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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Part 3 - Coin Control and Meryl Streep Station

Here's part three of the 1999 classic, I Lost a Shitload of Money and Later Got Excited That Someone Gave Me Free Dice.

This was a really fun day, and there are parts of it I remember quite well, like the guy telling his kid that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was a moose.

We stumbled into the California for the first time - little did we know that it would become our cottage and one of our very favorite places in Vegas.

Note: If you are on your smartphone, or small tablet, go for landscape mode. Because otherwise it is a total clusterpost.

© 2000 Royal Flusher - All Rights Reserved

Royal Flusher's Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Trip Report

by Royal Flusher

Part 3 - Coin Control and Meryl Streep Station

What an interesting place a casino is. If you listen closely, you'll hear the jingle of cash, the jangle of gaudy earrings, the snap-snap of strappy sandal slaps. The mystic 'yo-leven' bird croons over the felt savannah, the Cacktail bird crows 'Cacktails? Cacktails?' and the Peeyay bird squawks over the P.A. system. Listen carefully some time to the Peeyay bird and you'll hear some funny things. For example, we heard "Seymore Butts, Mr. Seymore Butts…" paged. We also heard a call for "Sel Phone, call for Sel Phone" (which admittedly isn't as poetic as Mr. Butts, but still, how do these things get by the operator?).

Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Clip:

It's the Monopoly Game! (274K)

I have a theory on who the voice of Rich Uncle Pennybags is - my money (such as is left) is on Rip Torn.

Since we had lost our stake the previous day without a big win, we decided part of the problem (well, actually Mrs. F decided for me) was my 'Coin Control'. It never failed. I would stumble or fumble putting a coin in a machine and she'd admonish me with those dreaded words, "Coin Control…!!!"

Finally, I devised a method for rapid fire coin entry. It works like this. You take your five coins (or three) and stack them up. Place them hard against the coin in 'backstop'. Now rapidly bang your thumb on the stack five times. Each time you do, a single coin is released into the slot. Once I mastered this, I figured I'd show Mrs. Flusher who had it and who didn't.

We sat down to play and I shoved a bill into my machine and cashed out the coins, just so I could show off. I gathered up the coins, put them in place, and waited until I had her attention. Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang went the coins like machine gun. I wobbled my head slightly from side to side and said, "Coin Control…"

"We hadn't had any breaks. We hadn't shown good sense. We hadn't quit while we were behind."

She went back to playing. Didn't miss a beat. Then she says, in a very serious tone, "Coin control isn't everything. You…you gotta know. When to hold 'em."

I looked at her. She continued. "Know when to fold 'em."

She played another hand of VP. "Know when to walk away, know when to run…"
That woman knows everything there is to know about gambling, I swear. I've got her right where she wants me.

So, there we are, Sunday AM. I bought a bagel and coffee from the snack barf at the G.N. and we hit the 9/6 dollar VP. This brought a quick loss of $300. My coffee didn't taste quite the same. There are unlucky streaks at this game, and this was one of the worst. We hadn't had any breaks. We hadn't shown good sense. We hadn't quit while we were behind.

The Horseshoe. If you look closely, you can just see Benny rolling in his grave at the changes.

Stunned, we regrouped. Time for a tour of some of the downtown casinos. After all, how hard is it to lose money while just walking? We looked for the display of one million dollars in the Horseshoe but couldn't find it. I paid my respects to the poker room and checked out the pictures of the World Series on the wall. We worked our way through the place, and headed out the back, towards Meryl Streep Station.

We'd never been there before, but had heard the buffet was good. The place is pretty nice I guess, but the big train out front kind of ruins the 'station' theme of the place by hiding a lot of the building. Will they never learn?

We signed up for the slot club and got two free dice each. Or is that two free dies each? Anyway, there were four dices in all, and I begged for two more 'so we'd have enough for Yahtzee'. It paid off. I kissed my good luck necklace - it was really paying off!

Did you ever meet someone and just feel the lines of communication were open? I met a woman behind us in line at the slot club, and before you could say "free dice", I had told her that when the Royal and Mrs. F first met it was love at first sight. She explained how it was the same for her and her hubby. "Oh…," she said, pounding her romantic fist over her heart, a tear in her eye, "I'm all full now…"

"Wait till you try the buffet!" I countered. In all seriousness, it was a wonderful, sappy, fun, crazy, steaming, leaping, throbbing, sharing, caring, giving, living, rock 'n roll experience.

