Well, I finally made it out to Mecca, or as you all refer to it as: Las Vegas.
I think the only way I can really relate to everyone how the trip was financially was to give a cliff’s notes play-by-play. Sorry for the length. Characters I met along the way might be for a later posting…
Day 1: Arrive at McCarran at 10. Enter poker tournament at the Stratosphere at midnite.
Bad decision. Holy waaaaaaay too aggressive for real money, Batman.
Short story: $65 entry fee….poof.
Continuing with crystal-clear thinking at 2 in the morning, I moved on to the
$1/$2 No-Limit cash game. After a $100 buy-in and 4 hours, I actually walked away with a
net plus of $750! Kick ass, right? Let’s just say the life of a junkie is a difficult one.
Day 1½: After 24+ hours of being up, I decided to get the cheapest room they had for 1 night. Played something called 3-card poker (mental note to self: if you find yourself playing a game you never actually played for money before, DON’T BET MOST OF YOUR WINNINGS.) I also swore to myself that I would not play any slots….yeah, that ended badly. Especially when you feel like you’re playing for “free” with winnings. This philosophy has gotten me in trouble before and I should really know better by now. Lose ~$300 by the time my buddy arrives later that day (don’t forget, that includes a nap and a hotel room).
Day 1¾: Mathew arrives and we get in on another tourney. We both are quickly eliminated and swear off poker forever (pfft…as if). I get into another cash game for $100 buy-in and am quickly up to $350. Missed seeing a full house, and lost all of it. Gotta love no-limit.
Day 2: Mathew’s grandparents (who we are staying with the rest of the week, thank God) take us to a newly built casino and buy us lunch.
Nice, I finally feel like a bit of a winner.
They then take us to another local casino where we enter another tournament. Mathew actually won that one!! 53 people, $40 buy-in. I lose with 2 tables left because a guy cracked my pocket Aces with 10-8 off and pulled 2 pair on the flop…..but I digress because of my bitterness. Me: more money lost on slots and any other card game I could find.
Day 2 ½: After feeling completely thrashed by casinos, Mathew and I decide to try yet another card game for the first time: Pai Gow. 6 hours and a net win for me of $5 and Mathew’s net win of $11, we felt like the king’s of the world. We’ve found a new game: little cost, hours of fun and free drinks. KICK ASS.
Day 3: Mathew says to me: “Hey, lets play ‘Let it ride.’” Again, never played this one before…and I will never play it again. Net big loss.
Day 3½: We decided to kick it “old school” and headed off to the Sahara. Ever heard of a game called “3-5-7 Poker?” Yeah, me neither. See note above.
Then I see this table with one older lady as the dealer. I say “This can’t be what I think it is?!?!!” Mathew says: “Hell yes it is! I’m doing it to say I did it, you look for the ‘Guess the number game like in Vegas Vacation!!”
The game was “Casino War.” It cost $5…per card. Yes, like the kids game. Ouch.
He gets the first card: 4. Dealer: 5. Dealer takes his $5, thanks for playing. Mathew looks up at me with a “what the hell just happened???” look on his face. I’m laughing so hard that I’m crying. The ‘pit boss’ comes over to see what I was laughing at, and chuckles a bit himself.
Incredulous and undaunted, Mathew presses on for another 5 bucks.
He gets another 4. Dealer gets a Jack. You lose again, thanks for playing.
I am now laughing so hard, I’m on my knees. Mathew stands in a huff and storms off. I try to call him back to show him my camaraderie by also betting $10 dollars. He doesn’t hear and continues to walk away.
I sit down at the table with the pit boss staring bemused by the whole incident and the librarian of a dealer stoically taking our money. As he’s walking back, he sees me and starts razzing me and laughing.
The laughter stops momentarily and then intensifies when he realizes I’m actually up $50! I actually decided to cut short my dominance and walk out on top. Again, thank God.
As the night progressed, however, I managed to deplete whatever funds I had.
Bad news, considering it was Saturday night and my plane was leaving Monday midnight.
Damn you to hell, Vegas.
Day 4-5: This part gets a little hazy as I was awake from 9:00 am Sunday to midnight Monday. Here’s what I recall: I stayed awake Sunday night and watched a rather good show featuring 3 lovely and talented ladies. I called my girlfriend on Monday morning to appraise her of my financial situation…and go figure, she was not amused or pleased. I begged for her to lend me $100 so I could go to the cash poker table and attempt to win it back. She did so, reluctantly, and I walked away with a big profit (theme of the week: thank God). I had decided previously that I would spend $20 at an airport slot before I left (I was assuming I would have it, of course).
I walked up to a “Wheel of Fortune” machine, lamenting to the older lady next to me how I hate slots and I never win. She told me I “had to be positive.” Those of you that know me know how difficult this can be for me, so on one of my spins I asked her to spin for me……………holy crap, it hit! With the winnings at the slots, I managed to make the week a net wash.
Went and collected my money and quickly boarded the plane.
Sayonara, Vegas! A wash means I beat you! Good riddance!
I think I’m going back in July….