Tuesday 16 August 2011

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"Winning" in Las Vegas...

Every trip to Las Vegas is a little different for me.  I've spent time there on my own (boring), with friends (better), with my wife (best, but oh so much more expensive), and with the entire family in tow.  When people ask about our trips, some ask about the shows (great!), some ask about the food (double great!), some ask about the nightlife (beats me) or the shopping (apparently it's really good).  Everybody, however, asks about the gambling.  "Did you hit any big jackpots?" is almost always the first question I get asked.  Most of the time I just say no and talk about other things, but every once in a while I get to tell stories of triumph over the dastardly casinos.  These are my five favorite tales of "Winning".

#5) - The Venetian

The beauty of this one is that I almost didn't stick around long enough to hit it.  I usually play early in the morning in Vegas to avoid both the drunks and the smokers.  I was playing one morning in a pretty much empty casino when a guy came and sat down beside me and started smoking.  Hard.  There were 10 machines in the bank, but for some reason he chose the one next to me.  He was about 3 cigarettes in and I was thinking about packing up and leaving, when I hit this royal flush.  I usually hit the button again whenever I hit a major hand so that people don't have to listen to the payout ring up, but in this case I decided to sit back and let the machine bleat out all the noise it wanted to.  About half way through counting out my win, the guy who just had to be right next to me, got annoyed and left.

#4) - The Rio

I shouldn't have been playing when I hit this one.  We had our kids with us and were out at the pool.  I told Lori that I would go and get us some frappuccinos from Starbucks.  I got distracted.  On the other hand I brought back treats to go with the fraps!

#3) - Green Valley Ranch

It seems like a theme, but I nearly wasn't around to hit this one either.  A few hands before this, I was down to my last hand.  Actually I didn't even have enough to play a full hand (in triple play you have to bet all three lines) so for a couple of hands I only played one line.  Fortunately I hit enough to get me back up to playing all three, and then this royal came out.  It's also the only royal I've ever hit when holding only two cards.

#2) - Silverton

My birthday royal!  Actually it was the day before my birthday, but the real payout from the hand didn't come until the next day.  For my birthday, since I was feeling a little flush with cash, I took my wife to Tiffany's and let her pick out something that she'd like.  She chose a necklace with interlocking gold rings, which came in a little blue box that was apparently almost as important as the necklace itself.  For the next little while, every time Lori told the story of how she got her necklace, I became "that great husband".  To my fellow men: Sorry for setting such a stupid precedent, but you can't even imagine how many brownie points I earned for that one.

#1) - Wynn

There's a few reasons that this is my favorite.  Firstly, I hit it on the same day that I hit the royal at the Venetian.  Two in one day is pretty rare.  It's also the only progressive royal I've ever hit (hence the strange payout).  Most importantly though, is that I didn't have to do anything.  The supreme "lazy royal", I just hit deal and it gave me the royal flush.  I know you're wondering, so I'll tell you.  The odds of being dealt a royal flush are 649740 to 1.  I've played a lot of video poker, but I'm not sure I've played that much.

There's been others that could have been posted here.  My first royal flush left me so shocked that I didn't even think to take a picture of it.  I've also hit two in one hand before, but it's just not as exciting when you're playing for nickels.  This is no time to dwell in the past though (Wait...that's exactly what I'm doing here isn't it?) as next week Lori and I are going to spend a little more time in Vegas, and I'm willing to replace one, two, or even all five of these with new favorite jackpot hands.


  1. We've never made the trip to Vegas (which is kind of silly, because we spent years in SF and San Diego), and have never really gambled. When we do, though, I'm hoping for a little beginner's luck! :)

  2. It always seems to be the non-gamblers who win. Lori has never spent more than five minutes at a slot machine (she says it cuts in to her shopping time) but she's always way luckier than me.

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