A night shot from Fremont looking north of some of the neon near Main Street Station.
They have a Quad promo at MSS - get a quad, get a scratch card. We settled in for some Trickle Play Nipples and had a blast. Mrs. Flusher had a very good run, and got many quads. I think we cashed in a total of $12 or $15 worth of the scratch cards.

On one hand, the Flusherette was dealt four to a Royal in clubs, and upgraded it to a Royal Flush on one of the lines. WOOHOO! That's $200 for us. We were clawing our way back into the game. When the suit jackets came to pay off, I demanded we be paid the full sum of 4000 credits won in actual nickels*, as it was a nickel machine.

They declined.

Delirious with our new found monetary situation (i.e. haven't gotten pounded quite as badly as just a while ago) we hit the dollar slots and took another $60 out of the MSS coffers. Hah!

Brimming with Brio (or perhaps it was Orangina) I briskly bade the slot club barista, "Give us buffets!"

She declined.

*Some things never change... R.F.

"Then I cranked open my cookie. What wonders would it contain? What tantalizing prescient hints would it reveal?"

Well, all them points we earned on nickels will do us some good sooner or later. 

We paid for the buffet, and it really was very good.

I enjoyed salad, some ribs, a couple of fajitas, and this and that. A few types of desserts. Two things of cheesecake. Some of them cream filled doodads. Oh hell, basically I ate sugar and fat and it was marvelous.

Mrs. Flusher enjoying another delicious buffet, with a very handsome man!
As a topper, we each went for fortune cookies. I figured the zen of the cookie, if I believed in it strongly enough, would lead my spiritual inner money wheel to riches.

Mrs. Flusher opened hers first. It said, "You will be the center of attention."

Ahh, I thought. That's good. Very, very good. I ate the last bite of cheesecake, and with my mouth half full said, "You know, you might be the center of attention because you've won a big jackpot!"

Then I cranked open my cookie. What wonders would it contain? What tantalizing prescient hints would it reveal?

"You should begin an exercise program."

I felt like complaining to the manager, but what would I say? "Some sick bastard put a fortune in my cookie that I didn't like, and isn't really a fortune at all."? Well, I suppose it was good advice and truth be told, I was exercising daily as it was, so I guess there was no reason to get my shorts in a half nelson.

My exercise program goes like this:

Deal, Hold, Hold, Deal. Damn. 

Deal, Hold, Deal, Damn. 

Deal, Damn, Deal, Damn. Now for the find a spare coin stretch, and reeeach into that pocket, and Deal, Hold, Hold, Hold, Deal, Damn.

Left hand, wallet, and grab and place and shove and bill accepted, and repeat. Now reach for the stars, stretch that right hand up, waitress over here, and sip - you've earned it.

My program may be a bit heavy on stretches, but there are some weightlifting sessions too, when carrying buckets full of nickels to be cashed in, for example.

Time to move on from Meryl Streep Station to the Callin-for-ya, next door. It was another cookie cutter dingy downtown casino, and we loved it. Didn't really stick around though - just signed up for the slut clob, and moved on. 

Our budget was still not in good shape, and we were wondering what we'd do if we ran out of gambling money by mid day. Probably have to see sites, people watch, or some other horrendous non gambling activity.

Before long, we found ourselves in front of the Four Queens. We had always had good luck here, and fondly remembered their promo where we got decks of really useless crappy cards for free.
There's nothing like Christmas and Gambling. Now get that tree out of the way and put in some more slots...
Our motto, or at least one of our many mottos is, when in doubt (or in our case, when funds are low) play nickels. It's fun, light hearted, you still get free drinks, and you aren't really going to lose a bundle unless you are playing ten play VP or something. You'll get to mingle with the ill-dressed, the chain smoking grannies of the world, the geriatric low rollers (who still only put in one coin at a time even though it's only nickels), and other losers such as yourself who are in a budget squeeze. The stress of possibly losing a lot of money is gone, and so is the thrill of possibly winning more than 65 cents at a time. Of course, lightning could strike and you could find yourself a few hundred richer, I suppose, but odds are against it.

"I grabbed for my amulet leaving grey-black streaks of mung on my shirt. It was now or never. Then, it hit!"

Well, we wandered over to the eastern front area of the casino, which is some sort of nickel haven, and found ourselves a couple of beautiful, flat top slots in a bank of progressives. Gleefully we dipped into the coin bins of the machines, gathering up that disgusting mixture of grease, dust, and cigarette ashes that cruds up all such machines, and anointed each other's faces with war-like stripes, and birds of prey.

"How do I look?" I asked.

"Great. Me?"

"You could use a little more ash and Coke paste in your right eyebrow."

