Tilt (2005) s01e05 Episode Script


Previously on "Tilt" Authorities are investigating the apparent suicide Seymour Annisman was the longtime manager of sports betting at the Colorado Casino.
This is bad for business.
This is the worst kind of publicity.
We got Don Everest to thank for that.
Safety deposit box, Nevada Trust.
All of our initials are on the back.
There's a whole bunch of notations.
Last one says "502.
" 502,000.
Seymour did say that we'd have enough ammo with half a mil.
Unless he knows about me, in which case Probably doesn't.
If he did, you'd be dead by now.
I'm seizing these photos.
Your taking them is a violation of the family's privacy and the law.
I'll tell you who you should prosecute.
Pure, practiced, inbred aggression will win over speed and calculation any day.
You get my meaning? Ka-pow.
Who's the client, Shurgin? Why is he throwing 100 large a week at you? He's not beating the SEC or the IRS, is he? It's the DEA.
Where can I find Tropical Henry? Nobody's seen him since that guy took a header at the Palais.
You got the most to lose.
If he sees through this, this game'll never come together, and that will not be the worst of your problems.
Let's set up a game.
Take his ass down.
I guess some people get up from the card table more or less even.
Not me.
I can't remember a time I stood up and I wasn't either ahead or behind.
That's the thing about poker - it's binary.
You either win or you lose.
It's about being thorough.
A thorough pilot always de-ices the wings of a plane before takeoff.
That way, it doesn't crash.
A thorough parent delouses a child's head after a time spent at summer camp.
That way, the lice don't spread.
Enter the Gaming Commission, a thorough agent - moi - investigates complaints of wide-scale, institutional cheating and ripoffs.
That way he avoids assignment to the alcove office and advances through the ranks with speed.
I understand.
I more than understand.
- Which is why I am prepared - We are prepared.
- to throw open - All the way open.
our books, our house.
You have full access.
Whatever you want here, you can have.
Because out here, it's all on the table, right? Anything I need? As long as I ask? It's not gonna be as simple as that.
I'm new to this Gaming Commissioner's office.
I'm not some business-as-usual type.
I am not running a short con.
I'm investigating complaints.
I'm going to get to the core of your business and I am going to see how ugly it is in there.
I'll be back shortly.
I'll expect the open access to your books and files that you proffered earlier.
Thank you.
This is the point I've been trying to make.
New century, new times, new opportunities, and we're blowing it.
Let's use this to make a change.
If you don't find the button that magically makes that gentleman disappear, the change is gonna be a wind that blows all of us out of here.
- I'll find his sweet tooth.
- I want you to use Everest to help you.
The guy can look right into a person's heart.
I said, I'll find it.
And Don's not the solution.
He's the problem.
That's the point.
As long as he's around, there'll be plenty more guys like this Barthelme who'll be coming through that door.
I guess I could be convinced to look at this thing from your vantage point.
Make a little change in the character of this casino.
But I will not have my hand forced by some functionary trying to career off of our house.
You take care of him, compromise him, and then yeah, OK.
We'll make the change we've been talking about.
You're gonna move Don out? You do what you say you will and, yeah, I'll move him.
Well, I'm relieved to see that.
Seymour took precautions and kept it away from Everest.
What's the rest of this stuff? Huh.
Seymour won a Bronze Star in South Korea.
"Prominent Nevadan Missing.
" "Bill Landry, business head of the Landry family, the well-known hotel and casino clan, was reported missing yesterday afternoon, according to local police.
" The Landry family were the original owners of the Colorado.
When? This article's dated May of '88.
Said they owned it for 30 years before that.
Yo, listen to this.
"Landry: Foul play suspected.
Body found, thought to be ex-casino owner.
" There's more.
"Molloy heads group to solidify control of Colorado.
" "Unlicensed gaming investor rumored to be amongst new owners.
" Damn.
They mention Everest.
Late 1988.
This is Seymour's sworn statement.
He was involved with it? "Though Bill Landry and I had discussed opening hotel casinos together many times, I didn't and never planned to meet him at an undeveloped site in Arroyo Gulch, North Las Vegas, on the night in question.
" It goes on.
Seymour was in a sports bar with a dozen witnesses.
