The only place that is filled with more dings and beeps and attention gathering noises than an emergency room is the floor of a casino. Both are expensive, and potentially life changing, places of sorrow and hope. Best to avoid them if possible. But I knew that before I sat down at the black jack table. It’s not illegal to count cards, and a shoe with a dozen decks makes the task nearly useless, but any advantage ends up as money for one side or the other. I wanted to make sure I ended up on the winning side. Too much success brings a certain amount of scrutiny. While it may not be illegal, the house can discourage the practice and even make sure it doesn’t happen again. Which explains how I ended up the evening in the hospital. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.