Bernie Lootz
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Bernie Lootz

The Cooler

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About Him

Living… in Las Vegas, but he’s desperately looking to leave. Shelly, the old-school boss of the Shangri-La casino, has got Bernie here as long as he likes. At least he's got Bernie covered in this town. People, they know Bernie works for Shelly. That's as good as currency here. That's respect when he walks the floor. You don’t get that anywhere else. At least, Bernie doesn’t get that anywhere else.

Profession… a “cooler” in Shelly's casino. Bernie’s luck is so bad that it seems to rub off on others. Shelly calls him in to sit next to a hot player who’s beating the house, and invariably Bernie’s (black) magic works – he “cools off” the gambler. It’s not something Bernie wants to do, but he racked up a considerable debt to Shelly. Now he has to pay him back.  

Interests… helping Shelly resist the casino modernizing itself into a typical amusement park. What's happened to these places is a violation of something that used to be beautiful – that used to have class. “Like a gorgeous high-priced hooker with an exclusive clientele,” laments Bernie. “Now she's nothing but a cheap, fat whore hiding behind too much makeup.”

Relationship Status… dating, surprisingly. Bernie has fallen hard for an attractive waitress named Natalie, and to Bernie’s amazement she returns his feelings. Plus, she’s doing things to his body that haven’t been done in years. Given Bernie’s luck, he’s probably wondering whether there’s a catch. O.K., just one – Shelly hired her to seduce him and keep him in Vegas.

Challenge… finally finding Lady Luck. Bernie’s the most hapless person he knows. Now he knows that Shelly's trying to get Natalie out of his life. Shelly hadn't counted on his bait falling in love with Bernie. Bernie’s always lacked companionship. There's nobody to deflect off. If you have bad luck, you need someone to neutralize it. Well, that's his take on it, anyway.

Personality… sad sack, but not as hopeless as he once thought. He got himself into this mess. He planted the seed. He’s never had his priorities straight and he’s prone to a self-pity party now and then. Being with Natalie made him think he could turn his luck around for once, but now it might all come crashing down. He’s stronger than he thought, but he might not be strong enough to get away from Shelly’s clutches.

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