Thursday, August 2, 2012

Royal Flusher Gambling Games of the First Olympiad of Las Vegas

Target Shooting

The next morning we arose at the crack of 7:00 am. We played a little in the casino and over breakfast, I sprung my plan.

“Today,” I said, with a pompous air as I gestured with a half-eaten piece of toast, “is the first morning of the first day of the Games of the First Olympiad of Las Vegas.”

Clearly, my wife was awestruck with the idea of participating in the pageantry, drama, and athletic perfection that is the Olympic Gambling Games.

“I think this club sandwich has the same dodgy bacon as last night,” she said.

“We’re going to have different events each day - target shooting, baseball, marathon, combined reverse martingale clean and jerk, decathlon, dressage, synchronized spinning, and the centerpiece event of any Olympics, the hundred dollar dash. The loser of each event has provide a gold medal of some sort for the winner. And if you get a Royal Flush… its an instant gold medal.”

Quad Queenus Emeritus looked at me, chewing and smiling somehow at the same time.

“In…” she mumbled through a mouthful of turkey, tomato and dodgy bacon.

The Royal Flusher Gambling Games of the First Olympiad of Las Vegas were on. We hit the machines to warm up, me on Deuces Wild, Mrs. F on Double Double Bonus (aka Get Quads or Die). This trip, I was determined to get the four deuces, which pay $250 on the quarter machines we favor. It had been so long since my last set of ducks.

I nailed three wild royals flush but was down a couple of twenties, and the No-Quad Queen wasn’t hitting nought – she was down a hundy.

In the first good luck/bad luck hand of the trip, I was dealt a straight flush, worth $62.50 on our normal machines. It paid a paltry 45 quarters. That’s the risk you run playing Deuces.
“So how do you do the clean and jerk?” Mrs. F. asked

“Well, in the fake Olympics, the so-called "athletes" lift ever increasing weights, so I figured we’d have an event where you bet starting at $1 and double it each day. And you have to bet on a different game each time.”

We took a stroll next door to visit my trusty old Bonus Poker slant top, upstairs in Fitzgerald’s, where I’d gotten my birthday Royal. The machine was still there, and we played a while, hitting some quads including a couple of $50 ones.

The day passed in a flurry of button pushing, drinking, second hand smoke, and general gambling revelry.

Evening found us under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience. Looking down past Binions and the Golden Nugget to the Plaza at the end, across the street from the venerable Golden Gate, I saw history before me. I could just imagine the transition from desert trail, to a horse-filled street of dust, with hitching posts and sawdust joints, to a busy paved thoroughfare of neon and fifties optimism, through the tawdry seventies and excessive eighties, and into the modern day of competition with overblown multi-billion dollar strip resorts, the future of downtown Las Vegas still not known.

But tonight it looked sparkling, and bright. As we stood in the center of Fremont, bathed in flickering neon, the light show on the four block canopy started with its magnificent colors, and body-shaking sound. It was time.

“I declare the Royal Flusher Gambling Games of the First Olympiad of Las Vegas… OPEN!”

“What?”

“I declare the R.F.G.G.O.F.O.L.V… OPEN!” I shouted.

“WHAT?”

“GAME ON!!!”

Point made, we sauntered down the street to the first official Olympic venue, the Golden Gate, to compete in the first ever Vegas Olympics event – target shooting, which of course, meant shooting dice.

I’d figured out a set of rules where basically we’d each shoot ten times. If, on the come out roll, you won by shooting 7 or 11 or lost by shooting 2, 3 or 12, that counted as a complete shot. If you rolled a point number, 4,5,6,8,9 or 10, you’d keep rolling until you either made the point or sevened out. Either of these would end that shot. You had to make a $5 pass line bet, and take $5 odds on point numbers.

The winner would be the shooter who ended up with the most money.

I carefully explained all this to the Qube Queen and she looked as glazed over as a Christmas ham.
“Just tell me what to do, okay?” she said.

“Olympic athletes are supposed to be focused and have the rules of the event etched into their brains with laser-like precision. You really should have trained appropriately for this event.”

I felt justified in trash-talking, since craps was my forte. This was gonna be a cakewalk. We sidled up to the craps table and each bought in for $60.

We got our chips and realized we’d have to take turns, and then fought over who got to go first, and then it turned into a kind of pinching match before we realized the four dealers at the craps table were starting to look at us like we’d lost our minds.

“We’re having a little competition here,” I explained to the crew. “It’s an Olympic event – we’re Olympic dice athletes, and we’re shooting for gold.”

The boxman, who runs the game, raised an eyebrow and huddled his arms over his racks of chips just a little more closely.

I picked two (lucky) dice, plunked a red $5 chip on the pass line, and let fly. My point was five, and I was on my way to Olympic glory, plus the thrill of beating my wife at a gambling competition.
Deftly, I plunked a second chip down as my odds bet. Deftly, the boxman reminded me that I should have put $6 down to get the correct payoff if I won. Deftly, I started to feel incredibly stupid and embarrassed. I’m supposed to know this shit.

Normally I would put money on the 6 and 8. But this was an international competition – the rules had to be followed to perfection.

Naturally, I rolled a series of eights. And then, naturally, I sevened out.

It was the Queen’s turn and I still had nine shots left.

She put her chip down, and the dealer reminded me that I hadn’t put a bet down. I had to explain that since it was a competition we weren’t betting on each others rolls. He looked at me with a scowl and shook his head slightly back and forth. I turned crimson.

