Thursday, August 06, 2009

Vegas: February 2006 II

Our last day came and went pretty much without incident. There wasn’t a ton going on. We walked the strip, had a look inside Bellagio and Wynn, two things we didn’t do in our last visit because of all the crazy winning. We didn’t even spend that much time at the tables. Ultimately, we were pretty much spent.

Our flight was scheduled to be leave around noon the next day. A short layover in Denver, and we would be back home that night. That was the plan, at least until breakfast that morning. Apparently, Pat wasn’t satiated yet. He still had an itch that needed to be scratched, and with the rest of our party leaving later that day, it would be just the four of us, if we could juggle our lodging for one more night, and our travel the next day.

Trina and I are planners. If our flight leaves at 12, we’re at the airport at 10 or 10:30, getting through security, making sure everything’s in place, grab a drink, and if we have to wait 40 minutes to board the plane, so be it. My folks? Not so much. Stroll in whenever they want, walk right to the plane as they’re making the final boarding call, and if they miss it, what the hell? We’ll catch the next one.

9:40
Them: you guys wanna stay another day?
Us: Umm…sure. Why not.
Them: Okay. We’ll finish breakfast and go back to the rooms and see what we can work out.

10:05
Them: Umm…well, this hotel is booked for the night, so let’s see what else we can find.
Us: Uh…okay. What about the flight?
Them: Oh yeah, forgot about that. We’ll call them too.

10:15
Them: Well, since we bought this trip as a package, we can’t extend it
Us: Okay. Then let’s hustle up and get to the airport. Our flight’s out in just over 90 minutes.
Them: What’s the rush? We can work this thing out. Just relax.
Us: Teeth grinding.

10:47
Them: Ah, I see. There’s a convention this weekend! That’s why we can’t get another room anywhere.
Us: Alright, then let’s REALLY hurry to the airport and just go home.
Them: Nah, we’ll get it figured out.

11:05
Them: Alright, we can get one room for all 4 of us at Excalibur for tonight, but a flight is hard to come by.
Us: Then what’s the point? Let’s get a cab right now!
Them: Nah.
Us: Guys, checkout time was literally 5 minutes ago.
Them: So?

11:40
Them: Well, we might have a flight, but let’s see if we can find something cheaper.
Us: Are you kidding me? You’re splitting hairs when our original flight leaves in 20 minutes?
Them: Don’t worry…they won’t leave without us.
Us: Actually, I don’t recall what happen next because I think I hyperventilated and passed out.

By noon, I think I had come to, the flight was gone, checkout time was an hour ago, with a convention in town, there was almost no where to stay, and it looked like we would be hitchhiking home. Sweet. But I guess while I was unconscious, they had secured travel and lodging. We would all share a room at Excalibur…for $200 for the night (that place usually charges about $40 a night for the record), and we’d be taking a one-way flight home the next day…for $400 a person. So ultimately, staying one more day cost more then the first four days of the trip. What the hell…it wasn’t our money.

The dynamic had changed, and it was actually a really nice day. We relaxed, laughed, joked, mostly about me passing out, ate, drank, and were merry. And finally, we found our way to the Flamingo. It was getting late, and this would probably be the last time we gambled on the trip. But it was a Friday night, and everything was packed. Finally finding a table with two open spots, Pat and I sat down to play while mom and Trina looked around.

The table was full, but for the most part they were friendly. I few times I caught a dirty look here or there for the way I was playing, but I play for me. I’m sorry if what I do offends the delicate sensibilities of other people at the table, but my money is my money, and I’ll play how I want and do what’s best for my bankroll.

Anyway, some time had passed, and we were both up for the venture. I decide I’m going to cash out, and Pat hits me with the “let’s play one more hand” routine. And he also added the “go ahead, bet a big one” pitch. Anyone who’s ever been in a casino for more then a minute should know better. But, I was up to $150 and only bought in for $50, so what the hell? I pushed out three green chips for a $75 bet, still the biggest single bet I’ve ever made. Out come the cards, and I get a five. Well how about you just smack me in the face now and get it over with?! The next cards come out and the dealer paints my five with a six. I retract my previous statement. Oh yeah, and she’s got a six showing as well. Oh man. Ordinarily, what to do next isn’t even a conversation. That’s a double down in your sleep. But with $75 on the table, and really not feeling great about putting out the rest of my cash, I hesitated.

“You see mom anywhere?,” I inquire?
“No.”
“How about Trina?”
“Nope.”
“DOUBLE DOWN” I declare as I slam my other $75 out on the table. And the table cheers in agreement.

With a grin and a nod, the kind-hearted dealer obliges with a nine. Sweet. I’m showing 20 against a bust card, and I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Until, of course, she turns her hole-card and shows what card? A five, of course. Bitch. The collective sigh from the table can be heard throughout a room of previously screaming people. Then totally losing all control of my faculties, intelligence, etiquette, and tact, not to mention manners, I look her right in the face and say “I swear to God if you pull a 10 out of that deck, I’m going to turn this table over.” Yeah, don’t EVER do that. Then, with a trembling hand, she draws the next card from the shoe and reveals a seven. 20 beats 17 all day, and it was at that point I decided it was best to get out of there, leaving nothing but tread marks and a puff of smoke that looks like me where I was sitting before I was escorted out by big scary guys names Guido.

I left with six times the amount a sat down with. Any gambler in the world would call that a good night.

We made our way back to Excalibur, where we finished the night, and the trip by watching a hypnotist. It was cool. Cool enough anyway. It was fun to see once, but not really worth seeing again. Then we retired to the matchbox of a room that the four of us would pass the next few hours in until it was time to leave. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but sharing a bed with your girlfriend (we wouldn’t be engaged for another three months) in the same room as your parents…just weird.

I have no idea if I was up or down for the trip? If I ended up down, it couldn’t have been much. I would have felt a loss, and I just didn’t have that feeling. I didn’t feel like I needed to do everything I could to leave the city as quickly as I possibly could, not that it mattered…I’d still be fighting to get back.

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