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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Just Say No to 69

The heat in Vegas in August is hard to describe, unless you know what it's like to be a piece of bacon in the pan.

When driving in these conditions, it helps to know where you're going. I didn't.

My rough plan was to find a liquor store, and a grocery store. I drove a couple of miles east. Then I turned north. Then I passed Lee's Discount Liquor, too late to get over the 19 lanes across frenzied rush hour traffic to get there.

I also passed XO liquors with no way to get there as it was on the other side of the median.

Finally I pulled over and searched for grocery stores on my navigational computer. It sent me two miles west, back the way I'd come. I realized I could get some cheap booze at a grocery store, and Albertson's was soon on the horizon.

When you are a cheap, lying, no-good, tight skin-flint on a budget, you do things like room camping. At least, I do. I'm pretty good at picking the right amount and the right kinds of food, having overbought more times than I can count. Which is more than three.

In short order, I rounded up some punishment cheese slices (jalapeno jack), some turkey of shame, a small bottle of mustard, a loaf of austerity hard tack, a tub of no fun yogurt, and for good measure, some cherry tomatoes. And a $10.99 bottle of Evan Williams, for making travellers.

Thirty bucks total, and enough for quite a few meals.

Twenty minutes later, I was parked back at Wynn, and shlepping my supplies up to my free gratis room.

I got a bunch of ice and used the two reflective insulating bags from Amazon Prime Now to make an in-sink fridge.

I relaxed for a while, had a drink, made a giant traveller, and then I was ready to go and gamble.

There isn't much video poker to play at the quarter level, or really, at any level at Wynn / Encore, unless 6/5 and 7/5 Bonus suits your fancy. But I did play some, and also scoped out some video keno paytables. Would you believe they are some of the best I've seen?

That doesn't matter when you don't hit much.

I had only a couple of hundred on me and if I lost it, I'd be down $500 on the day, something I really did not want to do. Within fifteen minutes of dollar a throw video keno, I'd already lost $80. Another $20 went to video poker which went nowhere. We're talking one of those one minute twenties.


I decided to change my approach. I'd do a quarter on only one card, six numbers, and bang it until it either hit or I was broke.

And I needed to change it up, so I headed across the casino and down the long corridor to Encore, where I knew a quiet place to play.

But as I was walking along, I muttered an ongoing dialog to myself. "I'm going to walk up to the first machine I see that has video keno and I'm going to pick six numbers. I'm going to play a quarter at a time. And... there's a couple of machines. Right on the corner of the casino. Those are the lucky ones. That's where I'll do it."

I got ready to play, checking the paytable (good!), putting $20 in the machine, putting my card in. I hadn't even sat down yet. "No, I'm going to make this more do-able, six out of six is too hard, I'll go for five. I need numbers. The old ones, that's the ticket."

The numbers would be 9, 18, 19, 23, 34, and 69, numbers I've played on and off since 1993.

I pulled up a card, bet one credit, and punched in my choices. Should I go for a six number card or the easier five?

"Just say no to 69", I muttered and left it off.

I hit the Deal button and the numbers rang in. A couple of mine came up, and just as I finished sitting down, three more did.

"Well. That was easy."

Holy shit. I'd walked up to a machine I'd called lucky, voice my strategy of playing until my five numbers hit, and done it on the first play.

And 69 hadn't hit. I would have had five out of six, for a very measley hit instead of this chunky delicious one.

First play, one credit, five numbers, $209.50 won.
I laughed and called the Quad Queen to recite the tale. Then I called Jimmy Poon and laughed and recited the tale. He told me, "Shut up and Deal."

With this infusion of cash, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I cashed the ticket out and put in a new twenty. With a little more room, I played two cards - one five spot and one six spot.

I played along, chatting with a young fellow next to me who was playing Caveman Keno. Nine numbers. He didn't stand a chance.

Wouldn't you know it, my numbers hit AGAIN.

The red numbers flash on and off, the photo is in betweenish. But the WIN display tells the tale. Another 838 quarters.

After a few more pulls, I cashed the ticket and moved on. After kicking my ass for $400 in the last few sessions, video keno had given it back. What the hell?

I settled in elsewhere and played more without much happening, then switched to video poker. The traveller had done its work and I was having a grand old time. I employed the Strict Rules of Parlay, and made it up to 50 cents, but had to de-parlay and finally went out without hitting a quad.

It was time to call it a day, as I'd actually gone through quite a bit of my winnings. Like $200 worth, sort of before I knew it. Oops.

I wanted to play $20 on Buffalo and see if I could win back some money, but I had only my large ticket, and a hundred dollar bill left.

"I have discipline. I can do this. I can play only $20 out of this hundred and then have the discipline to cash out at $80."

This has never, ever worked before.

But guess what, I caught a bonus round, and it was a beauty.

When that was done, I pressed the button again and hit a second bonus round. Back to back bonii! It wasn't as good, but still added $20 to my wallet.

I cashed it out and retired to the room to make a sandwich, stopping on the way to ferret some mayo out of the Drugstore eatery thingy.

"I forgot to get Mayo," I said, neglecting to mention that I hadn't actually bought anything to forget the mayo for.

Mayo in my pocket, up I went to enjoy a delicious sandwich, and wallow in happiness.

Somehow, after being on the cusp of being $500 down, I was down only $80 today, and that seemed like a bargain.


    1. You didn’t just buy mustard. You bought jalapeño mustard. We are most definitely brothers from another mothers. Thanks for the room pics.

    2. You didn’t just buy mustard. You bought jalapeño mustard. We are most definitely brothers from another mothers. Thanks for the room pics.


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