The House Always Wins: My Weekend In Vegas

Last night I got home from a weekend in Las Vegas that was extended after my flight home was canceled. I went with two buddies, and we had a great time. You are constantly stimulated in Vegas with the lights, noises, and people which gave me lots of inspiration for writing. Here are 7 takeaways from our trip:

1.       History: The idea of Vegas is absurd. How did a gambling and partying hub come to be in the middle of the desert?

2.       Food: Maybe living in a town without great food has lowered my standards, or maybe the restaurants in Vegas are incredible, but either way we ate great. The highlight was Saturday night dinner at Bouchon, a Thomas Keller French restaurant.

3.       Sex: From advertisements for escort services and strip clubs to the Halloween costumes, sex was everywhere. None of this was surprising, but what stood out was seeing a typical-looking 60-year-old man wearing a shirt that said, “Sex Instructor: First Lesson Free!”

4.       Sad: It always hurts to see people struggling, but the worst was seeing a man dig through trash to find unfinished drinks.

5.       Sports: Sports gambling is everywhere, and watching football in a sportsbook is a must. There is real excitement with 20 massive TVs and hundreds of people rooting for different bets. On Sunday, we saw a guy in a Washington Football Team jersey storm off in disgust when Washington appeared to lose the game. In his frustration, he threw away his receipt for his bet – this is what you use to collect your winnings if your bet wins. The game wasn’t over, and his team almost came back and won. During the comeback, we pulled his receipt from the trash in case they won and in case he didn’t come back. We were shocked to see the ticket was for over $6,500 – he threw it away before the game was over.

6.       Comradery: I enjoy gambling, but gambling alongside your friends is ten times more exciting than gambling alone. Saturday night we sat down at a blackjack table, and it was almost 3:30 when we went to bed. Had it been just me, I would have been asleep at least 4 hours earlier.

7.       Impulsive: Sunday night when we were about to go to bed, I decided to risk the rest of my allowance at the craps table. Twice had I told myself I was done for the night and the trip, but the siren call was too strong. I impulsively put the rest of my money on the table. Before the first roll, my friend said “Watch, this is going to be a seven.” Sure enough, the first roll was a seven. We walked off laughing and understanding how the house always wins. My friend suggested we come back again when we’re married and maybe our wives would keep us from acting so impulsively and losing our money. But for me, this weekend was about being impulsive. I gave myself an allowance and I didn’t go lose a penny more. God’s been kind to me.

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