In the shadow of Slotzilla, my favorite street musician played his steel drums, softening the hustle of the street with his soothing sounds. I took the opportunity to grab some video, drop a few bucks in his bucket and have a quick chat with him.
|If you see this musician, throw him a buck or two. True talent on Fremont.|
"That's a tympani right?" he blurted, interrupting, and then belched.
"That's a steel drum sir," I explained. "It's a brilliant piece of Trinidadian innovation and creativity that saw the careful hammering of the bottoms of oil drums into shapes that would turn the discarded vessels of filthy black gold into unique and beautiful musical instruments."
Doofus adjusted his hat, which had three sets of sunglasses perched on top of it.
"That's a tympani though, right?"
My guy had no choice but to kick off a new tune. After all, he was there working, and when he wasn't playing, he wasn't earning. I gave him a wink and went on my way. He flashed that big gold toothed grin and played.
My next stop, good ole Fremont home of spinners and full pay pick 'em. I played without a card and lost most of a $20 bill on spinners. Left with $2.50 (not enough for a full hand of triple play spinners), I walked back to the lobby and played pick 'em. I had quite a good run, garnering a number of fulls house and flushes (which pay decently on pick'em) and a number of delicious refreshing cocktails as well, hand-delivered on their very own presentation tray.
I also narrowly averted disaster by avoiding a Pick'em royal flush by just one card. Thank goodness the King of Spades wasn't present!
In the spirit of low rolling and not getting blown out on my final day, I cashed with $40 on the meter. That put me up $100 on the day. It felt good to take a small win, leave Fremont, and instantly head for another casino where I would then gamble the small win regardless.
That destination was the Plaza. I kept the volatility low, opting for Bonus Poker.
I started with my card. I had $75 free play available and I managed to extract $50 in cash out of that. One the Quad Queen's account, there was $90.
I pulled up $50 to start. It went nowhere fast. Gone.
I put in $25 of free play. Zip.
The last $15. Three hands worth. I got a couple of things and worked the credits up a little.
And then I lucked out a little bit!
The upshot of it was that I turned $165 in free play into $190 in cash.
One of the rare occasions on this trip that I can say was The Royal Flusher Way and even somewhat savvy.
This was weird territory for me, and I wasn't used to it. I was - what's the word? - winning. I was up about $250 on the day!
I picked up a delicious Americano at StarBuck$ and wandered north to my next stop.
I bought a couple of tickets, kibitzed with Maria the Singin' Cocktail Slinger a bit, chatted up the Hawaiian keno pros who had grown roots in their little keno chairs with the little desk attachments, sipped my Americano, and had a great time relaxing.
|Keno sharps at the Cal.|
|Great views of the entrance to the newly renovated Men's room.|
Pictures of the new lobby, and the details of the California casino plans appear in a separate article in Royal Flusher World.
I had been toying with the idea of trying to do a second decent day's play at Starship Binions to see what kind of free play offers might come out of it, but given the state of my budget, and the bad luck streak I'd been on for two weeks, I shelved that idea. It would have to wait for better days.
Friday at the California means only one thing - Oxtail Stew! I grabbed a seat at the counter in front of the Keno board and ordered up a bowl. It was delicious as always. After lunch (for which I paid - shudder - cash - can you believe it??? me paying cash at the Cal???) I hit the alcove for a little video poker.
Pinchy and Flashy have a new friend. Let's call him Fadey.
It got so bad I flagged down a floor person.
"I'm pretty sure this machine is dying. I know these are older, but at this point, I can't really even see the cards!"
"I should... leave?" I said, crestfallen. Was I being 86'd from the Cal???
I made the patented F.P. sad face. Think of the saddest fucking basset hound hang dog face you can imagine ever existing, and add tears. And then go sadder than that.
"No, beat on it. You just have to give it a good whack or two. Let me show you."
She reached over and, flat-handed, gave the screen a few good ones.
It came right back. The screen, lit up in all of its video poker brilliance.
I've been on these machines for twenty years now, but this one was new to me.
I played out the string without any drama, and the keno tickets didn't pay anything much. Two bucks back or something.
Time to get back to the El Cortez. I took my final walk down Fremont for the trip, gave the steel drum guy one final nod. I had to get completely packed up and ready for the limo at 9:30pm. I'd take a rest, maybe a shower. Kill some time. And then try to have a decent meal and maybe a decent last gamble at the ElCo.
Keno is a game for kicks
Pay some money make your picks
If by chance you get a win
Just play those same old numbers agin