Look at this.
Prayer card from St.
Agnes Church.
Never took him as the Catholic type.
That's the last of it.
Tonight's the night.
So if you guys do anything special to get ready for a big game, I suggest you do it.
It's the game we've been waiting for.
You know, with Seymour gone there's no decoys.
No plane waiting, no cover at all.
Yeah, that's true.
But I can't hang around the inside any longer.
We're taking the Matador down tonight.
I understand these fish are a lot like Italian sports cars.
Beautiful to look at but they cost a bundle and they're temperamental as hell.
You're a winner, the world gives you a bonus.
You're a loser, folks get in line to kick you while you're down.
- Well, which are you? - I'm no loser.
Seymour Annisman got himself killed at the Palais Français.
He lost.
So? I didn't know the man.
Your shirt was there when it happened - the one with the parrots on it.
Three different people saw it and the fat slob inside it holding on to Annisman moments before he was shoved off that ledge.
- Paper said he jumped.
- You know different.
You need to start talking, Henry, or I walk you down to the station house right now.
He asked me to come along, that's all.
Who? Skip D.
Poker boss at the Colorado.
And when you guys got there, you threw him over the railing like confetti at the V-J Day parade.
It was nothing like that.
He was gonna talk to the man and I was gonna back him up.
I'm big.
People see me, they get scared.
But I've never been a physical kind of guy.
- But you went along.
- Yeah, I did.
We found the guy, the two of them had words, and the next thing I know, he's over the railing.
- Seymour.
- Yeah.
Then Skip says, "Let's go," so I started bookin'.
- So Skip threw him over.
- Well, I didn't.
You're gonna need to say more than that.
You don't want him to notice us, huh? 'Cause you're on a rogue-type mission and you don't have all the answers.
Agh! What are you doing? Just so you know, my office is your office.
You stay as long as you like.
It could take a while.
Get comfortable.
Phone, Internet.
These are our copies of any complaints that we received.
Thank you.
My first question is, why is our stack so much taller than yours? Not sure.
Just bring those in here, Danny.
One of our regulars is the West Coast rep.
Gets really happy when he wins at craps.
Always sends me the newest set of sticks.
- Looks like I have an extra one.
- I don't golf.
Now, he knows I'm lousy over water, so he always adds a little something.
You can buy extra balls.
I'll pretend that wasn't a bribe, because, Rogers, money isn't going to get this done.
Why don't I let you work? It's nice.
It's all yours.
Membership has its privileges, Eddie.
But I'm still holding the lease, so don't go nuts, OK? You know, this is a lot of luxury on the cuff.
I don't know.
In our business, Eddie, we gotta fight the fog.
Fight the fog, huh? Did you ever sit in a game, like, a real easy game, surrounded by a bunch of lost little lambs, with a whole lot of money on the table, and you know you could take every single chip of it, and you start to feel tired? That's because the fog's coming in.
It's closing in on you.
Sooner or later, you're gonna start making bad decisions.
Yeah, you're no better than the humps around you.
Before that happens, you try to stretch it out.
You try to fight it off.
You stay there because you figure every second you're at the table is another dollar in your pocket.
You can't spend the rest of your life living in casino comp rooms, stumbling around, looking for the next free buffet.
Let's not look at it as luxury on the cuff, OK? Why don't we just say it's fighting the fog? Hey.
I'll see you tonight.
Henry? Henry? Henry, you out here? What the hell's going on? Why'd you bring me out here? We got problems.
Maybe you got problems.
I'm back, baby.
Yeah, I know.
- That cop, that guy Nickel, he's on to us.
- He's all bluster.
He doesn't know a thing.
Yeah? Well, he seemed to know plenty about the other night.
- And what did you tell him, Henry? - Nothing.
You are a weak man! No! I am not going down 'cause of you! Vagrant.
Caught him picking through the trash.
Clean this mess up.
- I brought you a housewarming present.
- Thanks.
You wanna pour it on each other? Well, I actually have to play in a little while.
It's not much like play, the way you say it.
Look at you.
You're doing well.
Better than I am, and you didn't even have to make grades for all of this.
It's better than a mistress too, huh? 'Cause you don't have to do all of that You must be servicing him in some way, though.
