Posts Tagged ‘leisure’


I’m Alright (Black)Jack Keep Your Hands Off My Stack

April 12, 2008

Friday night-the place is bustling with check-ins, show goers, hungry people, and optimistic gamblers looking to break the bank (or at least make enough to walk out a winner).  My sister-in-law works here and wanted to go to a show her husband didn’t want to attend so my wife went with her and because she had pulled some neck muscles a few days earlier, I drove her there to be safe.  I needed to kill a little over two hours so I decided to be one of those optimistic gamblers.  My grub stake was all of $100 and I put myself in the frame of mind that if I lost it, then I was entertained for 2 hours or so. 

I dove into the morass and noticed the Mega-Bucks machine showing a payout of over $19 million simoleans.  Well “ya gotta play to win” as the old New Jersey Lottery once declared, so I dumped $40 into the machine and played for ten minutes until it consumed all the money.  “Okay, so what?” I said to myself as I really wasn’t happy that I had another 130 minutes left to kill.  So, I said to myself, “Self, blackjack is the answer,” and began to scout the tables for the first or last seat on a $10 table.  I choose either one of those seats purposely in somewhat of a vain attempt to try and make sure some measure of basic strategy is adhered, at least on those critical positions when the dealer is showing a bust card.  Of course the fact that I was at the low limit table meant that inexperienced players would eventually show up and screw the pooch completely, but that’s “the way it is for low limit gamblin’ son.”

I hit four, count em, four blackjacks in a row to start and was shocked. As time went on, the ebb and flow continued to increase and diminish my stack until the dealer won 10 straight hands with ridiculous pulls of five and six card twenty-one’s against my hard twenties and the like.  I was down to my initial stake of $100 and had been playing for over 90 minutes and decided that his run was over and began betting $25 a hand.  Lady Luck smiled on me and ten minutes later I was up $300.  Then it happened.  Mr. John Doe and his wife arrives on the table and begins the mayhem of splitting tens against a dealer’s eight showing, splitting two fours against the dealer’s seven, doubling down on sevens and eights, etc. Then when the husband hits blackjack and the dealer shows an ace and offers him an even money bet, that is an option before he checked to see if he had blackjack.  Hubby couldn’t fathom what that was no matter how many times the dealer and others explained it. Finally I said, “look, you can take the sure thing of winning one times your bet, or you can wait and see if he has blackjack and if he doesn’t you get one and a half times your bet.  I still don’t think he got it, and he took the even money and of course the dealer didn’t have blackjack so he was pissed at everyone.  The nice buzz I had from the two cocktails abruptly wore off and watched as my stack lowered and my blood pressure rose.  The table begins to become hostile towards these two novices as they will not even take advice from the dealer now.  I cash out $200 up and walk.  I had enough being a part of the painful experience.  I still have 20 minutes before the show ends so again I try Mega-Bucks.  I put in $100 and start playing when the woman next to me hits for $6,000.  Hmmm, could be good sign, could be a bad sign like the song goes “if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all,” but tonight was different.  There was a little magic in the air, so I continued to bang the button spinning the wheels on the max bet. 

There is this urban rumor that a man was playing Mega-Bucks and had to go to the bathroom and told his wife to keep playing to hold the machine until he came back.  When he came back she had hit the three Mega-Bucks signs for the whole jackpot and he went nuts and a huge crowd gathered and cheered them on, but then when the slot attendants came over they pointed out that the wife had only played $1 not the maximum $3 he had been playing all night so he didn’t win the 20 million.  The story goes that they had to restrain him from hitting her and escorted her out the casino.  I doubt that ever happened but it’s a good story.

In any case, Lady Luck smiled on me as I hit for over $400 in less than 10 minutes and walked away a winner.  Now, if I factor in how much I’ve lost…, let’s forget about that for now and savor the moment.  It doesn’t usually last long.