26 May 2004


I'm back from Vegas.  I'm poorer than I was at this time last week, of course, but I don't mind.  Both times I have gone to Vegas, I have expected to lose.  That seems to make it easier to accept.

The only other time I was there was last August, and that was a quick 48 hour visit.  This was a little longer visit and it gave me the chance to see more than I did last time.  I learned more about Vegas during this trip, certainly.  And I found that for every good thing about Vegas, there's something bad.

For example, there's gambling.  I brought a few hundred bucks with me for the express purpose of testing my luck, and mostly on the video poker machines.  Every time I sat down at a machine, I did very well, for the first half hour or so, but instead of walking away with a little more than I began with, I decided to keep playing, and walk away with a lot more than I began with.  Of course, I wound up losing everything.  We're not talking more than fifty dollars or so, but still, in hindsight, if I had quit every time I was up on a machine, I probably would have won three hundred dollars or so.  The economist in me realizes that I lost a lot more than what I went out there with.

I did a majority of my gambling in the Mirage, where we were staying.  The only table game I usually play is blackjack, but this casino has the oldest dealers I have ever seen.  I think the youngest dealer I saw there was 80.  With a full table (six players) and four decks, how long do you think it should take to go through a shuffle?  I got up and walked away from a table after half an hour and the dealer had yet to make it halfway through.  The Mirage ought to have a big replica of a snail on the outside of their building.

Of course, if I hadn't lost my shirt in the process of that half hour, I probably wouldn't care about the speed of the dealer.  Alas, it was a very slow striptease.

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