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Monday, December 5, 2011

Who really cares?

Our last day here in Las Vegas. Goddammit. Last days in Vegas are worse than a root canal, tax return day, and your own death put together.

I'm so far behind, I need a miracle to get even. Like a dollar Royal. or Aces with kicker on the Dollar machine. Twice.

Don't get me wrong, it's been a fantastic trip. I've had more fun than... ever. I've crossed a lot of things off my bucket list, such as getting into a long blackjack session, getting in on a hot craps roll.

One I've missed is getting on a long dollar video poker session, getting on a roll the way you do sometimes with quarters, where you can play for an hour on a $20 bill.

Breakfast 2-4-1 at the Cafe Cortez with the same cute Latina waitress we had last time. I tell the waitress that Mrs. Flusher can't eat until her Keno ticket wins enough to cover the meal. I have 2 eggs any style, Breakfast Potatoes, sausages, sourdough toast, Mrs. F. has 2 eggs any style and corned beef hash.

The waitress comes by and checks how everything is. I'm down to one sausage, which I hold up. I tell her, "Everything is great, except for this one sausage."

"What's wrong with it?"

"It's lonely. A sausage is never really loved until it is cut into pieces, chewed up, and swallowed." I wanted to say 'masticated' but she wasn't pretty enough for that joke.

Mrs. Flusher hits a few numbers on Keno. $4. I looked at her and smile like the Grinch.

"Ask me who's your Keno Daddy."

She replies, "Ask me how you're going to die today."

Mrs. F is no fun, so I catch the waitress' (Daysi!) attention and tell her "I have a strawberry jam emergency here."

She fixes it right away, delivering an emergency holder full of jams and jellies that is designed to be airlifted onto your very breakfast table. It's stainless steel and has one flaw - if you are vigorous getting a jam out, they all tip onto their sides inside their little stainless steel jam prison.

One day I'm going to design a better restaurant jam and jelly delivery system and slowly get rich off the royalties I make when I license it to Sysco or some other restaurant equipment supplier with deep pockets.

We hit the VP and as usual, Mrs. Flusher hits 3 quick quads while I hit bupkus. We try the alcove, which we now refer to as the 'dollar cave' and my goodness me, I'm on the board with 4 fives for $125. The Quad Queen becomes the Straight Flush Queen and gets same, just to show me up.

I decide to take it easy today and try not to lose too much money. I'm sickenly in the hole and I realize today is my last chance at a Royal this trip. Mrs. F. heads off to the Fitz to cash in a $30 ticket we forgot about (drunk) and I head up to the room to blog. Is blog a verb? As long as my spend is a noun, it is.

I head back down and we gamble some. The dipstick reads Mrs. F $-45, me $-65. Nobody is going to get hurt today. Are they?

The Parlour bar at the El Cortez has some good music on and we play 50 cent Video Poker. And the Quad Queen hits for $100, then $200, while I struggle, as usual. I lose $80 there and win about 3 double vodkas.

Well oiled, we hit the 25 cent roulette, where we can't win to save our lives, and I delight in waiting for the dealer to gracefully wave her pale hand, manicured and painted nails, across the layout to signify the end of the betting window, whereupon I bellow at full gale, "I SAY NO MORE BETS!!!!!!!!!!"

We have a laugh or two and a few more drinks and ultimately roulette sweeps away all our 25 cent chips.

I pass some down and out oldster on the way into the Men's room and he says, "Why do you walk so much fast than me?"

I shoot over my shoulder, "Because I'm stupider than you."

He seems to like this. He snickers, then laughs, then coughs up some tubercular phlegm.

In spite of there being 18 consecutive urinals available, this old timer breaks protocol and hoses out right next to me. I whiz. He whizzes.

And then he mutters.

"Mutter.. mutter... bankroll. Mutter. Mutter. How am I down so much?... Mutter..... WHO REALLY CARES???"

I'm pushing now, like trying to give birth I imagine, trying to squeeze a quart of whiz out a straw as quickly as humanly possible. It still takes time.

"WHO REALLY CARES??? HUH???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", he bellows again.

I finish, waggle, and zip. And I answer him in the only way I, Royal Flusher, of the Royal Flusher Way, know how.

I screw up my courage, and I look him in the eye, okay eyes, and I answer him truthfully and honestly.

"Santa. Santa Claus cares. That's who."

Thank goodness I've washed my hands before heading to the urinal, cause I'm outta there with only a little El Cortez whizorium splashback upon me. And I'm safe from the demented killer tubercular rubby. It's worth it.

We play around some more, staying in the ElCo pretty much. Take some time to pack. Head back down for 2-4-1 meat. Prime rib for her, the "Mr. Porterhouse" for me. My steak has a moniker, maybe it has a mailing address too. It's certainly big enough for one. It's all pretty tasty but I'm at odds. I'm staring a terrible trip (financially) in the face, there seems to be no way out.

