know when to fold em.

23 02 2010

kenny rogers wasn’t foolin’ (and he still isn’t).  even though i’m only $234 into my $250 experiment (and six days short of the full month), after the weekend’s foxwoods trip, i’ve decided that it’s time for gambling month to come to an end. not that foxwoods wasn’t amazing, because it was (and always is)- as evidenced by the photographs on my flickr site (i can’t believe i didn’t take more pictures!) of light up lucite statues, fiberglass fish, and abandoned buffet-line polident.

blame it on the recycled air and dried up eyeballs. blame it on the fact that i won $130 immediately from a slot machine ($10 into the night), and then proceeded to blow through my remaining $90 in record time with nothing to show. blame it on the 1.5 hour wait in the buffet line next to a smashmouth cover band. blame it on the fact that i need new running shoes, and that i am tired of spending my money on worthless pieces of paper.  whatever it is… after foxwoods, i just sort of snapped. the excitement had officially worn off.

i’m sure for some richy rich high rollers out there, gambling is about the excitement and the power and making your dick feel huge. but for low earning jerks like me, gambling is about hope. hope for a life without debt or money worries. or maybe hope for a mansion or a jet ski or house boy (or perhaps all three).  hope for stuff that we might never get, no matter how hard we work.

after allowing myself to get sucked into the vortex of big dreams and fast spending for a month, what i learned is that the odds will always be better if i put my money down on achievable dreams that don’t require too much luck. not that i think i need to aim low, but there is a level of realism that does need to be maintained. medical school- yes! paying off my credit card debt- yes! a full set of diamond teeth- no!

it was definitely fun for a while, and worth doing 100% (but just this once). but next time i get the urge to buy scratch tickets or powerball, i think i’m going to just stuff $3 in my piggy bank and be done with it. my biggest dream right now is to be debt free- and that ain’t gonna happen if i keep flushing my money down the fantasy toilet.

final totals:

money spent on scratch tickets: $55
money won on scratch tickets: $33

money spent on powerball: $4
money won on powerball: $0 (i matched ONE NUMBER total on all 4 games- fuck you easy pick!)

money spent onine gambling: $25
money won online gambling: $0

money spent at bingo: $50
money won playing bingo: $0

money spent at foxwoods: $100
money won at foxwoods: $130 (i squirreled it away in my bra for the rest of the weekend so i wouldn’t lose/spend it.)

total spent: $234
total won: $163
total defecit: -$71

slut for slots.

12 02 2010

wow, who would have thought that internet gambling was a terrible idea? i enjoy regular gambling, so i figured that it would be fun to add a new layer to gambling month by hitting the internet slots. all the fun of foxwoods without having to leave the confines of my sweatpants! except not.

difficulty #1: apparently, not all online casinos are mac friendly. after doing extensive recon on which casinos were the best (least likely to rob me and leave me bleeding in a ditch), i found that none of my first choices had a mac interface.

difficulty #2: after going on a secondary internet research mission to find a mac friendly home-casino, i finally decided upon gocasino. my requirements were simple:  no software to download, mac-ability, lots of slot machines, and no flagrantly bad reviews. i was able to set up a user account quite quickly/easily, but things started to unravel when i went to the “cashier” area to put some scratch into my account. apparently they don’t take debit cards. or not my debit card (despite funds being more than sufficient). it took me two tries to figure this out (this will come into play later), until i finally ended up going to the freezer, melting out my lower interest card (i know, wrong- but i did it for the experiment!), and laying down the minimum amount of $25. success! (for now)

difficulty #3: i remember loving old school casinos where you used actual quarters and could use the bucket method. simple. one bucket for the money that you want to spend, one bucket for the money you end up winning. when the spend bucket is gone, spending time is over. now at most casinos, you have to print out a ticket if you want your winnings. and at the online casino, you just have to try and remember how much you’ve won- because the credits you win just get folded into your total credits immediately. i tried, i really tried to keep track… but it’s just so easy to keep clicking away. i got lazy and just decided to blow it all until i either won big, or it was gone. surprise, it got gone real quick. i mostly played slots (which had adjustable play amounts down to $.10 which i thought was cool), but i also played a couple games of keno, and one very ill fated $5 game of roulette. i liked that you didn’t have to be a big spender, and there was a good variety of games. it was fun, but the $$$ went too fast. there was nothing to break up the time- no wandering around the slots looking for one that looked ripe for a payout,  no oogling the crazies hooked up to the machines like life support. and there were certainly no free cocktails.  it was just me, on my couch, repeatedly clicking away the money that didn’t seem real. i could definitely see how people get into trouble with this.

difficulty #4: after my 30 minutes or so of clicky gamblin’ fun, i decided to call it quits. wait, that’s a lie. i actually decided to play $10 more, but apparently that is below the minimum deposit- so they wouldn’t let me. THEN i decided to quit. foolishly, i figured that the worst part of my gambling experience was putting $25 on my credit card. wrong! the worst part came the next day when i got phone calls and emails from both my credit union and my credit card company telling me that both accounts had been suspended for suspicious overseas activity. fuck! mostly i just needed to spend time with some grumpy CSRs verifying that i had indeed made the transactions, and all was restored to normal. i was also told that if i wanted to make more deposits with gocasino, i would have to fill out some paperwork to verify them as safe- or the same thing would happen again. no thanks, i’m good.

difficulty #5: wow, you think i’d be done by now, but several hours after CSR hell, when i was thinking that i was finally free… i get a call from gocasino. and an email. fuck, i’ve given them my phone number. they want to tell me about some sort of “special offer”, but i’m not buying it. i’m done with internet gambling for good, but i wonder how long it will take them to figure that out. oh, and their number comes up as “unknown”, so i can’t even block it. BALLS! *UPDATE* they called me one more time, just an hour after i wrote this post. i told them to go screw and then hung up on me. am i done yet?

lesson learned. next time i yearn to squander my dollars at the casinos, i’ll skip virtual hell, and go to a real one. next stop (next weekend)- foxwoods!