Most cheaters make it a policy to travel below the radar. But not Richard Taylor, also known as Mr. Casino and Mr. Cool. Never mind that he broke the cardinal rule of being a dude by giving himself desirable nicknames (admittedly, I am not 100-percent certain of this, but I’m willing to bet that his monikers are self-endowed). More critically, he broke the cheater’s code by swanning through gambling dens, surrounding himself with memorably hot chicks, and tossing around $100 bills as if they were hot potatoes that he he couldn’t wait to get rid of. In other words, he got himself noticed. By the time he brought his act to Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Ledyard, CT, Mr. Cool had already been iced at a number of gaming emporiums around the United States.
According to charges that have been filed against him, Richard Taylor beat craps the easy way. He paid off casino personnel who allowed Taylor and a group of confederates to slip in bets after the dice had landed. They’d use code words like “hot chocolate” and “strawberry daiquiri” to announce that they were making their moves. Croupiers and stickmen, in turn, looked away as purple and yellow chips hit the felt.
Many thousands of dollars later, Taylor, his team, and the craps crews were all taken down by state police. Casino workers, as you might expect, mostly opted to cooperate with the investigation. Taylor, as you also might expect, has maintained innocence right from the gate. He and his lawyer both insist that Taylor is merely a highly skilled craps player who can beat the game.
I’ve met a number of people who claim to be highly skilled craps players — most notably a gang of guys who insist, to this day, that they can control dice — and playing with them has rarely been a money-making venture for me. Craps is an unbeatable game with a single bet, known as “taking odds,” in which you are playing for even money against the house. Some people find craps to be fun, some people find it exciting, but only the delusional find it to be profitable when played on the square.
An expert witness asserted as much during Taylor’s trial. Undeterred, the clearly charismatic Mr. Cool set up a makeshift craps table in the courtroom. He began shooting dice and splashing around chips and… Well, if he was back in Foxwoods, he’d have made a killing. However, judge and jury attributed his profitable roll to good luck. They remained unimpressed by his purported skills. Richard “Mr. Cheater” Taylor got himself setenced to a 10 year stretch behind bars.