RSS findIndex trimsentences createcard



createItems and other JavaScript code

Item Render Code

Saturday, May 11, 2024

That Winning Smile

Day 6  Sunday Dec. 7, 1997

The National Rodeo Final are on in Las Vegas and everywhere we go, there are cowboys and country music. The uniform seems to be a cowboy hat, 29" waist with tight legged jeans, and a shirt that is one color on one side and a different color on the other side. There is much country music. I happen to hate country music. Much happier with the reggae band at Mirage!

The cowboys and cowbunnies are very nice people, and polite. They guys all have short hair and talk with southern accents no matter where they are from. Better this than Comdex I guess. Dang!

Check for conventions before you book Vegas!

Each time we pass the Gold Chamber booth in Luxor, if the staff has changed from the last time we were there, we take advantage of the free pull for slot club members. We could win $5000 this way. The take on the trip turns out to be 3 keychains. We also had a number of free pulls at Excalibur - more keychains.

Needless to say, we are again making the journey to TI. At Excalibur Karen played her first hand at nickel VP and hit four eights for 100 nickels. An omen???

On to Gameworks where I wanted to access the internet to send email. I'd set up an account with yahoomail so I could do this, but their internet access has Java disabled, so I couldn't use it. I could however send email using their system. If you want to retrieve email from yahoomail, you can't do it there. Gameworks is by the big coke bottle just in front of MGM Grand. Net access is 15 cents a minute.

In 1997 there was no widespread internet access. You had to go somewhere that had a connection.

Took a cab to TI - the hell with the monorail. I think its quicker to walk up the strip rather than walk to the back of MGM grand and then all the way back through Ballys.

Played our 1-100 coin dollar machines again. Did okay. Karen hit 4 of a kind for a bit of profit. We now qualified for another fabulous free lunch at the Lookout Cafe. We had a repeat of the previous day, except I had the New York steak and eggs.

Somewhere along the way during these comped meals, Karen couldn't decide between the butterscotch sundae, and the brownie. So they obliged by combining them into one amazing delight. She would finish every meal with what we dubbed The Dessert.

The Quad Queen with 'The Dessert'.

We play Keno during our meals and generally lose. Its fun though. A lucky diner nearby won $3000 on a $2.00 ticket by hitting 6 out of 6 numbers. Good for her!

On the nickel doubling machine I hit 4 twos for 200 nickels. The moment of truth - double or nothing? I decided to...go for it. Dealer had a six and I got a seven. 400 nickels. The moment of truth - double or nothing? I decided to... BAIL. Cash out. Are you kidding me?

Karen picked up 100 nickels for a nice profit. A bit more dollar VP and some slots. Karen found a likely slot, end of an row, prominently placed at the exit to one of the stores at the front of the Casino. (Are you detecting a pattern yet?)

I was playing a different slot and after only two pulls, Karen started yelling for me. She hit triple-diamond triple-diamond double-bar for 540 quarters! This was our biggest slot win ever.

We were feeling pretty good. Over to Mirage. Karen wanted to bang away on those nickel VPs by the band again. We each played $5.00 worth and I got bored. Karen put in a second $5.00 and I played the slots. I invested $10.00.

I picked a likely looking machine. End of a row. Prominently placed on the aisle leading to the buffet.

On my last three quarters I won 15. Won 15 more, then 4.

I decided to keep playing this machine a bit. Click click click - double diamond, double diamond, 7.

The quarters started coming out. I wasn't sure what I hit! Checked - are double diamonds wild? I dunno. Triple 7 is 240. The coin payout passed 240. They must be wild. Two times 240 is 480. Two times 480 is - oh my God - a lot!

Giddy as a toddler.

I won 960 quarters, eclipsing Karen's previous record of 540 earlier that day. She didn't mind...and she wasn't done yet.

I had some staff round her up to come and see. I really enjoyed filling one bucket with quarters and then going on to the next one. They had to fill the machine part way through of course.

