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Viva Las Vegas

2006-08-24 - 11:52 a.m.

Good day, all.

Feeling MUCH better this morning. Slept in the armchair, watching Yellow Submarine. Woke up with a stiff neck (which is what happens if I don't use a pillow), went back to sleep in the bedroom. Woke up for good around 11am, took my Cipro. No headache.

I feel quite my old self. Enough to give my experiences with gambling.

NOTE: The following incident really DID happen. All statements I made, though paraphrased due to my suffering from CRS, really WERE spoken by me, as were the responses by the employee in question.


Now, then.

Several months ago, I was approached by an employee at my day job. He and I work in different departments, so although I rank higher, I am not technically his supervisor. I probably COULD pull rank, if I absolutely had to.

Anyway, the employee says he's going to an Indian casino to celebrate his eighteenth birthday. And he wants some gambling advice.

"Like what?" I ask.

"Like, which games have the best odds, any strategies you that."

I shake my head. "Sorry. Can't help you there. I've never been to a casino, ever."

I swear, almost all activity stopped. It was like those old E. F. Hutton commercials. (For Those Too Young: E. F. Hutton was an investment firm. Basic commercial was two people talking. Person A says he got some advice from his broker. Person B says, "My broker is from E. F. Hutton, and E. F. Hutton says - " and everybody within earshot stops what they're doing - drops newspapers and such - and turns to listen in. Since I was a kid, I guessed that E. F. Hutton was pretty good at what they did).

"Never?" the kid asks.

"Nope, never even been to Vegas. Can't afford it. No, actually, I HAVE been to Vegas - for about five minutes. I was switching planes at the airport. They'd held the flight because there were a bunch of people switching. I didn't even have time to play a slot."

"WHAT?? It's cheap to go to Vegas!! You can get buffet dinners for, like two bucks."

I shook my head. "That's not what I meant. Look, if you go to Vegas, you'll want to have at least a couple hundred to gamble, right? Then, there's gas to drive out there and back...and from here, it's several hours. So you could drive four hours, blow your wad, and then drive four hours back. If you're staying over a night, you're looking at room rent...PLUS all the time off from work. So you're looking at least four- to five-hundred. Like I say, I can't afford it."

The kid looked skeptical: I was that poor? After working here so long?

"Hey, remember: you live at home, right? You don't have to worry about things like rent, food, electricity, insurance, and all kinds of other bills. Probably the most I could actually afford to lose is about twenty bucks. I'd rather spend it on a DVD."

The kid nodded. "Yeah, I see your point."

I went on. "I CAN, however, give you a little bit of advice...if you're willing to listen."

The kid leaned forward. "Okay, sure."

"Okay. Here are some tips:

  1. Save at least $20. Put it somewhere where you won't spend it. That way you'll have gas money home. You'll be embarassed as hell if you have to call mommy to pick you up because you lost everything.
  2. Realize that you are spending money. You are paying for the EXCITEMENT OF PLAY. If I buy a $3 lottery ticket, I've spent that money. It's gone. I'm paying for the enjoyment of seeing what numbers show up on my Bingo card. If I win, that's a bonus. But I've paid for my fun.
  3. Say you're going use $200 to gamble. Put the $200 in your left pocket in whatever bills you want to use: fives, tens, whatever. Pull money or chips from your left pocket. If you win ANYTHING, pick it up and put it in your RIGHT pocket. That stays there, and you don't use it for bets. When your $200 stake is gone, WALK AWAY. You're done. That way, you stand a better chance of bringing something back.
  4. If you find yourself in the position of just-one-more-to-win-it-all-back or just-one-more-my-luck's-gotta-change, stop. Get out. Otherwise you may find yourself walking home.
  5. Don't just gamble. Walk around. Stretch. Take in a show; they DO have shows. It's your birthday, right? Have a good time."

"In short, gamble for fun. Not to win, but just to have a good time. If you win, great. But don't let winning define whether you had a good time or not."

By the time I was done, three other employees had drifted over, and were nodding in agreement. The kid looked at me with wide eyes. "Wow...that's really good advice. Thanks."

"No problem."

"How do you know all this if you've never gambled?"

I switched to my Yoda voice (which is pretty damn good, I must say). "When nine hundred years old YOU reach, things you will have learned."

Everyone laughed, and it was back to work.


When I tell this story, I'm often told that it IS good advice, and that I should write it down for other kids to read. Now I have.

Oh, the kid did go to the casino. He came back and said it was one of the best birthdays he'd ever had.


Now, my Vegas joke. I stole it from Playboy, but it gets laughs:

Mike is planning to go to Vegas for the weekend. His buddy can't go, so he hands Mike $50.

"Do what you can for me," his buddy says.

Mike goes, and comes back after the weekend. His buddy asks, " did I do?"

"Great," Mike says. "You got laid."



Okay. Onward to face the day.

Be seeing you.


4 comments so far

Brin - 2006-08-24 16:03:54 -
LOLOL very good! :-)


Laura - 2006-08-24 18:18:26 -
Hi! Do you mind if print that advice out and show it to my husband? I want to go to the casino,but not get sucked into the I gotta win deal. You are very wise:)


Dave - 2006-08-24 18:31:43 -
Laura: Absolutely! I'd be honored, and even MORE honored if it works.


liz - 2006-08-25 15:53:23 -
Very good advice, and very much my thoughts on the subject. I have been to Vegas many times, mostly with my folks when too young to gamble anyway. The biggest gamble I made there was getting married. So far that has worked out...


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