Everybody does.
What's your point, Dee? You said you didn't work for him.
I guess I don't understand all the subtle distinctions in your world.
The hotel sent me up to take your order.
What's he doing here? I called him.
I told you, you need the backup.
- Hey.
- What ya watching? They want you to know you can have anything you like.
- Anything.
- Hm.
Well, I'll have a BLT.
Thank you.
Well, it's pretty obvious a broad ain't gonna get this done.
- So, what is gonna get it done? - Maybe he just doesn't like candy.
Everybody likes candy.
Well, you better figure out what kind or forget about your game tonight.
- OK, hold on.
Wait a sec.
- No, no, I'm serious.
We got the Gaming Commission on the property here.
Now, you two find his button or the game's on hold.
Now you're making quality decisions, Henry, coming here.
They're gonna kill me.
That'll be their next move.
Tell me about it, then - about their moves.
I just wanted to play cards, you know? Wanted to take the elevator up from being a grinder.
Didn't want to get caught up in all this.
If Skip Demetriopolous did it, and he did it on Everest's orders, then you need to go on record and put it on them.
Your only other choice is to become the real Tropical Henry - head for Brazil and hang out in the rainforest.
Maybe it was an accident.
Skip grabbed the guy Maybe he wanted to give him a shake, muscle him around a little.
It went further than he meant for it to go.
Come on, Henry.
Time to eat your burnt pancakes.
You sounded just like your brother when you said that.
Wayne? Talked about you all the time.
He did? Before he got pushed out.
He used to talk proud about his big brother on the force back home.
Whenever he was in a jam, he'd be, like, "My brother'd know how to play this.
" "He sees through the smoke right to the core.
" Get your thoughts together.
I'm taking you in.
Carruthers said he needed something concrete.
That's what you are.
What is What's the secret to six-pack abs? What do you gotta do for that? - No carbs after 2:00.
- Mm-hm.
- What do you want? - We want in.
Yeah? Take your ass up to gym membership.
They can sell you a monthly plan.
That's good.
What? It was very surprising when you walked in there and gave them the money back.
- That was, you know, not your style at all.
- Yeah, well, people change.
Unfortunately, it made us realize that you were into something better.
And we want in.
As in, there's nothing going on.
Our client was really disappointed when he found out you didn't launder his money.
He thought that he could count on you, that you were always into some good stuff.
- Yeah, so? - So, he wants a piece.
- Man, that's extortion.
- No, no.
That's not extortion.
This This is extortion.
You stole company funds a while back.
Remember when I said we'd let it slide because we're friends? From your recent actions, your unwillingness to help us out at the casino, your unwillingness to help us now I mean, that definitely makes me think that we're not friends.
So we're gonna have to move against you, and in the current climate, there's no way you're gonna avoid jail time.
And worse, Clark.
What do you want me to do? All right, give us a share of what you're into - a healthy share - and then we'll give you your walking papers, which will be good forever.
Or we go to the authorities with a paper trail and then That's just bad.
You don't want that.
No pictures this time.
Live witness to events.
This is Henry Dufour.
People call him Tropical Henry.
I've got three witnesses who can put him on the fourth-floor balcony with Seymour Annisman when he was killed.
Three witnesses? You have kept that pug nose of yours to the stone.
A bellman, a chambermaid and a hotel guest.
And do these people know him as what, Tropical Henry? Or do they call him Mr.
Dufour? - They described him.
- Is that right? Down to the parrots on his shirt and his heft.
See, that's not exactly airtight, is it? I mean, we have more fat men in this town than calories on the buffet table at the Mandalay Bay.
And half of them wear shirts that would answer to "Polly, want a cracker?" - The witnesses can ID him.
- So Mr.
Dufour is guilty of a crime? - That's not the important part.
- Oh? What's important is the testimony Mr.
Dufour is prepared to give.
He'll tell you he was there as a backup for a man named Skip Demetriopolous, poker boss at the Colorado.
Annisman's suicide was at the Palais.
He'll testify that Skip forcibly propelled Annisman over the railing to his death.
"Forcibly propelled.
" And I'm confident that Skip will roll over and give you Don Everest on Annisman's and my brother's murder.
