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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Buck A Card

Day 10 - Monday - continued

I visit my nickel VP machine to play my daily $20 free play only to find it gross. Filthy. There are ashes all over the screen, buttons, armrests, there's a dirty water bottle, its cap, an ashtray full of butts and bits of garbage here and there.

I sit down and just kind of look at it in disbelief. Where to start? I flick the cap onto the floor and gingerly move the water bottle up on top of the machine.

This disgusting looking woman next to me gives me the stinkeye. Yeah, I know who the fucking pig is now.

Fuck it, I'm out of there, and go to the Men's room to wash my hands 500 times. There's a certain kind of gambler out there that I've run into more than once. You have too. She was one of them.

I play my freeplay elsewhere, on short pay Double Double Bonus and hit nothing. But I do get a drink, and my appetite shows up.

There's no question on where I'm going to have lunch - Red Asian. Every time I eat here it gets better and better, and today is no exception.

I order General Tso's chicken. I feel sorry that he doesn't have his chicken anymore - I have it.

It's great, fresh cooked... this is what they do - they cook. Fresh. Yeah. Fuck yeah.

You order and you get a stick with a number on it and you wait a few minutes, and they take the chicken away from General Tso and give it to you at your table. It's a huge portion - easily enough for two people, so commensurately, I exercise tolerance and eat it all.

Back in the room, the water is back, and the safe is functioning. I finally get the shower and shave I've been needing, and proceed to walk through the sunscreen station. You pull up, and this huge gantry swings nearby, amber flashing lights making it look like a Kmart special. There's a guy on a little stand at the end of the gantry manning a 200 psi nozzle, which has a long hose running back to a tank of sunscreen. They spray you down one side, and up the other and next thing you know, you are number one for sun.

My plan is to ride the Strip limo and see if I can find the Snarky Blackjack Dealer at T.I. I also plan to take them for a bundle on my $5 of freeplay.

It's my first time using the RTC app and it's great. It's about time they had something like this. You can pay on your phone and you get a scannable thingy to show to the electric eye dealy. Your phone knows how long your scannable thingy is good for. No fucking with dollar bills trying to get them into the machine while your ride careens into the stop.

What luck - the bus limo shows within two minutes, and I even get a seat on the top level, right at the front. It's a great place to watch the world go by. Or in this case, to watch the world outside MGM grand go nowhere for a full 10 minutes.

We pull up to the stop just as another Deuce is leaving and we sit there. And sit there. And sit there. It's aggravating. And it's 10 minutes of my vacation gone.

Along the way, I take a bunch of photos and I think they turn out pretty well.

I get off at Palazzo and cross the Strip, which is an undertaking. It takes  three elevators, two escalators, a tunnel, a walkway dodging 300 homeless guys and 500 porn slappers - if you're lucky!

Because I am trying to protect my bankroll at this late stage of the trip (not wanting to re-enact snatching defeat from the jaws of victory like last time) I've brought with me a bankroll of a single $100 bill. It will force me to play cautiously, and slowly, and enjoy the experience and all that surrounds me. Because I'll be playing one spin every 7 minutes.

The way T.I.'s freeplay works is you have to put in money. You play, and it replenishes your bet from the freeplay amount. It's not just free credits that you can play.

I'm at the bar, I've found a nice little Triple Double Bonus game that looks lucky, and I am determined that I am going to play the $5 freeplay and only the $5 freeplay on machines in T.I. But the only money I have is the lone $100 bill.

Into the machine it goes.

I hit a few things and play maybe 20 hands and find myself dead on $100 in the machine. Shit. I know what I'm supposed to do. As always, I want to keep playing. But somehow, I dig deep into the dumpster of savvy, and cash that mother out.

Feeling somewhat proud of myself, I walk by the slot club and across in front of the cage to the pit where I look for the Snarky Dealer. Sadly, she is nowhere to be found. So it's off to the CVS escalators and on to Wynn.

