I’m a gambler by nature. I play the stock market, my Caliper score is near 100 for risk-taking at work, and I’m up for trying about any type of game at a casino. This last trip to Vegas I wanted to give myself a few breaks from the blackjack tables so I scheduled in a couple of diversions. I’m not a sports book guy and I can play golf at home so I was looking for additional gambling options. The 2 ways I found to move off the blackjack tables this trip were a bingo tourney and a NLH poker tourney.
I tweeted a little about the Bingo event @blackjackroi during my trip. It was a free event from Total Rewards and I went in with extremely low expectations. I was 20+ years below the average age in the huge room of 500 people. There were people with strategies, extra cards, their own stamps, it was quite the spectacle. Once the event started I will say it was actually a fun 90 minutes. There were 9 separate events, each with a different way to get a bingo. Some of the games lasted 5 minutes with one winner and some lasted a long time with multiple bingos. I was only close one time when I missed a $1200 bingo by one number. I was surprised that at times I found myself getting into it and hanging on the next number called. I won’t go out of my way to participate in another event, but if I’m already headed to Vegas and there is a free event during my stay I’d do it again.
My second alternate event was a $75 poker tournament at Planet Hollywood. There were 21 total entries with a guaranteed total prize of $1000 so the odds were pretty solid. I’m not a regular poker player, but I always enjoy watching WSOP and back during the poker boom I was a decent home game player. You know where this is going so I’ll get straight to my bad beat story…played solid, made it past the break with 20X the big blind and post break went on a small run. Then I remembered why I play blackjack. A2 diamonds, I raise 2X BB, 2 callers, flop A2Q – I raise 6X BB, one loose call from reckless player, turn 6 rag, I go all in and player goes into tank…I’m begging for a call, basically taunting to get the call, and sure enough calls – I turn over cards and they don’t even want to show their AJ off-suit…River…Jack and I’m out and off to nearest blackjack table.
Even with the bad beat at poker these distractions were worth the time and small investment to give myself a break from my blackjack play. If I’m looking to make money I will stick with blackjack, but as a gambler I will continue looking for ways to diversify my play.