Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Las Vegas Quintet: Part II


I guided Mandy around the casino, showing her the craps, roulette, blackjack, slot machines, etc. I gave her some gambling money and she tried a couple of games but just wasn't enthusiastic about any of them.

We had a drink or two and she decided to go up to the room to relax. I had explained to her that I had to gamble a certain amount to get the airfare refund and to be invited back, and she understood that.

As luck would have it, I walked up to a table just as it got hot. I'd bet $50 on the pass line and if a "number" was thrown I'd back it up with $100. If it hit I'd increase my bet to $100, then $150, and so on. I would also play a couple of $50 come bets.

As I said, the table got hot. It attracted a crowd - not many groups of strangers are friendlier than a group of craps bettors at a hot table. The crew working the table was super-friendly and occasionally helpful regarding my betting, and before I knew it I was ahead about $6,000. Someone sevened out and I decided to take a break.

I went up to the room and Mandy asked, "How'd you make out, Donnie?"

"I'm up about $6,000 and taking a little break."

Her jaw dropped and she asked if it wouldn't be wise to stop gambling right now. I told her that wasn't the plan. Remember?

We chatted a few minutes and I went back down to the casino. A few minutes later Mandy, who had been in her nightgown, was beside me at the table. She had called her closest girlfriend to give her the news. The girlfriend had advised her to get me to quit, and when she learned that it wasn't going to happen had said, "Tell him to bet $50 for me."

Mandy wanted $50 of action also, and handed me $100 in cash. I stuck it in my pocket and put a second pass bet of $50 on the table. The shooter rolled a six. I put $50 behind the original $50 and told Mandy "Give me another $50." She did and I added it to the odds bet.

Eventually the shooter made the six and Mandy and her girlfriend were now ahead $170. I put my next bet down and asked Mandy if she wanted to go again. She did and I put another $50 down. Nine, odds, nine again, another $200 profit for Mandy and her girlfriend.

I turned to Mandy and raised my eyebrows. She said, "Whatever you think, Donnie."

"You should take the money and get out, Mandy. You're underfunded."

"OK, Donnie." She stayed to watch me and on the very next attempt the shooter sevened out. I was definitely her hero that night.

I finished the night about $7,500 and several bourbon manhattans ahead of the game.

Mandy was back in bed when I got to the room. She had called her girlfriend again and they were hopping from foot to foot over having won several hundred dollars and over getting out of the game at exactly the right moment.

We talked about how the next several days would go. She didn't want to gamble and unless the dice went really bad I was going to be doing a lot of gambling. We agreed that we would have our meals together and take in a show or two. She said she wanted to spend some time at the pool and to do a little shopping, "Although I don't know how expensive things are here."

I gave her five one hundred dollar bills to use for her shopping, a gesture repeated the next two mornings as well, and she was in heaven. That woman could shop.

We did some fine dining Saturday and Sunday nights ("Spanish Steppes" in Caesars, no longer there, and a restaurant at the Frontier, "The Branding Iron" at the time, later "Justin's," also no longer there). We saw a Joan Rivers show, (warmed up by the Smothers Brothers with Jim Stafford), which was wonderful. I gambled, she shopped and sunbathed. The dice continued their run for me and I finished about $15,000 ahead for the trip and flew home with 130 hundred dollar bills in a trousers pocket.

Mandy was exhausted from her shopping - you should have seen us at the airport with all those shopping bags full of goodies. I, however, was still cranked. As we waited in the boarding area, she slumped in a chair and I hopped around, I began teasing her about various things. Finally, she looked up at me and said, "Donnie, I'll crush you like a bug."

On the plane I asked her what was her favorite part of the trip, and this divorced mom of a six year old girl said, "Lying by the pool and having someone bring me a drink."


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