Now, there is no way you can avoid taking action.
I demand an arrest.
You're right.
Mike, you got a set of cuffs handy? Uh, I don't think you have to put cuffs on him.
The man came in voluntarily.
He's here to cooperate.
- I'm placing you under arrest, Nickel.
- What?! 'Cause I got two guys that you interviewed who had to go to the hospital.
You beat 'em half to death.
That's aggravated assault.
Robbery, too, 'cause you emptied their wallets.
Wouldn't surprise me if the DA came up with a couple more, too.
You came here to testify.
You got something to tell me? Not really.
Did you see anything suspicious at the Palais? I couldn't really see very much from where I was standing.
This guy was trying to stop this other guy from jumping over the rail, - but the guy was too fast for him.
- Dammit, Henry! That's what I kept trying to tell this guy, but he just wouldn't listen.
Get him out of here! Mirandize him and put him in the system.
Oh! Agh! Nice work, Bill.
You got him real good.
Walked him right into it.
You make sure you tell Skip and the others how I stood up and did my part, huh? Oh, I'll be sure to, Henry.
In there.
Go, go, go! Now you got ball in hand.
Too obvious, man.
Obvious? Yeah, obvious.
On the last rack, you could have closed me out by sinking the three-nine combo.
But instead, you carried me for another ten minutes, trying to make it look close.
And just now, scratching like that you took dead aim at the pocket and drew the cue ball right back into it.
And you made sure that the table was set in a way that I couldn't run it.
No, man, I'm not hustling.
Look, I just missed a shot.
If your sack is shriveling up and you wanna take your bet off the table now, no problem.
My sack feels fine.
Bet was made, it's locked in.
I'm not trying to run from it.
So it's math.
Like, you got qualities in your mind that a guy needs to have if he wants to get with you.
Whether or not a guy can get with me on any given night depends on lots of things - not the least of which is how I am feeling on that given night.
Sometimes it's the right kind of smile and the right kind of whiskey.
Other times, doesn't matter what the guy looks like, I'm going home alone.
But yeah, you know.
If I'm supposed to be with someone long-term, then, yeah, they do have to stack up to an image I'm carrying around.
And what's that look like? What? Confident, but not Well, maybe a little too confident.
Can hold up his end of a conversation, but doesn't talk too much.
- Smart, tough.
- Mm-hm.
Can lie if he has to, but never to himself and never to me.
Does he have to look a certain way? Yes, he does.
But it's not like I have a portrait and I'm waiting for the guy who fits it.
Well, hearing you describe him kinda sounds like - No! - Hey, I'm just saying.
- Kinda sounds like Eddie.
- No! - Mm-hm.
- No way.
- Just saying it sounds like him.
- Shut up and eat your Jell-O.
- You're trying to reel me in, aren't you? - Oh, are you feeling some shrinkage now? Don't worry, you're better than me.
It's not my game anymore.
A few years back, though boy, it wouldn't have been good for you.
I believe you.
I can tell by the way you line up your shots.
I'm a card player now.
I used to play in a place just like this when I was a kid.
Still like shooting the day before a big game.
Something about the sound and the repetition just calms me.
How should I have played it? Well, you never really looked like you were losing.
You know, you should be the cocky young wannabe who's not quite as good as he thinks he is.
And then, when all the money is on the table, that's when you end up a little better.
Like my friends told you at the gym, you broke your promise.
You're gonna do me a service in the casino and you're gonna make good on that money, one way or the other.
You got that straight? Otherwise, you and me are gonna meet, and you don't want that.
No, thanks.
- We straight? - Yeah.
Eddie feeds us the Matador's signals, we use our own.
Eddie signals the Matador he's safe when he isn't.
- And then we take the money.
- And then we take the money.
- Or - Or what? Do you really think this is the way Seymour would've had us go at it? - We're following his plan.
- Kind of.
Half-assed way.
He would have wanted us to wait until the World Championships to get it exactly right.
You're usually more careful than this.
You're not so gung-ho.
Look, we can talk ourselves out of this a million different ways.
Put it off until another time or try it during the tournament when there's a million variables.
But then we'll have let Seymour die without retribution.
What kind of retribution are we getting? We're playing for money.