Prepared? You bet. We were going to WAR on these nickel hoarding bastards. Silently we each confidently slipped a single dollar into our respective bill acceptors, as if to say, "Hey, you nickel hoarding bastards, this is all we're going to need to prime the pumps and clean you out, baby!" It's a similar feeling to lining up at the Circus Circus buffet, except it'll be you that gets cleaned out.

Well, it didn't take very long before we were off and winning. Mrs. Flusher hit big for 125 nickels, and a couple of spins later lined up Bar, Bar, 5xPay for 250 beautiful, round, once-shiny ones. This was starting to look up. I wasn't having quite as much luck and forced the Flushetta to cash out all her nickels so I would be able to keep playing without having to put in more bills.

The wonderful Mrs. F nailed another 125 nickels, but I had bigger things in mind, even though it would take some work to get there. I was going down slightly, my blackened fingers pawing nickel after nickel into the machine.

"Nice coin control," she muttered. My heart sang, my feet tapped out the rhythm to the local muzak and my lungs twitched with the delightful menthol cigarette smoke coming from the blue haired woman next to me. Nickels in Vegas. It doesn't get any better than this! I grabbed for my amulet leaving grey-black streaks of mung on my shirt. It was now or never.

Then, it hit! 5Bar, 5Bar, 5xPay for one thousand two hundred and fifty nickels! We looked at each other and laughed our heads off. It was so absurd! The ancient grannies around us gave us dirty looks and tried to kick our shins as if it were an accident as they walked by to take a look. They were so jealous!

You want a memory to remember? How about a $62.50 hand pay? That's what I've got stored right next to the memory of the hangnail I had on my baby toe that day.

Here's the south lobby of the Golden Nugget. Listen what kind of trouble I got into for taking this picture of the lovely Mrs. Flusher

Our budget had recovered somewhat and we were on a nickel high. We cashed out a few more bucks in nickels and things were looking bright. Time to hit the 9/6 $1 JB at G.N.
This is the ugly and annoying animated Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer display. I took a picture of it to placate the security team from the Sonyc-Vysion clip "No Pictures, Please." Also, listen closely to the sound clip below where the kindly tourist assures his children that this is in fact a moose.

Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Clip:

No Pictures, Please! (786K)

Having written a novella describing nickel play, let me just say this. We lost it all at the 9/6 $1 JB at the G.N. Fine, happy?

Dinner was a comped buffet. I found it to be pretty good, but the Flushina didn't like it very much. I think she ate a package of Melba toast and that was about all.

As I ate and Mrs. F watched, we reviewed our experiences. What a day it had been! Up, down, up, down. And that was just the toilet seat in our room! Our fortunes had done the same thing. As a way of regrouping, we picked a different denomination of gambling devices into which to pour our money. Quarter V.P. Bonus Deluxe.There were some nice quiet machines in the public areas between the main lobby and the south lobby. 

We settled in and my sweet Flusheteria had some luck. Four fours netted us $100. "I think I have another in me," she cooed, and on the very next hand was dealt four sixes for another $100.

We finished off on a $1 progressive that had gotten up to about $9000 for the royal and we ended the day with a couple of hundred short of blowing the days entire budget. Plus three pairs of dices.

What a ride that was, even on our very limited budget at the time! Interesting that the scratchcard promotion was on as far back as 1999, and probably before. Those same dollar machines at the Nugget that took the $300 would eventually get their paytables shorted - and I'd eventually hit them for dollar royals in 2014 and 2015. And hopefully more to come.


    1. I was definitely surprised to read they were doing the scratch cards way back when!

    2. In the "No Pictures, Please!" Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Clip, Mrs. Flusher was playing video poker one coin at a time. Not very savvy. I'm glad you've both learned since then.

      1. No, I don't think so. We learned our lesson the first time I ever played, hitting a one coin Royal. Since then we've never played short coin. Ever.

      2. And of course... there is one exception. The 1-100 coin machines at T.I. that paid the proper amount for a Royal - 800 credits. It was a sweet ride while it lasted.

      3. From 0:25 to 0:50 in the clip, /someone/ is playing an IGT Player's Edge Plus video poker machine one coin at a time. Maybe it was someone else in the vicinity of your fly-mic, but it started right around the time Mrs. F asked about playing the lucky machine.

    3. That photo of the Christmas tree is almost an exact match to Matt & Stinky's (God rest his stinky soul) Vegas in $19/day trip report. Ah...memories!

      1. RIP Stinky. :(
        There was never anything funnier than a Matt and Stinky trip report.


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