose. There's not going to be any easy way out of this situation. I don't think my best course of action would be to risk my remaining 5K... it's probably a stupid move. I could always run across the country and try to escape the loan sharks but that might be just as stupid.

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NEW PRIVATE MESSAGE
From: PokerEye3
Subject: n/a

Hey bro, sorry to see you lose like that but it had to be one of us huh? I'm just surprised you even called me but I guess you did have a good hand. I just wanted to let you know that I work for Kamino and he's informed me about your debt with us. You already know that we like to keep track of our clients to gauge their ability to repay their debt.

It's nothing sinister or anything, I was just here to see how you were doing and I decided to play a few games. I never expected that stroke of luck however. You totally fell for my bait on that turn. Anyway don't think about skipping town or doing anything stupid. We will not tolerate a default on this debt and the money will be repaid one way or another, do you understand Mr Rayson?

There is one way you can get out of this. We have a "special program" for clients like yourself who get themselves into a bind like this. We are offering a rare chance to extinguish your entire debt within a few hours. If you wish to participate in this program go the location specified below at the specified time and don't be late. Come alone and make sure you aren't followed by anyone.

941 ANGLOS ST
FRIDAY 8:30PM
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edit on 21/3/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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Son of a... who does this little bastard think he is acting all smug about it. What the hell does he mean a "special program", I don't trust this one little bit but I don't see any other option at this point. I light another cigarette as I stare blanky at the monitor. God damn it fine, I'll go to his little special program to see what it's about. Tomorrow night at 8:30 huh... where is this place? Hmmm... this appears to be out in the middle of no where. It appears to be some sort of factory and what looks to be a short runway. It's about an hour away from here, man why does it have to be so far.

The following night I fire up my old Ford and head out... it's a cold night but the sky is clear. The air is crisp and sharp, in a way it makes me feel reinvigorated and alive. I light a smoke and turn to gaze at the moon... it's full and bright, like a glistening pearl in the sky reflecting that enigmatic moonlight to the Earth. I pull into a dusty dirt drive way and a man opens the old farm gate for me. I park next to what looks like a factory shed and throw my cigarette to the ground as I exit my vehicle. This place is creepy when it's dark, maybe I shouldn't have come here after all.

"Ahh... Mr. Rayson I presume. I'm glad you could make it to our little gathering." speaks a voice from behind me.
"Oh... hello sir, I didn't see you there." I reply as I turn to see an old man in a purple suit.
"If you would please follow me this way I think it's just about time to get started. We have several other clients who will also be participating in this program tonight. Most of them arrived early and seem overly eager to get rid of their debts. I see you still took the effort to arrive fashionably late however." the old man responds.

I follow him into the large shed and it's brightly lit. I look around with squinting eyes and notice at about 20 other guys standing around. Most of them look like depressed derelicts with large debts like me... but I feel a bit safer with so many people. At first I thought this was some sort of sick plan to off me and sell my body parts or something. There appears to be the old dude as well as his boss and 4 or 5 goons. The boss guy looks like some sort of young CEO or something, not all that scary to be honest. The goons begin handing out some weird questionnaire and tell us to fill it out.

As I answer the strange questions I look around... it's a huge shed with enough room to fit dozens of buses. The inside of the shed is almost completely empty but there is a small private jet located at the back. That must be what the runway is used for. As I'm looking around and taking it all in I notice a guy I used to know back in school. Man we used to skip school together and get up to all sorts of stupid stuff. Small world it seems, but I guess derelicts like us were destined to end up at a place like this. I'm about to walk over to him when the boss guy begins walking over to address us.

"Ok lets begin shall we gentlemen. My name is Jerry and it's my job to explain the situation to you. As it stands, all of you are in debt to the Hazek Group Inc and you have little to no prospects of being able to repay this loan on time. Now beating you at this point isn't going to solve anything if you don't bleed money, so don't worry about that. As a result we have decided that the best way to resolve these sorts of problematic circumstances is to use you in the program I will explain momentarily.

You've been given a very rare opportunity today friends. You should be grateful that a chance like this has come along, it's not every day that low life scum such as yourselves get the chance to wiggle their way out of the debts they owe. Not only can you absolve your debt, but you have a chance to win millions of dollars. Of course this comes at a high risk. Participants will play against each other in a game of mixed chance and strategy. If you choose to participate in this game you will receive a 500K loan from us.

Participants will use this money to place bets in this game, but for those who fail to win the game, they will become heavily indebted to the Hazek Group and will be required to carry out certain tasks for our company at certain times. They will also be required to hand over a larger fraction of all their income until their debts are paid off in full. The exact details of this deal are specified in the contract you will be required to sign should you agree to participate in this gamble.

The type of game and the rules of the game will not be revealed until you sign the contract and agree to participate in the game. You are free to leave right now if you wish not to participate, but I remind you of the rarity of a chance like this. Think carefully about what choice you will make now. I am not going to answer any questions at this point, you now know all you need to make your decision as to whether or not you will take part in our game. May the gods of luck be with you."

And with that said Jerry walks away from us and back towards the older guy. The goons begin walking around to collect all the questionnaires and hand out the contracts. The questionnaire might have something to do with the game... but I'm not sure what. Before he had even finished talking I decided that I would participate. He's right, I'm screwed either way because I wont be able to pay off this debt in time and I can't run from them unless I want to hide away in the hills for the rest of my life. And look at these guys, half of them look as dumb as a rock.

I play professional poker... this is right up my alley, at worste I'll come out slightly on top, I couldn't possibly lose to these idiots. At best I'll win a few million. But I don't know what percentage of us are likely to win and how many are likely to lose. If I knew what the game was I could probably discern that figure. The largest unknown factor here is the nature of the game, and I don't like the idea of not knowing until we sign this contract, I wonder if that is even legal. What am I talking about... how can any of this be legal, I fail to see why the contracts are necessary.

"Excellent, we have a good number of signatures. Most of you have decided to participate and we have a total of 16 players. The others have left the area and we are ready to get started. If you would all please board the private jet over here, the game will he held in the air on this jet as to avoid any unnecessary disruptions. The game will last for a total of 5 hours and we will remain in the air the entire time. When the game is finished we will land back here. The real fun begins now gentlemen."
edit on 21/3/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 04:23 PM
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This is a new series that I'm going to start working on. If you're following Interconnection, don't worry, I will still continue releasing chapters of that too. But I was getting a little bored with it and felt like spicing things up with something new. As some of you may have guessed this story draws a lot of inspiration from Kaiji.
edit on 21/3/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



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