Jackpot Slot Machines, red, white and blue

July 12, 2012 jack Gambling Stories

By Alan

It was in the early 1990’s, and for Tracy and myself, it was our first-ever New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.  Needless to say, we wanted to do it up in style!

A major part of our game plan was to start our New Year’s celebration early with a great meal.  So, there we were, with 10:30 am reservations for the most spectacular brunch in Las Vegas, the legendary Sterling Brunch at Bally’s Hotel.

At this point, I should digress for a couple of points of information.  For both of us, this would be the most unbelievable brunch we had ever experienced.  Back then, I believe it had a $48 price tag, which has since gone up to $63. Also, I don’t think Tracy fully understood the effects that champagne could have on her in large volumes.  Finally, as gamblers she was more diverse, playing everything in the casino, while I was limited to blackjack and betting on the horses.

So, we were on line waiting to be seated, when a fancy-jacketed man placed a champagne flute in our hands and filled us up with Piper-Heisdeck.  This was to get us through the approximately 90 seconds it took to get us to our table.  Then came the meal, with ungodly selections ranging from raw oysters (Tracy’s favorite) to Beef Wellington and everything in-between.  Every time we got up from our seats for a different selection of food, one of those fancy-jacketed guys gave us a refill on Piper-Heisdeck.  The result of this practice is that while you are loving the food, you can’t keep track of how many glasses of champagne you’ve actually had.

Neither one of us are big drinkers, but this was very fine champagne, and it got the best of my beloved.  When we got up from our seats for the final time (after some amazing desserts), she was beyond tipsy.

Now, I was blessed with the task of sobering her up, and that is where the gambling part of our adventure begins. The first ploy in my task was to plant her somewhere for a while.  In this case, somewhere was a $5 minimum blackjack table in a remote corner of Bally’s.  Remarkably, although she could barely read the cards, she walked away with a small profit after nearly two hours.  I foisted her upon her blackjack friends, as I was challenging the fates in the nearby Race Book.  Now, I checked in on her and saw that she was still not on level ground.   I decided that fresh air and a walk on The Strip would be my new remedy.

So, we began walking from casino to casino, on a people-watching cruise whose purpose was to digest a very rich meal and sober up my lady.  I should note that I was slightly tipsy as well, but she was in the Major Leagues.  By now, it was about 3 pm on New Years Eve, almost three hours removed from brunch, and yet she was still weaving from side-to-side.  At that point, she had the vision that led to the highlight of our gambling day.  That vision took the form of Golden Arches.  Now, I’m not much for fast food, but her guilty pleasure in life is McDonalds.  Upon the sighting of the arches, she says to me, “I know what will sober me up…a McDonalds cheeseburger!”

In the aftermath of one of the greatest meals of our lives, I didn’t understand how she could have room for or the craving for such stuff.  She insisted, however, and in my anger, I said I would not accompany her in pursuit of the burger.  So, down the escalator she went in the Barbary Coast, leaving me alone on the main floor.  I was used to long sessions of blackjack, and I didn’t know what to do with a few idle minutes of casino time.

Keep in mind that I NEVER, EVER touched slot machines!  But something struck me about a Red, White, and Blue machine, and I whipped out a twenty while I waited for Tracy to return.  Literally, on the first spin of the reels, 3 sevens popped up.  One problem…I didn’t know what it meant.  I had no idea if it meant I won ten bucks or ten thousand.  I needed to call over a floor person, who explained that I should not leave the machine, and I then waited for someone to come along and place four crisp hundred-dollar bills in my hand.

Needless to say, when Tracy returned from her cheeseburger remedy, I planted a big kiss on her and thanked her profusely for insisting on getting her way.  And off we were, slowly sobering up on a truly memorable New Year’s Eve that was highlighted by an unlikely encounter with a Red, White, and Blue machine!


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