After, with the coins cashed in, K went back to nickel VP, and I played more slots. Big surprise!

I went to the men's room near the buffet (Mirage has the nicest bathroom on the strip). On my way back I was keeping my eyes open as usual. I found a quarter machine with 31 credits on it. Two rows down I found another with 20 credits in it! That is $12.75 in quarters, left behind because someone didn't know how to cash out, or forgot to.

I cashed this in for dollars and tried the dollar slots. Ran it up to $33 and then slowly burned through it all. That's gambling. I had a free chance to win big, and we registered some dollar play on our Mirage slot club cards, so maybe we'll get some offers from them. I was kind of sorry I lost it all, but what the heck. Cheap entertainment, when you find your initial stake.

Back to TI for a comped buffet. Lost on Keno as usual.

At VP we decided to try $100 worth, $5.00 at a time to try to win something really decent. Karen played it and did okay at first. Next thing we knew, we were going down the drain. Then it was gone. No big payout. Big disappointments.

I had played $4.00 in profit from a hand and won $12.00. I decided it was now or never, and played all $12.00 in credits on one hand just as Karen lost the last of the $100. Guess what? A full house for $96.00!!! We had our $100 back less four bucks. Woohoo!

We played some more and were slowly losing. Karen hit 4 Aces for $80.00.

She was disappointed she hadn't played $5.00 in as she wanted to. I hit a straight flush for $50.00. We played most of this out though. Still it was cool to get a straight flush. We quit up about $30.00

Back at Mirage for some less nerve racking nickel VP. Karen was banging away and I dabbled up and down the main aisle playing those prominently placed, end of row quarter slots. I was doing okay and went back to check on Karen. As I approached, I could see she wasn't playing. When this happens she's either lost her stake, or won something big. The light on the machine was on, and when she saw me, she yelled, "I hit it!"

Yup. Royal Flush. 5000 nickels! $250.00!!

First Royal, first handpay!

She was dealt four of the cards and got the fifth. It was a Royal in clubs. They hand paid her the $250.00 in cash.

Look at that winning smile.

I won a few dollars on dollar slots, then back home to Luxor. Blew $20.00 through Fastest Cash (the jackpot was up to $11,500 - it hardly ever gets that high - it starts at $10,000 and is usually won by $11,000).

Overall we profited $450.00 on the day, enough to set aside to cover our hotel room for the week. What a great day in a great city.

I remember this day quite well. I thought I'd hit the heights of luck with my slot win and then Karen nailed her first Royal.
Comped meals, a winning day - enough to cover our room bill. Fantastic memories.
One thing that's kind of odd is that casino rates for rooms really didn't change much over the years. I remember phoning in to Luxor to see what prices were for dates we were considering. The early part of the week would be $39 and $49 typically. Friday and Saturday could be $59 or $79. Or $69 I suppose. Rarely would they hit $99 on the weekend.
The difference now of course is the addition of resort fees.
For this trip, if $450 covered the room for 9 days, our average cost was less than $50 a night.
I'd give anything to go back in time and relive these days. I miss Karen so much.


    1. You can just feel her joy at winning. She had a million dollar smile that day!! Happy memories, for sure. Janice Hart

    2. I'm with you. There is nothing better in this world than having a great gambling day during those "prime" years in Las Vegas with a great partner in crime. Bonus points for that partner being your partner in life as well. You and the QQ were such a pair. I love that I can see the absolute joy in both of your eyes in these pictures.

    3. What a great day... low-rolling for the most part but still coming out $450 ahead! This has to be one of the experiences that made LV special for you and Karen. Seeing these pics of her so happy must bring up a lot of emotions.
      My first trip to Vegas may have only been months before your trip here. I quickly learned to play just enough for the free drinks. Playing mainly 25c a hand on VP, somehow I managed to come out about $50 ahead. The people with me on the bus back to the airport couldn't believe it. After that I was hooked. -jm


    Leave a message for Royal Flusher!