Thursday, I went with some co-workers. The class I was taking last week consisted entirely of people from my company, both people from here and people from our Cleveland office. We all had a "team dinner" Thursday night, then a few of us headed down to the MGM Casino. The guys from Cleveland are big gambling buffs. They have been to the casinos here many times, which is funny since I live here, not them.
They convinced me and Chris, another guy from here (who also hadn't gone before) to join them. I figured why not....it was kind of a team-building thing, and it would be fun to hang out with the guys. It's weird: I work closely with all of them, but almost completely over the telephone. A few of them I met (in person) for the first time last week, and even the others I'd only seen a few times before. It was kind of nice spending "real life" time with them!
So when we went to the casino, I decided I'd even join the gang and do a little gambling. I'd been getting free lunches all week, plus Thursday dinner, so I figured I could afford to splurge a little. I took $100 out of the ATM and did not put it in my wallet. Although I had some additional cash there, plus credit cards, I promised myself I wouldn't touch my wallet that evening. Chris did the same thing.
Kevin likes to play this game called "3 Card Poker". It's a table game, and the minimum bid is $10. Several of us sat at one table and he taught us how to play. It's pretty simple: you are dealt 3 cards, and you don't draw or discard anything - you just decide if you want to bet again or fold. Anyway, it's mostly luck and doesn't require much thinking.
It was actually pretty fun. Everyone was friendly, cheering for one another at the table whenever anybody got a good hand. I played for awhile. At one point, early in the game, I got a good hand (a flush!) and found myself sitting in front of about $160. I considered just cashing in at that point and walking away with an extra $60....but basically I didn't want the entertainment to end. I was having fun playing, and I wanted to continue! And besides, I wasn't really up by that much, and I'd walked in expecting to lose it all anyway. So I kept on playing. The money lasted for awhile...I gained some a few hands, and stayed even, but I never won big. Eventually it all trickled away, and I stopped playing.
I was a little bummed that the fun had ended, and I was tempted to use "just a little" additional cash. I can totally see how this can be addictive! You always feel like you're so close to that perfect hand, and you see it happening to other people... It feels like just one more hand, just one more round, and that'll be the big one! Fortunately I was too smart to be lured in by those temptations, and I didn't touch my wallet, just like I'd promised myself.
Chris lasted even less time than I did, poor guy. He also resisted going for more money, although he admitted to me how tempted he was. He did find an extra $6 in his pockets, so he wandered off to play the slots. At one point, he came hurrying back and anxiously asked Kevin, "Do we have to pay for parking??" Kevin reassured him that we didn't, and he said with relief, "Good, because I just lost my parking money in the slots!" We all laughed, that he hadn't asked until after he'd lost the money!
Chris and I hung around for awhile watching the game, and cheering on the others. We didn't stay very late though. He'd given me a ride, and he wanted to be home at a decent hour. We said our good byes, wished everyone good luck, and left the casino. I think we did well. We had a really good time. We didn't hit any jackpots or walk out with any newfound riches, but we managed to leave with our wallets and dignity intact, not having spent more than we'd intended!