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Martingale - The Gambler

It would be unfair to say that Gadgetzan was immune to tragedy.  When the legion invaded Westfall or Kharanos, there were a lot of buildings smashed and a lot of loved ones to say prayers for.  In Gadgetzan, the first invaders were unceremoniously beaten to a pulp and their pouches were rifled through for valuables.  Demons raining from the sky can cause a lot of destruction, but so could Noggenfogger - and he was a mean drunk.


Thus, it was after such an attack that the city was treated to another exotic sight: a demon hunter playing cards against a goblin.  The other players - a rather rough looking tauren and a human who had lost a little more than he could afford, had folded some time ago.  Only the goblin, the blind night elf, and a large stack of gold.  A crowd had gathered around the table, eager to see who would win the showdown.

The goblin furrowed his brow as he stared at his cards intensely.  The demon hunter faced ahead with a stone-cold expression.  If he had eyes anymore, they would be staring at the goblin

"Just fold, Pips." the tauren offered.  "You ever see one of those freaks fight?  They don't need eyes to see.  He can probably see the other side of your cards right now."

"Shaddap!" the gobli snapped, before looking back at his cards.  He rearranged the cards.  "He can't see nothin'.  He's lost the last 4 draws without so much as a pair."

The demon hunter kept his cold expression.  He calmly reached over to a small pile of gold, pushing the stack towards the centre of the table.

"You don't see he was tricking you?  They make deals with devils.  You got more in that pot now than 20 bets together.  Don't be an idiot."

Pips yelled a foul and (thankfully) unintelligble string of expletives at the tauren before shoving forward his own stack of gold.  "Raise you blind son of a kodo."

The demon hunter continued to stare forward, pawing at his the stack of gold beside him, before thrusting forward another stack.  The crowd cheered and whistled as the game grew in intensity.

The goblin muttered in rage.  "What's your game, you bleedin' elf?  You think you can just waltz in here and throw down with Pips?  If you're cheatin', so help me, I'll have every Bruiser from here to Ratchet clawin' tattoos off your fel-ass hide!"

The night elf, having kept a poker face the entire time, broke his long-undisturbed silence.  "Do you know what a Martingale is, Pips?"

"What the hock's a Martingale?  Some kinda fruity drink, elf?  Is that what you want?  Eh?"

The crowd laughed at Pips' jab.  The night elf shook his head.

"No, nothing like that.  It's a gamblin' strategy.  Theory is that every time you bet and lose, you double the bet.  Eventually, you gotta win, so you keep doublin' your bet over and over and over.  No matter how long it takes, you eventually gotta win once, right?  When you do, you turn a profit."

"What kinda dumb hock is that?!"  The goblin exploded out.  "You'd be bankrupt faster than a Thousand Needles real estate agent!"  As he screamed his little tirade, the goblin dropped another stack of gold.

The night elf nodded calmly.  "Sure, that's pretty likely.  But I'm the kinda guy who heard whispers of a pariah eatin' demons on the off chance that maybe - just maybe - there's an off chance at beatin' an otherwise infinite army o' demons that we got raining down on our heads.  I went to another world just on the off chance that suckin' down a demon's power would somehow, someway save the world.  I watched my friend blow himself up 'cause he couldn't take that power, and still never stopped.  I sold my everlastin' soul on a long-shot gamble."

The crowd quieted to a hush.  For the first time in the game, Pips the goblin was speechless.

"So you ask yourself, Pips..." the night elf said as he pushed the rest of his gold into the center of the table.  " that the kinda man you want to gamble against?"

Pips gave one last look at the cards before uttering another unintelligble curse and folding.




With another curse, Pips and his entourage of gamblers left the table to find a better game. The crowds cheered as Martingale gathered up his gold, flaggind down a waitress as she walked by.  When she came to the table, Martingale motioned her to come in to whispering range as he showed his hand of cards.

"Excuse me, miss.  I'm a bit blind.  Could you tell me what cards I had?"