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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three Aces with a King of Spades and a Crazy Eight Kicker

Tuesday Day 11

I wake and before I open my eyes, I remember 'I'm in Vegas' and then I remember 'I go home today'.

That last day, it's inevitable, but seems 1000 years away when you first arrive. It's just not as easy to have fun on the last day in Vegas - but I'll try.

There are texts from the Quad Queen asking me about credit card charges. The situation at Plaza is not resolved.

The best thing to do, I figure, is to go down in person and see my host, or someone else who can straighten everything out. I fire off an email to my host, explaining what I'm seeing and letting him know I'll be downtown today to see him.

A bit of Flushiepants advice - when there are disputes with the hotel or comps, take care of them before you leave town, in person if possible. You have 6.39 times more likelihood of success.

Two bucks gets me downtown in a flash, and next thing I know, I am sitting at the throne seat right on Fremont, playing video poker.

The next thing I know after the next thing I just knew, just minutes after that, I am holed up in Magnolia's Veranda at the Four Queens with a delicious breakfast paid for (again) with comp dollars, and an unlucky keno ticket, to pass the time between bites. $60 is gone already on video poker, and my keno ticket costs almost $40.

Of course it had to be Country Fried Steak and Eggs, with rivers of Country Throw-up Gravy (featuring unknown bits o' stuff). Once again, I am victimized by the phenomena of eggs over hard having been translated to the grillman as 'eggs cook the everloving shit out of them and turn them into shingles'. Note to self - start an education program in the restaurants and diners of Las Vegas about eggs over hard. They need to be cooked - not incinerated.

After breakfast, I figure I better wait out the last couple of games, stretched out in the spacious and elegantly appointed Four Queens Keno Lounge. The last thing I want to do is find a keno ticket in the laundry back home and wonder if I won or not.

There is no wondering about it - no magic happens.

I don't know why after conquering some ridiculously difficult goal like hitting 6 out of 6 on keno, or getting a Royal, that one immediately figures that it should be easy to do it again the next time out. But I do.

The rich breakfast causes another kind of magic, and 200 steps and an escalator ride later, a nugget appears at the Golden Nugget. I think of Mr. BeeeJay and his experiences at Wynn/Aria.

It's a beautiful morning - the Fremont blast-racket hasn't started yet, and there are only a few people eyeing me as someone that has something that they want to get from me. I walk relatively unimpeded and ignored - just the way I like it.

Last day in Vegas? I have to take another shot at the Downtown Deuces in the El Cortez. Similar to the evening before, I've limited my downside losses by bringing only just a little cash with me - $165, in this case. In retrospect, I don't know why the number is $165, but I'm sure I had a good reason for it at the time.

I've got quite a bit of time to kill until my host is due at the Plaza, later in the afternoon, and video poker seems like a good way to kill it. And it is.

I want to remember everything about the experience. I try to drink in the atmosphere. It's pretty foul so I settle for small, reasonable sips of the atmosphere.

I look, I listen, I take my time, and feel joyous playing this wonderful game in this great, historic casino, in this, yes, fabulous town.

Here are photos of some of the highlights of what could be my last session on the Downtown Ducks.

"You whore-pig slut bitch of a machine!" I exclaim as pretty much the last of my money is gone. Fuck.

One thing has gone my way - I've gotten an email from the host at the Plaza - he's adjusted my bill in a way that I think is very fair, and I tell him so. That problem is sorted, and I'm pleased with the outcome. I will play more at the Plaza on future trips, just as soon as I can think of a homey nickname for it.

Next stop is the ElCo slot club to ask, swipe, enter, and beg for whatever stuff might be coming my way, which isn't much. As I walk through the casino toward the door, I realize, this is it. It's over. How long will it be before I play in the El Cortez again?

Sad and dejected, I shove my hands in my pocket. And I feel something. (Not that, you perv.)

It's... a greasy folded up five dollar bill. I had a little bit of my $165 left and didn't know it! And as anyone knows, where there are credits, there are hope!

So what to do? More Deuces?

