The brilliant lights of Las Vegas shimmer in the desert night like a cluster of stars stolen from the heavens and deposited here in the midst of the vast Mohave Desert. Like some grand mirage Vegas rises up from the desert sands illuminating the darkness, a beacon beckoning one and all to come taste the sweetness of her fruit. Sadly, few who are drawn here by her enticements ever partake in her splendor, most destined to taste the bitterness of her wicked ways instead. What is it Howard Cosell used to say “the agony of defeat.” Viva Las Vegas!
Although the odds are stacked heavily against us, few can resist the allure of this desert oasis. We come from near and far to try our luck at beating the odds and hitting the jackpot of a lifetime! But Sin City is not the maker of dreams, but the breaker of dreams, always has been always will be. Still we keep coming back, hoping that the next time will be different. It seldom is.
I’ve been going to Las Vegas off and on now for the past 41 years. I can say without embarrassment that there is absolutely no doubt that Vegas has the edge on me when it comes to gambling. She’s taken a hell of a lot more than she’s given, too much more. Because of that I don’t really gamble much any more, haven’t in years. I hate throwing my money away. I just don’t get the rush from gambling that I used to when I was younger.
I suppose part of the reason I don’t enjoy gambling anymore is my inability to act on a hunch. Through the years, several times I’ve gotten these feelings, or hunches while gambling in different casinos. The few times I’ve acted on my hunches I came away winning, but more often than not I don’t act on a hunch and regret it moments later. For instance, I recall one particular night on a recent visit walking through the casino sipping a beer when I was drawn towards the roulette wheel. I watched as players placed their bets for a several minutes then suddenly got a feeling that I should play the numbers 9 and 5. Of course rather than act on my hunch I did nothing. The next number that came up was, you guessed it, 9! I thought about betting the same two numbers again and didn’t. Neither number came up. But on the following roll however 9 came up. The next roll yielded a 5! Had I been playing $5 on each number I could have won on 3 out of 4 spins. So for an investment of only $40, at 35 to 1 odds, I could have walked away a winner with a cool $500 in my pocket! Yet again my lack of trust in my hunches and my fear of acting on them cost me! Lucky me!
Oh well, it’s my own damn fault. When you get that gut feeling you’ve got to go with it! You can’t win if you don’t play. Someone once said “If you’re a winner, Las Vegas is the sweetest place on Earth, if you’re a loser it’s the meanest town on earth.” Ain’t it the truth!
I wonder what’s been said about trusting your gut feeling and having the stones to back up your hunch with a bet. I ‘bet’ they’d call that a winners play. I suppose I’ll have to Google it and find out. You’ve all heard the commercial for Las Vegas that say “What happens in Vegas – Stays in Vegas.” Great saying with just a hint of truth. If your a gambler, what happens in Vegas is that you usually lose your ass! And who really wants to come home and tell anyone about that? What stays in Vegas is lots of your hard earned money and those dreams of making it big that you had when you first arrived in town.