I decide to try some blackjack. I sit ready to buy in for $100, but don't want to interrupt the shoe (only 2 decks) and witness the most amazing comeback. A guy is sitting at first base with about $35 in chips. He pushes them into the betting circle and is dealt a pair of sixes. He needs to split them.

So the guy digs in his wallet and fishes out $40. Splits the sixes. He gets a five on the first hand and another six on the other. So he's gotta double down on the first hand, and split the second hand again. A hundy comes out and the chips hit the felt. He draws a stiff on the eleven, a stiff on the second hand, and a four on the third six. Holy shit he's got to double down again. More cash comes out and he's got three hands loaded up with about $70 or $80 each on them.

Dealer busts and the guy wins them all.

He plays another hand for $100 and wins it, gets a black chip. Some other guy sidles up to the table, counting out some money. I'm just sitting back keeping my mouth shut, keeping my hundy under the table. No way am I interrupting this guy's shoe. The other new guy makes a move and the first guy turns to him and says, "Dude, stay out of this shoe, just be patient. Don't make me have to hurt you."

The guy wins the hand and he's got two black chips. Bets them both. Wow.

Guess what? Eleven against a dealer's stiff. He's got to double again. He has to push out all his chips pretty much. About $400 on this one hand now.

And the guy wins it. He plays with his chips a bit, figuring some stuff out. Puts out $125. Loses that one. Counts it again.

Puts out $200. Oh my Gawd he's got to split AGAIN. He's got $400 on the table again and wins both hands. Holy shit.

The shoe ends and the guy finally colors up and leaves and he's got about $900 in chips, from $35 and a bit of cash. Nicely played, sir.

I buy in but there's no way I'm going to win that kind of dough. I don't have the luck, and I don't have the balls to throw $200 into the betting circle. Not yet, anyway.

My blackjack session goes up a bit. Down a bit. Up to about $145. Then plummet down. Down. Down. Until I have $35 left. I wonder if this is prophetic. $35, same has Mr. Split Double Double. No, it isn't prophetic, it's just pathetic. One of my worst blackjack sessions ever.

And then I head to the craps table. I decide to put $5 on the pass line and all of the rest in odds. I've never taken more than $10 or $15 in odds before but I'm looking to lay $30 down, if only to get it all over with.

The table is almost empty and the shooter is rolling numbers. I decide not to wait until he ends the hand and lay $5 on the Come. Next roll... Yo-leven. Nothing for the shooter, but a winner for me. $5 into my rack. I leave the other red in the Come. Next roll... eight. Good point.

My red chip moves to the eight and I flip a green out for odds. A couple of rolls later eight hits. Nice. I collect some dough and lay another $5 chip on the Come. Shooter sevens out, but I win $5.

The dice move to me and Mrs. Cooler, I mean Mrs. Flusher shows up. Most times when she arrives at the craps table, I lose. But not this time. This time she gets to witness a bit of Flusher history.

I take the dice and shoot a seven. Winner, 7, $5 for me. Rack it.

Shoot again, point is ten. I put only $10 in odds down, and put a come bet out there. Come goes to 9, and I put $25 in odds on it But it's got to be an even amount, so I put another $5 on. I hit the nine. Nice.

And I hit the ten. Love that two to one on the odds. I'm hot now, rolling numbers like crazy. I make a couple more pass line bets, and two or three more Come bets hit. I'm making two way hard eight bets to keep the dealers in the action and they keep me from a couple of mistakes, like missing odds on a Come bet.

This is the best roll I've ever, ever shot at craps.

It's not that long, but I suck at shooting the dice. When I seven out I've got $160 in my rack and about $55 out on the felt. I'll take it. I color up and get out, exhilarated.

We do more gambling and I lose lose lose. It's happening again. Do some more stuff in the room, have Keno tickets and watch the numbers miss on the TV. Think about going back to the Size 7 grommet line back in Flusherville. Back to work, back to reality.

Mrs. Flusher crashes and I say, "I think I'm going to give it one more shot. Try to get a Royal."

So she supports me and wishes me luck.

I head down, slip $100 into Double Double Bonus. Oh my God it goes fast. I don't even get my drink until I've sat, no credits, for 5 minutes. I play another $20. Four hands. No wins of any kind. Gone.

Drink my drink, think, well, I'm only going to be here in Vegas for a little while longer. The only thing that is going to save my trip is a Royal Flush on Dollars. It's possible. It's always possible, if there's action.

Head over to the dollar Bonus Poker machine we like in the Dollar Cave. It's 12:15 in the morning. I slip the hundred in and start to play. And the credits start to go up. Not down. Up. As in winning. As in not losing.

