It was on day two of my most recent Vegas experience that I one of the people there asked me if I had been gambling yet. Yes, I say Vegas experience because Vegas isn’t just a bunch of casinos or a city in the desert, or a weekend destination, Vegas is an experience. Take every small individual and minuscule thing and throw them in a blender, add about half a fifth of tequila, hit purée, and what you can remember at the end of it all is just a small factor of what is called the Vegas experience. If there ever was a city you never be without your towel and that could use a huge sign that says, “Don’t Panic” I think Vegas is it. There is something about the experience called Vegas that could use that constant reminder.
Considering that I arrived in town around 9PM on Tuesday and called it a night after shortly checking into our friend’s condo. I didn’t actually go to bed until after enjoying a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and an episode of the Daily Show. On a personal note, considering this was my first night in town, I do feel it was a raging success. Well, maybe not raging, but a success all the same.
If there is one word that most people find synonymous with Vegas it’s gambling. One thing that I’ve learned about myself when it comes to gambling is I’d rather be doing most anything else. I’ve tried it on a few occasions. The first time was on a river boat in Kansas City… actually I take that back, my first time was on an Indian Reservation in Washington state. I lost my entire gambling funds for the evening at a black jack table… in one hand. Granted, I only had $5 to gamble with and the minimum bet for the table was $5.
My friends keep pushing me to just do it, to remove the petals my proverbial gambling flower and, “just do it.” So I walked over, dropped the five dollar bill on the table, and was handed a queen and a six. I held. The dealer flipped over his cards, a jack and a king. I turned around and walked back to my friends and that was it. It took me a total of one minute and four seconds to lose my “gambling virgin” title, and replaced it with the “been there, done that, got a tee shirt to prove it” saying that most novices seem very proficient at sharing at social gatherings in an attempt to be part of a conversation, even though they really don’t have anything to add to the conversation.
My second experience gambling was the river boat in Kansas City. I doubled my gambling limit this time and had one whole ten dollar bill for the sole purpose of sloting away the evening. The thing about slots is that $10 doesn’t really contribute to a lot of time consumption in the gambling realm. For about five minutes I pushed a button and was done. This whole experience was a little disheartening. I had always wanted to pull the lever of a slot machine. It has always been one of those small goals in my life, a very simple accomplishment that really only takes a quarter, and lever, and an able and willing hand, which I had then and still have now.
Turned out the lever was all for show and completely useless. In fact I checked 87 additional slot machines and every lever there was purely for show. So I pushed a damn button for five minutes and every time I won I put the shinny slot machine vomit that spewed out into my pocket. At the end of five minutes I had about eleven dollars in change and had had my fill of the river boat casino.
Once I found I my friend I attempted to bribe him with the two things that I knew he enjoyed more that gambling. I suggested we get some food and then go back to his house to watch some MST3K. The thing was, was that he had already lost about $200 and had about $100 on the game he was playing. It was some bizarre electronic touch screen game thing. After he would win a roll he could pick 5 things on the screen, which had hidden bonuses behind them to add to his total. As I walked up to him he hit a bonus round and got to pick his bonus gems, he even let me pick one. I picked a peach colored gem and with that and the other ones he picked he got some mega, super-duper, yippy-ki-yay, hallelujah type bonus making tipping his credits past the $350 mark.
One interesting thing I’ve noticed about gambling is, when people start winning, they start betting faster and faster. I told my friend Ryan that we should go. He told me ok, and kept pushing buttons. I tried it again, and said, “Dude, cash out and let’s go.” To which he agree again, “Ok.” and kept pushing buttons at a little faster pace this time.
“Ryan! You’re ahead. Stop betting and let’s go.”
“Just a sec.” he said and started tripling his bet.
At this point I was now the mother trying to motivate a 5 year old to eat their vegetables, so I did what mothers have done from the beginning of time and I took matters into my own hands. I reached over and pushed the cash out button. As the big dollar tokens began to pour out of the machine he started grabbing two and three at a time and pushed them back into the machine. It wasn’t until I slapped his hands and said “NO!” that he finally stopped. He was still about forty bucks a head when he exchanged all his tokens. The sad thing was that in that five minute time span of me trying to encourage him to stop he had lost over $100 dollars of his winnings. Still, he was $40 ahead for the evening, so he took me out to dinner just so he could break even, and to say thanks.
