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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Why I Love Deuces Wild

Friday - Day 7 - continued

I head out into the street, into the bright, almost colorless sunshine. Everything flares and glows. It's blinding and beautiful.

On the way to the Downtown Grand, I see a few signs indicating that the Downtown Loop shuttle stop is thisaway or thataway. I've seen a few of these around - and yet I never find the stop. I retrace my steps when I find a sign pointing the way I've come. But I never find an actual stop, or see a shuttle for that matter. Perhaps it's a "No Flusher" shuttle.

In the Downtown Grand, I seek to relive some of the former glory hits I've had on the Double Double progressive video poker at the bar. Like the time I hit Aces Kicker on freeplay. And the time I hit Aces and Aces Kicker. And the other time I hit Aces Kicker.

I am lucky at this bar. But not today.

On my way out, I spy a kiosk, and I am all over kiosks like timeshare shills on tourists. One never knows what offers, surprises, freeplay, coupons and the like a kiosk might cough up.

This one gives me a chance to see my promotions, and I do. I have a Meat Promotion!

I print out the coupon and I'm pretty excited about it - it seems to be giving me free meat - a prime rib special worth $8. Upon later, closer inspection, I find that a) this coupon is not for today, it's for tomorrow and b) there's nothing free about it - this coupon entitles me to purchase a prime rib dinner for $8. The coupon gets crunchled and makes it to the idea file with extreme prejudice.

Another interesting feature is their interactive slot-finding map, with PAC-MAN.

I am hoping for match plays or free play or free food or free t-shirt or free willy or free anything, but I find no coupons of any real worth to me and I am on my way out the Downtown Grand doors, making a hard left and walking down Ogden toward the El Cortez. The walk is only minorly sketchy, with just a few nose-insulting smells on the way.

As I approach the El Cortez, as always, my excitement starts to grow as I near the old machines. There is going to be a day when I walk through those doors to find no more Downtown Deuces. Hopefully this is not that day. It's not, and my current favorite is available.

I put my players card in as soon immediately upon reaching the machine. In my mind, this is the moment when I've secured it. There are many very odd-looking marginalized women in the El Cortez, and the woman at the machine next to mine is no exception. She's one of those 'camp out' players, with one foot propped up between the machines, leaning back in her seat, an ashtray with approximately 900 butts in it, all manner of gewgaws and good luck charms hanging off her possessions.

She is wearing a surgical mask over her nose and mouth, and I'm both alarmed and repulsed. I wonder if she is keeping germs out, or keeping germs in. I am hoping for germophobia, not Huey Smith's tu-ber-cu-lu-cas and the sinus blues.

But I need my machine so I sit - sitting my ground, as it were - and she withdraws the probably pox-filled leg. It moves like a bunch of water balloons swathed in sweat pants.

I pull out a twenty, and get started, leaning a little left to avoid whatever horrible communicable VPSTD she has.

My first kick in the ass is a four-to-a-royal that I don't make. All I've got is a Polish Royal.

Sadness. I would really love to get a Royal on this machine as it pays one quarter short of $1200 - no pesky paperwork or tax withheld. But the fact is, I kind of want those crazy $500 deuces even more. If you gave me a choice, yeah, the Royal - but I'm fixated on those ducks, like I have been for a few years now.

Ducks? Get down!

Next, I'm insulted with natural sevens, and then natural eights. I don't take photos, not wanting to disturb the patient to my right.

My next kick in the ass is yet another four-to-a-royal that I don't make.

Things warm up a bit with a Wild Royal and I have lots of credits to play with.

It's relaxing, playing this old machine. You have to hit the button to the left of the Draw button to initiate a hand, and the cards come out about two per second - tik tik tik tik tik - with the old sounds I remember from so long ago. The buttons are so old school that you can't press more than one at a time, like with the new machines. If you want to, you can play coins on these and if you cash out, the quarters drop into the tray.

I play along, waiting for a chance. And it comes, three deuces dealt. I hesitate a moment trying to will that fourth deuce into play, but it's no good.

A couple of minutes later I hold two deuces and once four cards out of five are dealt, I know I've got it. There they are, all four of 'em, beautiful as ever. After a couple of seconds the machine locks up. I'm disappointed that there is no audible music, but the screen flashes its display with those sweet words, "JACKPOT - CALL ATTENDANT".

I exclaim something and Miss Phlegm 1953 to my right looks over, coughs, and shouts at me, "HEY, YOU GOT THEM! FOUR DEUCES!" Then she pounds my shoulder with a nicotine-stained paw and gives me an overall congratulatory hip check from shoulder to ass.

Whatever she's got, I now have, I think.

"Thanks," I say. "Been trying for a few years to get these."

I'm just thrilled and take pictures, video, and more pictures. My handpay comes and the attendant scurries right away after the counting of the dough - I have to stop her and she is shocked at the $10 tip I hand her. Maybe she was hoping for a VPSTD, I don't know.

I load my gambling wallet up with the winnings, and jam it into my front left pocket, scanning right and left, looking for any grifters about to come after my goods.

Ms. Snotty Nares next to me cashes out, and pounds me once more about the neck and shoulders. We're buddies now. She fucks off and I'm glad. I should be more kind - there's no better way to project sociability than wearing a surgical mask in public. I might have missed a great opportunity to network. I wish now I had gotten her LinkedIn deets.

I play through the credits. When I hit a jackpot, I don't think 'wow that was great, now I'm done'. I think 'wow that was great. Now, get it AGAIN'. I believe that part of being a successful gambler is optimism, the belief that the longshot can happen, and the making of the best choices possible to maximize the chances that it will happen.

I also believe that one day I will be a successful gambler. Today... it's close enough.


    1. I am crying with laughter thinking what her linked in profile picture would be. Thanks for the great report RF and well done on the deuces.


    2. where do i find this mythical machine at the cortez? Does the machine have a number?

    3. Where do i find this mythical machine at cortez? Does it have a machine number?

    4. Loved the Post! You Captured the El Cortez experience.

    5. And the screen shows Jackpot 1000 instead of 2000, but as long as they pay the correct amount, it's all good! You should hit those Barbaric Deuces with an ace (preferably dealt). . .

    6. I hit 4 deuces (dealt) on one of those machines at El Cortez a year ago, Just checked my photo and it also said 1,000. I never noticed that before.


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