In the world of gambling and sleight-of-hand, Jim Swain is considered one of the best. In the late 1980s, Swain was tipped off to a major scam which had taken place at the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas. Fascinated both by the scam and by the casino's inability to capture the cheats, Swain began to research the shady and seldom-discussed world of casino cheating, and created the character of Tony Valentine. Valentine is a retired Atlantic City cop and a master hunter of casino cheats, or "grifters." He has the talent to spot cheats over a casino's surveillance cameras from the moment they come off the street and begin to take a part in the action. Valentine IDs his prey and moves in for the kill.