I get on a bit of a roll and I go up to $170. Hover around there for a while, then drop down a bit. Then work up to $175. Then $185. Then I'm up to $220, which is what I put in since I came down. Order a double Absolut on the rocks. Play more. Order another. I'm on a roll. I'm playing. And I'm playing. Hand after hand after hand on dollars. The flushes are keeping me alive, I have insane luck on them hitting the first 7 out of 8 four-to-a-flush draws. Each draw is a 9/47 chance and I hit 7 out of 8. Then I'm up to 11 flushes out of 13 tries. It's insane, impossible.

I've played for an hour. Order another drink. Wow. The machine is playing like it loves me and I feel like something could happen.

I work my way along, and the machine plays more normally, that is, losing, and I'm down to $40. "Well," I think, "It's been a good trip." It's funny that I've had no quads after the number of hands I've played.

I take a sip of Absolut - they are served in those low rock glasses, three slivers of ice and the rest vodka, and the waitress has the nerve to say she is having trouble getting me doubles!!!! Anyway, I take a sip, and through the glass I see... a lot of 9s.

Nice dealt dollar quad.
A dealt quad, four beautiful nines, and I'm back on the streak.

So I ponder how this will end, what I should do. Should I take some profit at some time? Should I play it to the bitter end no matter what, trying for that Royal? I play on and haven't decided. Maybe I will tire out, that's a possibility. Get tired? On my last night? Quit??? No fucking way. I play on.

It's been an hour and 45 minutes, all on this one $100 bill. I've played a hundy through in 3 minutes before on this very machine. It's astounding.

I get up to $200, then slip downwards. To $100. Back where I started. Up to $135. I haven't mentioned how many straights flush draws I've had on this trip but it must be 25. I've hit only one. And the machine takes pity on me and hands me one, for free, out of the gate. A dealt straight flush for $250. Holy crap!

Now I feel like I could win some serious dough. Because I haven't even got an 'earned' quad on this machine yet, surely it will let me make one. Fours for $200, or maybe Aces for $400. And, I'm dealt three Aces. I hold my breath and hit Draw. Not there. Damn.

Play on.

I play up to $385 in the machine and hit yet another flush. The machine won't count credits past $400 and it dumps the coins into the tray. This is when you know you are beating a machine. I'm invincible. I play on.

I feel like I am so close to the Royal Flush I need. One hand away from $4000. And I get four of the five Royal cards... This is it... I draw...


And it starts to drop. I think, "I'll just get it to $400 and cash out, I am exhausted, this has been a good try, good enough." Deadly mistake. You never, ever make those goals.

I end up at $350. It will come back. Not to worry. This machine loves me.

At $300.

And in about 3 minutes I'm at $100. Holy shit. What have I done?

Well, my decision is made, I'm going to make every last try. I'm going to go down fighting. And before long, I'm at zero. I look in the tray and there's some coins in there. I play them. I have one last hint of hope and then the last five coins go into the machine like a death rattle. I'm beat and I know it and I have to come on here and write about it, I can't even just slink away quietly and cry in the closet of my room at the El Cortez, because the El Cortez doesn't have fucking closets in their weird old rooms.

I'm done. It's 2:30 in the morning. I've played through $4,400 some odd dollars from one $100 bill. That's almost 900 hands of Video Poker.

A valiant try and another thing off my bucket list - getting on a run on dollars. I reflect that it takes 40,000 hands on average to get a royal. I've had a little over a 2% chance of getting one. One in fifty.

My fingers ache, I'm hammered, my eyes burn. I stagger up to the room, happy and sad. I've lost $450 today. I have El Cortez piss on my hands. Had a one in fifty chance to get that dollar Royal and save the trip. And even if I am sad, there's one thing I know for certain.

Santa cares.

It was worth it.


    1. I really enjoy your Flusher Reports. On our recent Vegas trip, I regaled my friends with your exploits and Vegas wisdom until they rolled their eyes everytime I started with "Royal Flusher" this or "Quad Queen" that. We did manage to win free meat at the Fitz and I'm sure when their cholesterol levels return to normal from the chicken they will be grateful. Anyways, on our way out of town, what do I spy at McCarren? A genuine Royal Flusher business card tucked into a VP machine. It was a nice way to end my trip - that and the $700 win I managed to eek out of the Smug Nugget.

    2. Spartypants, it is a minor miracle that you found that business card, since only 5 people read this blog, including Chippy, and Mrs. Flusher.

      Okay, I lie, Mrs. Flusher does not read the blog.

      Seriously, really, really cool and exciting that you are a reader and came across one of my cards. That makes me happy. Congratulations on winning Free Meat!!!!!


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