TWITTER: @sirbacon123

05 August 2010

Such A Deal

For those of you who have never been to Las Vegas, I’ve got two little words for you...
Oh, three little words.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LAS VEGAS.
For about eight hours at a time.
Any more than that and you are guaranteed to have a nervous breakdown.
Going to college in Los Angeles, we used to make many a spur-of-the-moment trip to Sin City.
We would do the four-hour drive, in closer to three, always stopping in Barstow for a burger.
We’d spend all night gambling.  
Grab a half-pound kosher dog at Slots O’Fun for 99 cents.
Nutrition is important.
And drive home with nothing in our pockets.
Almost every time.
It was the one in ten where you actually won something that motivated you to come back.
Kinda like that great eight-iron shot on 13 during your round of 107.
We were clearly ignoring the odds and the fact that the hotels were getting bigger each time we went back.
I love gambling.
I love the slots.  I love the tables.  I love the sports book.
But the good news for me is I hate losing my money just a wee-bit more than I love betting it.
So as many times as I’ve been to Vegas, I’m probably right about even.
Ok, probably not even, but not too bad off.
I’ve gone with friends, with my wife, even with my kids, but each time is exactly the same.
The first two hours are AWESOME!
The final two hours are AWFUL!
The rest is just a blur.
There was that one time in college when my fraternity brother and I made the late night drive on a whim.
He was going to show me how to play craps.
So I left with a hundy in my pocket, ready to win big time.
And when we got there, that’s what we did.
At one point, we were up BIG.
Ok, big for our college lifestyle.
I was hitting hard eights and field bets, pass lines and prop bets.
I had no idea what half of it meant, but we were rolling in it BAY-BEE.
I had so many chips on the table, you would’ve thought we were filming a Ruffles commercial.
What I didn’t realize is that with just one roll of those pretty little dice... 
Poof, it was gone.
I didn’t even know we had tickets to a Vegas Magic Show, but that game made my money disappear like it was Doug Henning.
$100 to the negative later, I was ready to jump off the top of the Mirage Hotel.
Fortunately for me, I am so old, the Mirage hadn’t been built yet.
But the ride home was THE most miserable four, make it five, hours of my life.
I’ve been back quite a few times since and now I stick to the blackjack tables.
Simple game.  Follow the book.  You’ll win in every time.
Ok, almost every time.
And not only is it fun, but its great for kids too.
You get to gamble, while they get to work on their math.
I’m all about the learning.
Last night instead of Apples to Apples or Candy Land or Monopoly, I taught the three kids all about the game of 21.
So I got out the pinto beans, divvied them up and started dealing.
Like any good dealer, I explained the game as we went.
My oldest daughter and I had played before, but I really had a great chance to take advantage of the two younger kids.
On the first hand, my two innocent little girls each bet one bean, while my wild and crazy boy bet three.
Fortunately for them, I busted, giving them a winning hand and a false sense of security.

Or as we call it in the gambling world, the daily double.
We went back and forth for awhile, but with just two hands left before bedtime, each of them was ahead for the night.
My 11-year old son convinced his six-year old sister that she should bet her entire pile of beans on the upcoming hand.
She easily had more than the other two kids put together, so she must’ve thought, it’s good to be the queen.
What could possibly go wrong.
And he must’ve thought, if she loses this hand, I WIN!
The two older kids stopped in the 17-18 range, leading up to their younger sister.
I think I had an eight or nine showing.
She flipped her cards, which were a 9 and a 3.
She successfully calculated that her hand was a 12.
By this point, she had mastered the motion of asking for a hit.
What she hadn’t mastered was the e-motion of losing all your beans.
When I flipped her a face card, she flipped on the water works.
The good news is it took her a milli-second to figure out that 12+10=22.
The bad news is it took her a milli-second to figure out that she had busted and lost all of her riches.
Poof.  Just like that.
As Kenny said, you gotta know when to walk away AND know when to run.
What made it worse was the cackling of her older brother coming from the other side of the table.
This game had ended like pretty much every other vegas game I had ever participated in.
A face full of tears and an empty pocket.
Well at least my daughter learned early.
The house ALWAYS wins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"If you guys don't lend me some money - I'm outta here - find another ride home!"

- Anon (but I believe you should know Sir Bacon).

Teach your kids to make sure they drive there and not rely on friends. :-)