Post 164: Las Vegas, Nevada
It's 9am on Tuesday 30th September, I'm at the $29.99 motel and I've just over $100 that 24 hours ago I didn't have. The motel is paid for a second night, I've eaten well, ... and I'm still $100 richer. I had better explain how this all came about.
Two nights ago I was riding up and down 'The Strip', everywhere that I stopped small crowds gathered. Mostly it's people asking me questions about Poor Circulation and taking photographs of the bike, sometimes it's irate concierges trying to move me along, .... trying to prevent me from soiling their otherwise pristine hotel entrances. The people all seem to know about 'Long Way Round', for some reason they think that Ewan and Charlie are 'Brothers', .. perhaps they just feel that 'Brothers' is a cool term to use. It's fun talking with them but I'm repeating the same things time after time, ... after time. Eventually, I abandoned the bike and walked the same route on foot. Up and down Las Vegas Boulevard there are 'Agents' trying to sell you things, ..... Girls, Shows, Dream Car Rentals, Grand Canyon Tours, it becomes annoying, .... too many Agents chasing too few interested customers, .... the people walk on and ignore them. I met Jerry, an expatriate from Birmingham, an 'Agent' selling 'Same Day Tickets' for the big Vegas shows, a guy who talks for a living, a guy who could charm even the devil himself. We laugh and talk for a while, he makes me an offer, ...... he pitches the 'offer' as if he's doing me a favour though I suspect that Jerry himself is the only beneficiary of any 'favours' that he does. In any other place, I probably would have declined his offer, but this is Las Vegas, .... Las Vegas is not like 'other places', ... I accept.
On Monday morning, I spent two hours under the baking sun, dressed in full leathers, standing alongside the bike, ...... talking to people, ... potential customers for Jerry. He'd gained himself a stationary audience, Jerry now had an advantage over the other guys. He'd seen what had happened the previous evening when I'd parked close to him on the bike, .. he'd spotted an opportunity, ...... he was now paying me handsomely for standing in the sunshine. At noon, our arrangement ended, .... he gave me the $50 as promised and an extra $10 based on his 'success', .... I now had my 'Stake'.
Roulette, .. I'd only played once before, I'm not a gambler in any way shape or form. However, I knew that if I stuck to certain rigid rules, and avoided getting greedy, my chances of making a little money were good. I buy 'chips' and I stand and watch, I wait until the ball lands in 'Black' twice in a row, ... I then place $5 on 'Red'. After what feels like an eternity, ... the ball lands, .. jumps,.. bobbles,.... and eventually settles in 'Red', .... my $5 back to me and $5 winnings. I move tables and watch again, ... two consecutive balls in 'Black', .... I place $5 on 'Red'. It lands in 'Black', ... $5 lost. I place $10 on 'Red', .... it lands in 'Red', ... $10 back and $10 winnings,.. $5 net gain. I move back to the first table, watch and then repeat the process, ... I allow myself two visits to each of the two tables in that one casino. I leave that first casino with an extra $20 in my pocket, $80 in total. By 2pm, I've eaten lunch, retrieved my bike and checked into the motel, ..... yes I've won some more money, .. but I honestly haven't enjoyed it.
Yesterday I'd hoped to make an extra $200/$250, ..... but by the evening I'd changed my mind, I didn't like what I was doing, I settled with what I already had. The casino's were hardly crying about my winnings, Jerry would not have paid me if it hadn't been profitable for him and his customers got to see the 'Big Shows' at below ticket prices. It just wasn't 'fun' and I didn't want to risk what I already had, I decided to quit while I was ahead, .. Las Vegas was not my kind of place. The system that I used is called the 'Martindale System', a system of doubling bets after a loss, .. it's not even close to being 'fool proof', .. the Casino will always Win in the end. I think I just wanted to set myself a challenge, a challenge that had nothing to do with riding a motorbike, ..... I just wanted to see if certain things were possible. I'm not proud of what I've done, but I've done it and Las Vegas has turned out to be a 'Free Stay'. I was lucky, ..... I won, but it's something that I have no desire to repeat.
Tomorrow I will ride to the Grand Canyon, .... then onwards to Bryce Canyon and possibly down into New Mexico, ..... I should be smiling again by then. I'll probably be away from the Internet, ... but I will keep out of trouble,.. I think.