Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gambling with fun

Hi all,

Tiff Lin here. I guess I'll start off by introducing myself. I would say that I am a pretty adventurous person and I like to "play." Now, my definition of play and having fun is doing new and different things, to experience something non-routine, to get outside of your comfort zone and take a risk to get to that natural euphoric high. Before your mind wanders to drugs or something inappropriate, what I really mean is that I am up for anything (within reason) - like eating live octopus or going sky diving.

At the same time, I'm also extremely frugal and cost-sensitive almost to the point of irrationality. I'm the type of person who will walk 40+ blocks in 95 degree weather because I refuse to take the subway from work to Penn station. In fact, I always make it a game to beat my Google Maps estimation of how long it would take for me to reach my destination. Why? I like setting challenges for myself and it's nice when I get to prove my iPhone wrong. Sure, 2/5 times I end up having to sprint in business casual/flats down 3 blocks and stairs like a lunatic. But when the doors close 15 seconds behind me and I'm panting inside that train, I feel like a winner inside.

So when the opportunity rose for me to go to AC last month, I began to seriously consider how I would react to the concept of gambling. Yes, there is a sense of thrill involved..high risk with high reward...a winner and a loser..and an opportunity to make more money than you came in with. Sounds like it could be fun. I like money and I'm cocky enough to believe that I have >50% chance of winning.

Another thing about me. I hate baby steps. When it comes to snowboarding, I skipped the bunny and went straight to green. DDR/Guitar Hero- straight to medium. Come on, you learn faster that way. So naturally, I dived right into gamble without any clue at all at what I was doing...and unlike the challenges I set for myself that are somewhat based on skill, I stumbled down a slippery path where luck had controlled my fate.

Looking back, I probably should have looked up strategy/rules in craps, should have inspected the competition in the poker table in terms of chips everyone had, and just should have been mentally prepared for the slight chance and high probability of failure. I can't even blame it on the late hour or the alcohol. I was a noob and everyone in the poker room, craps table, roulette table knew it!

After an hour of bullshitting around and throwing $15 minimums left and right with no sense of control, my rational cost-sensitive personality finally shook my addictive/competitive/cocky personality to reality. Yup, if you could envision it- a part of me was like "slap yourself in the face. there is no way you are making back the $250 you lost, you moron." It happened during roulette where I started to think strategy- if I allocate my assets across the board: black, 1-18, odd, with dollars strewn across random numbers, I'm bound to get SOMETHING.

Luck was unfortunately not on my side that day and the little ball rolled on Green 0. WELL, there goes my winnings from the past 3 rounds! Net $250 LOSS. I called it quits and thought to myself, "did I have fun at least?" Would I have paid $250 for teaching my ego a lesson and dealing with this mess of a roller-coaster ride? I'm not sure. This is 1000 gum balls we are dealing with.

The reason why I bring up gambling is because I went back to AC again last night for my friend's birthday. To the Borgata! This time with a new sense of purpose: to focus on having fun and call it quits before I reach that tipping point.

Knowing that my best shot at making any money was still playing with roulette (not gonna touch craps/poker after assessing external environment), I put $50 down and quickly saw it being swept away within 3 consecutive turns.

Pissed off at myself, I put in another $15 (damn minimum charges) and prayed for that ball to land on red. Let's face it, winning = fun. I told myself, all I need is just one win damnit..and then I'll leave.

One win then began to translate into "okay maybe I have a lucky streak..." and I quickly made up my $50 that I lost within the next 2 turns. I took a moment in to reflect what had happened and forced myself to cash in.

And with that, I end my story ladies and gentleman. I broke even. I had fun. I lost and I won. Such is life.

But the main part of that story, is that I left the casino on a happy note this time..and with my dignity still in tact.

Having fun is kinda like learning something new about yourself. Wouldn't you all agree?

No comments:

Post a Comment