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JUN
07

Gambling is Easy

I'd never really done it, see, other than a company party one year where they brought in a bunch of dealers and gave us all fake money. I won a lot of fake money that night, all on the roulette wheel, and it seemed like there were a few key bets that really had pretty good odds. Still, it's easy to take risk when it's not real money.

I go to Vegas once a year now for work, and the thought finally occurred to me this time that maybe I should try my hand at a real table. Put some chips down. And so I bet $20 on red, won, and walked away with $40. In truth, I was so afraid of losing it (and letting yourself actually lose money that you once had seems so stupid), that I quite literally ran to the cashier's booth. I wondered if they'd ever cashed someone out for $40 worth of chips. But seriously, 50% odds at doubling your money? It all seemed so easy.

I got curious again on my last night in town, wondering if I could replicate my luck. Placing $15 on black and $15 between 16 and 17, the first number that came up was black 17. My payout: $300. I couldn't believe it. I'd just yielded 10x my bet. On one spin. People at the table were congratulating me. I couldn't stop laughing from the glee of it all. At the cashier's booth again, still laughing, I watched her count out my $300 still in disbelief that it had so simply become mine.

So clearly this whole gambling thing is totally easy. And I know the trick is quitting while you're ahead, but as long as you have the self control to do the trick, can someone explain to me how gambling isn't a completely legitimate way to make a little money on the side?

Probably a good thing I only go once a year.

JUL
17

Del Mar Opening Day

Opening Day at the local horse racing track wouldn't have been an event I would have predicted enjoying all that much, but sometimes in life it's nice to be disproved.

It wasn't so much the big hat (ok, so it was mostly the big hat), but rather the horses themselves that had me completely captivated. They're so skinny and fit...not at all like the horses I'd see at summer camp as a teenager. Which is apparently where all the fat horses go. And most of the time when a horse has high odds of winning, he wins. It made it easy for me, a total rookie, to call the first race, as well as another two beyond that. These were $2 bets, so it's not like I walked away rich (or with even as much as I'd spent in bets), but still, there's something incredibly satisfying about watching a horse cross the finish line first when you've got some money on him. And it was all I could do not to go all "Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin' ass!" on everyone.

Granted, there were things I could have done without. Like the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed, the long lines to place bets, and the fact that the theme for opening day women's attire in Del Mar seemed to be "Slutty." I swear it must have said that on the website somewhere. Dress as slutty as you can. Like, seriously. (I went vintage, naturally.) But all in all, I loved the experience, and I sort of can't wait to go back. Now who would have seen that coming??

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