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The Ultimate System - Chapter 5

The Ultimate System - Chapter 5

Staying at the Golden Goose

David looked around at the scene surrounding him, the other players were nothing but a blur at that point, and he could barely even differentiate one table from another in terms of what games were being played. Both excited and bewildered, he reflected on how successful his system had been throughout this particular session.

Damned successful.

The system he had been employing had not been, ‘The Ultimate System,’ though. Instead, David had been employing a positive progression that had multiplied his $500 buy-in (he got lucky on slots and won more than $200 on the $50 free play) exponentially. He had returned to the Let It Ride table and, after a few small losses, caught back-to-back Trips followed by several High Pairs and Two Pairs with only a few losses scattered in between. He increased his bet to $400 per spot and started out with a dealt high pair that turned into trips adding another $3,600 to his stack.

He counted his chips for perhaps the thirteenth time, of course, the first twelve attempts were failures as his stubby fingers knocked over the piles at one point or another causing him to lose count. He had bought in for $500 and was now up to $7,150 total.


It had occurred to him, even prior to that hand, that maybe it was time to walk away completely, or perhaps lock up some profits. However, the goal of the system was to win a total of $10,000, and that number had been seared into his consciousness. He pondered the situation and decided to max bet at $1,000 per spot.

The dealer could do nothing but wait for him as there were no other players at the table. The Asian girl, perhaps 5’6" and thin, in her mid-twenties, couldn’t help but feel a little bit of excitement for David despite the fact that he was an asshole and would likely not tip regardless of how much he won. She proceeded to deal him the beginning of a potential windfall, Jack, King, Ace...all clubs.

For anyone who plays Let It Ride, this kind of hand is both exciting and sickening at the same time, at least, if you have a huge bet out there to begin with. There was Royal Flush potential with those first three cards, but at the same time, it is also one of not too terribly many hands that calls for letting the first spot bet ride even without knowing one has already won.

Absurdly, David seriously contemplated taking the first bet back, even though he knew that decision would be entirely wrong. In the face of such a potential life-changing windfall, and unaware of the implications of the $100,000 table Maximum Aggregate Payout, he let the bet ride.

The next card came as a Ten...another club.

David was now 1 in 48 to catch a Royal Flush, and he had a plethora of other outs as well. There were twelve other cards that would yield a high pair, three other queens for a straight, and eight other cards that would result in a flush. Ultimately, David was just short of fifty percent to end up with a winning hand of some kind, and his stack would be above ten thousand dollars total if it did. Naturally, David let the second spot bet ride.

The dealer avoided eye contact and barely managed to suck in a breath as she prepared to turn over the deciding card. David felt as though the dealer was taking forever, and actually so did the dealer, even though she was flipping the card in the usual motion and was not making an undue attempt to stall the result for effect. As the corner of the card farthest from David was exposed, he thought he saw a club, but the result was a six of spades.

"I’m so sorry," said the dealer, "But, you’re still doing quite well."

David felt as though an anvil had been dropped right on his stomach. He felt vomit try to force its way up his esophagus and made an audible swallowing sound to keep it down. He was so close to not only achieving his goal of profiting over $10,000, but by his standards, being bona fide rich.

He shook his head and placed his folded arms on the table lowering his head into them. Just as he did that, the music being played in the casino finally forced his way back into his consciousness. ‘It’s not so bad,’ he thought, ‘I am still in the best position to hit ten grand I’ve ever been in my life, except for before that last hand, of course.’

The song being played was, ‘House of the Rising Sun,’ which seemed an odd choice for a casino, though they really didn’t put much thought into those things. After a moment, David raised his head and smiled, though his eyelids felt really heavy, he was thrilled with where his system had taken him so far, even with that heartbreaker from just a moment prior.


‘House of the Rising Sun,’ had almost come to a close, and David realized that his head had been cradled in his arms which were lying on top of a pillow, rather than the smooth felt of the Let It Ride table. Slowly coming to the realization that nothing in the dream had actually happened, he reached over and started smacking all of the buttons on the alarm. That proved unsuccessful, so he half-rolled to his right and just unplugged the damned thing.


Irritated, David couldn’t fathom why someone would set an alarm without making sure that it wasn’t on a repeat setting. Furthermore, he couldn’t understand why the housekeepers didn’t check for that.

The combination of unexpectedly falling asleep as well as how slow-moving the dream had felt lent to David the impression that he had been out for several hours, but upon looking at his cellphone, he realized it had only been for a few hours and it was actually just eight in the evening. He looked down at Nate Frazier’s number, (555) 968-5673, and hurriedly dialed.

Nate had a simple ringtone on his work cell phone and his favorite song on his personal one, so rolling out of the king bed in which he was enjoying the company of his date that night, he looked at his cell phone and did not recognize the number calling him. He answered all the same, "Hello, this is Nate, can I help you?"

"Nate," David said, "This is David."

Nate wouldn’t have answered the phone if he had known ahead of time that this was his latest client, David Landstrom calling. Not only was he unconvinced that David would be a very valuable client, (in fact, he started to regret assigning himself to him) but he also had to head back to the casino to greet a few other players coming in after this tryst, so he could have just talked to him there.

