Tuesday, June 01, 2004

How was your weekend?

I got asked that a lot today - as did many of you, I'm sure. I even got asked by people I don't know.

And I didn't know the answer...

Seriously. I didn't know whether to say "good" because of spending time with my family or "alright, I suppose" because of how well my luck went at Ameristar. In the end, it came out a half-hearted, "Okay," but that got me thinking...

Let me start by telling you how my luck ran this weekend.

We got to Kansas City around 3pm. We had some dinner and were at the casino by 6:30. We made arrangements to meet at 9 and I went in search of $5 blackjack tables.

I bought in for $20, as I always do, and was holding my own for about a half hour. That's when the shoe ran out.

Yellow flag #1 - I wasn't real pleased with the dealer. He wasn't bad but he wasn't fun.
Yellow flag #2 - He hand shuffled. I was upstairs and they don't have the shuffling machines up there. There's nothing wrong with it but the randomness is increased when you're using two sets of cards that are machine shuffled.
Red flag - Some guy sat down with a small stack of black chips ($100/ea) and just had the wrong attitude for a $5 table... he was just too serious.

I should have left two hands after he showed up... but I didn't and my $20 was gone pretty quick. I had more money but I knew I had all day Saturday to contend with so I spent the rest of the time watching another table have lots of fun.

Saturday was worse.

We had brunch at the casino then went to play about 3:00. The plan was to stay until 7-ish when they would hold the drawing for the Dodge vehicle.

I walked in, went to the awards booth, got my entry for the drawing, dropped it in and found an empty $5 blackjack table.

I lost the first hand.
I won the second hand.
I was dealt a 10 on the third hand. I always double-down on ten or eleven so that's what I did... he dropped a three and rolled over a winning hand.
I won #4.
I was dealt a 10 on #5. I doubled-down, he threw me a two, and flipped an 18.
I lost #6.

It took me longer to type that than it did to lose my $20.

I had $5 left and four hours to kill. So I went in search of a penny slot machine and found a penny double-diamond machine. It had 5 reels and the double-diamonds were wild and doubled your win.

I played down to about $1.50 when things started to turn around. I was hitting small wins and went to the bonus round a couple of times. I was up to about $4 when I saw a money clip and a double come up. Twelve - not bad for an 18 cent bet. No, wait, there's another money clip... and another double... and finally another money clip. I hit five in a row with two doubles... SWEET!!! I won something just under $18.00. I played a little longer and left when I hit the $30 mark. I headed back to the tables...

Big mistake.

That $20 flowed from my pocket a little slower than the first $20 but only lasted about thirty minutes. I spent the rest of my time, and the $10 I had left, back at the penny machine.

It wasn't as nice to me the second time around.

So it felt like luck wasn't with me this weekend but, like I said, all of the inquiries about my weekend got me to thinking...

All of the members of my family are currently still alive.
We love each other and get along with each other. We would each do anything for any of the others.
My parents have been married almost 41 years and there has never been a hint of separation or divorce.
My father knows I don't go fishing with him to fish. It's just a nice side benefit.
My mother loves me despite all of my shortcomings.
I have never broken a bone.

I know that a lot of people don't have these things so I guess, in a way, I'm very lucky and I thank God for it every day.

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