Sunday, December 27, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

...gets posted to the blog!

Hey guys!
It's been nearly a year since I last shook my fist at Las Vegas casinos, hounding "one more year!" And here I am, 21 and fresh-faced (if a bit pink) and fresh out of the shower after about an hour of slots.

The family and I arrived here at noon and promptly went to our old family friend's house. We knew them from Germany, and some other Germany-era families were there as well. We did this last year. This is becoming a tradition that I like. We hung out there, watched Step Brothers, played Egyptian War/Ratscrew, messed around and generally had a good time. We were there for a good while before coming back to the hotel. We're actually not staying at our regular Mandalay Bay this time, but instead the brand new M Hotel, Spa & Casino. It's actually way far away from the strip, but whatevs.

So earlier (midnight, to be precise) my dad and I went down to the casino and he showed me how to play slots. He provided the money out of an envelope, explaining the need for a budget when playing at Vegas lest you spend way more than you intended. That made me think that you had to go in with the idea that you could lose everything you set aside, which I found to be true when I started playing. We stuck to the penny and quarter slots, putting in $10-20 at a time and making small wins enough to keep us going. The first time I touched my first slot machine (Wheel of Fortune), my finger was met with a loud crack of static shock, and I drew my hand back: I remember I used to hate Vegas because of the combination of carpeted floors, dry air and metal, which made for frequent static shocks. I hated static shocks.

I brought my hand back and pushed the button, and got a SPIN on my first try and won a small amount of credits. Nothing significant happened there, so we moved to some quarter slots and kept playing.

I won $50! It added to the $10 my dad had put into the machine, so I got a $60 voucher that I could either cash in or play with. I put it away so my mom could take a picture of me with it later (I'll post it later). My dad bought me a strawberry daiquiri for my win, and said that if we waited around at the slots for a waitress, we could get it for free. When we went to another set of slots, that's what we did.

As I blew bubbles in my second strawberry daiquiri that night, I started to assign different levels of "luck" to my methods of playing. For example, if I wasn't getting anything by pushing the SPIN button, I'd alternate to pulling the lever on the side, old-school style, hoping that that would make a difference. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't, but near the bottom of the drink I was positive that it made a difference. I noticed that the specific slot machine I was playing at was made by KONAMI, and I idly wondered if I can enter the famous code somewhere and win thousands of dollars. Hee hee.

After I got bored I took out another voucher ($16) and went to play Video BlackJack. That ate away all my money FAST. I don't think I was paying very much attention, oops. That's when I decided to go back up to the room (shortly after my dad said I was getting pink and should go anyway). As I made my way back up to the room, I started to think about slots more.

The slots were fun, and I can see how they can become addicting. Just one more time, one more time and I can get a win like that! But how much money will it take until you play enough to get that win? And unless it's a Jackpot far above what you spent on it, would it be worth it? I got lucky because I played with my dad's money and he let me keep my win, but would I be willing to shell out so much of my own money? As of right now, as an unemployed student, hell no. I would also rather play something like BlackJack or Poker, where I feel I would have a little more control over my chances, unlike alternating between pushing a button and pulling a lever. The card games, dealers and players intimidated me somewhat though, so I'll save that for another day.

Which will probably be, once again, in one more year!

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