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Old 02-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
Johnny Hughes
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Heart Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Famous Gamblers of the Old West: They knew each other from the boom towns: Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Lottie Deno, Bob Ford, Mustache Maude, Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate Elder. The number of movies made about them is amazing. Fifty-five of America's best-known actors have played Wyatt and Doc.

Wild Bill and Bat were shot by poor poker losers. Poker Alice shot one man who accused a boyfriend of cheating and killed another later. Lottie killed a man who swindled her with both barrels of a shotgun. Doc killed one man who grabbed his chips, and another who looked at the discards.

Some of the women used high fashion as a trademark, all carried guns, and all used them. Lottie Deno was the model for Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke. Elizabeth Taylor played Poker Alice. Doris Day was one of many to play Calamity Jane.

Doc Holliday was especially sociopathic. Doc, Wyatt, Bat, and Luke Short, not the writer, were gunfighters, gamblers, gambling house owners and close friends.

Doc left Georgia for Texas after he went to the river where black people were swimming and white people didn't want them too. He killed two and injured several firing into them with a shotgun.

Several of these were involved in pimping, including Wyatt Earp and his brother, Poker Alice, and Mustache Maude. Wild Bill's pal Calamity Jane was a poker player and sometime whore. Doc's long-term lady, Kate Elder, was a whore. Once when Doc killed someone and was jailed, she set fire to the jail and held the jailers at bay with pistols in both hands.

Last edited by Johnny Hughes; 02-10-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

I know it's nitty but Big Nose Kate of Doc Holliday fame was NOT Kate Elder. Big Nose Kate's name was Mary Katherine Horony Cummings, Kate Elder was a character from the John Wayne movie 'The Sons of Katie Elder'. Sorry for the nittiness but...


Edit:
My bad... Upon further research.... It seems she DID indeed use the alias Kate Elder at one point though she was never married to or even associated with anyone else named Elder. Nittiness come to nothing.

Last edited by SpaceGhost; 02-10-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

You forgot to mention that Wyatt Earp was a Faro dealer.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Hughes View Post
Famous Gamblers of the Old West: They knew each other from the boom towns: Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Lottie Deno, Bob Ford, Mustache Maude, Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate Elder. The number of movies made about them is amazing. Fifty-five of America's best-known actors have played Wyatt and Doc.

Wild Bill and Bat were shot by poor poker losers. Poker Alice shot one man who accused a boyfriend of cheating and killed another later. Lottie killed a man who swindled her with both barrels of a shotgun. Doc killed one man who grabbed his chips, and another who looked at the discards.

Some of the women used high fashion as a trademark, all carried guns, and all used them. Lottie Deno was the model for Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke. Elizabeth Taylor played Poker Alice. Doris Day was one of many to play Calamity Jane.

Doc Holliday was especially sociopathic. Doc, Wyatt, Bat, and Luke Short, not the writer, were gunfighters, gamblers, gambling house owners and close friends.

Doc left Georgia for Texas after he went to the river where black people were swimming and white people didn't want them too. He killed two and injured several firing into them with a shotgun.

Several of these were involved in pimping, including Wyatt Earp and his brother, Poker Alice, and Mustache Maude. Wild Bill's pal Calamity Jane was a poker player and sometime whore. Doc's long-term lady, Kate Elder, was a whore. Once when Doc killed someone and was jailed, she set fire to the jail and held the jailers at bay with pistols in both hands.
Did he kill some of the whites or some of the blacks? Your writing does not make this clear.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

think for most on this forum poker didnt have a history before 2003, but interesting anyway
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

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Originally Posted by ChaosReigns View Post
Did he kill some of the whites or some of the blacks? Your writing does not make this clear.
obv he's white and was shooting blacks as they were swimming where the " whites" didnt want them to......
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

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think for most on this forum poker didnt have a history before 2003, but interesting anyway
true , but for the old schoolers like me, I love these stories.....I think had I been living in those times, I woulda had all the land and alll the gold......gangster cowboy vigilante weeeeeeee

Last edited by tarheelbluez; 02-10-2012 at 03:34 PM. Reason: 600 and the topic is one of my favorites!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

They nearly all dealt faro. And many "bucked the tiger" as playing faro was called. Sometimes a gambler would have the bankroll to run faro for part of the action in a saloon ownned by someone else. The four friends, Doc Holliday, Luke Short, Wyatt Earp, and Bat Masterson did several things. On one occasion, Short had a saloon/casino, I think in Dodge City. His rival, the Mayor, arrested his musicians and essentially ran him out of town. He sent for Doc, Matt, and Bat. Each came to town with a group of "desperate men" as Bat called them. They won without a shot being fired, and Short opened his gambling joint back up. They would often work for each other or with each other.

