I live about an hour or so from Atlantic City. I only realized I lived that close about three years ago. Usually, if I headed to the beach, I headed to the water and sand and never gave a thought about the bright lights of the casinos, so I sort of forgot the entire city was even there.
One Saturday morning, my husband suggested that we take a ride to Atlantic City and have some fun. I am always up for an adventure, so I was intrigued. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would play in the casino. I knew how to play poker; I played in college, but it was a very low stress game. The games were always coed, and if you were a player of the female persuasion and you lost, you only had to put on a sad face and the guys would worry that you were going to cry, so they would just say “Oh, forget it, you don’t have to pay me.” I went three years without losing a dime in poker. It was not a good training camp for the real game.
You can understand why, with my poker background, I didn’t want to play with “pros” in the casino. I just think a sad face would not work on the real poker crowd plus I never developed a knack for the whole check, call, and raise process. So, my husband told me about video poker, and I thought this is something I could get into.
We went to one of the Trump casinos, and when we got inside, my husband wanted to go to the black jack tables. I sent him on his merry way, so I could explore. I found this fun video poker game that spun like the slot machines. A nice gentleman offered me a seat next to him and gave me a quick lesson on “Spin Poker”. I inserted a $20 bill, and my first hand popped up. I selected the cards I wanted to play; I hit spin, and I got four aces. I decided I liked this game.
When the aces hit, I made sure I didn’t scream or carry on, but unintentionally, I let out a little squeal. Unfortunately, an old witch on the opposite side of my new gentleman friend complained out loud at my showy and inconsiderate emotion. I am not calling her a witch because she was mean (which she was). I am calling her a witch because she had all these little troll dolls and voodoo things lined up on top of her machine and kept asking them to help her. Until that day, I was unaware that there was a deity devoted to gambling. I must have missed that chapter in catechism class.
I continued to play, but after a while the game started to get boring. Then, it happened. I hit the spin button and five twos came up. The token counter kept going up and up and bells went off, and I knew it was a good thing, but I didn’t know how good it was. My gentleman friend hugged me and was screaming with delight for me, and the old witch gave him the dirtiest look, and I said,
“Maybe we shouldn’t be so loud.”
“Why? Because of her?” he asked. “Ignore the old bat and enjoy the win! Besides, she’s my wife.”
Yes, there we had it. Another marriage made in heaven. With that stunning revelation, I decided to call my husband and tell him of my windfall.
“I think we are rich! I got five twos, and the machine is making a lot of noise. Can you come here now?”
The machine was still tallying my total when I saw my husband coming up the escalator.
“Do you think it’s over a $100,000?” I asked
“Uh, no, but it’s over $1,000 dollars, and that’s really good.”
The precise number came to be $2,550 when all was said and done. I have to admit that I was pretty happy. The old witch stormed off, and her husband let her, and the casino people came over and congratulated me. It was lots of fun.
Once, I had the cash in hand, I took my winnings over to the Coach store in the nearby mall. There, I bought my daughter’s Christmas present with some of the winnings and treated my husband to lunch at a nice restaurant that overlooked the water. When I got home, I socked the rest of the cash in the bank.
Later, I called my Dad and told him that I had won, and after warm congratulations, he warned me that people do not win all the time, but guess what? I went back three more times in the next six months and won each time: $250, $400 and $800.
However, the fourth time we went back, the spell was broken and I lost. The magic of the spin video poker game died, and I have not wanted to go back since.
Will I go again? I guess. It’s not anything I feel an urgency to do, but maybe when we head to the beach for a day, we will swing past Atlantic City and I can take another stab at winning our millions. Someone has to win, so why not me?