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Sunday, July 2, 2017

What's a King?

Day 9, Wednesday May 24, 2017

My arc of degeneracy started with uneducated nickel slot play, then moved to uneducated quarter slot and video poker play, with a side of obsessive coupon clipping and low-rolling, then to educated video poker play with comps and hosts, then 50 cent play, then dollar play with limos and suites, screw the coupons, they take too much time.

What goes around comes around, and being a low-roller again is fun (even though I didn't think it would be after hammering dollars). And I decided to be a coupon-hundt. Because on a $3000 bankroll, the dribs and drabs of free plays and match plays for $5, $10 or even $25 can make quite a difference. In some cases, an astounding difference.

So - before the trip, I'd purchased the Las Vegas Advisor Cornucopia Book of Values, and the American Casino Guide book (now 92% disposable).

Downtown is one of the best places to make a coupon run because, obviously, you can drumble stunkenly from one casino to the next, cashing in coupons like they were WWII rations.

With a big day ahead of me, I ordered up a hearty omelette (hold the heart meat). As I ate, I thought about my tournament strategy.

My round two time for the video poker tournament was set for 10:00am. I went up to the mezzanine and messed around with Freddy F. for a while until it was time to check in. It's been a long time since I drew a slant top as my assigned tournament machine. Assignments are really random, now, and I think they changed the system because of me.

The Cal makes a good omelette. OTOH, its hard to fuck up eggs.
This is kind of sad, but it's also savvy. They used to use old keno balls placed in a box for you to use to select a machine. You'd reach in and grab a ball (!), and the number on the ball corresponded to your machine for the round. Now, a slant-top machine is much faster to play, and much easier to play as well. It's easier to see the cards, to press the buttons... it could be a definite advantage to have one.

There are just 10 slant top machines out of perhaps 80, and they are assigned numbers in the 50s. And the drawing box has a big ole cut-out in it.

So, I'd look in the box for a ball numbered in the 50s before 'randomly' selecting. I'd sort of memorize where it was and reach in and try to grab it. If I didn't see a slant top ball, sometimes I'd give 'em a stir and pull my hand out and pretend I dropped my ball (!), and then go in for another pass. Again, I'd look for balls in the 50s, and try to grab one.

I know what you're thinking.

Either "What an Asshole!" or "I wish I'd thought of that!".

The savvy, cutthroat video poker tournament player uses everything to his advantage, including putting a whoopee cushion under the tournament leader's seat.

On the downside, I got too blatant about my antics one time and was threatened with ejection from the tournament. That's how you know you are playing on the bleeding edge of the rules! Since they, I've behaved, taking one glance but not hesitating, not perusing, and not stirring the balls.

Now, they use flat numbered tiles instead of balls, and you can't see the numbers on them ahead of time, so I am glad to say I now (am forced to) play with as much integrity as anyone else.

If you think that this was bad behavior, and believe in karma, consider this. I've drawn nothing but difficult to play upright machines since, mostly with faded, distorted, out of focus displays, with terrible reflections obscuring the cards, and with stools that wobble by three inches, side to side.

This tournament round was no different, I had a crappy upright and my play was oh, so frustrating. The game was Double Double Bonus and I was dealt three 2s. Three 3s. Three 4s.

I was dealt three Pointies, when Pointies kicker would put me in the money.

I was dealt four to a freaking Royal.

None of these hands improved to winners, and my round was one of the worst ones ever. In fact, the tournament was awful for me - I didn't hit a single quad whatsoever in it.

My notes say after the tourny I lost $30 on the 'Stones, $60 on video poker, $10 on video keno. Oh - but I got to play on the Slotrock machine for half an hour. So, that's only $60 an hour for entertainment. Yabba Do Me Do!

Machines didn't seem to be liking me much, so I sat down for a round of blackjack. Again, the table games were solid for me. I played $10 a hand for two hours, and had built stake to just over $300 on a $100 buy-in. Would be this the time I could take my first purple $500 chip off a table?

No it would not. Cruelly, the dealer spun five losers in a row into my right hand, and I took the hint, bailing out and coloring up a solid $165 profit.

Since cards had worked so well, and machines were my nemesis, I chose Beeffalooo!!! To teach those machines a lesson and dominate them, financially.

A couple of decent bonii kept me going for a while. I kept none of it, though, and then took off for the Fremont, where I hit my first quad of the day on Slippery Times Pay - on dimes. It's so sad, that I don't want to show you.

