I know youre all curious, and hopefully you bet on it. In fact, Im really curious what the over/under was. And the answer is....23 hours from arriving at my hotel until I got kicked out of my first casino. More on that later.
Hotel check-in. At this point, I really wanted to start gambling, and I was getting overly frustrated at the amount of time it took to check me in. Theres no reason that a person should have to type for 10 minutes to get my key for a prepaid reservation. After I complained, she explained that she had been trying to move other reservations around so that I could have a non-smoking room. First, nothing in Las Vegas is non-smoking. There is a funk that permeates the entire city. From the time until step off the plane in Vegas until you take your second shower back home, you stink. Second, shouldnt the hotel reservation software have already assigned me a room? The entire process should be: show my ID, get my key. What else needs to be done that a computer program cant do? Im calling all software engineers to action. The entire process needs to be fixed, and you could make tons of money by writing the standard hotel reservation software package. Im looking your way Chris and Rich.
Gambling in my favorite casino, The Las Vegas Club. Nothing spectacular to report.
Day 0 winnings: $134.50
Total cost of trip: $757.00
Gambling in the Golden Nugget. The most exciting thing happened while I was eating lunch. My table had a nice view of the poker room, and while I was eating, paramedics arrived with a stretcher and a crowd started to form. Naturally, I joined the crowd to see what was going on. I couldnt see much, but I man was definitely lying on the ground and being treated. I decided not to probe too much. When I walked past the poker room later, I saw a worker cleaning the carpet where the man had been lying. Im still wondering what he was cleaning up. Sweat? Blood? Piss? I guess well never know.
The reason I had to finally leave the Golden Nugget was that I simply couldnt hold it anymore. At 6:30pm, they changed the 2 single deck tables from $10 to $25. Fortunately, everybody playing at that time was grandfathered in, and we could still bet less than $25, until we left the table that is. Well, I held it for another 90 minutes, but when my back started to hurt, I knew I had to give it up.
Gambling in the Las Vegas Club. The good thing about the Las Vegas Club is that there are at some times 4 single deck blackjack tables. The bad thing about the Las Vegas Club is that the penetration is ridiculously poor. If there are 5 or more people at a table, the dealer shuffles after one hand. Well, I got lucky and found a table with only 3 people sitting at it. When I sat down, they all grumbled, and I soon found out why. Everyone was a card counter. We werent all using the same system, or maybe the others just made a better effort to mask their play, but when the count was high, we all had high bets. It was great. We even shared cool card-counter moments like the following.
Basic strategy says that you hit a 12 against a dealers 3. A counter stands when the count is 2 or higher. Well, I had a 12 against a dealers 3, and the count was 7. I stood, and the dealer bust, which would not have happened if I had hit. The guy next to me saw what I did and said, Thats the right move. I know. In that situation. And in my best Morpheus impression, I said, I know exactly what you mean, as if at that moment we were the only 2 people that saw the true way to play the game. Our party was finally brought to an end when a fifth person sat down at the table. We all looked at each other, and I took the bullet and left the table to bring the number of players back down to 4. One of the others tried to stop me by announcing that he was going to eat dinner soon, but I had decided I wanted to explore other casinos.
Gambling at the El Cortez. I was taking a survey of all the casinos to see where I could play. The Four Queens has one single deck table, but it was full when I saw it. I decided to check out Binions Horseshoe again, but they still have only 6:5 blackjack, one of the most evil inventions ever. No other places even had blackjack tables until I stumbled upon the El Cortez. There were 10 single deck tables with lower limits of either $3 or $5. I thought I had discovered blackjack heaven. There were no other counters there. Everybody I played with played like an idiot. The reason for that is probably that they have the best pit boss Ive ever seen. He didnt even seem to be paying attention to me until the following occurred.
The pit boss leans over the table and sees my $25 bet at a $5 table. He looks at me, walks to the phone and has the quickest conversation Ive ever seen. I didnt hear what he said, but I knew what it meant. I try to cash out, but its too late. Hes there. He says, Youre leaving? Yes. Well thats good, and I suggest you play elsewhere from now on. I didnt say another word. Its the same type of feeling when you get caught speeding, but not nearly as bad. I had actually dropped about $100 at that casino, and I going try playing there again in about 2 days. Still, I must tip my hat to that pit boss.
11:30pm Saturday-3:30am Sunday
Gambling in the Four Queens. I stumbled upon a theory which I plan to test over the next couple of days. Talk nicely with the pit bosses, and they wont think youre a card counter. This theory is still in development, but Ill keep you posted how it goes.
Day 1 winnings: $289.71
Total cost of trip: $467.29