I’m from the southeast, spend a few minutes on my blog and you can figure out which city, so every time I go west for any reason I think ‘Vegas’. My latest adventure included a business conference in Phoenix, an extra day, and a rental car with unlimited miles.
I landed on Tuesday around 1pm PT, grabbed my rental car and set a course on my GPS to Planet Hollywood. The 4.5 hour drive was uneventful and actually very beautiful with views of the desert, the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.
Once I arrived it was time for some blackjack at my usual places. I started at the $50 tables in the Bally’s high limit room and quickly went up over 13 yards in two different tables.
I took a break to get some dinner and headed over to the Paris high-limit room to play $100 table. That went okay for over an hour of treading water then a guy sat down and immediately asked the pit boss if he had a card with the ‘book’ plays. WTF – if you are sitting down for $100 a hand with other players you should at least know the basics. Now maybe he wanted me to leave and that was his way of ‘scaring’ me off. Anyway, I played 5 hands with this guy and after losing 4 of 5 while he won 4 of 5 I cashed in down 5 yards and got out of there.
My next stop was Planet Hollywood HLR to play $100 table. It was now getting late, I’d been up since 6am ET and of course I started drinking Bud Lights when I got to Vegas. It was a roller coaster at PH until I got up to stretch and get some air down again and back to even. I had a decision to make which was, go to bed and call it a day at even, or push my luck and play another round. Anyone who has read my tweets or blog before knows where this is headed.
I went back for one last buy-in at Paris HLR and it went down the tubes instantly with a cold shoe that just ripped me apart and sent me to bed, down, drunk and dead tired at 2am PT which capped off a long 23 hour day from start to end.
Another uneventful drive back to Phoenix for my conference the next day and I thought my blackjack was over for the week, but I really wanted to gamble in Arizona to make it my 10th state where I’ve played blackjack. I had given up on the idea when we ended early the last day of the conference and had 2 hours before dinner. I googled casinos and found Talking Stick only 15 minutes away so I jumped in the car and headed over for a quick session. I knew this was silly, but figured I’d buy in for a $25 table play it out and hit the road. That first session only lasted 30 minutes before losing so it was quick, but hey it counts as playing in AZ.
This was likely my last blackjack for 2016 and it was quite the adventure. If I’m back in Phoenix I won’t try this trick again unless I fly instead of drive. A good trip for the bucket list, but probably a bit ambitious in retrospect.