Instead, I will substitute a picture of one of the saddest examples of choose-able foods on Fremont Street, which will stand in for the lam3 dimes quad photo.

Let's say you are on the Fremont Street Experience, and feeling a little peckish. There are a myriad of restaurants to choose from, many of them excellent. You choose to walk into the Fremont Hotel and casino. You choose the Lanai Express Chinese and American food as the place you are going to make your mastication stand.

You peruse all of the things on the hot table and then... you see them. They are pink, they are long, they are tubular. And you think, of all the things here, I am going to choose this here foot long wienie. To eat. To sustain my precious, unique, irreplaceable God-given body for all of my days that will one day be returned to the earth (in a tubular casket probably) to nourish all other creatures and beings in the universe. That thing is what you choose in all of eternity to feast on.
Which wienie would you choose?
See the penis frankfurter on the left, with the greasy watery bubbles clinging to it's luke-warm puckered, factory-extruded surface?

That's the dime quad wienie.

I played some more VP over by the keno lounge - some Pick'em (aka Pick-a-Pair) and some other video poker games.

Every time I come here I am always surprised by what happens the first time you win something - you are presented with the no-long-term-advantage Double Up option. I make a point of doing it the first time, and trying to win a couple or three Double Ups. If I lose, I must then later make back the amount of winnings I tried to Double Up and a bit more. Because I. Must. Win!
In this case, I stuck with the 40. But I texted this photo back to the Quad Queen at Flushiepants Central Control, because she hates it when I play Double Up and then whine to her about how stupid I was to play it in the first place.

Video poker didn't do anything much for me, and the Keno lounge was right there... so why not put on my dancing shoes, buck up, brush up, and hit the Keno floor, like a numbered ball tornado?

I'd been working on different kinds of ways to play multiple games of Keno on one card, and I told the boothling what I wanted to do.

"I want to play multiple ways, but not all the smaller ones, how do I do that with these numbers?" I asked.

I showed her my slip with the numbers I wanted x'ed out in official Keno Krayon.

"You can't play this way. You have to have groups," she said.

"Yes, that's what I want. But not all the groups, like not groups of two or three."

"Are these kings?"

My face turned to stone and my eyes rolled up in my head. I had no clue.

I came to.

"What's a king?"

"You can't play this way. You have to mark the groups - circle them -"

"Ok, I want all the groups of four and five."

"- unless these are Kings."

"Are these Kings?..."

"You have to circle. Are these Kings?"

"I don't know. I'm asking you. I don't know what a King is. What's a king?"

"If you have Kings you can play different way. Are these Kings?"

"I don't know. I DON'T KNOW WHAT A KING IS. What. IS-IT??"

"OK, a King is a number that is in all groups but isn't in a group but is - you want all fours and fives?..."

"YES. Yes please. All groups of 4 and 5."

"OK, $40."

She made up the ticket and gave it to me.

"Thanks. I still don't know what a King is though."

"King..." she said, nodding. "King number."

I nodded back.


With no understanding of what a King number was, I felt assured that somewhere down the line I'd be able to gain entry to some incredible exclusive hidden away Keno Klub with the password "King".

Here are some scorching action shots from the special VIP Keno King lounge.

The guy next to me actually nodded off. I tried to get a picture but failed. He was right THERE. Snoring!

I couldn't stand the excitement of any more Keno. And yes, I actually won. It's a horrible game, and I was winning at it this trip. Bizarre.

A lot more time had passed than you can tell from this report. You know how it is. I grew hungry and chose to try Lanai Express for the first time ever. The meal book I got from my host at the Cal covers it, so why not?
 I was pleasantly surprised! The portion was huge, and the food tasty, if having suffered from being next to the steam tray dime quad wienies for too long.
Table with Casino View!
I finished, and it was time to do some coupon work. Time for many matchplay attempts, something I've done nothing but fail badly at.

I'd start at the Plaza, dropping off a Flusher card at Binions on the way.

Big huge shout-out to MB for her generous donation to the "Send Jimmy Poon to Camp" drive. You can be assured that Jimmy Poon will benefit I will degenerately gamble the proceeds!

Thanks, MB!

According to, "A keno King Ticket is one where you have chosen to mark a single spot (number) amongst your selections. That number is sometimes called a "king number". It’s basically a group-of-one. It may be used on its own or in combination with other groups or even other king numbers."

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