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 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.
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
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.|
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.
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...