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Gambool Minor

April 22nd, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have never been a gambler.  But, for a number of years I attended Comdex in Vegas.  And I would gamble a bit.  Las Vegas was a much different city then.  And, I was young and dumb enough to pretty well burn myself out in the 3 or 4 days I’d spend.

I said it was a different city.  It maintained its reputation for surviving ups and down by being cheap — really cheap.  Mostly I’d play Blackjack.  I had this program that would evaluate your play and for a week or so before going I’d let it reschool me on proper play.  I liked poker and tried to play a bit without a real clue.

Few buffets were over 4-bucks.  And, they were decent in most places.  Every place but Caesar’s spread $2 blackjack.  The little places did dollar tables and the real dump in the strip mall in the middle of the strip (Peppermill?) even had 50-cent blackjack.  So, it didn’t take a lot of money to  drink play all you wanted to even with a cooler going.

I did encounter my first recollection of Hold’em.  It was at the Dunes.  There were about 8 tables at the back of their casino space.  It was a raised area surround by wrought iron fencing.  They spread holdem and stud.  Later I’ve found out that was Chip Reese’s rented space.   I kind of got taken with the Hold’em I’d never seen before.  I watched it for a fair amount from the rail.  I almost played … it looked so simple.  Yeah, the learning curve was bowing and scraping to exuberant stupidity.

I would play poker or try to each trip.  But that was typically downtown.  There really wasn’t much poker spread — especially after they imploded the Dunes.   I look for real sleaze for poker.  I found one game of jacks or better (.25-.50) being spread in one such downtown joint.  They didn’t even have a poker table but ran it on a circular table that was about the height of the chair seat.  Another time, the poker table (draw .50-1) was the poker room and sat in an alcove that would barely hold it.

Show in Vegas were also cheap.  The best of the best was maybe 15-bucks.  I got in one at the Hilton by tipping the doorman a twenty and getting front row with the meal and a couple of drinks.  They had name acts or big revues although by the end the only one of those was at the Stardust.

I didn’t have much gambool as you can tell.  I’d stay at the cheap places with junket pricing. You could fly and stay for 300.  The way I went about it would have been impossible to lose anything close to that amount and that included a show or two and all the play I could manage or want.

Vegas just started to change about the time I didn’t enjoy Comdex’s declining importance much.  The first of the junk bonds were taking over from the bent nose crowd.  Prices hadn’t really jumped yet.  The snazzy new properties were just happening.  My last year out was with the pyramid being constructed and the Mirage opening the next week.  I haven’t been back.

So, how did I get from there to here — whatever/wherever here is?  Well, I thought I’d make that the next post or two, if my short term memory allows.


I see Pauly is throwing in the towel.  I hadn’t followed him like I did early on.  His first hurrah for the Poker Professor coincided fairly closely with my involvement in online play.  It was about the point I was trying to shed water and gills and move onto dry land — an ongoing struggle.   Linda was dishing the dirt about Bobby’s room. Dearly departed Iggy was the uber go to blog. Then, Pauly started dragging the lice from the Redneck Riviera over to the WSOP.  Remember, hitting refresh after refresh to get updates from the lame software of the day?  Those were fun times.

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  1. April 22nd, 2012 at 10:02 | #1

    Thanks for taking us back, Ken. You really need to go back. Might I suggest joining Josie, me, perhaps Tony and a gang of Tony supporters, at Ellis Island in June for an el cheapo steak dinner which harkens back to old Vegas?

    This post not only gets you a link on my blog but served as the inspiration for a new post.

  2. April 22nd, 2012 at 14:44 | #2

    I remember playing 50 cent blackjack at the old Silver City Casino, which was across the strip from the Stardust. Ahhh… fond memories.

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