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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Land of Tilt

Thursday November 5, 2015 - Day 15 - part 3

Dinner was so great. So so so so great. Like very great. And the gambling day was going fine. Some small losses, but nothing out of this world. A little play here, a little there.

Added it up, and I was down a little over $400. I could coast the day in, right.

We went over to Main Street to play some Slutty Times Slutty Super Slutty Pay (with Sluts). We both started with $100. It was no problem.

My hundred went badly. A curiousity. Change machines.

More gone, change games.

Another hundred. Why aren't I getting any spinners? Change machines again. Change games.

And next thing I knew I was in that place where it takes a lot of work and discipline not to go. This is the Land of Tilt.

The Land of Tilt is an angry, desperate place. The place where you've lost but you won't accept it. You know better. You will feed the machine, force it to turn around as you know it should. In the Land of Tilt, the more you lose, the heavier and the faster you play. You refuse to accept that you are doomed. You are on a flaming jet fighter, nosediving for earth, tanks full of dollars ruptured and casting their fuel into the deafening wind. You won't bail out, you will force that airplane to fly out of sheer will and determination and need.

And of course, all you get out of it is a nice $400 crater.

Holy shit. What just happened? After just 13 minutes and 29 seconds I had played $400 of video poker and gotten absofuckinglutely nothing out of it.

For the Quad Queen, I'm sure, it was like watching an accident happen in slow motion. A curiousity at first, then crash and burn disaster.

So that's how I found myself after dweedling along all day, actually doing some serious damage to my trip winnings. I was now down $860 on the day. My wallet was empty of gambling dollars, and I was furious.

So much for our fun evening together.

"I'm sorry," I said, "I have to go. There's no sense sitting here and you having to listen to me swear. Good luck."

I didn't look back, I just went. I left Main Street. Pounded up the escalator, livid with my lack of self control. Across the bridge. Through the Cal. Every happy little gambler playing the machines pissed me off. I tried not to look, tried not to hear.

I had to wait for a red light and formulated a plan. I wouldn't go that way - no - I'd go this way. Into Binions.

First stop, Vato's, for a smoke. I had an idea. I had a plan. I had the resources and I was settling myself in for an epic battle (in the true sense, not the hipster sense).

I picked up some smallish thing or other that fit the bill and headed to the Grand. The walk did me good, and by the time I got all the way up to the room, I was centered again. This was no longer a walk in the park. I'd dumped a good portion of my bankroll, and might lose up to 15% or more of it.

But I wasn't going to take it. I was not going to go on tilt, no, but I was going to fight back.

Safe opened, I reloaded. Two hundred dollar bills. If I lost them, I would be down over $1000 for the day, something for which, at this point, there was no excuse. I added a couple more hundreds. You know, for... expenses. In case.

Down in the casino, took a good look around, left and right, and narrowed my eyes like a calm, in control Maxwell Smart.

I had this.

The classic rock, full of druggy screaming guitars and relentless drums and trippy voices pounded loud. It was good, right now.

First, I changed my two hundies into $20 bills. This was about control. This was fucking gambling war. This wasn't playing around all lobster la-di-da anymore.

I sat down at a machine and on cue, a cocktail waitress with inflated boobs the size of a Hindenburg took my order. Bourbon. Rocks. Her boobs weren't each the size of a Hindenburg, by the way, they were each the size of a Hindenburg cut in half, one half a Hindenburg turned 180 degrees. So between them, the boobs equaled, roughly, a single Hindenburg. Or perhaps the Hindenburg. After the minor mishap in Lakewood, I suspect they didn't build any more of them.

The first $20 bill went in, and the cigar got lit. A couple on the end of the bank took one look at me and pretty much fled. They knew not to mess with the likes of me (and my stinky cigar).

I played quarters, going for the parlay. Got nothing.

Second $20 bill went in. Fifty cent Double Double. And I hit paydirt!

Now we were talking. NOW I had a chance. I ordered another bourbon, which arrived minutes later, suspended lovingly between the nacelles.

I ramped up to dollars, but squeamish from the stupid play at Main Street, I switched to the less volatile Bonus Poker and pounded the machine. Within a minute or two, I was second guessing myself, and then I knew I'd made a mistake, losing my nerve and letting my foot off the gas on a hot machine.
I was dealt quad twos, and on Double Double, might have drawn for the kicker for $800. That would have got me right back. But it didn't. I was on Bonus.

Okay. No problem.

The music roared and I played on. I was in that wonderful zone again. This is maybe the best part of video poker, playing on an edge, the music and drinks are great, and you have a shot at something big. On and on I played.

Fuck it. I switched to Dollar Double Double. And I had a full half hour of non-stop action. I must have been dealt three-of-a-kind a dozen times, but I could not close and get a big quad. I was dealt three Aces, I was dealt four-to-a-Royal. But the dam would not burst for me.

And then I grounded. Out.

I'd have to start again. Encouraged, I fed another $20 in. And another. Hmmm. Change machines. Fed another. Played Boner Deluxe, going for a long shot quad. Nothing.

This again.

My first hundred was gone. I had one hundred left to play on the day.

In a fit of Flusher, I fed five flimsy $20s into the fucker.

It was Boner Deluxe quads or die.

The machine played okay, and I got a number of trips, but no saviour quad. And after 15 minutes or so... I was out.

I was now down $1060 for the day. Complete and utter disaster. Like anyone who is punch drunk, and knows they've had enough, and are exhausted at the end of a long day, I did the honorable thing and conceded.

Yes, I conceded that there WAS STILL 'ADMIN' MONEY IN MY WALLET.

Another hundred dollar bill went into the machine. I wasn't done yet!!!! I was now in for $1160. What the hell, it's only money, right? (Usually said by someone who has none.)

I played. Boy did I play. Boner Deluxe. Quads or die. Dollars. Sweating every four to a flush, every two pairs, going for a full house. Down. Then up again. Then down, Then up again.

I remember the beginnings of an old Faces song, Stay With Me, Ronnie Wood on tearing guitar, and Rod Stewart before he sold out singing like his underpants were knotted around his throat. Just rocking the fucking joint.

And as the three chord grind went double time in a flailing end to the rocker, it finally, finally, came in.

I took a long, long pull off my cigar and blew a Bikini Island mushroom cloud into the air in triumph.


Having walked to the edge, and come back, I now played with a very well defined cut-off. $400. But I pushed up past $500 on the meter, and a bit more for leeway, and made $500 my cut-off. If I could just get a second quad, man, I'd be sitting pretty. I pushed up to $580 or so, but hit the $500 and, this time, I knew better. It wasn't a winning day, but, by God, it was good enough, and that was very, very good.

I cashed the $500, a loser, who felt like a winner.

RF: Day: -$660 Trip: +$5720
QQ: Day: -$200 Trip: -$4260
Combined: +$1420

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    1. I'd like to say, sincerely, that you're always a winner. We are always with you, Flusher. Onward and upward (and up-word) as you are the LV wordsmith that we joyfully read. Onward!


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