Winning

Posted: 30th May 2012 by Aaron Hagen in Uncategorized
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I’m not a gambler.

I never have been.

I don’t know that I ever will be.

I can usually think of a lot of other things I’d like to do rather than gamble.

Maybe it’s because I don’t live close to a casino.

Or maybe it’s because I’m poor.

But either way, it’s just not something I’ve done a lot of.

I have family in Emmetsburg, where there is a casino. On certain occasions, I would go out and spend a few dollars. It wasn’t anything serious, just a little fun. I would usually spend my time playing slots. There wasn’t much thinking, just a matter of luck.

Well, I decided to come out of my shell a little bit this last weekend.

I was in Omaha for Michael Brauer’s bachelor party. A group of his friends all met at a casino and it’s attached hotel.

We started the night with a delicious meal at Hooters (yes, the wings were very good), and proceeded to play a 10-team tournament of NCAA football ’12 on the Playstation 3.

In case you were wondering, I finished second. Just couldn’t quite get anything going in the championship game.

One we were done with the tournament (which took quite a while and prompted two calls for noise complaints), we all headed to the casino.

There, we dispersed. I threw a couple dollars in the slots — only to see it disappear quickly.  A few were playing craps. Others were at various tables and some were at the roulette table.

I watched as a few played Spanish 21. It was basically blackjack, except the deck of cards didn’t have an 10s. Not quite sure how that worked, but a few people from our group were there, so I threw my hat in the ring.

It was amazing how little I knew about the game. Sure, I know the object of the game. I know that you want to blackjack.

But I was quite clueless as to the rest. When to double down, when to split and what in the world is insurance?

I won a few hands and I started to pick up on some of the subtleties of the game.

From there, it was onward and upward. At one time, I had about five times as many chips as I started with.

I was on a roll, with no signs of slowing down.

Of course, they don’t build these elaborate casinos because they pay out a bunch of money.

I started losing.

And losing quickly.

So then the question was, at what point do I cash out?

Being a rookie at this, I probably picked the wrong time to do it. But hindsight is always 20/20.

I waited too long.

I might have played for hours and hours more, but the rest of my party was leaving. It was 4 a.m. and I had been awake for 20 hours.

It was time to quit. I ended up doubling my initial investment, so I was pleased.

Of course, now I look back on the game and think of the things I would do differently next time.

Now the only question is when that will be.