Day 8 - Part 3
So why, you are asking, is there a picture of the Seafood SHACK up there? Well, a very nice looking couple went up there and I tried to get a picture of someone who had class, so I would recognize it in the mirror if it ever happened to me.
I was there fairly early and it wasn't very busy yet, which was fine with me. I scouted the buffet from end to end, looking for the things that would make a fine dinner.
First up, I had a nice salad plate, featuring kimchi, tabouli, and some other things. Lot's of good things on that plate.
I ate my salad, trying to avoid the gaze of the Buffet Sheila (named Miguel). I was hoping I would get really crappy service from the B.S. because, as I ate my salad, I remembered that yet again, I had no tipping dollars whatsoever, and no change either. Miguel was going to get stiffed.
For round two, I settled on some barbecue, big-ass ribs, actually, and a couple of sauces, and some salsa.
The ribs were good enough for me to go back and get a couple more. The Carolina style sauce was nice, the dark whiskey sauce is delicious but very intense, very sweet. Use it sparingly.
I tore out of the buffet before any of my plates got taken away, although Miguel did do a drive-by from which he unceremoniously dumped a handful of napkins onto the table. It's a 'get your own drink' buffet that is popular now, so he didn't even do that. Sorry Miguel, I'll catch you next time - but you gotta take my plates away!
A lot of short term video poker (or any gambling pursuit for that matter) is sort of like trying to ride the wave. You try to catch a big surge and get out before it curls you onto the rocks below. Then you try to catch it again.
When things are going well, I try to parlay, as you know, and catch a REALLY big wave behind the first one. But on this trip, with the short bankroll, I really haven't been doing much of it.
Well, here's an example of how I fucked it up and ruined an opportunity.
I'd given myself $200 for the day, to try to get the coin in. I'd done that successfully, and was down only $45 on the day.
I picked a machine, pulled up Jacks, and drilled a test hole with $5. Nothing.
I picked another machine, and drilled a test hole with $10. Nothing.
I picked another machine, and drilled a test hole with $20. Nothing.
I picked another machine, and drilled yet another test hole with $20. Nothing. I was losing, and the machines around the High Limit area looked like swiss cheese.
I picked yet another machine. I put in $100. The last of my day's stake, and money I needed for the rest of the trip.
Hit pay oil, or a dirt gusher, or something.
So what did I do?
I played dollars.
And I stuck with it way, way too long, down to $60 on the meter, dropped back to 50 cents, down, down to $10.
Great. But things improved and I got back up to $70. So did I cash out, lesson learned? No. I needed that money back, and surely it would come now.
Well, it didn't. I played for half an hour, but it didn't, and now my $200 stake was gone, all gone.
I had earned some freeplay, according to the little display I was desperately punching buttons on.
Flusher Rant - those little slot card terminals, they suck Emperor Penguin balls. First of all, you have to either get out of your seat and reach over, potentially breaking your kneecaps against the machine.
If you try to reach it from your seat, you have to have arms as long as an NBA forward. So you half sit half stand to reach the goddamned thing like you are unceremoniously trying to blow out an almighty kimchi shart from the buffet dinner.
Half the time the button you press doesn't work. And if it does, the thing takes so long to respond that you press something else, just in time to see the first thing you wanted to happen start to happen, and then get interrupted by your second button press. Then you take your card out, half squat, strain, shart a kimchi mushroom cloud, shove your card back in, and start over again.
End Flusher Rant
So here's where it gets sort of stupid. Or stupider. I went and cashed a traveler's check, so that I would have cash to play the little bit of freeplay that I had. Because you can't get the freeplay without cash of your own.
"I'll just play the freeplay, get a bottle, and call it a night," I thought.
"I'll just be disciplined, play the freeplay, maybe win, maybe not, get a bottle, and call it a night," I thought.
"I know I won't win, so I won't expect to be doing anything else but getting a bottle, going to the room and calling it a night," I thought.
Savvy gambling takes mental discipline.
Because I was going to show such restraint, I chose Double Super Times Pay Jacks. Triple Play.
I played the freeplay, and just as I was finishing, ordered a drink. Vodka, with a couple of big olives. Hold the kimchi.
I had my $100 on the meter, the freeplay didn't do anything. So I cashed out the ticket. Just like I'd planned.
I had to do something while I waited. So, I put the ticket back into the machine.
For safekeeping. Until my drink arrived.
I lost about a third of the hundred, and then I started to get a few nice little wins. Nothing huge, but I recovered the $100 and then won a bit more.
And of course, my drink arrived, and of course.... does Flushiepants have Any. Fucking. Tip. Dollars. on him? Noooooooooo no he does NOT.
I opened my wallet and showed the Cocktail Sheila.
"Do you take traveler's checks?"
She wasn't having it.
"No sir. Thanks."
I felt like crap.
"Honestly, I'm not - usually - a deadbeat - all the money I have on me is tied up in the machine. For reals. I need to make back $300, and then I'll be good."
"Look, don't worry about it," she said in the kind of tone of voice that when the Quad Queen says something, I know that what I have to do is worry about it.
"I'm really sorry, I always take care of people - well, except Miguel - but anyway, I do like to take care of people. And I tell you what, when I cash this out, I am going to find you and sort this."
I was starting to sound like Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys.
"You really don't have to... it's fine," she said in the kind of tone of voice that told me it wasn't that fine. "Good luck."
Well, I played on and hit a few more nice hands.
I hit a $75 hand and all of a sudden, I'd doubled my buy-in. I had $220 on the meter, roughly. This might work! I surfed on.
Another win! I was getting reallly close to the 1200 credit point ($300 for you Poindexters out there).
And there's the danger. In my experience, when you get to within 95% of some arbitrary goal - CASH THE FUCK OUT. Chances are very high that you will never get there, and you will lose it all back.
The adrenaline was gushing through my veins like water flying out of the Bellagio fountains. Oh man, it was soooo close, I could feel it.
Down to 1100 credits. Cash out, I thought. Just one more hand, I thought.
Down to 1000 credits. Cash OUT, I thought. Just a few more hands. I can get back.
And I did it!!! I made it over 1200!!! I had enough for one more full hand to still be over 1200, so I played it. Got nothing.
And then... I hit Deal again. Oh you fool, I thought. I can win more, I thought.
And I dropped down to 1100... to 1000... to 900 - ok, now this is serious, if you get to 800 you are cashing out, I thought.
Caught another multiplier for a minor win and boom - back over 1200 credits!!! WOOHOO!
And, with that, I gave a little smart-ass side to side wobble of the head, reached over crisply and pounded the DEAL button again.
I was actually kind of shocked. What was going on here?
I'll tell you what was going on. I was having FUN, oh my God it was fun, and exciting, and everything they count on to take your money from you in the casino.
Can you stand it?
I actually made it back over the 1200 line for a third time, and that was IT.
What a run that had been. I dodged my own stupidity and stumbled to victory.
There were a couple of errands to run, so I went and cashed the ticket. Then I hit up CVS and bought a bottle on my credit card. I couldn't stop grinning.
Back into the casino, I prowled around like a viper. I hung around like a snark. I lurked around like a politician.
And then I spotted my target.
"Look. I made it!" I said, and tipped the Cocktail Sheila $5.
Her attitude toward me changed immediately. It improved from severe annoyance and wariness to indifference.
And that was good enough for me. I retired to my chambers and celebrated a winning day. (I was counting the $5 as coming out of admin money. Believe me, I needed a win.)
Bankroll Left: $365
The $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016: All Posts
Planning the $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016