High Roller Gets Rolled
By Raymond X.
(From Blackjack Forum Volume VII #3, September 1987)
© Blackjack Forum 1987
[Editor’s note: On July 18, 1987, the San Francisco Chronicle carried a short item about “Rolex Hookers”—women who pose as prostitutes, then rob their “customers” after drugging them. They frequently seek out men wearing Rolex watches because the watches are usually worth thousands of dollars by themselves.
According to the Chronicle, one woman alone is wanted in several states for nine homicides that resulted from overdoses of the various “knockout” drugs employed. These women frequently work in airport bars, but this crime is becoming more and more common in major casino hotels. In Las Vegas casinos, these women do not need to look for Rolex watches, what with so much visible cash. Likewise, in casinos, they often do not pose as prostitutes, but simply as other guests of the hotel.
Raymond X., a professional blackjack player, was the victim of this crime, one lucky enough to live to tell his story. Some details have been changed to protect his identity, but otherwise this is his story in his own words. – Arnold Snyder]
Rolex Hookers in Las Vegas
I was in town for two nights. There was this woman who kept popping up in different places—all around the casino I would see her, whether I was playing blackjack, craps, or whatever.
I was just there to gamble. She was never on a game, to begin with. She would kind of be in the background watching. But a lot of people were watching because I was betting blacks the whole time. At times, when I would get up, I had stacks of chips. I just had large stacks of blacks—20, 30, 40 of them. And so people were stopping and watching. I didn’t really attribute seeing her to anything else other than that she was just kind of interested.
Later, as I would go to the bathroom or something, I’d see her coming the other way. She’d kind of smile, almost like trying to get me so I would know who she was. I’d go listen to the music for awhile, take a break, I’d see her around the other end of the bar.
That night, the first night, as I was going up to my room, I was waiting at the elevator. She came up and got up right next to me and punched another elevator to go up, looked at me and just smiled, said, “Hi.” And that’s it. That was the end of it. Never saw her again that night. I went up and went to bed.
Next day, I would start playing again, and all of a sudden, there she is again. It dawned on me, this girl might be a prostitute. She’s probably a prostitute or something, because I I keep seeing her around.
Finally, near the end of the night she comes on my table. I’m getting ready to leave. I’m getting to the point where I’m getting tired. Again, I had a good night. I was lucky. I’d won about $5000 or so. She gets on the table and starts playing, but never talks to me, never says a word. Again, just casually looks over and smiles, just like anybody would, just about. Finally, when she’s getting ready to leave, she says something like, “Good luck,” and she’s gone again. I’m wondering what’s going on here. Is this girl doing anything? Has she got something on her mind? I’m not sure.
Anyway, I quit playing. I’ve got about a $5000 win. And I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m walking around the casino just looking at other games. I’m by myself. I’m walking around and she’s playing at another table, sees me coming and says something to me like, “How’d you do over there?” I stop and chat with her a little bit at her table. So we get familiar, sort of. And she seems like a real nice girl, kind of soft-spoken and that type of thing.
I go to the bar. I’ll be honest with you, I was at the bar wondering if this girl is going to come by the bar. I’m figuring she is and I’m going to find out. If it seems like she’s a prostitute or something of that nature, I’m going to decline and I’m going to go to bed. She comes over and sits down at the bar. I invite her to come over and sit down. I’ll buy her a drink.
From that point I fully expect something from this girl. I expect some sort of a proposition or something. But she doesn’t come through with it. We talk casually. First thing she says, she walks up and says, “So, are you a professional? Do you do this for a living?”
And the first thing that pops into my mind is, maybe she’s with the casino. Maybe it’s her job to get close to me and talk to me and find out if I’m a professional card counter or blackjack player or something. But that doesn’t make sense. They can just watch me and figure out if I'm good. And I don’t want to give her a line, so I just tell her: “Oh no, no, no. I’m a businessman. I just like to come up and play.”
She goes, “Well, you play awfully well.” Which, even if I do, how could she tell from what she saw, which was not very much. Anyway, really, I was just having a lucky night. She starts discussing blackjack. She likes blackjack too and she plays often and she thinks a lot of the typical things about it—“I like to play with good players on my table” and all that kind of stuff. So, I get into a discussion with her about that.
She told me that she was on vacation with two girlfriends, and her friends had picked up some guys and they were with these guys, and she was reluctant to go back to her hotel room that she was sharing with her friends. She didn’t know what the situation would be with the guys that they went with. So I said, “What are you going to do?” She says, “No problem. I’m going to stay out and gamble. My plane leaves tomorrow. I’m going home tomorrow. I’m going to stay out all night and just gamble.”
