With a bit of luck, the boys found out that the double up feature had to be turned on so the sequence they were using by pressing the buttons could also work, thus letting themÂ win the jackpot over and over again on video poker exploits.Â
As the brand new ‘Game Kings’ was the most common video poker machine in Las Vegas there was almost no limit to how much they could win from now on.
“You had complete control over how much you could win,” Nestor said afterwards.
“If you wanted to go to a casino and win $500,000 in one day, then you could win $500,000 in one day.”
That’s how the story should have ended.
Each should have grabbed a couple of million dollars, be satisfied with that and moved to West India with a girl and lived happily ever after, drinking cocktails with umbrellas on the beach.
But that’s not how it ended.
Greed unfortunately took the upper hand and they started to argue with each other, mostly about money of course, which should have been the least of their problems.
As all winnings over US$1,000 are reported to the American tax authorities, there were tons of taxes to be paid.
Andre Nestor thought that 50% of the wins should be his after taxes were paid. John Kane thought that he was ungrateful, having been given the chance to take part in the adventure. Nestor thought that it was thanks to his insight about the double up feature that the big money had rolled in, and therefore he should have half of the rewards. And on went the squabbling!
They parted ways. Kane continued to pick money out of the machines in Las Vegas. And Nestor did the same on the East Coast.
One day Kane was arrested, I wrote about that in part 1 of this series.
He called and warned Nestor that the bug in the machine had been discovered. But Nestor had a gold fever and continued playing.
Until one day when the police stormed in in his apartment and sent him to jail as well.
They were prosecuted, but claimed through their lawyers that they didn’t do anything wrong. They had only played the game according to the rules the casinos had put up as a foundation for the game.
The negotiations went on for 18 months before the case was brought to a judge. The prosecutor thought they had weak cards and offered both Kane and Nestor the opportunity to blame the other, the one to do it first would get away.
It was a perfect example on the classic “Prisoners’ Dilemma” where prisoners can’t communicate with each other and the best for both sides is to cooperate.
They played the game perfectly and said no to the prosecutor’s offer.
In the end they were completely freed of charges and could walk into the sunset with their pockets filled with money, an adventure richer, and a friend poorer.
Unfortunately there wasn’t any money left for either of them after the tax authority and the lawyers took their shares. So now you understand that this actually happened!
Written by Ken LennÃ¡ard.
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