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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Worlds Most Dumbest Extreme Blackjack Stories

We thought we'd give the Nugget some play - even though we are paying for rooms, there's always a chance for a comp from a host.

I sat down and played simple, single-line quarter VP and boy, what a marathon run it was. And Mrs. Flusher kept up with me for most of us, in fact we were trading off quads like touchdowns in the Grey Cup game.

In the end I hit four of 'em and she managed to keep pace with me, closing five. My coin-in was about $2500 over some 2,120 hands of video poker. Once it was done, I felt satisfied. It's like a good workout. For my fingers.

We headed to Main St. Station for lunch buffet on points and then I decided, stupidly, to try $100 at $2 double double bonus. Perhaps the use of the word 'stupidly' is telegraphing the results and ruining the suspense for you. Needless to say, it was brutal and over in about 82 seconds.

Mrs. F decided to use $100 of her high stakes money in a similar fashion on $1 Triple Double Bonus - a real flyer on this high volatility / high premium quad game. Same result: $-100.

I texted Clevedge to come and pick us up at the very convenient porte cochon (forgive me if I seem snooty, but I am Canadian and I do know how to properly use more than one language). He did and off we went to Stratosphere.

Happily, Cleve did seem to occasionally part his bangs to check whether we were on the road or not. After a pretty much uneventful drive, mostly on the road, we arrived at the Strat, where I wised him up on valet parking. I think he actually smiled underneath there when he saw how effortless it is.

The Flying Quad Queen and Lamondo wanted to do the rides up top and frankly, Clevedge was having none of it. I could take it or leave it, so I left it and they left, and we made a left for the right craps table. Cleve had minimal budget so I bought in to match him and he got to get a bit more experience throwing the bones. For a moment we looked like we might be doing okay and I bought in an extra $20 to make some place bets. But $20 or even $40 doesn't go far at craps and before very long we were both tapped out. We did win a few rolls but really, never got going.

Next stop, some live dealer blackjack, something he really wanted to try before blindly pinballing his way down the I-15 back to L.A.

Again we bought in for $20, and again, the action sucked. The dealer was nasty, refusing to give any advice. Before long, Clevedge was broke, and despondent, and I was down to a chip or two. He hung in there to root me on.

I managed to hold on until a dealer change, and the new guy, James, was a beauty. And, oddly, I started to win.

"Clevedge, I'm taking $60 out of this table to match my buy-in, you mind if I play on?"

"Unhhh," he grunted from behind that curtain of shaggy hair, and I took this to mean, "I can't really drive away without my girlfriend back to L.A., and I have no more gambling budget so what the fuck else do you think I would be doing???"

I can read people pretty well.

James the dealer was so much fun. It added a whole new dimension to the game. I was piling up some reds and James was making jokes. He'd lay down an Ace for a blackjack and fist bump me.

"That's a fist card," he said.

Another time, everyone had stiffs, 13s, 16s, 15s, and he dealt out about 5 cards to himself and busted with a face card. So he hides the facecard under another card and says "17! Dealer has 17!"

He made us all call bullshit, and finally pulls the card out, and we all win like we're supposed to.

So I keep racking up the red chips, I'm betting $10 and $15 a hand, it's crazy. At one point I had three 9s split with $10 on each, got tens on all of 'em and I think I'm sitting pretty on three 19s. He ended up getting 21 or something to beat them all. That hurt my bankroll quite a bit and took me back down to maybe $80.

I work my way back up and then this cute little 21 year old girl sits down next to me and buys in for $25. Nothing wrong with that.

She doesn't have a clue how to play basic strategy.

Nothing wrong with that either.

James is telling her - begging her - to make certain moves.

"You have 11, you want to double that."


"You want to double that? Double? Double that???...."


This happened just about every hand. And sure enough, I had a big bet out there, and I've got Ace 7. Dealer is showing 6.

Little miss blackjack stupid-pants has 16.

She motions for a card.

James: "You want to hit that? Really? You probably want to stay, right?..."


"You want to stay?... don't you?..."

She motions for a card and takes a ten. She's busted but now I'm doubling my bet and thinking, that 10 would have given me 18, a pretty good hand. Sure enough I get a fucking 4.

Stand and pray for James to bust. But of course, he ends up with 17.

"Oh, too bad, dude...," 'pants says.

