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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Seduce Me, Bass Player

What a trip it had been. I thought I would sneak in some Vegas time in between work duties so that I could catch some warmer weather and some sunshine, and not burn up a bunch of vacation days.

Who could have imagined that I would have, generally, a sustained run of bad luck that would almost erase all the winnings from my previous trip in the fall? Not I.

Having got 4 Royals on that trip, I knew that I was extremely lucky. And in my mind, I really thought that I wouldn't get one this trip. Or maybe I'd get just one.

But a fairly consistent and prolonged ass-kicking... it's well within the normal realm of variance but always surprising in its brutal merciless consistency.

I've had good trips to Vegas. And I've had bad trips to Vegas.

This one was, without peer, the worst ever. And it wasn't a full-time vacation either. And perhaps that's part of the problem. Seriously, perhaps I didn't play enough to avoid gambler's ruin in terms of variance.

We all know that the only way to get out of a deep gambling hole is, unfortunately, to keep playing until it turns around.

Gambler's ruin is when you run out of bankroll to survive the statistically predictable downward swings due to variance.

So is there any difference between running out of money and running out of time? Perhaps not.

I think we can place this dismal, demoralizing result squarely on the shoulders of Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer (generally) and my sniveling sycophantic beneficiary of marital nepotism boss Norbert (particularly).

When the big things are bad, you learn to try to make the little things something to smile about. And in my case, at this point, all I wanted was a nice last day. So far it had been great. It all got distilled down to hoping I could at least have a nice last evening at the El Cortez Parlour Bar.

 I walked in and was surprised to see there was a little lounge combo featuring a lounge singer whose name escapes me now. Some of the crowd were regulars, so perhaps some of you readers can enlighten me as to her name.

I shoved a bill into the only available machine, located at the right side of the bar, started to play, and listened.

Like most lounge acts, this crew was good, not great, but the drinkers in the audience thought they were superstars. The singer was adept enough, talented enough, but also dipped into the Lounge Singer's Book of Cheesy Audience Interaction with aplomb.

For example, when it was an appropriate moment for a bass solo, she said, "Let's let the bass player shine!... Seduce me, bass player!!!"

This made me smile and gave me a new appreciation for a bass's G string.

So did this annoy me? Bother me? No.

I loved it. I loved it all. I imagined what Bill Murray as the Lounge Singer would have said, and this lovely creature was uttering it all verbatim.

Even better, I started to win - starting with a little surprise quad on Bonus Poker from two.

I played some more, drinking my drinks, hearing my sounds, enjoying my time. I had one eye on the meter to see how my coin in was doing. It would be so nice to have a decent evening and qualify for a comped room as well. I hate paying for rooms.

Hey, I hit another one. I was up to $85 on a $20 buy-in. Nice!

Last day. Huge losing trip. What do you do?

Fucking right, you parlay that bitch. I got onto dollars and kept getting those hands that keep you in it, namely flushes and fulls house when you needs them.

I hit a third quad to get me into a more comfortable range for playing dollars:

And it all just kind of came together in a great little session.

I pounded those dollars. I was in the zone. I had the lounge singer and the bongo player. I had the guy in the audience who would clap at completely inappropriate times, usually three or four times per song. It made me laugh and made me want to nut punch him.

Halfway through the second verse of a song, he'd start clapping.

Thirty seconds later, more clapping.

It was the weirdest thing I've ever heard. And it fit the evening perfectly. I'm sure if I'd talked to him he'd have pleaded 'hammered'.

The songs flew by, the drinks flowed, and I played dollars as fast as I could. I kept ending up an Ace short of four, and a card short of a Royal, which was pretty much the pattern this trip, but that's ok. I was having a blast.

I easily hit the $3000 coin in I needed for the room comp. God love ya dollar Bonus Poker!

Having learned a few lessons this trip, I cashed out $100 from the machine just as the lounge singer finished a set.

That was it. I was done.

Next stop, the host's goldfish bowl office. Long story short, after much typing, frowning, scrunching, checking, and me pointing out that yes I'd played enough today to cover today's and yesterday's room, the comp situation was squared away.

My bill at the El Cortez would be $0.00. Just the way I like it.

Even better, I had qualified for some incredible El Cortez style slot club offers.
I qualified for Smokes! Or a Jackie Burger.
I walked away and suddenly realized... I had points. And those points could be used for free play.

So, I wasn't done. One more time... I hit the lobby bar, fed my card to the thingy, and loaded up as much free play as I could. It wasn't all that much, $20 or something.

I had already decided that if I hit anything on freeplay, that I would cash it out. My last had would be a winner.

And this is what came up:

Showing incredible restraint and valuing a positive final memory over taking a degenerate last-gasp chance yet again, and probably losing it all yet again...

...I cashed it out.

Yes, I did. That there set of fours is the last hand I played on this trip. It was a very tiny 'fuck you' to all the bad luck I'd had.

My last day was a winner.

I was plus $160. And I'd gotten my El Cortez room and food comped. I ended just shy of $5K in losses.

But I'd had a great time, right?

No, actually. It was mostly shitty. There were certainly plenty of happy moments, and even happy days, like this last one. But yeah, this one sucked.

I know it was hard for some of you to read, but that just means that you care.

And you know that Flushiepants tells it like it is, good or bad.

So if I ever have a stellar trip again, we can all enjoy it together, right? Right.


The VIP shuttle people picked me up just as they were supposed to. I had a big, fat, sweaty guy next to me on the red eye, just as you'd expect. It was awful and uncomfortable and hard to get any sleep. I used my second lounge pass in Toronto to eat about three omelettes and steal a bunch of fancy magazines that I don't understand. Flashy colorful magazines with titles like LUSTER, and RIM, and sHEen. There are pictures of cars that cost as much as a retirement plan, living rooms with glass walls soaring four stories. Ads featuring watches with 89 dials on them made of metals I've never heard of or seen.

