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Friday, June 14, 2024

Manny VIP Rock Star!

Day 6 Sun June 2, 2024 

I had a terrible night, I'm broke, my ankle hurts, I'm tired of losing, I'm tired of not getting quads, and I'm tired of not hitting 5 out of 5s.

It took me a while to get to feeling human again. In-room cheap bastard coffee, some emergency nuts and pilfered peanut butter, and a reallllllllllllly long shower did the trick.

It occurred to me that I've been using the Portable Beaker without the top on. I know just how much water to put in to make a cup in my travel mug, and I could save on weight and room by leaving the top at home. I could also find a shorter power cord and save 83.391 grams of weight that way. You'd think I was going to the moon, but it's just Las Vegas. (I actually have been to the moon - see the Apollo Yo-Leven trip report.)

My blogging got done and I headed over to Main Street Station to have buffet for breakfast. Getting those buffets comped makes me so happy!

And, as I got moving, I noticed that the ankle wasn't really holding me back as much (and it would continue to improve through the day).

Here's a great piece of news, if you have a very odd view of what is of import in the world, but I was thrilled to see that Manny is back at the omelette station at the Main Street Station buffet!

I greeted him with, "Hello Rock Star, you VIP! I was just thinking about you!"

I think it threw him a little bit, but he made me one hell of an omelette. I added some 'taters O'Brien, a teeny country fried steak, and a purge of Country Throw-up Gravy.

It was all delicious, and I went back and got a waffle and a couple of unlinked sausage links. And then I had a piece of coconut creme pie. I thought it was the banana creme, which I've been obsessing over, but they changed it up and BAM I got hit in the coconuts. And it was gooooooooood.

There was still a hundred dollar bill in my gambling wallet, so I broke it into 20s and started the day's work, swearing to myself I would keep it to low volatility quarter action only. No crazy slots, no seventeen-play Ultimate Super Slutty Double Spin Jack Handy Deuces Wild and Crazy Flying Flashing Flipping Fucking Multiplier video poker. What I really needed was a nice, little single line Royal Flush.

I did give the Loose Doose a shot, and it played very nicely for about 25 minutes on $20. Sadly, the ducks failed to flock.

But hey, they did show up on Bonus Poker.

Back at the Cal, a couple of machines later, the inevitable became the evitable, and I went on walkabout, or limpabout. Destination, the Bank of America ATM.

Fortunately, Vegas had cooled off - it was only 96F out.

Once again my walk took me by the Four Queens and... I faced up to the 999th gut-wrenching heart-aching task of the last 2 years. I went in and had a talk with Mike (who some know as Jersey Mike) about my wife's battle with ALS and ultimate death. It turned out he had heard the sad news, something that I suspected was probably the case.

For some reason, telling people that cared about her about these things is incredibly difficult.

In the end, duty was done. It was a blubber-fest on my part and Mike was also moved, but handled everything gracefully. Sixteen hugs and nine fancy handshakes later, I was on my way to the ATM, trying not to completely lose it out on the street.

The little red card and my trusty PIN (1 2 3 ... 4, which is also the combination to my luggage) worked its financial magic and my wallet was festooned with greasy, beautiful hundred dollar bills.

Mentally, I thought about that I should really make sure this lasted through till the end of the trip. And is there any other way to think, but mentally? In one's head? I think not!

Next stop, The D, to cash in a losing Keno ticket and buy another losing Keno ticket!

My expectations were low. Having monitored the results, I expected maybe $20 out of the thing. To my pleasant surprise, the ticket came in at $57 and change.

Awesome! I cobbled together a plan and this time, I used the ole mental noggin. I picked five numbers, and then looked them up in the kenocloud site, which keeps a record of the last 1000 games. The numbers had not hit for three days. The odds of hitting 5 out of 5 numbers is 1 in 1,551. Those puppies were due!

Using the handy calculator app in my piPhone 3.14, I found that 172 games at 40 cents a game (the Deano rate) added up to exactly $57.60, what I'd won on the previous ticket. It was a lock. I'd probably hit three or four $400 jackpots. Yeah, that's the ticket! All I had to do was wait, and then come back and collect.

