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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Meet Mrs. Bling

The idea here is to win $100 at blackjack, thus returning me to even on the day. All I have to do is pick the right table. If I only knew that I would be blackjack musical chairs, I might have been better prepared.

I find myself a nice, little, comfy, five dollar table on the south side of the California Hotel and Casino pit. It's a double deck pitch game, dealt by hand, not from a shoe. The right half of the table is empty. Across from the dealer sits Mrs. Bling. On her left is Mr. Confused Aloha, who is studying his chips, and at third base is Mr. Disinterested and Fearful Bling Hubby, although I don't know this right away.

Mrs. Bling is chatting with the dealer and I sit down to her right and buy in for $100, flipping my recently won dollar treasure chest winnings and two years expired Emerald card onto the felt.

I play a few hands and its choppy - I lose the first three or four out of the gate. Mrs. Bling is talking a mile a minute at the dealer, who, apparently, has made the mistake of mentioning one of the 18 pieces of jewellery Mrs. Bling is sporting.

Play stops while Mrs. Bling sells the dealer, who is enthralled by the marketing savvy of Mrs. Bling. Mrs. Bling is stretched across the blackjack table, going through her business card with the dealer.

"Now, this here is my work website, and my work email, and this here is my personal email, this is my Ronkovski phone number,  this is my name name - Do you have email?"

"Yes," the dealer replies.

"Okay, I will email you." She produces another business card from her stash of 400. "You need to write your down phone number and your name on there so that I have your number and your name."

The dealer, holding the cards in one hand, makes a move with the other to begin the deal.

"And you get all kinds of additional incentives every single month!"

"You mean if you meet the quota..." says the dealer. The hand drops, and again we wait for action.

"It's whatever you want to work. You can work very little, or if you want to be very successful, you can work very hard. Like if you want to meet incentives for $500 in sales or $1000 in sales or $1500 in sale, you can get gifts like - I've gotten a piece of luggage, I've gotten a facial steamer, I've gotten cruise discount coupons - this bracelet, I got this for $1500 in sales.

I look across the table at the guys. They look at me. All of us are completely expressionless, like we have been imprisoned for too long.

"Beautiful bracelet," says the dealer.

"It's Ronkovski. We have our own designer just for our program, it's the Feelstone Moments line by Ronkovski - everything is genuine Ronkovski Isometric Conzirphonia and -"

Finally, we hear from Mr. Disinterested and Fearful Bling, who says, "I couldn't even get an Isometric Conphonzia money clip - look at what I have to use for a money clip!"

He throws his bankroll onto the felt. It is a very sensible, healthy bankroll, organized with an imminently functional, simple, effective money clip, also known as a rubber band.

I laugh. Mr. Confused Aloha laughs a bit too, and then goes back to shuffling his chips.

"Hey, men, they don't need much, ok?" says the dealer.

Mrs. Bling, in her one moment of sanity during my tenure as blackjack whipping boy, says to me, "Sorry you had to sit down and hear all this."

The dealer continues. "Who needs money clip, he don't need money clip - She's the money clip." The women at the table laugh. "Women spend a lot, they need a lot of things..."

"They get something, use it once, then they throw it out or you never see it again," says Bling Hubby, way overstepping his bounds. It is entirely possible that, this evening, when Mrs. Bling normally dons her genine Ronkovski-decorated leather outfit for some in-room dessert, that he will not get "Fruit. Cup." And if he is tardy, he will not get "Fruit. Cup."

Unbelievably, we play a hand. And then we play another. I think it's over, but I'm dead wrong - it's just the eye of the Ronkovski hurricane.

"Once you join, you have your own very own website - I give you the all tools you need on your own website to work your business."

"And you have social medium, right?" asks the dealer. I feel for her, she has no idea about the pyramid she is entering.

"Yes, you do social media - media - and you have your own website, your own clients, and I help you build your business to become a Ronkovski Isometric Conzirphonia Gembassador!"

I look at Bling Hubby and say, "I bet you've this a time or two..." I give him a big smile. He gives me a big smile, but stops when Mrs. Bling sees him. I am down to $55 of my buy-in.


At table number two, just next door, there is a family of Mexicans. They are on vacation. Three of them are sitting at the table, and three of them stand behind. The younger standing ones' foreheads are tethered to their devices, seemlingly, which envelope them in data and el gato memes.