My third encounter with gambling was during my first trip to Vegas. My sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh was so excited about taking me to the Vegas for the first time she started saving all of her change so we could play penny slots all night, well, at least until the our show was about to start. So before we left our room she filled her purse with all the spare change she had saved up and off we headed to the casino. I have no idea of the actual net worth of the change, but her purse was about 10 pounds heavier as a result.
Here’s a little nugget that should help you out if you happen to find yourself in Vegas in this similar situation… there are no penny, nickel, or dime slots anywhere in the MGM Grand. There are a lot of dollar slots that will allow you to make a lot of penny, nickel, and dime bets… but there were none that let you add any of these coins by hand. There are a few that do take quarters, but only a few. The problem with our plan is that we only had about $12.00 in quarters. That left Angela with 24 quarters and me with 24 quarters.
So to get our money’s worth, so to speak, we would put one quarter in the slot at a time and then press the button. My favorite part about the whole thing was during my turn gambling. Every time I would win Angela would reach across and slap the cash out button, with ninja like reflexes I might add. Ding! Slap! And out would pop the little ticket displaying our winnings. By the end of it all I think we had just enough to tip the valet guy when we left.
I guess you could say I did do a little gambling while I was in Vegas. A friend from work gave me a recommendation to an Asian restaurant in the Chinatown part of Vegas, which we checked out. The gamble paid off, the food was quite tasty. Oh, there was one more gamble, we did some label shopping at Trader Joe’s and out of the 18 bottle of wine we brought home with us, over half of them are new, so we’ll have to see if that gamble paid off. Cheers!
What was your first gambling experience?
Google Images, key words: gambling, black jack, slots, cash out button, jar of coins, and No.
I had turned 21 and achieved all of what life had to offer me, except cheaper car insurance but I was now setting sail for that little golden nugget of opportunity as well. The first thing I thought of, the moment I blew out 22 candles that my mother placed on the cake, was bright lights and the worldly sounds of bells chiming Jackpots all around me. The second thing that came to mind was the fact my own mother had forgot how old her son was, but I was far to excited to be down about that.
My older brother and I were gearing up to go down to Tunica for some gambling good times and a lot of free drinking. Before heading out, I took a rest stop draining waste from the bladder when I spotted a shiny gold coin sitting on a stand above the toilet. Once in hand I realized it was a dollar from one of my Grandmother’s recent trips to Hollywood, so I did what any junkie would do and pocketed the coin, just in case my luck ran thin with my own cash.
3 hours later, my luck thinned like the lining of a uterus about to present little Jackpot to a very nervous father who had crapped out 9 months before. Needless to say, I was a total loser in the winnings department, but my blood was well beyond beating the odds of sobriety so I called the evening a draw. Stumbling my way out to the car, I recalled-to be honest I felt the coin in my pockets because whenever I get wasted I like to fondle whatever happens to be in my pockets at the time-the contents in my pocket and pulled out the dollar coin. Bounced off one slot-and maybe a slut or two-and another till I landed in the seat of a Double Diamonds machine. Popped the little guy in the slot and pulled the lever shouting something to the effect, “Hey Mike, I think I might have a Jackpot brewing in my gut!” and he replied, “Good at least one of us will hit one tonight!” and I followed that with, “No, No. I meant..” And the machine erupted in that lovely sound of bells and chimes alerting the casino monkey that I had just struck it rich!
Actually it was only for 750.00 but considering I brought 150.00 with me, I was very content with beating the system and doing so with a drunken slur that was sure to increase now.
Reality pushed out drunken ignorance though and we decided to run as quickly as our feet and balance would allow out the door. Everything after that is still a bit foggy, but I do remember my brother telling me to suck on a dirty filthy penny he had pulled out from my ashtray-no butts just loose change, which is what all non-smokers and potheads use it for-that and a place to store their roaches. A cop was behind us and I was apparently driving suspiciously enough to suck a stank penny, which is suppose to throw the scent off for the 5.0. I call bullshit on that, but I was going under the guidance of my rockstar drummer brother who had been in these types of situations far more than I had.
Anyway, cop moved on and I was left to wonder if this penny mint would have lasting effects on me in the future. BUT, I still came home with 700.00 dollars…hey, wait a minute!
Sounds like somebody’s older brother isn’t getting a birthday present this year!