Down and Out in The Early Hours of Las Vegas

I did not heed the advice of my drunk friend from Santa Barbara and continued on to another table, the first one in range, and watched myself lurch, hoping, grasping at nothing but air.

“I’ve built my house on you guys.” The dealer was not one to mince words.

I took that as a challenge, brashly proclaiming, “I’m building my house now,” after the occasional win. And then my money was gone, all of it, and I had to return to the machine, stickered in warnings against gambling ills.atmsvegasI sat down with a trio of Turks and battled on. We won a little and then lost, won a little and then lost, and I was at the ATM again.

And then I was alone; it was just me and the dealer and the pit boss, and they almost seemed to be cheering me on. “Got to get a little something something.”

I didn’t know what she meant, but then I was up a few hundred – losses aside – and she gave me an orange, a $500 chip. I would keep that, no matter what. No matter what.high500I watched my little stacks deplete and then, sadly, had to throw back the orange; and then it was gone too. I only had $25 left and placed it firmly down. I got a 19. I would build back from that; that’s what I thought.

The dealer had Blackjack. “Sorry.”

“Time to go to bed.”

“Get some sleep. We’ll see you soon!”

She could bet on that.