I arrived in Atlantic City around 9pm Thursday night, which was later than anticipated due to some horrendous traffic getting out of DC/Baltimore. Anyways, within about 10 minutes of checking into Ceasars, I was down in the casino, sucking down a STRONG Johnnie Walker Black, and trying my luck on this "Wheel of Fortune" slot machine. I'm not a big fan of slots, but my friend convinced me this slot machine was different because when you hit "spin" you get to hit this other button that gives you a chance to win all sorts of money on an alternating wheel. I'm sure the odds work out exactly the same as any other machine in the building, but he won a quick $200 and I was already buzzing a bit, so I decided to give it a shot myself. Five minutes later, I was down $100 and pretty sure I would be out of money by night's end.
Free drinks continued, and I signed up for my "Ceasars Connection" card as I sat down at a blackjack table ready to clean my pockets. Blackjack is my favorite game in the casino, as I understand the mathematics of it pretty well. Fortunately, I made up my $100 pretty fast, and the pit boss comped my friend and I a few drinks at the bar (i.e. - way stronger drinks than the ones they give you for free) so we headed over there. A few minutes later, and buzzing even more, I sat down again at the blackjack table, and went up and down a bit more. Then I caught up with my friend, who had went up an astonishing $2000 in Craps and was going crazy at the table. Finally, around 4am, we are just about ready to call it a night, but decided to stop once again at the Wheel of Fortune slots. I hit a "7, 7, 7" and win about $150! With that, we headed to our suite, where a prodigous amount of room service was added and I hit the hay hardcore.
Woke up bright and early at 1pm Friday, grabbed a bite to eat, then headed right back to the casino. My blackjack "strategy" is to pretty much find a dealer that I think looks like a nice guy/gal and will at least be entertaining if nothing else. First, I found George, who looked like he might be a bit of a nasty old man, but ended up getting into a pleasant conversation with. I was doing well, and tipped him, so he started giving me advice as we played. Low and behold, I went up another couple hundred bucks. When he got swapped out for some token Asian dealer, I lost 3 straight hands and immediately got up to find someplace else to play. I found Nancy, who similarly didn't mind helping players who tipped, and I was up nearly $500 heading into dinner.
After an awesome steak and shrimp buffet, we headed back to the casino. Both of us were up comfortably and put the money we started the weekend with aside, knowing no matter what happened we'd at least end up even and have had a great time for free. Low and behold, Friday night did not go so swell. Since it's busy on Friday, they raise the stakes at all the blackjack tables. Reluctantly, I sat down at a $25 table (I usually play $15) with a dealer that didn't fit my nice guy mold. I lost $200 in about 5 minutes, and decided I better chill out for a minute if I didn't want my night to be over before it started. So, of course I headed to the bar where I collected my thoughts. I watched my friend lose a bunch of his money in craps, then we both decided to find some more blackjack. We found a $15 dollar table, but it made no difference, as I lost the rest of my profits in a span of about 5 more minutes. With about $30 left in my pockets, I decided the only way to make my money last at least a few hours longer would be ... you guessed it, at the bar. So I spent most of the rest of the night drinking, while my buddy went up and down and ultimately lost almost all of his profits as well.
In summary, it was a pretty awesome time for free. It was also, at least for a few minutes, the most luck I've ever had gambling.
The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. I didn't get around to cutting my grass today nor did I make it up to Food Lion, and thus I have no coffee for tomorrow morning, which is going to make for a rough start to the week. It was also pointed out to me today that my living expenses would be cut almost in half if I moved further south - to say Raleigh or Charlotte, NC or Austin, TX. I hadn't really thought about moving, but after looking online at some house prices, it's certainly tempting. Just another friggin major decision to think about ...