It’s a Tuesday night in Hazlet, New Jersey, and at the far end of a packed bowling alley, the money is moving. A crew of bowlers — some of the best amateurs in the state — are calm, stone-faced, and smashing pins. They slip bootees on their feet to keep their soles dry. They squeeze grip sacks to keep their palms dry. No one’s really drinking; they take bowling too seriously to be drunk. After bowling a frame, they go over to a table to pick a card from a deck laid out, in cryptic fashion, along a growing array of loose bills.

I have no idea what’s happening in this game other than it’s going well for a guy known as Big Mike. Pocketing a fat stash of cash, he tells me, in his perfect Philly accent, “Bowlers like gambling.”