The only kind we have at the moment.
Eddie's in position.
We've got our bankroll.
We are ready.
Let's go and hurt Everest today.
Roll our half a million, turn it into two, three large.
Now, that doesn't mean that we can't hurt him worse any other time in another way.
- It's just not nearly enough retribution.
- That's what we have.
I'll be out of your way in a moment, sir.
Just came to get the clubs.
- I don't mind.
- Good.
Not here to disturb you.
Don't worry.
I'm not easily disturbed.
I have great powers of concentration.
When I'm interested in something, I can stay at it for days on end.
So - No! - Yeah! I gotta tell you, nobody gets a read on a guy like you do.
This stuff is awesome.
Now that we've put all this behind us, can I take my seat at the card game? Usual lineup? Yeah, all except for Tropical Henry.
He had an unavoidable prior engagement.
So Donny clears the way for his own removal.
Nice of you to let him play a last one before he goes.
Well, you know me, Bart.
I'm a humanist.
Course you are.
I gotta get my office cleaned.
I just want to prepare you for what's ahead of us tonight.
There's gonna be an awful lot of money on the table, and in a game like that, there can be some huge swings.
And you gotta ask yourself a question.
What question's that? Am I a winner? Call it will, call it pride, call it whatever the hell you want to call it.
But you're gonna count up that money and you're gonna get a hand at any given moment, and you're gonna ask yourself if you're gonna play to win.
It's gonna seem real easy to go for the gold and disappear on a beach somewhere.
I hate the beach.
Well, it doesn't mean you can't sit by the pool and have a daiquiri.
You gotta know that winning like that won't be winning at all.
And losing will make that money on the table seem like chump change in the tin cup of a beggar.
- You don't think I know that by now? - Well, we're gonna find out in a little while.
Let's get started, shall we? Players only here, players only.
Like poker does, team play takes patience.
But to sell it, you gotta be willing to look like you're losing sometimes.
You're shrinking the odds against you, waiting for the right moment to put the hammer down.
That's why the Matador isn't concerned - even while Clark and Miami are scooping pots.
While he and I are waiting to take them down, the truth is, the three of us are just waiting to take him down.
Over two and a half million on the table, all coming to us, and this is the hand we've been waiting for - possible flush on board.
I tell the Matador it's safe to bet his king because I have the ace and I'm folding.
The truth is, Clark has the ace.
Check to you.
No check here.
I'll bet 300,000.
She's got nothing.
She'll fold the moment Everest raises.
One all-in hand, the Matador covering the table.
He loses, we win.
He can't hurt us in the casino, and we're gone before he can do anything else.
My cards are telling me to go all-in.
But I think it's about time for this whole thing to come to an end.
There's been a lot of talk lately about moving the game into a cleaner era, letting the game evolve, and I, for one, agree.
But I'm shocked to say that you and you are working together against me.
And all these cameras around here will show that.
No one's working together.
I moved out of the amateur status a long time ago, honey.
I can spot a cheat.
Now, we can invite these gentlemen over and explain the whole thing to them, and they'll review the tapes.
And, funny, but we'll find out that the one on my position was on the fritz.
This town doesn't take too kindly to cheaters.
You'll both go to jail.
And believe me, I've got plenty of friends in there that will make you feel very welcome.
Or you can fold your cards and let me have this great big pot here along with the rest of your stake in a gesture that will buy my forgiveness.
Can you believe those two scumbags? Hey, Don.
My friends call me Don.
What's going on? Funny you should ask.
You know, you and your pals figured that you'd end up on my radar sooner or later, so putting yourselves in that position was a pretty smart play.
Except for that fight you staged with Clark.
That was pretty ballsy, but it didn't work, Eddie.
Putting you in my camp so I could watch it all go down I gotta give myself credit for that one.
All right, look.
This is what you staked me, here, and the profit, all right? You won.
What more do you want? I want you to pay the price for trying.
Get him up! Stand him up! Whatever gave you the idea that it was OK to bang my daughter? It's only because of her that this is gonna stop at a beating.
Now, this could have been yours, Eddie.
Instead of what you got.
Clear out of here when you're done bleeding.
It's all such a pity.
