I’m going to start this epic with probably the most controversial thing I’ve ever said on here: WHAT in the tapdancing fuck is so great about In-N-Out Burger?
I’m convinced it’s only as popular as it is because it was featured hilariously in The Big Lebowski. I don’t know if it’s a hipster thing, or if hipsters even LIKE cheaply-made and cheaply-processed burgers, but there is absolutely nothing special about In-N-Out. Put on a blindfold and put two plain burger patties in front of you, and I defy you to tell the difference between their meat vs. McDonalds’. So, if it’s not the meat, then I guess it’s the rest of it. Oooo, you can get fried onions at In-N-Out!!!
I mean, maybe I could understand the big fucking deal if you got a free blowjob every time you walked into their restaurant, but otherwise knock it off! No one cares that you went to Cali or Nevada or Arizona and had In-N-Out. In Seattle, you’ve got Dick’s, and it’s practically the same fucking thing. Jesus Christ …
So, to quickly recap, last year for the first week of March Madness I and many other friends gathered together in Tahoe for a bachelor party, which consisted of tons of gambling, drinking, and various other activities too numerous to recap. On the final day of the long weekend, I placed a $100 bet on the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl, at 7-to-1 odds. Of course, they won it all, and I had a decision to make: do I simply mail in the ticket stub and hope my check arrives in the mail? Or, do I go take this as an excuse to go back for this year’s first weekend of March Madness? This decision was made for itself once I talked a few friends into going.
The trip kicked off with as lucky of a break as you can get: no one sat next to me on the flight down to Reno. With ample leg and elbow room, I quietly relaxed with a complimentary alcoholic beverage. We landed without incident and rented a car. From there, we picked up three other guys who arrived earlier Thursday morning and made the hourlong drive to Tahoe (with a stop at an In-N-Out Burger on the way, because we’re all apparently slaves to this magical fast food conglomerate).
Suffice it to say, I can count on one hand the number of hours I spent in an uninebriated state throughout the first three days of the trip. We stayed at the Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa and hardly strayed. Three of the guys spent a huge chunk of time playing black jack, but that’s not really my game. We all made a bevy of bets on the Tournament with varying results. Providence really screwed me over good. I also lost a parlay on the second day featuring a couple huge underdogs. My biggest sports bet went towards the “under” on the Wisconsin/Oregon game. I lost that bet by a wide margin, but I’ll defend myself by saying I know absolutely nothing about college basketball. I did put a wager on Wisconsin to cover, and boy did I sweat that one out (#FuckOregon), but somehow managed to win. It was my first and only victory on the sports betting side of the trip.
As usual, the bulk of my gambling went towards slots and roulette. I managed to be up around $150-200 on slots, but that doesn’t cover a very large portion of my overall gambling output. The REAL money is on my roulette game, and for the first couple days, I was really on top of things.
I kicked off the whole weekend by throwing $20 on black. It was an impulse bet, on top of a buddy’s $100 on the same color. We won that. I went back later and put down $200 and lost. But, the next two times I did it, I put down $500 each and won both. Again, these are all bets on black. Through Friday, I was up another $500 to rest comfortably at plus-$1300. That brings me to Saturday. We spent most of this afternoon watching basketball in the sports book. I toddled away from our seats to make a couple bets. Lost $500 the first time. Lost $500 again the second time. I lost another $300 and I was in real jeopardy. I had set aside a chunk of money to be used towards futures bets (with an untouchable $500 that I wanted to make sure I came home with, to cover my expenses on the trip), so I was left with $300 to gamble with for the rest of the night. In a frenzy, I dropped my last $300 on black, with a buddy of mine matching and we hit it. Going against my usual motto of taking my winnings and walking away after the single wager, I decided to let it ride and BAM, we hit it again! I was only down $100 on the afternoon, but I considered that a moral victory.
The end of the Wisconsin/Oregon game – where we covered a 5.5-point spread on meaningless free throws as time nearly expired – was the highest point of the weekend. It was a meager victory with regards to money (only bringing back a little under $20), but given my disdain for Oregon, I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Everything turned after that point.