Often a gunfighter like these was given a piece of the saloon and gambling action just to be there, bird dog cheating, keep order, scare off the competition. Saloons had poker, dice, faro, live music, dancing girls, and whores. Sometimes chuck-a-luck and sometimes a pool table.

Doc killed two black people and shot others. He was a terrible, mean, ill-tempered drunk. Most of the others also served as lawmen. He was close to Wyatt and had saved his life. When Bat and Wyatt were the lawmen, he didn't cause much trouble. Bat was out of town when the O.K. Corral shootout came up or he would have been side by side with his pals.

Bat lived a long time as a writer in New York. What he wrote of the others is great,and rings as true history. What he wrote about himself was glorified bull.

Wyatt lived a long time in Los Angeles. He played in a poker game with famed film director, John Ford. Ford did two movies with a Wyatt character and Henry Fonda played him twice, I think. He was also portrayed by Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Stewart, Hugh O'Brien, James Garner, Walter Huston, Kevin Costner, and 46 other guys. Doc was played by Kirk Douglas and Victor Mature, but the best had to be Val Kilmer.

In Silver City, New Mexico, Poker Alice broke the Faro bank and became the dealer and won $8000 in one night!

Lottie Deno won $4000 from Doc Holliday one night outside Ft. Griffin here in West Texas. Nearly all of the ten mentioned came there. Once, Kate Elder pulled a pistol on Lottie, who also pulled a gun, but Doc Holliday stepped between them. I'm only guessing but I think the best gamblers were Poker Alice, Lottie Leno, and Mustache Maude. Maude only dealt 21, blackjack. Alice played big poker for decades. Lottie Leno got her name for Lots of Dinero, Spanish for money. She got the name by one account when she busted the whole poker table, winning every dollar. She was also called the Angel of San Antonio, and Mystic Maude. She traveled all these West Texas towns. Alice and Lottie were beautiful as young women and dressed in fancy evening gowns. They traveled widely as road gamblers, called Easy Riders, and could always get a job in a gambling joint.

Doc killed one man for grabbing his chips and another for looking at the discards. In my research, I'm looking hard for anyone killed for slow rolling.

Last edited by Johnny Hughes; 02-10-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Cowboys playing Poker


Faro Game
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Hughes View Post
They nearly all dealt faro. And many "bucked the tiger" as playing faro was called. Sometimes a gambler would have the bankroll to run faro for part of the action in a saloon ownned by someone else. The four friends, Doc Holliday, Luke Short, Wyatt Earp, and Bat Masterson did several things. On one occasion, Short had a saloon/casino, I think in Dodge City. His rival, the Mayor, arrested his musicians and essentially ran him out of town. He sent for Doc, Matt, and Bat. Each came to town with a group of "desperate men" as Bat called them. They won without a shot being fired, and Short opened his gambling joint back up. They would often work for each other or with each other.

Often a gunfighter like these was given a piece of the saloon and gambling action just to be there, bird dog cheating, keep order, scare off the competition. Saloons had poker, dice, faro, live music, dancing girls, and whores. Sometimes chuck-a-luck and sometimes a pool table.

Doc killed two black people and shot others. He was a terrible, mean, ill-tempered drunk. Most of the others also served as lawmen. He was close to Wyatt and had saved his life. When Bat and Wyatt were the lawmen, he didn't cause much trouble. Bat was out of town when the O.K. Corral shootout came up or he would have been side by side with his pals.

Bat lived a long time as a writer in New York. What he wrote of the others is great,and rings as true history. What he wrote about himself was glorified bull.

Wyatt lived a long time in Los Angeles. He played in a poker game with famed film director, John Ford. Ford did two movies with a Wyatt character and Henry Fonda played him twice, I think. He was also portrayed by Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Stewart, Hugh O'Brien, James Garner, Walter Huston, Kevin Costner, and 46 other guys. Doc was played by Kirk Douglas and Victor Mature, but the best had to be Val Kilmer.