As I strolled confidently back to the Cal, I realized I wasn't noticing my ankle much. That was a relief. I really didn't know if this was going to be a 2 day or a 6 week thing. I need my ankle! It keeps my foot on!

I still have this burning desire to hit a Shockwave quad for $1000. Someday, it'll happen. I fed it a couple of twenties and I did have a shot at it.

So, after hitting four twos, you have 10 games to hit another quad for $1000. But what's the strategy? It's an interesting problem, if you like boring problems.

For example, suppose you are dealt two pairs? It's a no-brainer - just keep one of them. (The correct one.)

But what if you are dealt three to a straight flush, contiguous? Straights flush on this game pay double - 500 credits. If you don't go for the straight flush, what do you hold? And what about three to a Royal? If you keep it, you eliminate the possibility of a quad.

If you're dealt two high cards, normally you'd keep them both. But that really narrows the possibility of getting the $1000 quad. I say you pick just one.

And finally, what if you are dealt RAZGU? That is, a completely useless hand, like 2, 4, 6, 7, 10 in mixed suits? The Quad Queen and I would have arguments over hands like this. My take on it is that keeping one of the cards was a better choice than throwing them all away, as you have one of four needed cards for the quad. If you toss them, you are counting on a quad on the re-deal. Both very, very slim possibilities but with $1000 at stake, you want to get the best chance you can.

I created a user-defined game in the piPhone WinPoker app that pays 4000 for a quad, and the rest of the paytable is the standard Shockwave one. And it shows for the RAZGU hand, you are slightly better off keeping a card, typically one in the middle of the range, because of more straight possibilities.

In spite of all this thinkology, I failed yet again to get the $1000.

When the credits ran out, I moved to the machine next to the Shockwave one to try some video Keno.

Finally, finally, I hit a 5 out of 5!


I wasn't a complete and total loser for the entire week in Vegas! For this small sliver of a day, I was a winner!!!!!!!!!1

As the Quad Queen would do, I muttered out loud, "Now... get it again."


I was shocked.

Holy crap.

I did.

I did get it again... on the very next spin!

After all the thrashing about all week, I hit 5 out of 5 on back to back spins!

All of a sudden, things looked different. Visions of a comeback seemed possible. If I could win $1000, I could win a second $1000. It was possible.

I got my cash and headed back up to the room to figure out my next move and take a break.

How many of you have enjoyed that smug feeling as you head up to your room in the elevator with a stash of hundies hidden away, not letting on that in your head you're screaming with delight, walked calming down the hallway, even though you feel like skipping, and then as soon as the door closes and you're in your room, letting out a YIP! or a YAHOO! and pumping your fist in the air, or jumping for joy, or doing whatever celebratory dance you do?

What a great feeling, and that in large part is why I keep coming back to Vegas.

After some chill out time, I formulated a plan. I'd do something I've never done before - buy back my marker. And I'd stretch the rest of the cash I had on hand to make it last for the rest of the trip. No more walks of shame.

And that's what I did.

Then I played various quarter video poker games around Main Street out of my budgeted cash. But back to normal, now, I guess, nothing was hitting. Main Street is just not the way it used to be. So many of the fun machines are gone. Why must this happen in every casino I love???

Back in the room, I chilled for a long while, took a nap, and felt great. When dinner time rolled around, all I could think about was pie, so I headed back to the buffet - but it was closed. Sunday night and the buffet is closed. I dunno.

Schlep back to the Cal, and I had the Hawaiian Hamburger Steak. Delicious as always even though it looks like crap - I think it's the fault of the onions. I forgot to order fries instead of rice, so they came later on a side plate. They were super hot, fresh, right out of the fry basket - fries just don't get any better than that.

I had forty bucks left of my day's revised stake, so I spent it on video Keno, 5 spots marked, a quarter a game. I hit 4 out of 5 a few times, but never the jackpot. It would have been nice to haul in 838 more quarters, but I couldn't complain.

It was another great day in Vegas.

    1 comment:

    1. I am so glad you hit back to back on Keno! I just love that feeling. I find that if I feel bad then gambling is bad, so i try to do something fun, that brings joy, so I can turn the gambling around! Good luck and may your beautiful wife's memory be with you!


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