I had set aside $700 to put down on the Seahawks winning the next Super Bowl. At 4-to-1 odds, that’s a healthy chunk of change I would have brought back if the Seahawks repeated. In my drunken fit of lunacy, I decided to put that $700 down on black. My rationale being: I could make the bet on the Seahawks AND have $700 in my pocket. Had I won, I would have done just that, and I would have concluded my gambling for the weekend.
Nope. Red. Now, I had all of $900 left in my wallet to gamble with. Earlier in the evening, I lost $100 on that “under” bet in the Wisconsin/Oregon game. Then, I dropped $200 on roulette as a buddy of mine put his money on “Red”. You should never, EVER go away from your choice of color on the roulette wheel. Anyway, I had $900 left to my name (not counting the $500 I had already set aside). There was no way I was walking away from that roulette wheel empty-handed … except, that’s exactly what I did.
How does it feel to lose $1,600 in the matter of a couple minutes? Not gonna lie to you, I’ve felt better. I was also about nine sheets to the wind at that point as I was sitting on a full day of drinking with only a breakfast in me to counter what was going-on ten hours or so of constant drinking. It’s a little easier to take the body blow that is losing so much money when you’re too drunk to really give much of a shit about anything.
That knocked me out for the night. I ordered a club sandwich and got ready for bed to sleep it off. Sunday’s hangover ably masked my disappointment in my ill-fated luck. This was the single-worst beating I’ve ever taken in a gambling setting since I started making these huge bets on Black on the roulette wheel. Everybody’s got a story like this, so I won’t drag it out too much. But, there is the opportunity for a bright side.
Earlier in the morning on Saturday, I went over what I wanted to do as far as futures bets were concerned. I had that whole plan in my mind to bet on the Seahawks for the evening, but there was another bet that caught my eye. They had MLB prop bets. You could bet on any number of topics. They had an over/under for the ERA of the ERA-leader. They had odds on, like, 10-15 potential ERA leaders (I think Felix was somewhere around 8-to-1). They had odds on the total home runs, the home run leader, the hit leader, and so on and so forth. Then, they had these seemingly random bets where you pick one player or another. In my case, it was Robinson Cano vs. Adrian Beltre. The bet: who will have more hits, homers, and RBI in the 2014 season.
My rationale: Beltre is turning 35 in April. He’s NOT in a contract year. And, he has played almost all of the games the past two seasons, so he’s TOTALLY due for an injury.
On the flipside, Cano just turned 31. He’s CLEARLY still in his prime. This Mariners team should be somewhat improved at the plate. I’m expecting somewhere around 215 hits out of Cano, which doesn’t even get into the homers or ribbies.
I put down $550. If Cano does it for me, not only will I buy his jersey and be his biggest fan, but I will have a valid excuse to go BACK to Tahoe next March, because I’ll be picking up a total of $1,050 (the odds were -110 for both Cano and Beltre).
Remember the movie Down Periscope? Underrated comedy starring Kelsey Grammer about a submarine captain. Anyway, he’s involved in some war games, and the bad guys had him dead to rights with a “shooting solution”. Grammer’s character acknowledged the demise of his ship, however he noted that before the “shooting solution” was final, he had already unleashed a couple of torpedoes at the intended target. Even though he and his crew were technically “dead”, under the rules of the war games, if his torpedoes hit their target, he’d still win.
That’s what this is like for me. Everything that happened after the Wisconsin/Oregon game – all the losing upon losing upon losing – can all be made right if I can just win this one bet. Tahoe may have beaten me down and left me really second-guessing whether or not I ever want to go to a casino again, but I know if this bet comes through for me, I’ll forget all about these defeats.
Then again, my memory is totally shot anyway. And I’ve never been too concerned with having a huge pile of money to sit on. As long as I can get a posse together, I think Year 3 of going to Tahoe for March Madness is a foregone conclusion. Of course, I may be near suicide if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl and I’m out $3,500 …