One year is a vacation. Two years is a trend. But, back-to-back-to-back years going to south Lake Tahoe for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament? That shit’s a tradition!
The first year was actually a bachelor party, of which there is no written account. Here’s what happened in year two; and damn, looking back on it, if I’d put $100 down on Felix to win the ERA title, I’d be sitting on another $800!
As it stands, my Robinson Cano bet came through with flying colors. $550 to win $500, as he outlasted Adrian Beltre in total Hits, Home Runs & RBI. The first thing I did after checking in to the Montbleu Casino & Resort was try to cash it in. Of course, since the baseball season last year ended over 120 days ago, the sportsbook couldn’t honor my ticket. Apparently, computers have limitless possibilities. They hold the power to harness just about anything you could possibly imagine! But, if you’re a sportsbook, computers apparently can’t hold ANY MORE BETTING INFORMATION after 120 days. So, that’s fucking annoying. Anyway, all hope is not lost. I’m told if I simply mail in the ticket, they’ll mail me a check. It’s not the way I wanted to do it, but I guess I don’t really have a choice in the matter.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts on the topic, I like to make at least one futures bet on my way out of Tahoe, just so I have something to look forward to. Since sports gambling is illegal in Washington state and everything. In my first Tahoe year, I put $100 on the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl at 7 to 1 odds. When they beat the Denver Broncos, I was a happy camper in more ways than one. Last year, I decided to up the ante with my Cano bet. This year, not only did I up the ante again, but I upped the number of futures bets. To wit:
- Seattle Mariners Over 87 Wins, $110 to win $100
- Seattle Mariners Win 2015 World Series, $100 at 14 to 1 odds
- Seattle Seahawks Win Super Bowl, $100 at 6 to 1 odds
- Most Regular Season Strikeouts For A MLB Pitcher Over 260.5, $550 to win $500
As you can tell, I’m banking on a Seattle Sports Renaissance the likes of which we’ve never come REMOTELY close to seeing. The only one I really feel confident in winning is the strikeouts bet, but I was more confident when the number was 257.5 (what that bet means is: I just need any pitcher in the Major Leagues to have 261 or more strikeouts by the end of the 2015 season. Last year, two people achieved this feat – David Price with 271 and Corey Kluber with 269 – but I’m really banking on Max Scherzer’s move to the NL carrying a huge spike in his strikeouts. Also, for the record, Felix ended last year with 248, which was a career high).
Thanks to last year’s horror show at the roulette table, where I lost $1,600 in the matter of a couple minutes, I decided to take a step back and gamble on other stuff. My primary weapons ended up being sports bets and slot machines. My first big wager of this year’s trip was $300 on Hampton +34.5 against Kentucky. Just needed Hampton to lose by 34 points or less, and lo and behold they did just that!
I did most of my sports gambling on Friday. Virginia was heavily favored over Belmont, so I took Belmont and the points and won. Louisville was favored by 9 over UC Irvine. I took the Cardinals and a bath on that one as they only managed to win by 2. My big winner of the day ended up being North Dakota State vs. Gonzaga. The Bulldogs were favored by 17.5, so I bet on the Bison to beat that spread. Thanks to their crazy barrage of three pointers, I ended up winning that bet, and a parlay with Belmont. I also won on a prop bet on Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer. He needed to get over 22 combined points and rebounds to win me $100 and he CRUSHED IT.
My sports gambling on Saturday was the turd in this year’s punchbowl. I took the OVER on total points in the Kentucky/Cincinnati game (I think it was around 123.5 points combined) and got nowhere near winning that one. I took Ohio State +10 points against Arizona and they ended up losing by 15. I slept in too late and missed my chance to bet the OVER on total points in the UCLA/UAB game (which I would’ve crushed). And, for good measure, I bet on the Mariners to beat the Cubs with Felix on the mound and most of our regulars playing. YES, it was a Cactus League game, but when in Rome, assholes! Anyway, the Mariners lost 12-10 and I decided to cut myself off for the rest of the weekend on sports bets.
Luckily, my slot machine game was on point. I hit a couple of good-sized Wheel of Fortune progressives, winning around $700 each time. The last time – at about 2am on Saturday night – was the difference between a winning and losing weekend. I pumped in $300 into the same machine, just waiting to hit one of the big spins. It took a while, but I got mine. I entered Tahoe with $2,500 and left Tahoe with $2,900. Plus, my Cano bet from last year that I need to mail away for, plus the futures bets mentioned above. All in all, one of my better gambling weekends.
For the record, I’m already locked in to Year Four. I kinda sorta got suckered in to sitting through a 90 minute timeshare presentation next year, but I think I got a pretty good deal. For $149, I get four nights and five days at the Montbleu Casino (which is where we always stay anyway). The guy gave me $100 in what I can only describe as “fun money”. Brown chips that could only be used on black jack or craps. Since I don’t play craps, I took it over to black jack. I would bet only with my brown chips. If I won a hand, I’d put my winnings aside and let the brown chips ride. If I lost, they took the brown chips and I’d bet more brown chips until I was out. I ended up turning $100 in fun money into $125 in real money, so for all intents and purposes, I’m going to stay at the Montbleu next year for four nights for less than $25 (and a 90 minute timeshare presentation). On top of all that, once I finish the presentation, I get a $100 Visa giftcard to use on whatever I want, so I might have happened upon the deal of the century (assuming, of course, there isn’t some hidden thing waiting to fuck me over). Bottom line: I’m 34 years old and I’ve never been involved in one of these things. I feel like it’s a rite of passage in First World Problems to get suckered into a timeshare presentation at least one time in your life.
Now, it’s only a matter of sitting back and rooting on the home teams. For the record, if I win my Mariners and Seahawks bets, I might just blow the whole blog up and start fresh with a brand new one. Why do we put ourselves through this? For the hundreds of gambling dollars coming our way, that’s why!!!
P.S. Also, I feel like I need to put this down for the record, because it’s important to me and my people. While in Tahoe, on Thursday, we retired to one of our hotel rooms to play some beer pong. My friends and I like to partake in the occasional beer pong session – particularly during tailgate season – and I like to think we’re all pretty good at our favorite drinking pasttime. Anyway, a buddy and myself were controlling the table. About two or three games in, we took our first turn of the game against two fresh opponents (as is our right, as we had yet to lose). In a 6-cup game, on our first shots, we nailed the same cup (which, according to our house rules, means they have to pull & drink three cups, as well as give us balls back for an immediate second turn). They pulled all the interior cups, leaving us with the three corner cups and huge gaps between each one. On the same turn, we each nailed the same cup to effectively end the contest. Without the other team having a turn! As we play with the troll rule, if you lose a game without ever making a cup, you have to sit under the table during the entirety of the next game. My buddy and I ended up going undefeated on Thursday, and would go on to troll a second team not too long after.
I just thought you should know: this was the single greatest achievement in beer pong in my entire life. Go on about your business.