Sunday, February 14, 2010

winning and losing, a gambler's viewpoint

quick recap.

i arrived in vegas on feb 8, 2010. i brought with me a carnitas burrito from caliente, and a yokozuna combo and hot hot ca roll from sushi deli. they were delicious even after four+ hours of waiting - in fact, more delicious.

we trained hard for poomse on wednesday despite my calves being super sore from the 1 mile of barefoot running i did at paul's. that was a complete mistake that i knew would happen when i started running but did anyways. my calves hurt until two days after the competition, after intense therapy sessions in the hotel jacuzzi.

excalibur is cheap at $40 per night (per person?), but you basically pay for what you get. i've also decided that the worst part about casinos is that they allow smoking indoors, a fact which was to our advantage as augie, nathan and brett enjoyed stogies tonight on our night out through all the casinos. but i don't think i have a shirt that isn't smoke ridden, and my underwear are slowly becoming immersed in the smell as well. furthermore my socks should just be thrown out after this weekend. the lack of laundry is killing me, and the lingering smoke is killing my throat.

alicia and i placed 6th place in pairs. i placed 5th place in individuals at the prelims, 6th place in the semis, and 7th in the finals. of course, the finals form could have gone much, much better.

from wednesday night to basically tonight, we've had a ton of fun. john wong and rene left yesterday but for a few days we went out and ate alot of good food. we went to mesa grill to meet my name twin bobby flay, and saw Ka that night as well. i'm also slowly overcoming the ingrained guilt associated with drinking while walking along, and drinking while the sun is still out. i think we've almost perfected the cranberry vodka or soco diet in a 20 oz bottle routine, and fatburger has served us twice while very drunk, or wishing to be very drunk.

and tonight, i won about $100 on craps table. i was rolling a hot hot hot field. and the best part is that my friends were in on it at some point or other. brett definitely went from $10 to $200 which is phenomenal, and alicia gained a quick $50 just by being there and putting in her $10. i was the only chump who made $200 off of a full $100, resulting only in a 100% return.

that said, i've realized some things about the world that i have never known before.

taekwondo is a filthy dirty sport. the holding area was like a pigsty. there was spilled water, sweaty equipment, sweaty people, and leftover food everywhere, on and off the mats, and among it the players were just standing or sleeping. when you're facing impending pain and stress i guess none of that other small stuff matters, though.

alcohol has become such a strange currency. bars and clubs are able to charge $10-$12 for each drink, but a casino will easily give you drinks just to keep you at the table. even when you're making money on the table and the casino is losing a bit of money. conversely, a small drink can make a person's day. winning $20 and then getting a free drink (worth about $5 in your mind) can really give you a positive mood, as if the free drink was like extra cash in the pocket.

gambling is addictive. craps is FUN AS CRAP and when you're on a streak you're on a streak. of course, this just means next time i play i'm going to lose all of my winnings from this time, and more. and humans are coded to appreciate loss more than gain, meaning that if i end up completely even, i will still be left with a lingering sadness, because losing the $100 hurt me way more than the happiness gained from earning the $100 in the first place.

so now it's time to sleep. tomorrow we have a few more matches, and hopefully we will come out positive.

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