Nate thought, ‘I really need to program these clowns in my phone right away.’

After his brief reverie, and growing irritated that his erection was rapidly disappearing, Nate could hardly conceal his contempt as he responded, "David, it’s so nice to hear from you. What has it been? Two hours?"

"Thanks, Nate," David replied in an extremely rare showing of any type of courtesy, "I was wondering if we could do a little better on the free play?" The effects of David’s dream still with him, he looked in his wallet and discovered the $315 he had left as well as his card with $50 in free play loaded onto it, definitely a far cry from the over four grand he had left in his dream, even after missing that royal flush.

Nate was extremely irritated at this point, not only had he comped David a room, buffet and $50 in free play, but the amount that would hit his account was almost fifteen percent of what David had actually lost that day, and certainly a much larger percentage of his theoretical loss. Of course, he did bullshit David just a little bit with his explanation of theoretical loss, depending on circumstances, the hosts at The Golden Goose would actually get a percentage of a player’s actual loss when it came time for their quarterly bonuses, instead.

After a moment, Nate responded, "Did you not do well on the floor?"

David replied, "I haven’t been back down yet."

"Wait just a minute," Nate started, "I’ll be blunt with you: How do you expect me to get more free play approved for you when you haven’t even been back down to the floor yet? I was able to get you the room and the buffet no problem, it is Tuesday after all, but I had to do a bit of arguing to get you that $50 free play on top of the free play you already used today."

David retorted, "Nate, I’ve lost well over six hundred bucks today in barely an hour, two hours at most, and you’re telling me that they can’t do better than $50?"


Nate responded, just as quickly, "Look, I would like to be able to give you more, but I can’t just do things arbitrarily. I’m a new host to the casino and the other host isn’t particularly interested in you, I spent ten minutes on the phone with the Director of Marketing just to get that $50 approved for you. His main contention is the fact that you use free play and never put any slot play in, but I contended that your past ratings on table games may have been underestimated. I have talked to the table games staff, and generally speaking, they are going to do better rating all of the players from now on."

David asked, "So, there’s nothing else you can do for me this visit?"

Nate replied, "I wouldn’t say that. I would just say that I gave you what I could--really more than what I could--based on your action so far today. If you show some more action, maybe I can get some more stuff approved. If you show enough action, maybe I’ll be at the point where I have stuff I can give you without asking anyone. In the meantime, there is a drawing at ten o’clock and I know you have some entries at the kiosk, so make sure to activate those. There’s also a giveaway on some cookware tomorrow, I don’t think you actually qualify for that because of your card level, but I can put you in to get some cookware if you would be interested in some of that."

David mulled over the possibility of giving the cookware to his mother, but then he decided he could see if any stores offered the same set of cookware and he might be able to exchange it for a store gift card (no receipt) which he might then sell to one of the places that do pawning and buy cash, gold and gift cards for a few bucks. ‘Lots of work in that,’ he thought.

He ultimately decided that Nate’s offer was better than nothing, "Okay," he said, "I’m going to grab a shower and then go down and give you some more play. We’ll see if you can do anything after that."

After exchanging the usual departing words, Nate and David got off the phone and Nate was sure to immediately program, ‘PITA-David,’ into his phone for whenever David called. While he would probably answer if he was doing absolutely nothing, David was certainly not the kind of customer for whom one interrupts a session with a spicy redhead, after all.



After his shower, David found himself unsurprised but irritated with the fact that the only clothes immediately available to him were the work clothes that he had dampened with perspiration at the Let It Ride table, and then later absolutely soaked with sweat during his brief nap. Furthermore, the perspiration seemed only to exacerbate the fact that his slacks and shirt reeked of cold cuts and cheese. He briefly contemplated calling his mother for a ride home and back to the casino, but then remembered that she couldn’t know he was at The Golden Goose to begin with. After that plan failed, he considered walking the few miles home to get new clothes, but it then occurred to him that whatever clothes he changed into would be soaked with sweat by the time he walked back to the casino.

Lacking any viable alternative, he simply put back on the sticky and sweaty slacks and shirt, decided that the socks were too sweaty to be worth wearing, put his shoes on and went back downstairs.

The first order of business, of course, was to see what the free play might do for him. He knew that video poker was probably the best play, but he was still somewhat groggy from his rude awakening and decided that he would rather play something simple. He jumped on a slot machine called Winning Wolf and began betting $1.00 per spin, which was something like 100 paylines at $0.01 per line.

David had played through about $35 of the free play, which despite the advice he gave the kid that bought his system a few months back he had loaded all at once, and had only seen $20 in cash returned thus far. Fortunately, he hit a couple sets of eight free games each, though the last set of free games had a couple of retriggers, and ended up with $215 off of the $50 in free play after taking his fifty spins.


That brought his total bankroll to $530, and he briefly contemplated trying some more money at Winning Wolf, but he was just intelligent enough to realize he had gotten fairly lucky. At that point, David remembered that he was supposed to activate those drawing entries, which he did, with perhaps fifteen minutes to spare.

