Friday, January 09, 2004

I went to Barona on Thursday and spent the night. A friend had a free room, so I figured it would be fun, like old times. And it was like old times; I lost an obscene amount of money, waited until mindnight, when the ATM daily limits reset, and proceded to lose all the cash I could get a hold of. My intention was to go play poker, but while waiting for a poker seat, I sat down at a Multi-Strike Video Poker machine, and after about ten minutes I could tell it was going to be one of those kinds of nights. I won right away, playing nickels, before realizing it was a multi-denomination machine. Kicking myself for not realizing it earlier, and realizing that my $200 win would have been $1000 if I was playing quarters, I proceded to lose a ton trying to replicate the experience. At one point, I was down to almost nothing, and then proceded to play the machine very, very close to even, but never quite got there, and was never quite willing to cut my losses. My intention after midnight, and the new influx of cash, was to play for smaller stakes, not try to get back into the black, but just make up a bit of what I'd lost, but I knew, really, that wasn't going to happen. So I spent a lot of time in the room watching TV and reading, had my coffee in the morning and went home. It was an experience I used to have two or three times a week, so it was nice for old times' sake. But I think I will save my money for trips to Vegas, for the sake of verisimilitude. Even if my gambling days started out in Barona, it was a very different Barona; Vegas may reinvent intself constantly, but it still seems the place to go, get some good food, free booze, and gawk at the crazy sights while losing one's shirt.

Appropriately enough, amongst my reading material I brought to Barona, in case I ran out of cash, I brought Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss by Steven and Frederick Barthelme. I'm re-reading it; I've read it before, and it feel it is easily the best book I've ever read on gambling. I'll say more after I've finished re-reading it, but I can say I highly recommend it.

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