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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ooh, Las Vegas

The Las Vegas landing ritual is to listen to the Cowboy Junkies' ethereal version of  “Ooh Las Vegas” as we coast into the valley. It's perfect for that personal, reflective time when the engines are throttled back on descent and the plane goes quiet as people start to think about how much money they are probably going to lose in the next 3 to 4 days.

Final approach is always reserved for Elvis and Viva Las Vegas, as the casinos come into sight – and I know I am ‘home’.

We landed on time around 10:30pm local. Walked into concourse B and there are the lovely slots machine making their slots machine sounds. (As a sophisticated gamblester, you should know that the plural of slot machine is slots machine. You know, like courts martial and royals flush.)

Down to the luggage concourse and sure enough, there is a Presidential Limo driver with “Mr. Flusher” on a sign waiting. Luggage was quick and we hopped in the back of a stretch limo, glasses of cold bubbly (vintage 2010, last month) on the go. The driver was pleasant and took city streets so we could just stretch out and enjoy the ride. I find the freeway somewhat jarring on the trip downtown.

We pulled up to the Four Queens where we were comped 3 nights up front and also had $50 freeplay each coming. Walking into the casino, we were assaulted by the nasal tsunami stench of the horrid strawberry bathroom scent they started using sometime last year. Apparently my twice daily phone calls to the office of Terry Caudill (president of TLC Casino Enterprises) to plead for the removal of this ill-chosen chemical stew have gone unheeded. I pledge to swing by his house sometime this trip, if I can weasel his address out of one of the slot club boothlings.

Check in was a breeze, and we dumped our stuff in the room and headed down to begin the big-stakes adventure!

RF Stake $100
QQ Stake $100

We generally gamble a little on the first night, grab something to eat and then crash. Its always a good idea to go big right off the plane, just in case you get lucky. So we each popped a benjamin bill into the 9/6 Jacks machines right by the cage. (These machines are deftly signed ‘Full pay 6/9 Jacks or Better’. You’d think that 69 stuff would have caught on by now.)

We did the countdown thingy and pressed deal at the same moment. And the trip had officially begun.

Ah sweet Vegas, sweet video poker music, sweet slots machine sounds!

Just a few hands into the session, what happens… I’m dealt (A A A A). A dealt quad for my first quad of the trip! And its Aces! On Jacks! Shit! Why aren’t I playing Double Double Bonus? But on the other hand, I am playing dollars. I try to decide whether I’m lucky or unlucky to be on the wrong game for Aces.

I decide to stay positive. Yes, I will keep the $125.

We slipped over to Binions and played some Double Double but nothing much happened.

Mrs. Flusher headed up to the room to crash but I was starving so I grabbed something to eat at reliable Magnolias - eggs and hashbrowns. By the time I was done eating it was about 5:00am on my body clock so I headed off to bed, ready for the first full day of gambling to follow in the morning.

RF has 190, +90 for the trip
QQ has 80, -20 for the trip

We are up $70 on the trip. Always the way to go on night number one. What will tomorrow bring?

We dream of sugarplums, strawberry khybers, and royals flush.

Ooh, Las Vegas
Ain't no place for a poor boy like me
Every time I hit your crystal city you know
You're gonna make a wreck outta me

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