Heaven, hell and everything in between
By Frank Scoblete
When I was an athlete there were games where near perfection seemed to exist for me. It was hard to miss a pitch or a basket. Everything just seemed to come to me. Of course, the equal but opposite was also true – disappointingly so. I could not hit the ball with a tennis racket and the basket seemed to have a lid on it. I couldn’t always have that sense of near perfection.
Some people call good things happening as being in the flow and bad things happening as being out of the flow. That’s fine terminology for me.
This flow idea holds true for casino gamblers, especially slot players. There are, some good days and some bad days. But I was most interested in the extremes for this column, days of heaven and days of hell, not just at the games but surrounding the games as well. Most of us exist most of the time in the great in between, not heaven and not hell.
Here are two examples of the extremes. Maybe some of you have been there and this will remind of you of, let us say, living on the edge.
“I should have just stayed in bed on that day. I made my coffee in my automatic coffee maker, except I forgot to put in the coffee and only hot water came out. I am not a tea drinker so there I was with a useless cup of hot water. I had to make another cup and this time I did remember to put in the coffee except it was decaf which I have for guests. I drink my coffee black and strong and totally caffeinated.”
“I was going to drive to Atlantic City – I live about an hour away and I go a few times a month. I stay over one night. The drive down had a bunch of work being done on the Garden State Parkway and there were plenty of delays, especially when it started raining and cars just slowed down even more. It took me over an hour and a half to get there.”
“I was going to meet my friend Bess but she called my cell and left a message that she couldn’t come. I was looking forward to a girls’ weekend. Not to be.”
“When I was at the reservation desk the receptionist said my reservation was for tomorrow. I straightened that out because my hostess helped me out. And my room would you know it? It was not ready and I had to keep my suitcase downstairs at the desk. I didn’t get into the room until four o’clock.
“I had an ice cream, which was mostly melted, and then I hit the slots or really the slots hit me. I lost my first dozen decisions or so, switched machines, won a spin, the lost another streak. I was never ahead once the whole night. If I hit here and there, it was never enough to get me over the top.”
“I really wanted a drink but the waitress seemed to have disappeared! It was the worst time, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I left the next morning. I don’t want to have another day like that I can tell you!”
Okay, that was the bad news; now for some good news.
“I am a slot player and have been for about thirty years. I’ve seen the machines go from those traditional ones to the wild ones we have now where you can play an amazing number of decisions at once. I also play some video poker. I go once a month to the casinos, I have two I like, and I will spend two weekend nights there. I live in North Cape May and I am only about forty miles away from Atlantic City.”
“One weekend I decided to go at the last minute and I called my host who said he had no problem getting me a suite. I am a decent player, a dollar machine at full credits, sometimes a five-dollar machine also at full credits. I am used to being treated well at both casinos.”
“That morning as I went to get my coffee and donut, I bought a scratch off lottery ticket and won fifty dollars, that is what made me decide to go to the casino so that’s when I called my host. I never won that much on a lottery ticket.”
“The trip down I saw a bunch of pretty deer grazing on the side of the road. I saw the turkey vultures in the air looking for breakfast, and sea gulls soaring over the water. It was a beautiful day in southern New Jersey.”
“My suite was beautiful with a great basket of candy and fruit awaiting me. I confess, I ate the candy first but I did have an apple later that day.”
“So now I go to the slots. The very first spin I won a few hundred dollars. I kept winning, not big wins, but steady winnings for the entire weekend. That was magical. I had a suite, comped meals, and a great winning trip. It all started with that lottery ticket. I wish I could have those weekends all the time; I’d probably live in the casinos!”
Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com . Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.