Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Las Vegas Quintet: Part I

While living in downtown Chicago, I received a flyer from the Chicago office of Caesars Palace, inviting me on a junket. I knew nothing about the junkets, but I had been to Las Vegas a few times and played some blackjack and some craps. The latter was my favorite and I was a five dollar bettor.

I called the office to get the whole scoop. The deal was:
  • I could go alone or with someone.
  • I would write a check to Caesars for the airfare ($179 per person, if memory serves).
  • I would get a line of credit with Caesars.
  • Lodging and all meals and drinks in the hotel, whether restaurant, bar, or room service, would be free.
  • I would gamble. If Caesars liked my action the airfare check would be returned to me uncashed.
I decided to take them up on it and to take my then current inamorata, Mandy, who had never been to Las Vegas.

With a goal of not only getting the airfare back but also being invited to go again, I did the math. I had to guess how much action it would take to satisfy them, and eventually I decided that if I became a fifty dollar bettor and played sanely, that I really wasn't at much risk. Yes, the dice could be very unkind and I could lose a lot, but it was unlikely over a period of three days. And I might even win with "normal" dice I figured to lose a little over the three days, but not enough so it would hurt and certainly not enough to cover the cost of the room, meals, and drinks.

I opened a $15,000 line of credit with Caesars, which required only that I notify my bank that Caesars would be calling to ask "If he wrote us a $15,000 check today, would it clear?" and to tell the bank that they should answer that question.

Came the day, and we flew to Las Vegas along with many others in a 707. We were bused to the hotel and got into a check-in line. When we reached the counter a young woman asked whether we wanted a room with or without a mirror in the canopy over the bed. I turned and asked, "Mandy?"

"Whatever you like, Donnie."

"Well, which would you prefer?"

"What. Ever. You. Want. Donnie."

"We'll take the one with the mirror."

While we were unpacking and settling in, I asked, "Why didn't you want to tell me which room you preferred?"

"It's too personal, Donnie."


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