QQ rolled an eight, took the odds, and rolled another eight. Winner. $21.

“Now I roll again? What do I need to roll?”

“Anything you want, as long as its seven.”

Her come out roll was a ten. A tough point to make. And she sevened out.

At this point, she asked me a crucial question.

“HEY, ARE YOU GONNA WRITE ALL THIS DOWN?”

So, there we were, messing around, taking turns at the craps table, breaking all the protocols, with four dealers watching us like hawks wondering what all this bullshit about the Olympics was, and I’m taking notes, juggling paper, pen, chips, with an all-important double Jack on ice stashed on the little shelf under the worn, padded rail of the table.

I did the only thing I could think of and tossed some white chips onto the layout. “Hardways, for the crew.” If we were betting for the dealers, maybe they’d let us continue this ridiculous competition (which I was losing) without too much concern.

I had the dice again and rolled snake eyes. $5 loss. Next roll, a seven. Finally, I was on the board. $10 win. And another winner seven. Next I rolled a ten on the come out and sevened out immediately.
Mrs. QQ won on her next four rolls, hitting three points and one winner seven, before sevening out. Rather than buying in for more chips, Mrs. Flusher insisted on rebetting the ones she already had. Now we had to take time to count up her chips so she could re-bet them without us losing track of the score. I made another bet for the dealers, throwing a handful of dollar chips onto the felt, just so we would have a chance at finishing the competition without getting thrown out of the place.

“You’re bringing heat on me,” I whispered to the QQ, nodding towards the crew. “I might get back-roomed if you keep it up.”

She smiled and fired the dice down the felt.

We rolled on. I managed three wins on the come out for $10 each, and was cursed with craps twice. A quick comparison of our winnings indicated that Mrs. Flusher had a pantload of chips, compared to my meager stash. And she was still shooting.

So, using some other funds, I bet on her. And the crew. I wanted to make the dealers at the Gate love me.

The final tally: Qube Queen $161, Royal Flusher $47

Mrs. Flusher had won the first ever Las Vegas Olympics Gold Medal. And, by default, I had won the brown medal.

We colored up, cashed out, and moved on. A few hours of taking careful advantage of the superior gambling conditions in our chosen casinos saw the Quad Queen down her entire days’ stake, slinking off to the ABC store for Hawaiian chocolate, and slinking up to the room to devour the Hawaiian chocolate. Not one to give up, she responded to this drought by returning to the Four Queens and pounding out five quads in short succession.  I was also low on dough for the day and mostly pouted.
We got hungry, so we quickly checked for messages about Duke’s condition – nothing – before grabbing dinner at the coffee shop in the Golden Gate. I was hoping maybe some P.R.O.B. would fix my mood.

“I can’t believe you kicked my ass at craps, and won gold, and I won shite, and we’re getting our asses kicked, and there’s still no word about Duke,” I whined, hardly tasting my roast beef.
Mrs. Flusher barely glanced up. “Take it easy…”

We had to start our daily Clean and Jerk betting, where we’d double the amount each day. The starting stakes were $1 and as it happened, we both settled on keno so we hit the California. There was a bit of a scuffle as the tickets were prepared since my loving wife accused me of trying to steal her numbers and copy them to avoid being beaten at the start of the event. This was an outrageous accusation, not at all in the spirit of honest competition. Can you imagine?!

Sadly, I was only able to steal and copy 4 of her 6 numbers, but in the end we both scored a great big dinosaur egg, which is about the same as a hen’s egg, or more commonly a goose egg, as in zilch. We were tied in the Clean and Jerk for the day.
We finished up back at our hotel where my Queen pulled off such Double Bonus stunts as holding a single Ace drawing quad 8s, and nailing dealt quad 4s for $100.

I moved to the game where I’d won almost every session on my birthday trip (and gotten my ass kicked earlier in the day) – the craps table. I smoothly bought in for a hundred and tossed my players card on the felt so they could rate my play and shower me with comps after I’d been there for four or five hours. Chips arrived with a “Good Luck Mr. Flusher”.

Five minutes later, I smoothly bought in for a second hundred. Five bad rolls in a row were a fluke, right?

There was an audible sucking sound, as the table horked chips out of my rail right left and center. They magically flew from my rail, through the air, directly into the boxman’s rack. Ten minutes after I started I was on my way to bed. It was all gone. Back in the room, we confirmed the worst after a quick accounting. We had both lost our entire days’ stakes and a bit more, a rare occurrence. Oh what gamblers we were!

Stuffing in earplugs to ensure a quiet night, only one thought comforted me – that of Olympic revenge at the next days’ event. Ah, the crack of the bat, the snap of balls into a well broken-in glove… yes, sex with The Flusher is good, but never mind that - Olympic Baseball would be even better.

The Score

$31.25 Quads: QQ 5, RF 1
$50.00 Quads: QQ 1, RF 1
$62.50 Quads: QQ 1, RF 0
$100.00 Quads: QQ 1, RF 0
$200 ass-kickings at craps table: RF 1
Boring Who-Cares Las Vegas Olympic Gold Medals: QQ 1, RF 0
Club (with dodgy bacon) Sandwiches: two
Sour Grapes: RF 1
Clean and Jerk: QQ ($1 Keno): $0 RF ($1 Keno with very similar numbers to QQ): $0


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