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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/27/02 12:18 AM

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase, I am going to give – yes give – away a copy of this seminal work. Heck, I'll even pay for surface postage anywhere in the world. There is, however, a catch.

I am going to hold a contest; an essay contest (that sound you just heard was the mouse clicks of those now leaving this post for greener pastures).

The Rules:

1) You must be registered on the Genii Forum. You must include your Member Number when you send me the essay; I will be checking.

2) The essay must be 500 words or less – I'm crazy, not stupid (that's fewer words than it sounds folks – about three to five paragraphs. This entire post is 437 words).

3) The essay must be sent in the body of an email, NOT as a file attachment, such as MSWord. I will delete any such entries without opening them.

4) The subject of the essay shall be “Why I Should Get the Free Copy of Erdnase from Dustin.” The title will not be part of the word count, in case you're worried about going long.

5) The essay can be funny, pathetic, whatever. No graphics (remember; anything that shows up with an attachment will be deleted). The bottom line, I have to like it.

6) I am the one and only judge: It's good to be king!

7) The deadline for entries will be 11:59 PM PST on June 28, 2002 (not quite midnight Friday night, my time).

8) With Richard's permission (should he choose to grant it – he's learning about this from this post) I will post the winning essay here. The author retains all copyright – and responsibility – for his work. If you don't want to see your work posted here, don't enter.

9) I will make my decision over the weekend – but don't push me if you know what's good for you.

10) All entries must be emailed by the deadline to:

The Prize:

This is a Canadian edition of Expert at the Card Table published by Coles Publishing Company Limited, Toronto, Canada in 1980. It is paperback; perfect bound with full color boards. It is in near brand new condition (the spine is not at all broken). This 205 page edition does not have the “Critical Comments by Professor Hoffmann” that can be found in the common 218 page Gambler's Book Club edition, but it is nearly twice as thick due to the heavy paper stock. In other words, “it sure is purdy!”

Good luck – and have fun.
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Dustin Stinett
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/28/02 01:20 PM

There have been very few entries for this fine, quality (and FREE) edition of Expert at the Card Table. The deadline is looming - don't miss out!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/01/02 12:08 AM


Ruben Padilla wins with a cool little story.

A most honorable mention to Pete Biro who gave me the best laugh I've had in a while with the following:

I am the obvious choice for the free copy of the book written by Jeff Busby's Great Grandfather, as I used to be a friend of his and he promised to give me one, but never did.
(Pete, you have no idea how much I needed that, thank you so very much.)

Now, for the winning work:

It was a cold night when I entered the small but crowded tavern...

On one side of a small round table, an equally small and round man used his pudgy fingers to deftly manipulate six silver coins in a dazzling array of designs and configurations. The coins seemed to stick to his fingers, then fall at will, clinging, hanging, swaying, falling. The man was a professional, that was certain, but not the one I was looking for...

Over to the side of the tavern, nearest a roaring fire, was a second table, also obscured by a small throng of befuddled men. I moved closer, and found a space between two heads to view the proceedings. Seated at this table was what appeared to be a boy, no older than fifteen, yet his clothes were dirty and his face held he deep lines of experience that only begin to appear
on persons three times his age.

The boy had laid a dark overcoat on top of the table, to serve, no doubt, as a mini-stage. Atop this coat were several round balls that appeared to be cut from pieces of sponge. With nimble fingers, the boy made the balls jump from hand to hand - at one point penetrating the coat and appearing underneath. After a few minutes my attention wandered, and I moved on to another table.

The next crowd was grossly enraptured in a long and winding tale being told by a kindly gentleman with spectacles and light blue eyes. He was discussing dreams, and a personal interpretation that had one local near tears. The performer had obviously never met the man, and yet was describing things that made the stranger's mouth hang open with awe.

My attention was diverted to a final table, near the back wall. Apparently people were unaware of the young man seated there, or were perhaps

He was alone, and appeared detached from the proceedings. In his hands was a small Canadian edition of Expert at the Card Table published by Coles Publishing Company Limited, Toronto, Canada in 1980. It was paperback; perfect bound with full color boards, and in near brand new condition (the spine was not at all broken).

He introduced himself as Dustin, and I knew instantly where I'd spend the rest of the evening. Together, we sat and paged through the book, discovering mysteries and secrets that made us giggle with delight.

It's one of my fondest memories.

What was strange however, and something I've never been able to figure out, is the typographical error on the copyright page of the book (copyright 1980). Surely they meant 1930.

After all, my night in that tavern was back in 1939...

To satisfy my curiosity as to whether or not this Dustin is related to the Dustin of long ago, and to relive the wonderful and rare memory of innocence transforming into knowledge, I offer this tale as the reason why I should get the free copy of Erdnase from Dustin.
Well done Ruben, and thank you.

Enjoy the book!

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Dustin Stinett
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/01/02 08:08 AM

Many thanks... glad you got a chuckle... (whew!)

RP's story was great....

Richard.... you should print this in the paper version of Genii... :rolleyes: :p :rolleyes:
Stay tooned.
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