Clipping:A trick played on a pool room operator

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Date Wednesday, June 16, 1880

A practical joke of quite extensive ramifications was played Monday afternoon by a pool-room-keeper in “Gamblers' Alley” upon a rival establishment. Riley has been in the habit of relying on the telegrams received at Fox's room giving the results of heats in horse races, inning in ball games, and the like. Fox, of the larger pool-room, has received these announcements of innings by telegraph, while Riley, through the agency of a very small boy, who took the figures from Mr. Fox's blackboard as soon as they were placed thereon and ran with them to his employer's place, has been able, at comparatively little or no expense, to be thus only a few seconds behind his rival in telling his patrons of the progress of sporting events. This displeased Fox, and for a long time he cudgeled hi brain to devise means of punishing his rival. He accomplished his desire on Monday. Four games of ball were played upon that day, and, as the combinations in which the 50-cent gamblers buy tickets only take in three of the games, one of the four was left out. The game not placed in the combination ws that pleyd at Troy by the local League Club and that hailing from Chicago. Notwithstanding the game was not included in his combinations, and no pools were sold on it by him, Fox got the score as usual, and as usual Riley's mall boy carried the result of the innings as soon as they were received over to his employer. Riley did have the Chicago and Troy game in his ball combination that day, and about $300 worth of tickets were sold. The result of the game as received at Fox's room and duly transferred to Riley's blackboard was very startling to those who had wagered upon the White Stockings, and the score at the close standing,--Troy, 16; Chicago, 2. The “short-end” purchasers, i.e. those who had betted against Chicago in the hope of receiving large return for their money, were delighted, and very shortly after the close of the game Riley had divided among them the money. There were rumors during the evening that there was something wrong in the matter, but it was not until yesterday morning, when the backers of the “long-end” read in The Tribune the score, “Chicago, 16; Tory, 2,” with the usual interesting description of the game, that they saw that some extraordinary mistake had caused Riley to pay over the money to the wrong parties. Some of them had torn up their tickets in disgust the evening previous and were left without recourse, others who had retained the pasteboard gathered together and demanded of Riley an explanation. By this time he was fully able to make one, and it was to the effect that the wily old Fox from whom he got his information the day previous had very wickedly reversed the order of the result of the Chicago-Troy contest, with a special view to deceiving Riley, and had succeeded admirably. What with the combinations which had been paid to the wrong men and the “auction” bets upon innings and the result during the afternoon, Riley was, as they call it, “in the hole” to the extent of some $800. It is said, however, that he paid up every winning ticket which was presented, but it is safe to assume that at least $1100 worth of tickets had been destroyed by the disgusted holders.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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