We would have been really good together.
Well, gentlemen, looks like everything checked out here.
But I will need to check back in on this, weekly.
You know what this is? This is the end of an era.
Yeah, I guess you could say that.
Remember when they demolished the old Desert Inn? They planted the charges, they pushed the plunger.
Just watched the whole structure crumble right in front of your eyes.
Yes, I do.
You know, on one hand, you hate to see it go.
But that's progress.
You know what I mean? How else are you gonna build something better in its place? Right.
Ended up with all the money tonight, didn't he? Not the usual way, but that's how I'm gonna remember him.
Good to see you.
Interesting play, but congratulations on the win.
Had its moments, didn't it? Yes, it did.
Sit down, have a seat.
You too, Bart.
Make yourselves comfortable.
Now, you boys know me.
You know I don't beat around the bush.
I take my time making a decision, but once I do, I get right to the point.
That's always the best way.
I've been aware for some time that we need to make a change here.
We can't have the infighting, the maneuvering that's been going on between the poker ambassador and casino head.
This operation has to move in a certain direction, and I can't have anybody trying to steer the ship in another direction.
Bart, you're fired.
This whole exercise with Barthelme was very enlightening.
You're a solid business manager, but you don't know salt from pepper when it comes to understanding what motivates a man, and that's a quality I need upfront here.
We're gonna buy out your contract through to the end of the year.
I'm gonna need your company credit cards, keys You'll want to clean out your desk.
Take your personal stuff, get it together.
I'll bring up somebody from security to give you a hand.
You've got to be out of your mind.
Don's killing this place! He's killing it! He's carving up the guests and getting more and more obvious about it.
And why do you think that Doyle and the Phils and all of the rest of 'em won't even sit down at a table with you, huh? Why do you think they won't even play at the Colorado Casino? They know.
He's steaming hot right now.
He's on tilt.
When a man gets that way, you have to make allowances for the things they say.
- You're gonna make allowances for me? - Yeah.
Well, I'm tired of making allowances for you.
'Cause you're a dinosaur.
You both are.
Dinosaurs, huh? As I recall, they had a pretty good run.
And, by the way, you can't fire me.
I'm the president of this casino.
Only the board can do that.
Well, you're right, Bart.
The board meets on Thursday.
Won't be official till then.
Oh, Eddie.
You poor baby.
Look at what you did to yourself.
To myself? And to us.
You dumb son of a bitch.
How could you have played it like that? You knew what this meant for us.
I really liked you.
Nickel, Leland - you made bail.
The poker player is conditioned to honestly evaluate his performance.
So you just check.
Is the size of your bankroll bigger or smaller than it was when you sat down? That's it.
You won, you lost, you go home.
But the true winning player - and it's hard to keep this in mind sometimes - knows that you can't keep track hand by hand or day by day.
He knows - you run good, you run bad.
But if you're a cardplayer - if, when it comes down to it, that's what you really are - it's all - every session, every day - part of one long, never-ending game.
- What are you doing here? - What, no thanks for the bail? It was you? How about some coffee? Why? 'Cause you and me have a lot to talk about.
On the next "Tilt" You know, you take a beating for your pals.
You'd think maybe they'd come when you call.
OK, let me lay it out for you.
I worked with Don Everest for a long time and I always knew eventually he'd screw me over.
So that day is here.
The problem for him is that I'm not the guy to just let him crap all over me and just move on.
What I want right now is to be the top broker at Mullin Securities.
- All right, then.
Welcome aboard.
- Thank you.
It's the one of Everest taking out a black dude and a blonde chick.
Is this the only copy? The footage of you and those three kids is gone.
You know, Luke is Lowball's boy.
Probably no point in looking for him, right? No, probably not, but maybe I will anyway.
You're finished, all right? Don't ever come around Hey, that's a nice watch, pal.
- Yeah.
- You're late already.
And everyone knows things didn't go your way the other night at the casino.
- Who is this? - Listen, you better have a payment plan.
- You can't run my life.
- Come here.
Listen, you keep an eye on that punk.
Keep him in line.
I'm gonna have to raise you here.
You might want to take another look at those cards.
Oh, you're gonna raise me? Dad, what the hell are you doing back in town?