In Silver City, New Mexico, Poker Alice broke the Faro bank and became the dealer and won $8000 in one night!

Lottie Deno won $4000 from Doc Holliday one night outside Ft. Griffin here in West Texas. Nearly all of the ten mentioned came there. Once, Kate Elder pulled a pistol on Lottie, who also pulled a gun, but Doc Holliday stepped between them. I'm only guessing but I think the best gamblers were Poker Alice, Lottie Leno, and Mustache Maude. Maude only dealt 21, blackjack. Alice played big poker for decades. Lottie Leno got her name for Lots of Dinero, Spanish for money. She got the name by one account when she busted the whole poker table, winning every dollar. She was also called the Angel of San Antonio, and Mystic Maude. She traveled all these West Texas towns. Alice and Lottie were beautiful as young women and dressed in fancy evening gowns. They traveled widely as road gamblers, called Easy Riders, and could always get a job in a gambling joint.

Doc killed one man for grabbing his chips and another for looking at the discards. In my research, I'm looking hard for anyone killed for slow rolling.
What many people write about themselves is glorified bull so can't fault him for that. In other words, it's human nature.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Old west gambling stories

Thanks for your posts

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Doc Holiday killed his last man (a former policeman who claimed Doc owed him five dollars) here in Colorado, in Leadville. He came here hoping the altitude would retard his tuberculosis, and was dealing faro in a saloon.

Going to the corner where that happened is about the only reason to go to Leadville these days, unless you're looking to start a meth lab. Sure was one heck of a boom town (mostly for silver, not lead) back in the day though.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #13
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

You can tell the man on the floor in the picture is a gambler by his attire, the top hat, the white shirt, long coat. Wyatt Earp was a scout. The famous scout, Kit Carson, taught him about gambling in Santa Fe, and he really wanted to be a full-time gambler. The men and women dressed much better than everyone else.

Poker Alice got her start in Leadville. She was big poker winner in her early twenties. She would go to New York and buy the finest gowns of the latest fashions. Leadville wsa a big gambling town, and one of the toughest towns in the West.

The gamblers followed the boom towns: silver and gold strikes, land rushes like Okahoma, cattle drives from Texas to Kansas, and near Army Forts. The players were the miners, cowboys, and soldiers.

In tiny Crede, Colorado, Bob Ford, the man who killed Jesses James ahd a gambling joint. Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, and Bat Masterson played there. There was a silver strike. Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, and Poker Alice were in Deadwood, South Dakota for the gold strikes. Nearly all these gamblers were at both ends of the Texas cattle drives. If you'd killed someone, as Doc and Lottie did, you could go to lawless West Texas, my home land. In tiny Mobettie, Poker Alice was there. Bat Masterson killed a man, maybe his only one. The sore loser shot him and accidentally killed a woman, and Bat shot him dead. Temple Houston, the son of Texas' first President, Sam Houston, was a lawyer. He killed two other lawyers he thought cheated in poker game. He defended the man they were in town to defend, and won both cases. Wyatt Earp was in Mobeetie but he was run out of town for fraud. Doc, Kate, Lottie, were there, outside Ft. Griffin.

Once Wild Bill Hickok showed a hand with three aces, a six, and a four and called a full house. When it was pointed out he did not have a full house, he pulled his six shooter and said that was his other six, and he took the pot.

Last edited by Johnny Hughes; 02-11-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Charlie Storms and Luke Short are my favorite Old West gamblers.
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From Wikipedia
He(Charlie Storms) drifted for some time, traveling through Dodge City, Kansas and El Paso, Texas, during which time he was known to have been involved in at least three shooting incidents, though with no notable gunmen. The outcome and details of those gunfights are not known, and mostly were just rumor. However, in 1881, he arrived in Tombstone. He made himself known in several gambling houses and saloons around town. On February 25, he was playing faro in the Oriental Saloon. The dealer was gunman and gambler Luke Short. Storms had been drinking all night, and began to make rude remarks to Short. As tensions rose, gunman Bat Masterson entered. Masterson knew both Short and Storms well, and was able to defuse the argument.

