Posts tagged: Casino

Dateline – Las Vegas

By , August 29, 2010

(I wrote this last month while in Las Vegas, but never got around to posting it until now.)

Every time I visit Las Vegas I feel disappointed in the human race. Of all American cities, Las Vegas is the one that offers the closest to an “anything goes” existence, so this is apparently what humans create when allowed to do anything they wish. :(

Bad Bets

This town is full of slot machines– everywhere you go you find them. I can understand the fun of inserting a few coins so as to watch the bright lights and hear the fun noises, but the likelihood of winning a substantial amount of money is on par with having one’s leg bit off by a shark while simultaneously being struck by lightning. In fact, that is probably more likely to happen than a slot machine jackpot, yet there is never a shortage of slot players. People pour millions, if not billions, of dollars into the things every year, forever thinking they are on the fast-track to wealth.

All Boobs, All the Time

At least for females, the only requirement for being hired to work anywhere in Las Vegas seems to be “big boobs.” Everywhere you turn, there are women old and young, fat and skinny, ugly and pretty, wearing the standard-issue pushup bra and hot pants uniform of whatever casino you happen to be in at the time. They scatter these employees everywhere; one girl’s job is apparently to sit on the bartop and look cute, and another is paid to dance in front of a miniature stripper pole behind some blackjack tables. Las Vegas amplifies every bad aspect of mankind.

You Can’t Beat Arithmetic

Or can you? I’ve been splitting my time between the poker tables and the craps tables. Normally poker is where I win most of my money. Two days into this trip, I have won a satanic $666 playing craps, and merely $304 playing poker. One should not be able to win at craps, right? The mathematical odds are against it, or at least I think they are. I play a very conservative strategy, but still– human vs. math, math usually wins. And speaking of which,

We Aren’t Teaching Our Kids Math Anymore

For all the free and cheap conveniences one can find in Las Vegas, wireless internet is not one of them. The last thing a casino wants are its guests holed up in their rooms, online. They want us at the slot machines and gaming tables, so wireless internet is sold in 24-hour blocks for $8.99. I don’t mind a week without wifi, but I did have to send a few emails to clients, as well as post this blog, so I went in search of a more affordable option than what my hotel had to offer.

I told the young girl at the front desk that I only needed about an hour to an hour and a half online, so $8.99 for 24 hours would be overkill, and asked if she knew a cafe or other nearby place where I could find free or cheap wifi. She bit her lip and scrunched up her eyes, spent a moment deep in concentration, then her face lit up and she proudly gestured towards a computer in the lobby. “You can buy 90 minutes on that one” she explained, “and it only costs $5 for each 20 minutes you use it.” She was so obviously delighted with her cleverness that I didn’t have the heart to press the matter any further.

Arithmetical illiteracy apparently is not limited to front desk clerks in this town. I saw a sign advertising the “World’s Biggest 64 oz. Beer.”

Coffee, the Mysterious Beverage

I ordered coffee with my lunch. The cashier took my order, then turned to her manager in the back and asked her, “how do you make coffee?” The manager came up front and together they tried to puzzle out the methodology behind brewing a pot of coffee. They poked at the long-dormant machine, hoping it might spring to life on its own. I was only paying partial attention to them, but snapped to attention at the point I saw the cashier using paper towels in lieu of a coffee filter.

“You don’t get much call for coffee here, do you?” I asked the cashier.

“Not really.” She replied, still layering paper towels into the coffee machine.

“I’ll switch to Coke.”

“Thanks.”

(And there you have it, my belated report from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. For those keeping score at home, the dice continued to defy the odds and I left with $952 in craps winnings, on top of what I won at poker. dub tee eff?)

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Final Casino Party of ’05

By , December 16, 2004

Huzzah! The final casino party of 2004 has come and gone. No more loading and unloading, setting up and breaking down, sorting chips, and most importantly no more staffing. I do have a few more DJ gigs, but those are significantly less work.

Speaking of which, here I am, hard at work. It’s a tough job, but I guess it beats digging a ditch.

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Today’s event was a nice, early one; it was over by 7:00 PM. It was fun to watch the Sun Microsystems engineers dancing to the surf rock band. They had loadsafun, those techies did.

After Saturday I am free for the rest of the year. I can hardly wait!

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Is It 2004 Yet?

By , December 5, 2003

Tomorrow the December holiday party season begins in earnest. I shouldn’t complain, for I make a significant percentage of my annual income in the month of December, but it comes at a cost. While everyone else is enjoying the holiday season, taking vacations, shopping for gifts, and generally making merry, I am hard at work. In some years I have had 15 day stretches in which I have at least one event per day. Some days I have had as many as five simultaneous events. It really ruins the month, and makes me dread December. I really cannot wait for this month to be over.

In fact, I am already looking forward to New Year’s Eve, as I think this is going to be one of the rare and wonderful years in which I don’t have to DJ that night. I read about a neat party on an aircraft carrier, at which a big band will play a salute to Benny Goodman. That sounds like my kind of New Year’s Eve party!

Pessi is going to be in town, and I imagine she will want to drag Fizzy and I to some swanky, trendy night spot, but I’ll definitely put in my sales pitch for the big band. Either way, the highlight of it all will be kissing my girlfriend at midnight. Though this will be the sixth time the calendars have changed since we met, it will be our first New Year’s Eve together, for in previous years either she has been in Los Angeles, or I have been working. I can hardly wait for a Fizzified smoochero come y2.04k.

Let the casino parties begin! Today’s Question: Do you hit a 3 card 16 vs. a dealer’s 10?

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Who Needs a Job?

By , November 3, 2003

I am an event planner by trade, but I offer a couple services in-house, one of which is casino game rentals. That means my staff and I show up at a venue, set up casino-style gaming tables, and turn a party into Las Vegas for a night. It also means I need to keep 50 or so people on call who are trained to run blackjack, poker, craps roulette, or baccarat tables. Not that I ever need that many in a night, but not everyone can work every time, so I need to make sure I’m never short-staffed.

Early November is when I find out which members of my staff have moved away or found “real” jobs, for during the 11 months not named December most of my casino events are small, and there is seldom more then one on any given night. When casino events pop up, I’m able to work with the same handful of dealers at each of them. Then December arrives, and my calendar is filled to capacity with company holiday parties, and I suddenly find myself with 30 spots to fill on multiple nights. To make matters worse, many of my dealers are college students, and my busy season coincides with finals time.

In case you are concerned, this is completely legal. I have permits, insurance, licenses, and so forth. The games are not played for money, and the job is relatively stress-free. The parties are typically for adults, usually at a company holiday party, but not always– later this month a family is hiring me to set up a casino for their son’s bar mitzvah, so all the gamblers will be 12 to 13 year-old kids.

If anyone reading this is in the San Francisco metro area and looking for part-time work next month, contact me. I may have a job for you. I’ll provide all the training you need to run a gaming table. It’s a plus if you are charismatic and out-going, but taciturn dealers are fine, too. In short, this can be a fun, easy way to earn money; clients often offer free food and liquor to the staff, and cash tips are somewhat common.

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