Minder (1979)

Season 1 Episode 6

Aces High – And Sometimes Very Low

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 03, 1979 on ITV

Episode Recap

Professional gambler Maurice wins big at Poker. After being paid out £11,000 he is informed by the Casino manager that he is no longer welcome to play Poker after other members complained he was too good and wins too much. Maurice reluctantly accepts.

Later he parks his car in an underground car park but is then attacked and mugged by several men who steal all of his winnings.

The following morning a still groggy Maurice drives to the Winchester Club to see Arthur and Terry (Who are convieniently playing cards for seemingly the first time ever in the series!) Maurice can't help but interfere in their game, displaying some of his professional skills. Arthur gets in a huff. He tells them about his mugging and how he is barred from several casino's. They laugh. Maurice doesn't. He wants to hire Terry - asking Arthur's permission, which gets Terry in a huff since he is sitting right there but is overlooked! - to protect him as he wants to get into a big-stakes Poker game with some rough Greeks. Maurice knows he will win - bigging himself up - but doubts if the Greeks will allow him to leave with all their money. Arthur tells him Terry will protect him. Terry isn't so sure he wants to do it which Arthur and Maurice ignore. (A funny moment occurs When Maurice begins to talk money and Arthur sends Terry to go and get some more drinks so he can't hear how much they will be paid).

Later at night Maurice and Terry go to the backstreet Poker game organised by angry, humourless-looking Greeks. They are aware of Maurice's reputation. He meets the other players in the game, including "just" Chris, clearly not to be trusted. They tell Terry not to roam around the premises whilst the game is in progress but can wait at the bar. Maurice and the Greeks lay out the rules of the game and money on offer. Maurice is edgy when the game starts, questioning the mannerisms of some of the other players and how the game progresses, putting him in a money losing position. Terry is sitting at the bar hitting on the pretty Barmaid who seems keen until her knuckle-head boyfriend Ari wanders over. Terry can't get a laugh out of him.

The Poker game continues. Maurice raises the stakes. He again questions how the game is going and questions the ethics of how Chris beat his hand. The Greeks want to know if Maurice is accusing them of cheating but before he gets himself into trouble Terry intervenes to defuse the situation. He doesn't fancy the odds if a fight was to start.

Maurice is driving himself and Terry home after the Poker game. It is now morning. Terry barates him for his attitude during the game. Maurice knows the game was fixed.

At Maurice's house Maurice runs Terry through how the game is supposed to go. He says it was on the last big hand that he knew for certain the game was fixed. When Maurice tries to hustle Terry into playing a game of cards with him for money Terry realises Maurice has more problems. Terry knows he is broke and notes that Maurice's family are gone. His wife wants Maurice to get a steady job and send their kids to a posh school. He tells Terry he can't even afford to pay Arthur £300 - which Terry didn't know about.

Arthur and Terry are in the pub. Arthur is devastated he can't get his £300 from Maurice and makes excuses when Terry enquires about his small payment of £60. Arthur suggests Terry take property from Maurice to cover the debt but Terry angrily refuses.

Terry leaves to pub and heads to the scene of the Greek Poker game. At the entrance he runs into the Barmaid who is sporting a fresh black eye. Terry puts two-and-two together and guesses her boyfriend Ari gave it to her. She doesn't want any trouble. Terry tells her she deserves better.

Inside the Greeks are hanging out. Ari gets up aggressivly and approaches Terry who is sarcastic towards him but then apologises on Maurice's behalf and informs them Maurice would like to play in another game. The Greek's appreciate Terry coming to see them "like a man" and agree Maurice can play again "Same time. Same place. Same game."

Arthur, Terry and Maurice are at the Winchester. Arthur is demanding Maurice pays up. Maurice hasn't got the money to put up his stake to get into the Poker game. Maurice proposes Arthur buys his fancy Lotus. In a very funny scene Arthur tries to bargain Maurice's asking price down from £7,000 to £4,500. They agree on £5,000 on the condition that if Maurice wins he can come back the following day before midday and pay Arthur £5,200 for the car. Arthur finally agrees. Maurice has his money to enter the Poker game.

Not soon after Arthur is already trying to sell Mauricee's Lotus. His first punter to look it over is Dave. Arthur tells him it is an investment. Arthur is asking Dave pay £6,990 and he won't even make a penny on the deal. Dave is flabbergasted.

Mauricee and Terry head to the Poker game in a taxi. Terry tells Maurice he got a bad deal over his car from Arthur. Terry insists the game is still going to be crooked. Maurice tells him the Greeks will allow him to win a few tonight.

They sit down for the Poker game. Chris is present. Terry watches from the bar. Ari sits beside him. Maurice folds during the first hand. As the game progresses everyone is feeling the pressure. Maurice is playing games regarding his approach. He wins a hand. Ari states Maurice is having some luck. Maurice is up £3,000. As a fresh pack of cards are opened Maurice claims he saw one of the cards the dealer, Nick, passed out. He states that if a player sees a card then you have to "shuffle, cut then deal again. House rule". Nick looks to his boss for clarification. The other players want a new deal. Maurice acts innocent. They deal new cards. Maurice calls on his new hand. The stakes are raised. Nick is stroking the cards with his thumb. Maurice complains for him to stop. Maurice is playing against Chris, who goes all in. Maurice also goes all in. Terry watches intently. Chris shows his cards - four nine's. Maurice turns his last card to show he has 10, Joker, Queen, King and an Ace and has beaten Chris. The Greek's are stunned. Maurice purposely knocks the cards out of his hands across the table to scatter them.

The Greek's pay out £17,000, the biggest winner they have had. Maurice plays it cool complimenting Nick. Maurice asks if they can get a taxi and the Greek's say they will order one. Terry asks for a bag for the money.

The taxi waits for them outside. The driver is Greek. They tell him to go to Hendon but the driver says he doesn't speak English. Terry knows they have been set up when he spots a car following the taxi.

The taxi isn't heading towards Hendon as the driver again says he doesn't speak English. Terry grabs the driver round the neck from behind. The car swerves across the street hitting barriers and finally crashing. The driver is unconscious. As Terry clears his head he finds poker cards that Maurice has dropped. The Greek car shows up. Chris and Ari attack Terry but he beats them both up. Police signals can be heard so Chris and Ari run off.

Maurice is in a hospital bed in good spirits as Terry comes to visit him. Terry gives Maurice his Poker cards back. Maurice says he used them to give himself an edge. The first time he played he remembered the make of cards they used, went out and bought some and took all the Ace's with him when he went back to play again. Terry tells him he was taking a chance. Maaurice recalls how he used them during the game, shoving his own Ace into his hand to give himself a Royal Flush then threw the cards across the table at the end so they wouldn't discover his cards. Teery tells Maurice he will come back to see him. Maurice asks him to bring Arthur so he can square up everything between them. Terry suddenly realises the time and reminds Maurice he has to be at Arthur's before midday to pay to get his Lotus back.

Arthur is having the price of the Lotus put up. Terry jumps out of a taxi and runs over to Arthur who tells Terry he is within his rights to now sell the car. Terry tells Arthur he is now on his own. When Maurice approaches - still in bad condition from the car crash - he pays Arthur everything he owes him before having to sit down. Arthur enquires about payment for Terry's services for last night. Maurice tells him he paid Terry directly. Arthur is surprised but Terry tells him to relax as he will get his cut. Maurice stumbles off on his crutches. Arthur wants to know how much Maurice paid Terry for the previous nights work.