Place Your Bets

vic fortezza
3 min readNov 23, 2022

Fascinating info on North Korea in an article by Peter Aitkin at “Some estimates indicate Pyongyang stole approximately $400 million in 2022 and took in $1 billion in the first nine months of 2022, making cryptocurrency a significant source of income. North Korean hackers were able to secure $615 million in assets in March alone, making it the largest cryptocurrency heist on record.” The Hermit Kingdom has finally found something it’s good at. For those who have placed bets on cryptocurrencies — buyer beware.

I didn’t spot anything else that seemed fresh in today’s news, so here’s the first paragraph of the book I’m working, Coincidence:

Jets cap covering his bald head, Al Franco, 49, stood with his back to the wall, below ground in the open air on the uptown side of the Avenue U station in Gravesend Brooklyn. He hadn’t ridden the subway since the early days of the pandemic. He’d worked in the accounting office of a large firm. Until recently, he’d done his share of the books at home on his PC. For years he’d earned extra income doing taxes for a small private company. When his employer ordered everyone back to the office, he submitted his resignation and transferred his 401K to a bank IRA. He’d yet to tap into it. Since working from home had been considerably less time-consuming, he’d pursued his passion — sports gambling. He’d run the office football pool for years, winning the weekly prize on several occasions and even the annual payout a couple of times. Since his record had always been in the black, he’d reasoned that if he bet each game of the season he would turn a profit, and it proved correct. He also placed reasonable wagers on college football powerhouses. Alabama had been particularly good to him. And he bet on other pro sports whenever he spotted what he believed was a sure thing. Since the Yankees and Dodgers spent an enormous amount of money that guaranteed contention, he bet them regularly, passing only when they faced an opponent’s ace, and it proved a good strategy. He stayed away from parlays and such, which he considered suckers’ bets. He never bet against the Jets, as he considered it bad karma, although it often seemed he was passing on easy money. And it was all on the up and up, as he used the betting sites that had emerged in recent years. He’d never used a bookie.

Another beautiful day, perfect for selling stuff curbside. My thanks to the young woman who bought The Green Mile by Stephen King, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Holes by Louis Sachar; and to the gentleman who purchased Congo by Michael Crichton; and to the one who selected a hard cover in Russian; and to Crazy Joe, scourge of radio talk show hosts, who pulled his car over and gave me greeting card.

My Amazon Author page:


Read Vic’s Stories, free:



vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.