If you’ve been watching HBO’s True Detective then you probably noticed Vinci Gardens, a fictional casino run by Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn. Eric Cieri, from Folsom created and set up all of the gambling tables for this bogus casino.
But his road leading up to this moment has been a long and arduous one. Cieri says that at first he just wanted to make a custom poker table so he could play with his friends and family. He built his first model with $100 and then put it up on eBay. It sold for $1000 pretty fast and with his profits he just started building more and more. "There was a time when I woke up at six in the morning and worked until after midnight, seven days a week for months and months on end," Cieri said.
But that is all behind him now as his company nowadays sits on 8,000 square feet and has a showroom, workshop and offices. Ten years have passed since he made that first table and business has been booming. His clients include a lot of casinos and some private clients but when he got an offer from Hollywood he was flabbergasted. A set decorator from HBO contacted him and told him they needed 30 Poker and Blackjack tables and they needed them in two weeks. Him and his crew delivered everything on time and set up the fake casino themselves.
Cieri says it has been an honor to help the “True Detective” team and seeing his work appear in the first episode of the second season made him insanely happy. He plans to expand again and hire more sales staff. His only regret is not being able to play poker very often but he has no complaints about his business.