I ask the family if I can join them and they are very friendly. We play for a while and I tread water, get up a bit, and then start to drop again.

The dealer, who stands on a two foot high podium just to be tall enough to work the game, is named Lynn. She is very nice. And she's smiley cute. But more than anything, she's nice and has the most amazing smile you've ever seen. Some might say she has teeth like Hammond B-3 keys, lined up and perfect. I would not say that, because I'm not an idiot. She has teeth like pearls, or really, just like very nice, straight white teeth, arranged in a very nice smile. Her smile makes my heart flutter and wow like it was being played through a Leslie speaker.

The family doesn't play basic strategy. They play family strategy, which involves showing each other every hand, talking things over, and standing on 13. They are nice, but it starts to irk me, and I'm not really getting anywhere.

And Lynn absolutely slaughters us. She's almost embarrassed its so bad.

I wish them well and move to a third table on the other side of the pit. The dealer at this table is one of those dealers who deals very fast and hard, wanting to be fast and accurate, but is so over the top fast that she keeps making mistakes and ends up being fast, ugly, and way outside the strike zone.

The table is no fun until she goes on break and John arrives. I've had John before and he's great. He's bright and cheery, funny, and fun. Relaxed.

We all start to smile (with our B3 key-like teeth) and we start to win. Tips start to flow. John is the perfect blackjack dealer. Everyone has upped their bets to $10, $15, $20.

I make it back up to my buy-in of $100 just about the time the killjoy dealer comes back.

Six hands reach out in unison and pull back six bets, taking it down to the minimum of $5. It's laughable, and probably slightly insulting. But you reap what you deal, killjoy.

I work hard and after a half an hour I am up to $150.

I have a beer to the left of my betting circle, and sometimes my cards are dealt not where my hand is, but over on the other side of my beer, which is awkward to reach around. Sometimes I kind of open my hand to gesture where I want the cards dealt.

I'm at about the third spot, and for my hand, I need to check my strategy card. I pull it out and the dealer is saying, "Sir? Sir? Sir? Sir?"

"I'm checking something here, don't rush me." It really only takes me only a few seconds to check the card and I put it back in my shirt pocket and take a card.

The next hand, Dealer Killjoy starts throwing brush-back pitches, way left of the strike zone. I awkwardly reach around and gather my cards up.

The hand after that, Dealer Killjoy puts one at my hand and one in the dugout. The guy to my left and I literally have trouble figuring out which card belongs to who - they are all over the place.

Gently, I say to Dealer Killjoy, "Gettin' a bit wild there, maybe you could put them over here?"

The next hand... its the same thing. They are all over the place.

"You trying to get rid of me or something?"

This is escalating, and I'm in no mood for yet another pissing contest with someone who thinks they've been wronged because I spent 7 seconds checking my strategy card.

I win my hand and immediately color.

"Try not to hurt anyone - you could put an eye out," I say and get up.

I move to table number four. I've pocketed a black chip and I have $35 some odd chips on the table. We play and I lose. And I'm down to $6.50. I don't want to get that black chip out.

I push out the $6.50 and how about that, I win the hand. And another. And after an hour or so, I've clawed back another $100, and a bit more. Goal made! I'm hoping to keep going but it gets to where I have $102.50 on the table.

Do I make another bet? Keep going? Nope. I color and toke the $2.50.
After all that, I'm even on the day.

Some video poker is in order, and I find the Double Double progressive near where Shaka Five-way used to be (just up the stairs) has a royal of $1550. I play jacks on Pinchy, I play Ultra Bonus on Flashy, I use up the rest of my slot dollars and keep some winnings and when it's all over, after a long day of fighting and struggling and Ronkovski websites and wild dealers... I'm down $40 on the day.

And that's good enough for me. I probably have dinner in there somewhere, but who cares. I need to save some bullets, so I head up to bed - because I'm headed off to T.I. in the morning.

One thing I note - I have not lost on a blackjack session yet. I've lost on various tables and in various casinos as part of a long session of blackjack - but from start to finish, they've all come up positive or break even.

Video Poker: -$100
Blackjack: +$100
Keno: -$40

Trip: +$265

    1 comment:

    1. Those carrot dangling progressives are tough. Blackjack player is your calling it seems.


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