Wonging hot tables

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Jul 6 19:51:11 UTC 2013

In today's episode of _This American Life,_ "Blackjack," the term "Wonging" is discussed. (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/466/blackjack?act=1#play)

As in the broadcast, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_Wong) mentions this as derived from Stanford Wong, a pseudonym for John Ferguson.

The term means to start gambling when the table is hot (i.e., odds are in your favor, based on card counting).

Neither the OED nor Wiktionary/Wikipedia have an entry for this meaning of "Wonging," and both come close but seem to strike out when it comes to "hot." Here are three definitions from the OED that are very warm:

11b. In predicative use. Of a participant in a children's seeking or guessing game: extremely close to finding the object sought or to guessing correctly. Also in extended use. 
12e. Betting. Of a competitor in a race, esp. a horse race: heavily backed; strongly favoured to win. Also in extended use. Chiefly in hot favourite  
12f. Gambling slang (orig. U.S.). Of a gambler: on a run of good luck. Of dice, cards, etc.: unusually lucky or successful.

The last part, "of dice, cards, etc.: unusually successful" comes close, but I think this refers to a table that is currently paying out, whereas with Wonging, it means the table is primed by virtue of the odds to start paying out.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

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