The brilliant lights of Las Vegas shimmer in the desert night like a cluster of stars stolen from the heavens and deposited here in the midst of the vast Mohave Desert. Like some grand mirage, Vegas rises up from the desert sands illuminating the darkness, a beacon beckoning one and all to come taste the sweetness of her fruit. Sadly, few who are drawn here by her enticements ever partake in her splendor, most destined to taste the bitterness of her wicked ways instead. What is it Howard Cosell used to say “the agony of defeat.” Viva Las Vegas!
Although the odds are stacked heavily against them, few can resist the allure of this desert oasis. They come from near and far to try their luck at beating the odds and hitting the jackpot of a lifetime! But Sin City is the breaker of dreams, always has been always will be, still, people keep coming back, hoping that the next time will be different. It seldom is.
I’ve been coming to Las Vegas off and on now for the past 39 years. I can say without embarrassment that there is absolutely no doubt that Vegas has the edge on me when it comes to gambling. She’s taken a hell of a lot more than she’s given, too much more. Because of that, I don’t really gamble much anymore, haven’t in years. I hate throwing my money away. I just don’t get the rush gambling that I used to when I was younger.
I’m in Las Vegas with friends this weekend, sort of a late anniversary celebration. Didn’t spend a dime on gambling Saturday. Yesterday I sat in the Sports Book with two of my friends and we played the ponies most of the afternoon. It was the first time I ever really bet on the horses. We did okay. We played 7 races, got free drinks the entire time and it didn’t cost us a dime. We even came away with a few bucks in our pockets. I’ll definitely do it again. Later like a dummy, I played twenty bucks in a quarter slot machine and ten playing electronic poker at a casino bar. I didn’t win any money, but I did get 3 free beers.
I suppose part of the reason I don’t enjoy gambling anymore is my inability to act on a hunch. Through the years, several times I’ve gotten these feelings, or hunches while in different casinos. The few times I’ve acted on my hunches I came away winning, but more often than not I don’t act on a hunch and regret it moments later. For instance, last night I was walking through the casino and came upon a couple of my friends playing roulette. I watched for a few minutes then got a feeling that I should play the numbers 9 and 5. Of course, rather than act on my hunch, I did nothing. The next number that came up was, you guessed it, 9! I thought about betting the same two numbers again and didn’t. Two rolls later 9 came up again then a 5! At 35 to 1 I could have won on 3 out of 4 rolls. For a $40 investment, I could have won $500! Just my luck, again my lack of trusting my hunches and my fear of acting on them cost me!
Oh well, it’s my own damn fault. When you get that gut feeling you’ve got to go with it! You can’t win if you don’t play. Someone once said “If you’re a winner, Las Vegas is the sweetest place on Earth, if you’re a loser it’s the meanest town on earth. I wonder what’s been said about trusting your gut feeling and having the stones to back up your hunch with a bet. I bet they’d call that a winners play. guess I’ll have to Google it and find out. You’ve heard the commercial for Las Vegas that say “What happens in Vegas – Stays in Vegas.” Well what happens in Vegas is you lose your ass! what stays in Vegas is your hard earned money!