|Caesar's Palace's Blackjack Pit|
|New Years in Vegas, Me in the Middle|
My partner of twelve years, Jerry and I were in Vegas for four days in the early 90s, staying at Caesar's Palace (great place), sometimes playing at the same tables but often seeking good gambling luck apart. Around 8 p.m. on one of these evenings I sat down at a $25 Blackjack table. I always have a gambling budget for each day at the gaming tables, and I stick to it religiously. If I exceed my budget, I go do other things (swim, read book, explore Vegas). But things had been going well that day—hence the move to a more expensive table—and, to my amazement, things went very well at that particular table too. This wasn't true of all who sat down at the table—players came and went all the time I was there—but it was true of an older Chinese woman who was sitting next to me. She and I both kept betting more or less the same (i.e., following the mathematical odds), and the money was pushed our way. When those started to be bigger chips, I would salt them away in my pocket. One of my gambling rules is "never touch the salt," so I never took chips back out of my pocket, and I deliberately remained ignorant of how much I'd salted away.
The next afternoon I was wandering through Caesars and I saw my Chinese friend sitting at a crowded $25 Blackjack table. Amused by the idea of joining her again (I am not superstitious), I waited until a chair opened up at the end of the table. She was opposite me at the other end of the table, and I wasn't sure she had noticed my presence. After about half an hour of play, neither winning or losing, the table was dead. No conversation, no banter from the dealer, no eye contact with my friend (though she'd was bound to have noticed me by now), so I decided to shake things up. When the dealer paused the game to shuffle cards, I pointed at her and heard myself say, perhaps too loudly, "There is no truth to the rumor that that woman and I are having an affair!"
She burst out laughing, but the rest of the table, including the startled dealer, looked at me as if I were from Mars. I winked at her, tossed the dealer a tip, and wandered off in search of gambling booty.
"Far Too High in Las Vegas," September 1, 2010
"How To Play Craps Vegas Style," April 15, 2011
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013