Again, she doesn’t make any blatant overture or anything. She just leaves it open for me to say, “That’s convenient.” Then I won’t sound so stupid if I end up asking her to stay with me. I won’t sound so dumb. So the real clincher was, I’m still worried about her, but the clincher was I ask her where she’s from. She says, “I’m from New York State,” which by pure luck and happenstance is where I’m from.
And not only is she from New York, she’s from an area upstate where my folks have lived for a long time. And she knows the area and right there I start talking about old home week, like “Is this place still there? Did you ever go to this place? Did you eat dinner at this place?” Whatever. And I’m starting to like this girl. We’re kind of having a good time talking about this. All my fears start to just completely go right out the window. She’s smooth. Really smooth. Talking just like another tourist, and she’s lucky that she hit on the place where I’m from, otherwise I don’t think my guard would have been down so much.
Anyway, one thing leads to another. We have drinks. I buy her a drink. She’s playing Keno. She hits a Keno ticket. And she goes to cash the Keno ticket. At this time I start saying to myself, “I have to decide what I want to do now because it’s about 6 o’clock in the morning and I’m getting tired. I’m not going to sit here and drink with this girl. I’m going to do one thing or the other. I’m either going to tell her goodnight, I’m going to bed, or I’m going to invite her to go with me. Do I want to do it or don’t I?”
So I start weighing the good and the bad about the whole thing. I think: Is there any chance that this girl could be a prostitute or something? And I think about it and I go, “No, she’s not good looking enough,” which is really tough for me. That’s one of the tough things about this whole thing. If this girl had been a goddess or something, I would probably have had more of an excuse for doing what I did. But as it turns out, it works in her favor that she’s not beautiful, because you don’t have all those thoughts of “This girl is a professional and somehow she’s a danger.” That’s not the case. I think she’s probably not a hooker because she’s not very good looking and I don’t think she’d make a very good living at it.
I know it doesn’t sound very good to say this, but it goes to show how good her act was—I really thought that if I asked her to come to my room, I’d be doing her a favor. I thought, here she was with her girlfriends. They’d come to see the big town, and go out gambling and drinking and maybe have some crazy fling, you know, pick up some guys—which was what her friends did.
But she was by herself. I looked at her and thought she’s on the homely side, and she’s all alone and she’s not going to find anyone. So I thought, this would be a nice thing to do. Honest to God. Not that I’m anybody’s gift to women or anything, but I thought that if this girl really likes me, then this could be a nice thing to do for her. I’m being candid. That’s really what went through my mind. That was probably the deciding factor.
Then I think, as a matter of fact, if I have a couple of more drinks this is all going to go a lot smoother, it’s going to be easier on me. I really wasn’t that attracted to her. So, she goes to cash a Keno ticket and I order a shot of Jack Daniels and a drink for her. And I drink the shot and her drink and I just about guzzle mine. I’m trying to get drunk enough to ask this girl to spend the remainder of the night with me. So I do. She comes back and I say, “I’m going to be going up to bed. Do you want to go with me? You’re welcome to stay with me tonight if you’d like.” She says, “Well, I’ve been thinking about it. I’d consider it. You’re a cute guy. I’ve been considering it.”
I said, “Well, it’s up to you. You’re welcome if you want to.” She says, “Okay.” So I say to her, “Why don’t we take our drinks with us?” She doesn’t have to say or do anything. She goes, “Okay.”
So, we go up. The whole time in the back of my mind, I still think there is a possibility that this girl is a prostitute. Either she’s going to solicit me for money and tell me that if I want to go through with it, it’s going to cost, or she’s just some sort of a money grubber and one way or another she’s going to put a hard luck story on me and try to get some money out of me, not as a blatant sex-for-money or prostitution thing, but “how about you take care of me a little bit.” In which case I’ll tell her I’m just not going to or I’m not in a position to do something. Or, maybe all she wants is she’s going to expect me to buy her a nice dinner or something tomorrow.
That’s in the back of my mind. But one thing that’s not ever anywhere in any part of my consciousness is that this girl is somehow going to subdue me and take the money from me. There’s where ego comes in. You just don’t ever think, “What can this girl do to me?” This girl can’t do anything to me. All she can do is ask for money and I can turn her down. She can’t take the money from me.
By the way, I didn’t put my money in the safe deposit box, a) because I’m stupid, b) because I think the money’s safe with me. There’s no problem. There’s a little less than $10,000.
So, we get up to my room and I go to the bathroom. Again, perfect. I spend a lot of time in the bathroom because I’m trying to think of a place to hide the money. That’s when she must have put the stuff, whatever she put, into the drink that I had.
