When Things Go Well

The final night of our trip finds us well rested as we have napped all afternoon to be able to play poker with the Friday evening crowd. We still have not seen our host Richard, so we head down stairs and kill time playing video poker until Richard can stop by and see us. He finally arrives and visits with us for about thirty minutes and we tell him all about the previous evenings’ histrionics. Richard offers to take us to dinner at the buffet and we agree to meet him there at seven.

We scurry around town, taking care of errands and getting everything done we have put off for two days. We make it to the buffet just in time and Richard escorts us around the line and gets us seated in the VIP area. The meal is decent and the price is right. The trip has gone very well and we have spent very little money so far. I am up for the trip and GG is only in about $60. I plan to play poker after dinner and GG is saying he may try video poker at the dollar level. I have seen GG play dollar video poker but it is at the top of his comfort zone so I am surprised. He figures to take a hundred or two and give it a shot.

I take off for the poker room leaving GG to his own devices. It is the early morning hours of this day I am in the poker room and GG at the video poker machine playing $5 per spin for the first time since the Wynn in Las Vegas in early 2009. I was with GG that time and it may be the only other time he has played at that level. The video poker play was good with occasional hits for a straight or a flush keeping GG from having to invest the second hundred dollar bill.

Then came the stunner. GG is dealt in this order…all clubs. K A 3 J Q. Now mind you a $30 dollar win for a flush is nothing to sneeze at especially when you are playing at $5 a spin. But video poker rules are that whatever hand you have, unless it’s a straight flush, you should give up the hand for a one card draw at the royal flush. So GG decided to go forth and follow the rule…This not being the time to be a rebel.

After carefully assuring that the K A J Q were held, and then doubly making sure of the fact, GG hit the “deal” button. After so many times with four cards to the royal flush, this time the ten of clubs showed up and GG has finally crossed the royal flush threshold! The machine locked up, and the “call attendant” is shown across the screen. The attendant and supervisor showed up to collect GG’s information, and issue the W-2 along with a small pile of cash for the win.

I am playing poker when my cell phone started blowing up in my pocket. As I am so prone to do, I ignored it repeatedly thinking GG was letting me know he was headed for bed at just after midnight. Finally, a text came through and I dug the phone out of my pocket to find a message of “I just won 4000”.

I was totally stoked about GG winning $4000 and knew he must have hit the royal on the dollar machine. GG showed up at the poker room with his freshly minted W-2G for $4000.

In less than 24 hours our trip had gone from rock bottom with an ambulance trip to the emergency room to sky high with a $4000 jackpot. These are the highs and lows of travelling on the road and gambling. There are times when life is better than fiction. I couldn’t even make up stories like this one.

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