Outside it is hot. Very hot and very Wynndy. It's like being in a Ron Popeil food dehydrator, set to the 'human jerky' setting.

At Wynn, what I really want is a tall, ice cold Pepsi. I'm fixated. Must have a Pepsi. I try to find a cocktail waitress, with the idea that I'll play a machine in her area. I can find none. I traipse all around the casino, getting thirstier by the step.

Finally, I just sit at some Beeeefffallloooo!!!!!!! machine and play one spin every 7 minutes. My order gets taken and I play some. And play some more. And Goddammit I lose $40 waiting for a fucking Pepsi.

Which never shows. My fabulous brain hatches a risky plan. I'll cash out and go and purchase a Pepsi. The store (New Airport Prices!) has what I want and it's ice cold, and it's 20 ounces of throat blasting bubbly relief. Sometimes on a hot day, nothing else does the trick.

I played Cleopatra keno for a while and then I realize it is stupid and the bonus rounds don't give me squat and aren't fun, and I'm losing. I play regular keno, five spot, and I get 4 out of 5 a number of times, to keep me going.

The woman next to me gets a dealt straight flush, which looks pretty, but I look away, and when I look back, she has only four cards of a five card straight flush. One of the buttons has unheld, she says.

"Tough luck, sister," I say, to comfort her.

We chat a bit about what happened and she is sure she held the button. I watch as she gets a pair of fours, holds them, and... as she hits deal, one of them unholds.

What shitty buttons!

"I saw that," I say and she presses her Service button. It doesn't work. So I press mine, and it doesn't work.

When she finally gets some floor people, they listen and do an investigation, but her straight flush is too far back to be in the machine's memory. As a consolation, they load her up with $10 freeplay.

"Oh - my buttons didn't work either..." I say, too brightly.

"Take a hike, pally," says the big one that is bigger than the other big one.

One thing I notice at Wynn - they have 7/5 Bonus Poker in quarters, which is better than anything the Tropicana has in quarters. It's worth a percent just to be in Wynn where you can buy your own Pepsi.

My dough is pretty much gone, but I've had a nice time looking at people that are richer than I am. The Vegas Knights game (playoffs) is on at the sportsbook, and everyone is going apeshit.

Across the Strip, I grab the Deuce and this time it is soooo fuckinnnggg slowwww. It's just horrible. But I do manage to take a nice photo.

At one point it stops and right outside my window is a CVS. I make a split second decision and bolt. I'm craving some things. Some real sort of food. Something homey. Like a yogurt. And some nutty fun snacks for the plane. I get a beer (Blue Moon) and one of those spicy chicken pita sandwiches.

It's hot at the bus stop, just like it is hot everywhere. I wait and pace for three or four minutes before taking a look around and seeing - what the hell! - I'm only a stone's throw from MGM. On the Strip, a stone's throw means a 20 minutes walk, but I start up the shoe leather express and get moving.

Everwhere I go, the game is on, and hockey-mania is evident.

Back up in the room, it's the usual - post a blog on the internet, eat some stuff, drink the beer, internet some more. Chuffed with my big keno win, I upgrade my Westjet seat to Plus.

I text the Quad Queen:
I got plus upgrade for $115 us. 2nd row window seat. I can scratch my balls with impunity.

On the day, I'm up $80. And I'm determined to have a winning day, so I go down to the casino with the plan to play only $40 at the very most.

Ultimate X nickels.

Oh dear Lord, I go way, way deeper than $40, but after turning myself inside out for an hour yelling at Ultimate X (why can't you ever fucking give me anything when I have a multiplier????) somehow, I cash out ahead. And I've had a blast.

All in all, it's been a pretty good day, I reflect as I scrape sunscreen off myself with a putty knife.

Machines: +$89
Keno: -$37
Day: +$52
Trip: -$214

One day to go.

    1 comment:

    1. Pro tip: you can take the CX on the side of Binions to Treasure Island and Palazzo. It runs less frequently but seems to take less time as less people ride it.


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