So, I take the money and flatten it out, and it’s a wad because it’s all in $100 bills. I’ve got a hundred $100 bills basically, and I put the whole wad underneath the bath mat that’s draped over the side of the tub. And it’s a pretty good hiding place really. It doesn’t show or anything. But I think to myself, “At some point this girl is going to be in this bathroom by herself and if she stumbles upon this, she might take $100.” So I don’t do that. I come out and she goes into the bathroom and I put the money on a drapery cord behind the drapes. I kind of latch it onto that.
Later, when I try to reenact what happened, I figure she slaps me. “All right, he’s asleep. Now I’ve got to find the money. I need some light.” So she goes to the drapery and opens it. And there it is on the cord. Really good place to hide the money!
Anyway, she comes out of the bathroom. I take one drink. She doesn’t even prod me to do it. Then we go right to bed. While we were having sex I found out she was wearing a wig. It came off accidentally. And, she said, “Well, now we know that.” I realize now she must have been trying to disguise herself. I didn’t think much about it at the time. Afterwards, I fell asleep right away.
I was effectively out for two days. I could not talk or function the whole next day and I slept a total of 20 some hours before I was finally back to normal. The police say it typically takes anywhere from 12 minutes to about 20 minutes for the drug to take some sort of effect.
It was about eight or nine hours later, anyway, when I first awakened. Actually, I found out later, my friend, Ralph, who was staying at a hotel across the street, called my room about 45 minutes after we got there, and she answered the phone. This was around 7 am. We had gone up to my room about 6:15. So at 7 o’clock, Ralph calls to see if I’d called it a night yet. He was still playing.
She answers the phone and he says, “Is this Ray’s room?” I was already out at this point. I had felt just a sweeping tiredness, but not that I said, “I’m in trouble, I’m drugged.” I said, “I’m tired. It’s been a long night. I’ve been doing a lot of drinking,” which was true. I drank a lot at the end of my work at the tables. I always drink a lot after I play. So, alcohol mixed with the drug doesn’t do me any good, obviously. But all of a sudden I just went goodnight. And I just went to sleep. Bang, I’m out.
One thing I remembered later. As I was losing consciousness, she made all kinds of little remarks. She was making fun of me. She knew she had me and she was making comments like, “We’ll see who gets the last laugh here.” At the time I didn’t know what she meant.
Anyway, the phone rings. I’m so out it doesn’t wake me. She picks it up and answers it. Ralph asks for me. She says, “You’ve got the wrong room. It’s the wrong number.” He says, “Sorry.” He hangs up and calls again. It’s busy. She had taken the phone off the hook.
But Ralph’s call may have saved me from her getting into my credit cards and things. She might have thought, “I’d better get out of here.” She had the money and she probably didn’t go any further looking for anything else. The only other thing she took was my pants. There was no reason for her to take them. She was just adding insult to injury. Maybe she hangs them up as a trophy.
So, she leaves the phone off the hook. Ralph told me later he was calling me all day, for hours, and the phone is busy, busy. He didn’t know what to do. Finally, he said, “Forget it. Something could be wrong.” And he called security and told them, “Look, I have a friend up there. I know the guy’s in there. His phone’s been off the hook for seven hours now. You’d better go in.”
Ralph comes to my room with the security guard. The next thing I know is I hear the guard yelling my name asking me if I’m all right. He wouldn’t come into the room. It’s their policy that they don’t go into the room. They’ll only go to the door, open it, and yell in. I wake up to this. And he says, “This is security. Are you alright?” I go, “Yeah, I’m all right.” And immediately I swivel around.
Now, it dawns on me. I look and she’s gone. I thought, Oh God. It falls into place now. For some reason, though I was really drugged and out of it, I still knew that there was a problem.
It turns out that the guard yelled at me for about two minutes before I woke up. He stood there yelling at the doorway for two minutes, I was told by Ralph. Ralph didn’t want to come in either for some reason. The guard probably wouldn’t let him. This is all goofy. I don’t know why. I never did ask him. But he said that it took the guard about two minutes to wake me. I said, “I’m all right, I’m fine, go ahead.”
He said, “Your phone’s off the hook.” I said, “Okay.” I put it on the hook. They closed the door and left. I got up and walked over to where the money was. I looked and it was gone. I knew that she had taken it. I was so goofed up I just went, “Gee, this is bad.” I walked back to the bed and I fell asleep.
Ralph comes back, I guess about an hour later. He wakes me up by pounding on my door and yelling at me. He says, “Jesus, Ray, we got things to do. You’ve got to stay in touch.”
I look at him and his words were, “Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you?” I guess my eyes were glazed. He thought I’d been out all night and had just gotten in. At that time it was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. He thought I’d stayed up through the night getting drunk at the bar. He says, “What’s wrong with you?”
