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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wheel Turnin Round and Round

Today's Royal Flusher Vegas Song of the Day is: Steely Dan - Do It Again

Now you swear and kick and beg us
That you're not a gambling man
Then you find you're back in Vegas
With a handle in your hand
Your black cards can make you money
So you hide them when you're able
In the land of milk and honey
You must put them on the table, yeah
You go back, Jack, do it again
Wheel turnin' round and round
You go back, Jack, do it again

There are many sides to gambling and the key is to adapt to them to maximize gains and enjoyment and minimize losses and unenjoyment. When you are winning, you've got to press, but if you get too cocky and reckless and overconfident, you can really do yourself some damage. When you are losing... well, hell, there's no way I'm gonna lose on this trip. EVERYTHING is flowing my direction.

Started out my gambling rounds at the bar (I think it's actually got a name, the King's bar) playing double double bonus. The oddest streak happened - I started to hit full house after full house. I hit eleven of 'em in 250 hands of video poker.

Was also very happy to hit quad 2s for 100 beans or so.

One hundred bean quad two hit.
I enjoyed a couple of coffees and tried for more, playing about an hour and 20 minutes until all the goodies were gone.

Had some quarters jingling in my pocket so I strolled over to the D and played 'em in the meat machines, just 2 hands. Had four to a straight flush on one hand but no joy - I still haven't had a SFL so far this trip. D'sgusting.

Had some breakfast at Magnolia's breaking the country fried steak tradition and going with a couple of flapjacks and eggs. Why I didn't have this at Du-Pars, I don't know.

There's this dollar Double Diamond slot I get good play out of at the Four Queens, so I checked it out for 20 bucks and got a nice hit of $160. Finally a decent slot win!

At this point I was up $140 on the day and looking forward to another winning day in Vegas. When you are tripping your plan, how can you lose? (Cue ominous music, go to commercial).

Dumped $60 of my profit at solid, reliable, low-volatility, high-return Bonus Poker. Since I had a good cushion so far this trip, played some super high-volatility, low-return but tiny chance of huge return Super Times Pay. Dumped $60 there as well.

Time for a change of pace - $100 buy-in at the $5 blackjack table. Four Queens usually has one $5 table open in the morning and they bump it up to $10 for the rest of the day around 11:00am. If you want cheap 3:2 blackjack, head to the Fremont, where they have it 24 hours a day. (El Cortez is a good choice too.)

The cards were choppy and I was getting whittled away. The dealers were great and I put bets out for them regularly, especially when I upped my bet to two units.

It got so bad my stake dwindled down to a single $5 chip and a couple of whites and 50-cent pieces I'd gotten from blackjacks.I had to push out everything I had at one point - I was all in. I won that hand and realized I had about 15 minutes to mount a comeback. It was moving day and time was limited as I had to go check in to the Fremont, get back to Four Queens, see the host, settle up, get my luggage, and haul ass over to the Fremont.

I pushed out everything I had again and doubled up with a win. Nice. Kept going after it, getting my bets up to 2 units, then 3, then 4. I always seemed to lose on the larger one.

At one point was dealt Aces, so I split them. Got another Ace and split them again. Here's the result of all that messing around:

I'd given myself a 12:15 cut-off - with late checkout, I had to be out of the room by 1:00. There were only a few minutes left. I pretty much started betting half of whatever I had and had worked my way up to $75. Took a bad hit and was down to $50 or something. Pushed out a $20 bet, with a buck out for the dealer.

Dealt a 7. And then a 4 for 11. Uh-oh. Could be good, could be devastating... I might have to double down. This one hand could make or break my comeback attempt.

Dealers up card was... a ten. She peeked... she didn't have 21. Good. I pushed out another $20 and another buck for the dealer. My card was...

...a beautiful sweet ten for a total of 21. Dealer had 20, I had 21, and I pulled back $80 to my stack. I had a total of $95 and that was close enough for me, especially after having gone all the way to zero.

I threw a $5 chip to the dealer and colored up. $10 for an hour and a quarter of great entertainment is okay with me. Did all my business stuff including the Sizzling Slots promo at Four Queen's which netted me another $20 in freeplay. Got my room and half my food covered. Because I arrived so late on the first day, my play was a little bit short, around $10,000 in coin-in. They probably wanted to see $12,000 to $14,000 to cover everything. Plus I hit 'em for a $1000 Royal.

Over at the Fremont, I got busy! There was winnin' to do! I was down $30 on the day, after all.

Played some Pick'em and got nowhere really fast, losing $60 in 15 minutes. Put a hundy in and played Bonus Deluxe, which pays $100 for any quad, but only pays even money on two pairs, instead of double. Played for a while and was dealt a straight, which was also four to a straight flush.

I've had about 15 unsuccessful straight flush draws so far this trip. But for some reason, I thought I could get this one. It was an outside draw, so there were two cards that could get it. And there were straight, and flush possibilities too. I dumped the unwanted 7 and... got the right 7. First straight flush of the trip (if you don't count the Royal).

This gave me about $150 in the machine and I happily played away at Bonus Deluxe, awaiting my next exciting four-of-a-kind.

It never came. I went to zero. Hmmm.

Everything I tried after that went in the dumper except a string of Absolut rocks, which went in my gut. $20 freeplay I'd won at the Four Queens. Gone.

$60 at craps. Gone.

A variety of Fremont video poker machines. Gone.

My entire stake plus the winnings I'd got. All gone.

Took a long rest to think about things. And get another hundred from the stash. Tried another 20 downstairs. Nothing.

Some kids did entertain me by bringing a box of 12 Coronas into the casino, putting them on the machine next to me, ripping them open, and then urging all their buddies to grab one or two.

"Grab one, man, before they come!!"

Too late... busted. Nice try guys.

Then the cocktail waitress gave me the wrong beer, which I started to drink anyway, and then she dumped a second one - the one I'd ordered - off with me. Damn, everyone wants to give me beer! That was the best part of the day!

Dinner. Prime Rib at the Cal coffee shop counter. It was amazing. Super tender and flavorful. One of the best I've had.

After dinner, hit Main Street Station. And I found a bit of luck, hitting four Aces for $100. Forgot the damn scratch card though.

Can you guess what happened next? 20 after 20 into different machines, all of them going almost immediately into the dumper with nothing back. Horrible. How can this be?

And that was the story of my day. Just two quads and a straight flush today. Compare to the eight quads in one run at the bar the day before...

Something is seriously wrong here.

I'm in a horrible, horrible quad drought.

Ended the day down $420, but plus $751 for the trip.

With my luck, the Video Poker Cupid will be visiting me real soon now.

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