Storms left the saloon, and returned to his rented room. Later on, as Masterson and Short left the Oriental Saloon, Storms reappeared, and jerked Short by the arm off the boardwalk and into the street. Storms then went for his gun, but Short beat him to the draw and shot him once in the chest, the muzzle of his gun being so close to Storms that it caught his shirt on fire. Storms was killed with the one shot. Short then is reported to have turned to Bat Masterson and stated, "You sure pick some of the damnedest friends, Bat".

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #15
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

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Originally Posted by tarheelbluez View Post
obv he's white and was shooting blacks as they were swimming where the " whites" didnt want them to......
LOL

Yeah I wasnt thinking "awesome a civil rights activist all those years ago" when I read the post.

Nice thread Johnny. When you mentioned doc shot a guy for looking at his discards you convinced me he was a sociopath. Crazy stuff.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #16
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

5 stars
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:42 PM   #17
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Great write and research as always Johnny. Keep it up.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Love it as usual Johnny
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #19
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Thanks, I'll be reading about the Old West today. Maybe I'll post more.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Thanks for the thread, great stories I've never heard of Poker Alice or Mustache Maude before.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #21
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

The famous gamblers of the Old West knew each other, showed up in the boom towns of silver and gold strikes and cattle drives. They were famous during their life times through dime novels that sold millions and stage shows they sometimes appeared in. Bob Ford was in plays about killing Jesse James. Warren Zevon, Elton John, and Bob Dylan have written songs about him. Wild Bill and Calamity Jane appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He left to go play poker at the gold strike at Deadwood. She was fired for being a mean drunk. She appeared in other shows, and sold biographies from the stage. Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane were made famous by the dime novels. Ned Buntline was only one of the dime novelists. eHe was a millionaire with 400 books and a total disregard for the truth.

Faro was as much a staple of the Old West saloons as poker. Doc, Bat, Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, Luke Short,Wyatt, and Poker Alice dealt Faro or had Faro banks. Lottie Deno, the model for Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke, dealt Faro and was known at various times and in various places as: Faro Nell, The Faro Queen, The Angel of San Antonio, and Mystic Maude. There were commerically prepared Faro dealing boxes that were gaffed the box, making it a crooked game. There were also commercially prepared hold out machines that would take a card up the sleeve and put it back when needed. It was operated by the feet or legs.

Calamity Jane said she was married to and had a child by Wild Bill Hickok, but many historians doubt it. They are buried side by side. I doubt the Aces and Eights story as it surfaced many years later. Calamity Jane was portrayed by Jean Arthur, Jane Russell, Yvonne De Carlo, Doris Day, Ellin Barkin, Jane Alexander, and Anjelica Huston. She was ugly as a mud fence, wore men's clothes, was a mean drunk, and a self-destructive loser in real life. Wild Bill was played by Gary Cooper, Howard Keel, and Sam Elliot among others.

Wild Bill won poker pots by drawing his guns. Once when a cheater was stashing cards in his hat, Wild Bill drew barking iron and said the guy must play the cards in his hat. Another time he drew both six guns and said, "Two sixes beats anything." or words to that effect.

Wyatt Earp lived until 1929. He was in Hollywood and knew film people but never dreamed his life would be featured in 55 movies. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881 made him famous, but he said the Tombstone years were the "worst two years of my life." He was a pal of actor Tom Mix and consulted on some westerns. He played poker with famed director John Ford.

In Faro, the house has an edge, and there would be no reason to cheat. I think these guys were mostly bullies, cheating and being ready to throw down on those that caught them. If you were in a gambling house owned by folks that had killed several folks each, if you think they are cheating, it is best to catch the breeze, do the old heel and toe, know when to walk away and know when to run.

As I said before, I'd guess the women Poker Alice, Lottie Deno, and Mustache Maude were the best gamblers and Lottie and Alice were also the best poker players. You tell a good trapper by the furs on the wall.

Last edited by Johnny Hughes; 02-13-2012 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:10 PM   #22
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

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Doc killed one man for grabbing his chips and another for looking at the discards.
Sociopath? Or just rule stickler?
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:13 PM   #23
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

Johnny, what is the most you ever beat Wyatt Earp out of? Did he pay up?
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #24
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

You are just trying to make me look old. I was only nine years old when they had the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. I didn't even hear about it until after 1900.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:08 AM   #25
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Re: Famous Gamblers of the Old West.

How old are you johnny?
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