Saturday, March 08, 2008

Travelogue: Missed becoming a millionaire!

I was awestruck by the sheer number of machines out there – hundreds of slots machines neatly stacked in an orderly manner in dazzling lights. It was such a pretty sight. But my first attempt in casinos was not that dazzling - another two machines produced the same luck – I was on a great losing streak. And suddenly my mind began calculating the Rupees I had just drowned into those machines in a matter of a few minutes; “Stop it; you’re in US; you can’t keep converting every dollar you spend or waste into a Rupee” I told myself.

I had set a limit on what I’d spend here (I didn’t have a choice – I didn’t have any more money in hand even if I wanted!). I had nearly reached my limit when I decided that I’d try out $10 slot machines instead of the $20 ones. We went in search of ten dollar machines and soon found plenty of them. A slot machine with 3 numbers caught my eye – the one where the same combination on all 3 positions wins you money. It seemed like the $10 would drain pretty quickly but surprisingly I won a few rounds just as it was about to get over. I continued on the same machine and soon I was making some money – it was like on every 5 spins I would win at least twice or thrice and that would send my money count higher – I more than doubled the money and decided to pull out of it. I picked another machine of the same type and again the first spin led to a loss but the next one made me win; finally my luck had changed but unfortunately for me time had also run out. The return bus back to New York was in 10 minutes and if we missed this one we would have to wait for another hour. I had to be content with what I won – at least I pared some of my losses. Should have gone for the ten dollar machines in the starting itself! I guess everyone who comes here would have that little dream in a corner of their heart to become a millionaire overnight in a casino!

When you decide to quit from a game the machine will print out the money it owes you. You need to collect the cash at a counter on producing this printed slip. We collected the money and dashed for the bus. It was 4am but I was wide awake – winning certainly does make you energetic! On our way back I calculated to see if I could make it to Atlantic city one more time before I departed from US but realized that I didn’t have time. I still had to go to the Statue of Liberty and still had to travel by Amtrak. Amtrak is a train about which I had been fascinated since childhood when we used to play Top Trumps train card game – each card would have a train on it along with a few specifications. You call out one of the specifications from your card and if no one else has a better spec then you take over all their cards and the call out from the next card. Amtrak used to be featured in those cards and I’ve also heard that it is a luxury train to travel in. So next up had to be Amtrak – destination we had yet to decide.