Monday, January 11, 2010

Trip to Vegas....Part 1

When I started to actually plan the long discussed "Trip to Vegas With Manny and Brian", I thought that one fringe benefit would be writing about it. It had potential for great material, especially considering how much I enjoyed writing about my previous Florida visits with Manny. It is now a month since the trip (we were in Vegas 12/10 - 12/14), and I haven't blogged on it yet.

Here was a weekend of booze and broads, hot streaks at the tables, and some nights I can't even remember. Oh wait, that's the imaginary trip I took when I was single, Manny was magically the same age as me, and Brian attracted babes just by walking in the room.

I must report: that was NOT our trip.

OUR trip started with Brian and Manny flying into Vegas from Florida, and me flying in from New York. We landed at the same time (I know this because Brian called me on the cell phone at the precise moment and I actually saw their plane on the ground right next to mine). I went and got the rental car and came back to pick them up. This was a theme throughout the trip....we constantly coordinated all our movements to adjust to Manny's minor limitations. Brian and I made up systems for everything, so everything we did fit with what Manny was able to do.

We stayed at the Monte Carlo, a big hotel on the strip.

I like it because it is not "over the top" on glitz, it has a nice casino, plenty of restaurants, and is centrally located to many of the other hotels. We ate at a few of the restaurants there, and the buffet, and they were all fine.

I knew in advance that Brian enjoys sports betting, especially football, so I was glad to see the Monte Carlo had a small, comfortable sports book. It had betting on college and pro basketball, college and pro football, and of course, horse racing from all over the country. We played them all, in comfort and without regard for anything going on anywhere else in the world. A few times we bet on games that we knew were on TV, then went up to our room and watched them. I got a kick out of yelling and screaming for Kansas to cover a 22 point spread against some crappy small school.....and they did cover it!

The first thing some people asked me when we got back was...."how did you do with the gambling?" The casino at the Monte Carlo only had three craps tables, which were pretty busy, usually $5 minimums with triple odds, exactly how I like it. I played a lot of craps, and taught Brian to play. I even caught him playing without me once!!! I was probably up a bit at craps for the trip. I had a few sessions where I did well, and cashed out ahead. I had some sessions where I lost, but never a session where I got really hammered (which can happen at craps, but during the whole trip it never happened to me).

I did not do as well at sports betting or Caribbean Stud poker, which caused me to have a net gambling loss for the trip. However, considering the amount of play, and considering that the amount I lost was a fraction of what I was prepared to put in play, I rated my gambling for the trip as successful. I know that some of my readers gamble, while some don't, but I feel compelled to say something about gambling as an entertainment activity. In the long run, one cannot win at casino gambling. The math is against you, and the longer you play, the more the math must catch up and beat you. That being said, over the short term, players tend to have times when things go right and there are times when you win. It never happens that one loses every bet. That would be as unlikely as winning every bet, it just doesn't happen. I like to play craps with the intention of playing for a certain amount of time, say 45 minutes. If I catch a nice roll, and am ahead a few hundred bucks, I cash out and do something else. If I start out at a table and its cold, and I am down a few, I also cash out and walk.

Sometimes, you may bet at a certain level, catch a little streak and get ahead, and take a shot at playing at a higher level. If you catch another streak while doing this, you have some real excitement. This DOES actually happen sometimes, and it IS enticing. What you can't do, is try to force it, or chase it, or figure that the odds are its going to happen soon so you keep playing. I don't do that, Brian doesn't do that, and Manny doesn't do that (any more).

Next.....Trip to Vegas, Part 2......

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