I don't stay at it with a negative vibe like that going on. I don't like to think other gamblers influence my luck or the outcome, but I didn't like how pissed I was getting, and I was up, and I didn't want to sit there and radiate anger towards 'pants. She's got a right to play her cards however she wants to. I have a right to save my sanity and my money and bail.

I color up an even $100 and leave the table, but not without a parting word to stupid-pants, "James gives good advice, you should listen."

Clevedge and I grabbed a coffee just as the Flying Flusher's arrived back from their excursion on the Big Shot. Cleve gave us a lift downtown, hitting only two of those 'Mature Women' magazine stands on the way. Fond farewells were bade all around, Mrs. F and I hopped out, Clevedge parted his bangs and hit the gas just as I got a quick look at him. He actually is human, and not bad looking. For a sheepdog.

Back at the Nugget, our avuncular duties well disposed of, we plunked down at machines and ordered doubles. And they were brought to us. One was a mis-fire, a double Jim and Coke, but I was on vodka, so I downed the Jim as well. What the hey. In an hour we were somewhat lubricated.

I was on that addictive Super Times Pay and hit a good portion of what I described earlier as the Holy Grail of STP Video Poker - dealt a quad on triple play. (Didn't have a multiplier in action but I'm not complaining.)

So that was a nice, nice win. And I am a stupid, stupid man sometimes and not very Goddamned savvy... because, as my notes say, "Lose it all back - DUMBASS".

Yup, I lost it all back, chasing. What a tool.

We both dropped $120 (but got free drinks - doubles!).

Mrs. Flusher decided that since we were loaded and making stupid gambling decisions, she should do some more high stakes play - in this case, $5 Bonus Poker. Hey, on her last hand, she hit a dealt straight to win back her buy-in, and then got a flush. So she cashed out $200, for a $100 profit on the venture.

A visit to the Four Queens bar was in order to keep things going, and we played two hours there. I played about 1000 hands, lost $200, got no quads.

Headed over to Du-Pars for dinner and our streak of new employees continued. Our waitress came over and tentatively got us going, menus, drink order, etc.

"How long have you been working here?..."

"This is my second day, actually," she said. She was full of smiles, a little nervous, but I could tell pure of heart, and stout of countenance. She probably came from a very strong line of Dutch or German waitstaff, the kind that could handle 18 one liter steins of beer at a time, or milk a cow while turning a sausage grinder with one foot. Yes, very good stock indeed, I am sure.

Mrs. Flusher had a very delicious chicken noodle soup which really tasted like it was homemade, as they say everything is. We both had prime rib and it was delicious.

I took much pleasure in handing our new waitress my ridiculous (but savvy) business card, and then imploring her to recite all the types of pie that Du-Pars serves.

She did a good job of it, and then I asked her, "Is the apple pie is made on the premises?"

"It is."

"What about the pecan pie?"

"It is."

"What about the coconut cream pie?"

"It is."

Then I asked her to recite all the types of pie they have again. After all, she needs to be able to do this, if she wants to avoid going back to the fields of Germany to milk cows and make sausage by hand. Or rather, by foot.

"What all kinds of pies do you have again?"

She brought me a menu.

We hit up the Vegas Club blackjack and I think I found a fourth employee on their first or second day on the job. Gerardo had a thick South American accent, which I could barely understand. I think he said he was from El Placenta, Argentinia or some place.

Half the time, I would have to help Gerardo count his own hand. He was nice enough, and I laid out some tips for him, but for goodness sake, on one hand, I had 16, and he was showing 6. I stood, and he turned over a facecard for 16.

He looked at his hand, looked at mine, looked at his hand, looked at mine... and thumped the felt.


I didn't have the heart to tell him he was required to take a card, he looked so proud at his math skills. I can easily see how someone could mistake a 10 and a 6 for a total of 17.

In the end, I lost $100 at blackjack, and Mrs. Flusher fared not much better on the machines. She went up to bed, and I bought in for $100 at craps at the Nugget. Lost most of it, and with my last 18 put some chips on single number spins on roulette. Won nothing. This is why casinos exist.

How bad was the beating?


I dumped $500 on the day and Mrs. F dumped $300. We're down a combined $-1010 on the trip.

Now how the hell did that happen???

Oh yeah.


By the way, Du-Pars pie - I chose the pecan - was fantastic.

There's something about high heels in a diner. Maybe its like that salty and sweet thing that everyone seems to have going on these days. I still don't see how you could serve roast beef for 12 in these things though. But I guess if you can afford to eat in a diner, then you wouldn't be having company much.

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