Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Las Vegas Quintet: Part V


Eight of us had decided to spend a weekend in Las Vegas. We took different flights and stayed in different hotels, but pretty much stayed together for gambling and for meals. Most were going home Sunday afternoon, and so six of us were up very late Saturday night.

We were sitting in a small lounge toward the rear of Caesars, relaxing over drinks. It was perhaps two thirty in the morning when one of the women said, "I want to play some craps," stood up and began heading toward the casino. The rest of us fell in behind her and were soon approaching the tables.

It was a ghost town compared to its better hours. Only one craps table was in play, and I think only one blackjack table as well. One whole end of the craps table was empty, and I wound up next to a 30ish woman just as she received the dice, her husband having sevened out.

The game came to a halt for a moment while four of us bought chips. I was by this time a hundred dollar bettor, and used four thousand dollars of my line of credit.

I bet a hundred on pass, everyone's bets were down, and the shooter let them fly. She rolled a point number, I don't remember what, and I put two hundred behind my pass bet and a hundred on come. She rolled another "number" - for those of you who don't know, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 are "numbers" - and I backed up my first come bet with two hundred and made another come bet. She rolled a few more numbers, making a couple of my come bets for me, and then rolled her point.

Well, that was a good start. I put two hundred on the pass line, she rolled another point number, and I backed my bet up with four hundred. A couple more numbers and she made her point again.

There was a mild stir of excitement at the table and while the pass bets were being paid off I introduced myself. She was Judy (her real name, and all I know of it). She introduced me to her husband, and told me they were from St. Louis.

I bet three hundred, then four hundred, then five hundred, each time backing up my bets with double odds, and she continued to make points.

Well, let's see if she's serious,. I bet a thousand dollars, put a hundred on pass for "the boys" - the crew that was working the table - and put a hundred down beside her five dollar chip. She rolled a ten.

I put two thousand behind my bet and two hundred behind the bets for her and for the boys, turned to Judy, and said, "No fooling around now. We need this right back."

She threw the dice. FIVE FIVE!

As I began to absorb the fact that I had just won $5,000, she shrieked - she was a five dollar bettor and now eight hundred dollars richer. She turned to me and threw up her arms. I picked her up and swung her around to the right (hitting, I later learned, a blackjack player across the aisle).

Well, she made nine passes, which included my $1,100, $1,200, and $1,300 dollar bets, all points, no sevens along the way, which meant that my come bets kept paying off too.

On my $1,400 bet she rolled a point number and then sevened out. When the smoke cleared I was $30,000 ahead, and it all happened in perhaps twenty minutes. By the way, this was the first and only time I ever had $5,000 chips.

To this day, the six of us think of her and refer to her as "Judy from St. Louis."

This wraps up the "Las Vegas Quintet," so let me say that I don't mean to give the impression that I always won. There were some losing weekends too, including two consecutive trips during which I lost a total of $14,000. But my best guess is that I wound up somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 ahead of the game (not counting the free first class air fares, hotel rooms,and meals), and it looks as if it will stay that way.

I don't have the craps "itch" any more. The last time I went to Las Vegas was more than fifteen years ago. I imagine I'd enjoy going once more just to see all the changes, but I don't miss the gambling. In fact, I've been back in the Chicago area for ten years now and haven't been to any of the riverboat casinos.


Anonymous said...

I sure enjoyed your LV stories. I drove through there about 5 years ago and had no desire to stop. It is different now. I miss the good old days when the 4 Queens had a fabulous Shrimp Cocktail for 50 cents.
Good writing.

BrokenDownProgrammer said...

I thank you.

Yes, I imagine it's quite different now. It was changing back then, with Binion's expanding downtown and the Mirage stealing some of Caesars' thunder on the strip.

I have to say that I was not sorry to see the Dunes go. I don't know about its early days, but in its last stages it was definitely second rate.