I just got back from a weekend-long trip to Vegas. It was my first time there, and I have a lot of thoughts about the city and the experience, so this week I’m going to devote an entry a day to Vegas (within the constraints of the normal categories of this blog: guy talk, management, pet peeves, and so on).
Today’s is personal.
Last fall, I shared what was one of the toughest confessions for me to write: that I think I have it in me to have a gambling problem. Why would I even go to Vegas, then? The occasion was for a fantasy baseball draft in person with many old college buddies, and I really wanted to be a part of it.
I pledged to myself that I wouldn’t gamble at all on the trip. However, on Friday at work, I was telling people that I was heading off to Vegas, and I started asking people if they had lucky numbers. I figured I could put a few dollars down on a single roulette spin with those numbers selected, and if one of them one, I’d give the person associated with the lucky number half the money. The numbers I took down were 3, 8, 16, and 32. If you hit a single number in roulette, you profit at a 35:1 ratio.
Then came Vegas, which is essentially an endless sea of blackjack tables. Many of my friends play blackjack and had come prepared to spend a few hundred dollars. The temptation was definitely there for me, but something that helped was that at the Mirage, where we were staying, the minimum bet at the blackjack tables was $15. No way was I going to do that.
I intentionally didn’t bring much cash to Vegas (about $50) because I knew I wouldn’t use the ATMs there, so over the course of the weekend, I saw my cash supplies dwindle from cab fares to my portion of a split check and my share of some room alcohol. By this afternoon, with a couple hours left in Vegas, I only had $10 left. I decided to save the $10 and not take a spin at the roulette wheel–plus, the roulette minimum was $15 anyway.
My friends had been talking about me using those lucky numbers the entire weekend…for some reason the idea really excited them. Maybe it stood out because I wasn’t doing any other gambling. So these wonderful enablers of mine finally convinced me to put down the $10, and a friend spotted me another $5 to make the minimum.
You can’t divide $15 four ways , so I decided to add my own lucky number to the mix (9, my soccer number) and bet on five individual numbers, $3 each. The dealer (who for some reason was not at all happy to have us at her table), spun the wheel, and we waited and waited until the ball settled on…
That’s right, I won $105 on one spin of roulette. I put it all aside except for the original $15, bet that money on the same numbers, lost, and walked away with $90 in hand.
And that’s my Vegas roulette story. Do you have a crazy/lucky gambling story to share?