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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bad News at Binions

RF Stake: $180
QQ Stake: $200

"Hey boss, what do you want me to do with these 10,000 lightbulbs?"

It was getting near the end of the trip and we’d agreed we should try to play some higher stakes video poker from time to time, with various rules.

The Quad Queen decided to take $100 and play some VP at $10 a hand on Bonus Poker. I opted to cheer from the sidelines. The idea was – double or nothing.

She slid in a Benjamin and started to play. Nothing much was happening and the credits were drifting down.

$30 left. Then $20 left. Then $10 left – last hand.

And – she – got three of a kind. Played that down to the Lazarus hand again.

And got two pairs. And played that down to the Lazurus hand yet again.

And then got another two pairs. And then she was dealt three of a kind and was starting to have a bit of running room again.

Next hand was a very nice full house, followed by a three of a kind. After swooping down and bouncing it off the bottom three times, the Flushoccio managed to get up to $150 in credits.

“BAIL!!!!” we both yelled as she hit the cash out button. Lots of adrenaline of the wrong kind and a net profit on the session. How can you argue with that?

This day I really, really hit the quad drought badly.

I played for three hours and got no quads. None. Zero. You can imagine how that drained my bankroll.

I switched to Double Double Bonus and finally got one for $62.50. And five hands later I nailed four deuces with the kicker (from 2) for a nice $200 payoff.

Tried some blackjack at MSS and it was an unmitigated disaster cluster-seventeen.

I don’t want to talk about it.

We took a rest and had a shower and then it was time for the daily pilgrimage to the Deuces machine at the Vegas Club. Could lightning strike twice?

Of course it could. I strikes thousands of times every hour, all around the planet. What a stupid question!

The question I really wanted answered was, could I get for deuces again and get paid $500 and totally piss off the pocket-protectored uber-nerd Mr. Peabody again!

I had my share of excitement getting dealt three of four deuces on 3 separate occasions. One duck away from five bills, as it were. But it was not to be. I was ready to scream with frustration.

Lunch was yet another artery clogging burger at Binions. We thought we’d hit the full pay Deuces there again as well – it is one of the only places downtown or on the strip where you can play quarter full-pay Deuces.

Wouldn’t you know it, the machines were being ‘serviced’.

“Uh-oh,” I said, and followed up with the only extremely astute observation a savvy gamblester like myself could observe: “The machines are being ‘serviced’.”

We had a cheeseburger apiece and on my last slug of ice cold Anderson’s milk, I felt a kind of thud in my chest and a squeeze and then a sort of feeling of relief – I was pretty sure I’d felt the last of the greasy burger clear pass through one of the atriums in my heart and move safely on down to the vena cava or aorta or some shit.

We went back to the 4 lone machines with the full pay Deuces on them and… the paytables had been downgraded.


And, there was a floor manager standing right there talking to the slot guy who had a clipboard.

You rarely get the chance to spout off about these kinds of changes that hurt players, and lower business but I took my chance and buttonholed her.

I said, “I know you’ve just lowered the paytables on these Deuces machines. Why do you have to do that?”

“I was just following orders,” she said.

We talked about it and I explained, first of all, that the Deuces were the only reason we had
to come into Binions except for the cheeseburgers. (I left the part out about the sleazy costumes they put on the busty female dealers – no sense in letting them know about that or they’d take them away too. Which might not be bad, actually.)

I went on to explain that the machines are already set to give 1/3 points, and at quarter play, nobody is going to hurt the casino. So why mess with it and leave many savvy gamblesters such as myself and Mrs. Flusher no reason to come into Binions anymore?

She listened. She really did. And she said she’d pass it on to her boss.

And then I believe she made this sort of hand motion when my back was turned, like she was shaking a can of Nutrisystem. Only it was meant to mean, not Nutrisystem shaking, but something along the lines of “whatever you say, jag-off”.

But I didn’t actually witness the hand motion.

Anyway, we had better things to do – high stakes VP that evening back at MSS.

Again Mrs. Flusher’s energy was flagging, so I got take-out from the Triple 7 brewpub for us both. Chicken philly sandwiches with onion rings. I hauled it up to the room in delightful, decorative, strong, yet light-weight white Styrofoam containers, which, I believe, are very evocative of the late 1800s ambience that Main Street Station strives to project.

Post dinner it was time for some high stakes VP play.

We were going to take on $25 a hand action.

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