John “Fast Jack” Farrell – Penguin Live Lecture (April 16th, 2017)
“John “Fast Jack” Farrell is an extraordinary card and dice mechanic with a lifetime of astounding gambling adventures. Jack is also the perfect gentleman with a willingness to share his knowledge, which is like hitting the lottery for anyone who finds fascination in the world of crooked gambling. Whether it be the moves, tricks of the trade, or psychological angles, here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a true master of his craft. This project is a dead cinch to become a classic that will be treasured by magicians, gambling junkies, and sleight-of-hand enthusiasts for a very long time!”– Steve Forte, Gaming Expert
Who is he?
The last of the old-time dice and card “mechanics” recounts his colorful adventures in and outside the mob running crooked dice and card games all over the country and world. Think Good Fellas meets The Sting. “By pretending to brush some lint from my shoulder I had communicated to my partners that it was time for us to ‘brush’—time to get the hell out of there.” All full-time card and dice hustlers had secret hand signals and spoken codes that enabled us to communicate with each other, even when we were surrounded by unsuspecting players.
From the East Coast to the West Coast, if you were a true full-time hustler this code was part of your arsenal. It was a national code known to only the full time scuffs. We called it the ‘office‘. And they call Jack Farrell “Fast Jack” for a reason, too. For a generation he was the premier dice “mechanic” in the business, a whiz at setting up marks and turning casino nights, clambakes and social gatherings into a piggy bank for himself and his partners. Fast Jack grew out of the era before mega-casinos and easy credit, where cash was still king and gambling took place in basements, kitchens and storerooms. After learning the game at the tender age of twenty-two, Fast Jack wrote plenty of the rules and rewrote the rest of them, becoming a household name amid the circles in which he traveled.
His true-life story reads like a who’s who of the mob’s last hurrah, as he walks the fine line between dollars and sense in the final days before federal indictments became as plentiful as playing cards. From rigging and switching dice to magnetized Craps tables, from running a foolproof horse betting scam to rigging a cold deck, from the Super Bowl to the Kentucky Derby and New York to West Germany, Fast Jack left a trail of marks in his wake that shared the dubious distinction of being played by the very best. A hustler extraordinaire who understood the mindset and sensibility it takes to tilt the odds squarely in his favor while always living to roll another day.
Along the way, he brushed elbows with the likes of John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Joe Louis and Jake LaMotta and enjoyed dealings with the infamous Five Families of New York and the New England mob. The Mechanic peels back the curtain to provide a seldom seen view of the professional hustler. A story of greed as well as compassion, vengeance and redemption, pathos combined with real danger. Because in the world of Fast Jack Farrell, the last hustler, you’re only as good your last roll of the dice, and he was the best ever. “
It is rare that a mechanic divulges his methods. It is even rarer that he does so publicly. Get ready for a unique experience… Don’t miss it!