15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part III: Lord Dunkin’

The boor covers himself, the rich man or the fool adorns himself, and the elegant man gets dressed.

Walk the floor at any casino during a night during the weekend and it is an absolutely crazy place. Fortunes (or what seems like it) are won and lost every second, and the air is filled with shouts of exultation, profanities, and ‘MONKEY’. I have no idea where that term comes from, but I can tell you what it means. There are 52 cards in a deck, in blackjack and baccarat, a 10, Jack, Queen, and King all count as a ten. When you need a ten, people yell all sorts of things; Breaker Breaker!, Put a picture on it!, Throw some paint!, Big!, and of course, MONKEY! No one knows why, or at least I don’t. It’s just been passed down from gambler to gambler, until the origins are unknown. And that’s the thing about gambling. The history of it is an oral tradition, passed down from generation to generation. There are some things that can’t be written down, they have to be experienced. However, this is the story of a Jersey Boy in Lord Dunkin’s Court.

Continue reading “15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part III: Lord Dunkin’”

15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part II: Tilt

In every bet, there is a fool and a thief.

The King of Hearts is my lucky card. The card is supposedly depicting Charlemagne, who died after impaling himself with a sword. I always liked how unique the Suicide King was in the deck, and that was even before I found out that I can’t lose with that card.

Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but I’ve played thousands upon thousands of hands, and because of what I do, I keep pretty extensive statistics on hands. I legitimately have above an 85% win rate when I get dealt the Suicide King. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, and there will be almost certain a regression to the mean, but till then, my card is my card, and that is the one fallacy that I believe in. Hang around gamblers enough, some of their lunacy rubs off on you.

Continue reading “15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part II: Tilt”

15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part I: The Woman

“When a magician waves his hand and says, ‘This is where the magic is happening.’ The real trick is happening somewhere else.”

My parents always told me that you make your own luck. I’m pretty sure neither of them intended for me to take that literally. One of my hobbies involves applied statistics and a love of cards. The key to being successful at what I do is to make a great first impression, and then be utterly forgettable. You never want to attract attention, especially when you’re winning. And there is nothing more distracting in the world than a beautiful woman in a red dress. Continue reading “15 Monkeys and the Suicide King, Part I: The Woman”

Vegas: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

You lie, I lie, we all lie. It’s a social necessity to function in day-to-day life. I’m sure that we can agree that most people don’t ACTUALLY want to hear a five minute diatribe about how your day was. We want to hear “fine” and then we can move on. Every service industry job is based around providing good service, but also doing it with a happy face and a smile. There is one scenario that is prominent in Vegas though, and that is the ‘Asshole Gambler’.

Continue reading “Vegas: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”

Vegas: No Power in the Champagne Room

Something happens to you when you step foot on the Strip. For lack of a better term, I’ll call it the ‘Vegas Effect’. Your good becomes better, but more importantly, your bad becomes worse. That’s why Las Vegas kicks so many people in the ass. This happens because the city as a whole is full of enablers. It’s an industry built on telling you what you can do and never saying no. That’s why Vegas draws people in, because they can live a fantasy in which they have power, status, and control. The great trick is that they can even scale it to how much money you have. Can’t get a penthouse suite at the Wynn? Go to an older off-strip casino, and all of a sudden that fantasy is realized. The first few times I got went to Vegas, I was definitely seduced by this, by as soon as you’re wizened to it, you see the fantasy lifted. This of course doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time in Vegas, but it’s definitely different. This was never more apparent than what happened the first night.

Continue reading “Vegas: No Power in the Champagne Room”