Watercooler Stories

Aug. 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Casino sues to recoup unshuffled deck wins

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A New Jersey casino is seeking the return of $1.5 million from 14 gamblers after officials discovered their mini-Baccarat table's deck of cards was unshuffled.

The Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City is suing the 14 gamblers, who together totaled 41 winning bets in a row when the cards at the table began coming out in sequence, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

A casino spokeswoman said the gamblers were initially suspected of cheating, but officials soon discovered the cards -- which had been ordered as pre-shuffled from the Missouri manufacturer -- "were not shuffled at all."

"The gamblers unlawfully took advantage of the Golden Nugget when they caught on to the pattern and increased their bets from as little as $10 to $5,000," the casino said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which also names card manufacturer Gemaco Inc., seeks the return of $550,000 cash and $1 million in chips still held by the players after officials ceased honoring the chips from the table.

Benjamin Dash, a lawyer for three of the players who have countersued to have their chips honored, said the Golden Nugget's suit is "sending the message from the casino that 'when we win, we win, and when we lose, we win."

Police fail to capture peacock

NEW YORK, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Residents of a New York neighborhood said police failed to capture a wandering peacock for a second consecutive day.

Neighbors in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens said police were unable to capture the bird Monday and returned Tuesday for a second unsuccessful attempt, this time with the bird perched on a rooftop, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The residents said an officer attempted to shoot the bird with a tranquilizer dart from a third-floor balcony, but the police gave up when the peacock fled.

"It's entertainment but it's also annoying for cops trying to catch it," said Ronnie Aba, 31, a resident of the home where the peacock was roosting. "He's too fast and it's not the cops job to catch it. They tried to shoot it but the canopy was in the way."

34-year-old panda dies in Berlin

BERLIN, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A German zoo Wednesday announced the death of panda Bao Bao, who was believed to have been the oldest living male of his species in the world.

Zoo Berlin said the panda, born in China in 1978, was a gift to the facility from the Chinese government in 1980 and spent time in London from 1991 to 1993 in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to breed with a female panda.

Zoo officials said Bao Bao died Wednesday morning in his enclosure and the body will be examined to determine the cause of death. The officials said his health appeared to have been declining in recent months.

50-year-old gorilla dies in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The Zoo Atlanta announced the death of Ivan, a 50-year-old western lowland gorilla who had lived at the facility since 1994.

The zoo said Ivan, born in the wild in 1962 and brought to the United States by wildlife traders in 1964, was the most asked-about animal on the zoo's Facebook page and receives frequent inquiries from those who remember him as the gorilla owned by the B&I department store in Tacoma, Wash.

"We'd love him even if he weren't one of our special senior gorillas, a member of an irreplaceable generation that now represents some of the world's oldest living members of his species," the zoo said in a release. "We'd love him even if he weren't one of our most famous residents. We'd love him even if he didn't still attract scores of well wishes, greetings, questions and Facebook posts from hundreds of friends and fans who have never forgotten him. We'd love him anyway, because we've had the honor and the privilege of sharing 17 years of an extraordinary life."

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