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Ex-gambler teaching tricks to kick addiction

By Liu Ce  (China Daily)

09:50, December 08, 2011

Gao Ge, who traveled Asia to cheat in casinos until one eventful night, says he wants help more people kick the gambling habit. (China Daily/Liu Ce )

SHENGYANG - "Look, it's an erbing," shouted Gao Ge, holding up to the crowd a mahjong tile showing two dots. Slap! He hit the tile against the green table in front of him and suddenly the image turned into liutiao, six bamboo sticks.

The trick was met with stunned silence, and one onlooker after another grabbed the tile and turned it over in their hands. They found nothing out of the ordinary.

"This is basic stuff," Gao said to his amazed audience. "I can change the characters and symbols on the tiles whenever I want. It's kungfu of the hands."

Gao is a cheat, and proud of it. For two decades, he even made a living off his quick reflexes, visiting gambling dens in China and across Asia to swindle the house out of copious amounts of cash.

Today, the 41-year-old runs his own casino, albeit with a twist. Instead of beating customers, he attempts to help them beat their addiction.

"I woke up, and now I want to lift more people out of the abyss that is gambling," he said, explaining that his method is to show them the arsenal of tricks cheaters regularly use.

"I just want to make them see the truth that they will always lose," he said. "Casinos are for cheaters. I don't think anyone would want to go on gambling after they discover the truth."

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