I think of all the times I've made desperation plays, and how most of the time they end in a dull losing thud - but many times, as recounted in these pages, somehow crazy luck has won the day.

It'll be four games of quarter video poker on the first high volatility game I see that has lots of high prizes for various hard to get hands, like three Aces with a King of Spades and a Crazy Eight Kicker for 3700 credits or some shit.

There's a nice little upright, right there in front of me, not far from where Jackie Gaughan used to hold court every afternoon in the little poker room that they kept just for his pleasure.

My last five bucks goes into what turns out to be a Super Double Bonus Poker machine, and... there's a grind and a whirr and a click and a dink.

And I see this: CREDIT 5

Ah shit. This is a dollar machine. My mind rehearses hitting the button, cashing out the coins, going to the cage, getting another five dollar bill, and finding a quarter machine...

Fuck that noise. I might as well play the stupid hand and be done with it. I hit Deal and I just have to laugh. It's so bloody perfect!

My hand is called 'other 4 of a kind'. It's not a premium hand with kicker. It's not a premium hand without kicker. It's just 4 sixes, the lowest type of quad on this game, and I don't care, it's BEAUTIFUL.

Quad sixes dealt to me.

I hold the cards, and breaking a rule, take a photo before I've hit Draw. And so here it is.

With this nice win under my belt (and in my wallet) what do you think I dood?

Damn skippy - more Deuces!

I head back to my machine.

I want to remember everything, drink the atmosphere, foul atmosphere so sip sip sip, look, listen, take my time, blah blah blah, joyous, wonderful game, great, historic casino, fab-fab town.

This time it goes better and I have a blast, pretty much playing as much as I can stand for the session.

Sadly, the Deuces eleud me once again. The $500 ducks and the $1199 Royal will have to wait for another trip. I check the times for the WAX bus and - holy shit!!! - it's due in 3 or 4 minutes!

I say goodbye to my beloved El Cortez, and haul ass for the bus stop just as fast as my little legs can carry me, faster even, defying little leg physics, as it were.

At the stop, no sign of the bus. This is either a good sign, or a bad sign, or perhaps no sign at all. The answer comes in less than a minute when the WAX arrives for the win. Twenty five minutes later, I'm at the four corners, and mentally preparing for re-entry - for the trip is rapidly coming to a close. But as I put it to the Quad Queen in a text, this was a great day - played my ass off, got comped by the Plaza host, and won $45.

The evening is pretty simple. I take some horizontal time while I can, with the red-eye looming in front of me. I eat dinner, I pack and check on flight statuses, and steel myself for the journey.

Red Lotus Asian Kitchen provides me with fantastic spring rolls, and a plate full of nummy pad thai in exchange for my food comp dollars. And I have a last bash at multiplay, during which I fuck up and hit the dreaded 'MAX BET' button, which loads up all 50 hands. Fortunately, I get out of it about even. And I get a last Beeeefffaalllooooo!!!!! bonus round.

The Uber to the airport is quick, security is quick and the simplest I've ever experienced, and I have time to kill, during which I will perform the traditional Attempt to get a Last Chance Royal or Other Huge Win at the Airport ritual.

Sing it with me now: "NO FUCKING KICKER". Yup, once again I miss out on a $500 win by one stinking kicker. That win would have turned this into a winning trip.

Somehow, it seems right.

Till next time, remember - at the airport machines, seats are for slot Royal Flusher players only.

VP: +$50
Keno: -$45
Day: +$5
Trip: -$209

Not too shabby. The out of pocket costs for the eleven day trip including air, train, hotel and everything in between are $1286. The comps and freeplay total $1919.

So what's next for Secret Agent 00FP? Wait and see.

Until then, be degenerate savvy.

P.S. Thank you once again to donators, supporters, readers, sharers, and degens of every kind that make writing this blog so rewarding.

A gentle reminder - if you can, please book hotels and shows using the links on the site. I get a little coin in from your final bill and it covers the essentials to keep the lights on here in Flusherville.

See you... sooner than you think.


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