The hopper plane dumped me at Flusherville and I was home. I was tired. I was broke.

But good things awaited me, the Quad Queen, Chippy II, and most importantly, the very old, and still wagging Chippy, who tried to turn herself inside out, she was so happy to see me.


As I finish this up some six weeks after the trip ended, I don't think that much about the money. What I think about is a little black puppy with a little blaze of white fur on her chest, whose breath smelled like freshly baked waffles.

She went on her way, oh, about a month ago now.

To have the companionship, and to love a creature as wonderful as Chippy for thirteen and a half years, and to lose that sweet little girl, now that is a loss that truly hurts. Fuck the $5K. It's nothing.

I just miss my dog.

But no variance will bring her back.

So, it's all about perspective I guess. Life keeps teaching me stuff, and often it is stuff that I really don't want to learn.

It's getting easier I guess as the days go by, but damn.

I just miss my dog. And I hug Chippy II all that much more often.

I'm sad to say
I'm on my way
Won't be back
For many a day
My heart is down
My head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl...



    1. I was hoping for a last day win for you, as much as you were hoping for one yourself. Losing trips just aren't fun. I really wish you could have gone out on a high note, DAMMIT.

      1. Yeah, I was hoping for that surprise royal, but it just wasn't happening. I think I've had my share of good trips. And I've had my share of bad ones.

    2. That's one of your best blog posts yet. Any fool can talk about big wins. It takes a special kind of savvy to write honestly and openly about losses, financial and otherwise. Much respect Flusher!

      1. Thanks man, appreciate it. At lease I have CFL football to look forward to, if Durant can last longer than half a game without breaking something.

    3. Great writing..wish the results were better but at least you enjoyed yourself Vegas!

      1. Thanks! There were many enjoyable minutes in this trip, spread amongst the asskicking hours. :D

    4. Great stuff - you're the best , RF!

      1. From a King to a Flusher, high praise. Thank you!

    5. Been reading your trip reports for years, always amusing and exciting. As a tear streams down for another little black dog from the past my heart goes out to you. God Bless.

      1. Thanks Tim, amazing that it has been many years now. I guess I was able to relate the emotion of the situation effectively enough, sorry for the tears, but its all part of it, the good and the bad, isn't it.

    6. I have read just about all your posts. I have also lost my dogs. Thank you for sharing the good with the bad. Please keep posting. The wife and i will be going to Lost Wages in mid-May. We will keep you in mind as we stay savvy.

      1. May is a great time to be in Vegas. I wish you the best of savvy luck! (June and July are also great times to be in Vegas. Also April, January, February, November, December, March, September, October and August.)

        I'm sorry for your lost doggies. It is astounding how they become our true friends and companions.

    7. Great TR. Sorry it was a dumper, eventually the house gets it all. At least you are feel of gamblers remorse. The trips that really suck that much more are the ones where you curse yourself for your loses. Thanks for taking us along for the trip! :0)

      1. Thanks for your ongoing support, Funk!

      2. Apparently I should avoid 6:43 am postings since I can't proof my posts. Change feel to free. Great TR!

    8. Bad trips are hard to stomach but nothing compares to the loss of a dear friend like Chippy. You are so right. We think of our Champagne often and have a small memorial in our front living room. We hug Bailey often thinking about how wonderful Champagne was and that she was taken from us oh to soon. We feel your pain Flushiepants and give Chippy II and extra hug from us as well. Always enjoy your reports whether you win or lose, hopefully it is the first. Dmjewel

      1. Thank you Dmjewel. I am getting along ok I guess, partly because Chippy was able to live a full and complete life, happy, with every opportunity. She really died of old age, except that we saved her from the last few days of what would have been inhumane suffering. It is quite a responsibility when you adopt a little puppy.

    9. Flushie sir you are a legend, i have been sitting here in the UK reading your blogs from day ONE lol, not of this trip but of every trip and sir they have made me laugh cry (chippy)and pee and puke lol. I look forward to my solo trip in july even more now knowing that im not the only degenerate gamblester in the world who lacks savvyness and knowing when to quit. Have loved every trip you have had and want to thank you for sharing them with us. it really is greatly appreciated. ukpaul70

      1. I'm always pleased and impressed when my blog triggers random urination and the odd hurl. LOLOL. Thanks for commenting here, it is really appreciated when I hear that people enjoy my ramblings. Enjoy your July solo trip - may you have all the luck that I missed!!!

    10. Thanks for sharing, once again, Royal man. Always a good read but of course, results fell short and loss of a dog all too difficult. Does add perspective. Take care and may the gaming gods provide MUCH better support next time. Oh and the best news, there is a next time. Ciao

      1. Thanks Frank Nic, I know next time will be better, because this time was the worst!!!

        I can definitely improve on my self control, so that guarantees a better result if I master not dumping a day's budget in 70 minutes, right?

    11. RF,
      Love your stories and wry (twisted?) sense of this town that we love.
      We have all been there on a losing trip. The ATM is like a beacon of hope on a stormy sea, but then that too is gone.
      Appreciate your sharing and look forward to your next trip where you will collect some of those overdue Royals.


    12. I agree that this posting was one of your best yet.. I am really sorry for the bad losing trip, but even more sorry about Chippy... In this age when were so cynical, it is not often we are brought to tears reading things, especially on a Vegas Centric blog(probably as it should be huh), but as with your tribute post, and having pups myself, my heart cried on this one flusher.. Looking forward to your next trip and report as alway, and thank you again for all the effort you put forth for our enjoyment!

    13. Nothing better prep-wise for a trip than going back and reading some Flusher classics. Thank you for all of your reports.


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