Phillis has just received news from a previous acquaintance of Derren’s about the bearded tricksterâ€™s crafty exploits and how they lead to him being banned in casinos across the country.
In 2000, a young lady was working as a valet girl in a prominent London casino. Having worked in other venues, she was always happy to see a devilishly handsome young man with a rather familiar face. Nikki was unaware of the individualâ€™s true identity – he was known to her only as someone frequenting her other places of work, both in and outside London. This young man was our very own Derren Brown, still early on in his career and not the international super-celebrity we all know him as today.
Nikki described him as “very personable. Always polite and well dressed and he took time out to talk to me and ask me questions about how the casino operated.”
Derren slowly became a regular. His demeanor was described by many as “quiet but very confident. Your average casino card player has at most a good grasp of the game. Derren knew exactly what was going on, he was extremely focused and calculated.”
This was not an unusual situation until Nikki began to realize that “Derren rarely ever placed a bet. At most he would play the fruit machines and seemed to have worked out how to crack them, but he would sit for ages at the card tables and just watch. Eventually he would opt in and place a small bet, he won every time without fail.”
It seemed to impress the other players at the tables and slowly became a novelty. Some thought Derren was there as entertainment, others were more intrigued: “he was very popular, everyone wanted to talk to him and find out who he was, what he did or how he managed to pull off a 100% result.”
Derren slowly increased the frequency and amounts he would bet. “It was never a large amount, but as it became more apparent he would never fail there was a point at which the pit bosses would become agitated”.
Soon he was beginning to be recognised. “The second he walked in there would be a fluster. The pit bosses would call to alert each other that he was in the building. I was instructed to stay close to him and get him whatever he asked for – to be extra nice to him”.
Meetings were held about what to do and soon it was decided that they didn’t want to risk making a scene. Very cleverly, Derren had managed to make quite an impression on people – if he began betting large amounts it could reflect badly on the casino if they decided to eject him in front of a cheering crowd.
So, quietly but surely, Derren began having trouble getting into certain venues – even with a subtle disguise he would be discovered and frogmarched out of the door. He would travel further afield but the network closed up and soon Derren realised fewer and fewer places were open to him. Eventually he scored a show with a popular TV network in the UK and put his casino days behind him for good.