"Eight, black!" called the croupier, and Steve smiled again as another stack of chips was deposited next to his in the "1st 12" box on the roulette board. He'd won twice in a row now, for the seventh time that night, so his theory and execution were sound. He could put the ball wherever he wanted, just by concentrating on it as it spun around the wheel.
His first attempts earlier that night at a different casino were clumsy and only occasionally successful, almost to the point of exhausting his bankroll. He managed to string together a few consecutive wins, but when the croupier gave him a hard look after his last win - when the ball had bounced on both adjacent numbers before landing in one that paid him - Steve thought it best to continue his work at another casino. He had let himself lose every so often now in order to not attract attention, and he was certain his manipulations were smooth enough to be unnoticeable.
Now it was time to cash in and cash out. The croupier spun the ball in the track again, and Steve pushed his pile of chips from the "1st 12" box a few inches to cover the 7. Some other players scrambled to put their own bets on 7 before the croupier called "No more bets!"
Steve focused on the ball as it dropped off the track towards the number pockets, and, without the expression on his face changing one iota, bounced it out of the 22 pocket that it hit first and arced it gently into the 7, three pockets away.
"Seven, red!" called the croupier as the table went wild. Several people came over and pounded Steve on the back like he'd just won the lottery, which, in a way, he had. Somebody pressed a drink into his hand and he tossed it back without a second thought. He pulled his chips off the table, flipped a $500 one to the croupier, and made his way to the cage. Several minutes of congratulations, photos, and paperwork later, he headed back to his room with a check for $143,207 in his pocket.
As he got off the elevator on his floor, he noticed that the hallway seemed to stretch on forever, and with each step his room got further and further away. It was made doubly weird by the fact that he was walking through knee-high molasses, or at least felt that way.
Steve awoke in the middle of the desert with his luggage, a headache like he'd never had before, and a note pinned to his chest.
The note read: "You think you're the only guy who could do that? You think you're the first guy to try it here? You think we wouldn't notice? Well, we've fixed that problem. Have a nice life."
Steve absentmindedly pushed his hair back off his face, and that was when he noticed the bandage on the top of his head.