I said, “Ralph, I got trouble.”
He says, “What? Tell me.”
I said, “My money’s stolen. I brought a girl in here and she stole my money.” And then I went to sleep again.
He knew I was drugged. He woke me up again. I insisted I wasn’t.
He says, “Are you alright? You look terrible.”
I said, “I’m just tired.”
He goes, “You’re not tired. She did something to you.”
I said, “No, I’m fine.” Then I went out again.
He got the house detective up there. As I was being talked to by the house detective, I kept going out. I kept insisting that I wasn’t drugged. Ralph told me a couple of days later, “One time you kept insisting you weren’t drugged. I told you, I said, ‘Ray, you’re drugged.’ And you looked at me and said, ‘I’m not drugged. Watch me dance.’” And I got up and started dancing. And I said, “See.” And I went to the bed and went out again.
I remember that my speech was slurred. I remember having trouble talking. I couldn’t get my words. I was taking big giant steps trying to keep my balance. And I was incredibly sleepy. As the security man talked to me, I remember I’d say something and my head would droop over the bed and I’d go out again. And I’d remember hearing—I was half awake and half asleep—I remember hearing Ralph say, “See, there he goes again.” Ralph was getting mad. “There, he’s out again.”
They took me to the police station. The police have their own hospital. They took blood and urine samples to test for the drug. That’s another thing. They couldn’t just analyze my drink. The glasses were washed out and tipped over to dry in the bathroom.
“Didn’t she give you the line about the back rub?” one of the cops asked me.
I said, “She did ask me if I wanted a back rub. I told her no. I was so tired, I was afraid if she did it I’d fall asleep before we got to the sex.”
They thought that was very funny. Apparently, these girls never actually have sex with their victims. You’re supposed to lose consciousness during the back rub. Actually, she asked me if I could give her a back rub first. I told her I wasn’t any good at giving back rubs. She really wanted it all—the money and a massage. Then I turned down her offer to rub my back.
So they not only had to test for the drug, I had to get VD tests, too.
In other ways, according to the police, she was very typical. They told me these girls make it easy for you to invite them to stay with you. Some examples they were giving me: “I’m out of money,” or “I lost my room,” or “They’re booked up and I haven’t been able to get a room.”
As it turns out, in the final analysis, in talking with the police, they said that these women work on the premise that most of the men they rob can’t take the embarrassment of it, so they’re not going to go to the police. They’ve got wives, girlfriends—that type of thing. Even if they do go to the police, the next morning after they think it over, they decide it’s not worth it to pursue it because of the embarrassment or whatever, so that this type of crime is getting more and more prevalent.
The information they gave me was that two guys had already died from overdoses in casino hotel rooms. These girls are not pharmacists. They don’t know what they’re doing, and they’re going to make sure they give you enough to put you out if you don’t drink much, which is what I did. I had one slug, one good drink of this drink. I didn’t finish it. And it effectively put me out for two days. I don’t know what would have happened if I drank it all. I could be dead. The cops said it’s very dangerous and it’s a growing problem, not just in casinos, although it’s very prevalent in casinos now.
That’s the whole story from beginning to end. And the main ingredient of it is that when you meet a girl like this, it’s not what you would expect. You would expect a beautiful woman, someone really good looking who’s going to entice you. But your fears are put aside because this is not that kind of a girl. This is the kind of girl that you think, “This girl is a tourist. She’s a simple, everyday, middle-America type girl.” And that’s exactly what she was going for. That’s exactly the role she played. She didn’t try to come off as some glamorous thing that was going to seduce me in that way. She came off as, “I’m on vacation, you’re on vacation. We’re on vacation. Let’s have fun.” She let me do it all. And she scored.
I’m telling you this because I think people can die from it. Not only can they lose a lot of money. $10,000 is a lot of money to me and it would be to other people and I’m sure that others would be in danger of losing that much. But, this girl is a pro. This is her business. I met her head-on and she beat me.
She just outsmarted me, outfoxed me. I was no match for her. I was no match and I was even trying to look out for trouble because I was worried about all that cash. I was looking out, and still, I was putty to her. She used me so easily. That’s why it’s dangerous. That’s what’s scary about the whole situation. The glasses are all turned over. Everything was out of the glasses, cleaned.
I just don’t want it to happen to anybody else because it’s horrible. I would have never known how good this girl was. At nights, when I think about this, I almost admire her for her skill. I think about how smooth she was. Her story was beautiful and the way she presented herself. She reeled me in like a fish. She just had me for dinner. And the worst part of it was she stole my pants. Insult to injury all the way. ♠
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