He then walked over to the self-serve beverage station and helped himself to a Coke with just a little bit of ice, and then began another walk around of the Table Games area. He saw that both Nick and Sammy were at the craps table, barely a surprise, and that Nick’s system seemed to be performing well once again as he had over $1,000 in chips in his rack. The Let It Ride table seemed to have closed for the night, almost certainly because of a lack of players, and all of the blackjack tables seemed to be mostly full. David did not want to play at a full Blackjack table, in fact, he preferred to play at empty tables whenever he could, so he walked over to Roulette and noticed that table also had five or six players.

He contemplated sitting down at Mississippi Stud, which he had once watched people play, but decided not to because he understood almost nothing about how the game worked. He pulled out his cell phone and realized that it was already five until ten, so he decided to wait out the drawing, which he was sure he wouldn’t win.

The drawing was one by which five players would be called and then they would have the opportunity to send three pucks each down a makeshift Plinko board, or something really similar, and the cumulative total of those results would be awarded in the form of free play. Players would have ten minutes after being called to come to the promotion stage and take their shot with the Plinko discs.

The announcement came: "Okay, we are now ready for our ten o’clock Plinko drawing. Please remember that you will only have ten minutes to come to the promotional stage, otherwise, a new name will be drawn. If you do not get called in this drawing, don’t worry, we will be having multiple drawings tomorrow beginning at 2:00p.m. and going every two hours with the final drawing being at 10:00p.m. Please remember if you play tomorrow that bonus entries can only be activated for one drawing, however, you will also earn one entry for every ten slot points that you earn which will automatically be active. Thank you for choosing the Golden Goose Hotel & Casino, and good luck! Our winners are Anthony Bryan…"

The remainder of the announcement went uneventfully for David, and he was mildly discouraged, though not at all surprised, that his name had not been called for the drawing. He still wasn’t sure what to do with his $530, he was still down for the day, after all, and briefly considered leaving. He made one more round around the table games area and then, deciding that he rather liked the bed in his room, had decided to retire for the night and try to come up with something in the morning.


Just as he had hit the elevators, the voice of the promotional announcer came back over the loudspeaker, "Ladies and gentleman, both Anthony Bryan and Laura Ashby did not come to claim their prize and play the Plinko game after the allotted ten minutes. With that, we shall draw two additional names, and they are...Kevin O’Conner...and...David Landstrom! You each have ten minutes to come play Plinko for free play, in the event that either of these gentlemen do not arrive within ten minutes, another name will be drawn. Thank you for choosing The Golden Goose Hotel and Casino and please do not forget about tomorrow’s drawings!"

Despite the fact that, at a leisurely stroll, the promotions stage could not have been more than three minutes away, David broke into an absolute sprint, at least as far as it could be called a, ‘sprint,’ given David’s considerable girth, and got there in about a minute and a half. "I’m David Landstrom!" He exclaimed, proud of that fact for perhaps the first time in his entire life.

"Very good," said the promotions attendant, she was considerably older than she sounded on the loudspeaker, perhaps in her mid-fifties. "You’re the first of the two people called here, so we’re going to let you go first. You simply place the three discs, one at a time, anywhere you like on top of the board and then release them. Make sure not to release any other discs until the first disc has reached the bottom or you will forfeit the free play amounts from both of those discs."

David thought that the rules were needlessly complicated, but surveying the Plinko board, he noticed that the slots were only big enough to house one disc, so releasing multiple discs could somehow provide an advantage, though he couldn’t figure out how. The board and discs were perhaps half the size of those so well-known from The Price is Right and David was also informed that the discs would not be removed once they had come to a rest until he had finished all three discs.


There were, perhaps, about twenty-five slots on the bottom of the Plinko board with the largest one being $500 Free Play and five spots being zero. Releasing the first disc, David watched it cascade down, occasionally banging off of the needles, until it came to rest at $50 Free Play, the third best possible result as there were two of those, two with $100 Free Play and the $500 Free Play, of course.

The second disc looked as though it might end up dead center in the $500 Free Play slot, but it caught the closest needle to the bottom, stopped briefly on the cusp between $500 and $0, and as though the disc had a consciousness that didn’t like David very much, it froze in place for a couple milliseconds, barely perceptible, and toppled into the zero.


"Please watch your language, sir," the promotions attendant chided, "Besides, you already have $50 in free play and one disc left."

David grumbled something that probably would have gotten him kicked out of the casino had anyone heard it, and then, irritated, spun the final disc down, fast, in a manner that was clearly not intended to do anything except just randomly land wherever it went.

The disc spun and hit a needle to David’s left which sent it careening to David’s right, at that point, it hit another needle that sent it back to the left which sent it careening in an almost direct path to the zero slot. David had briefly forgotten that the zero slot couldn’t hold multiple discs, and as the disc he had just released made it’s final approach, it hit the top of the disc in the zero slot, stalled, and fell to David’s left right in the $500 Free Play slot!

"Oh my God, yes!" David exclaimed. "He shoots, he scores!"

The promotions attendant couldn’t help but be mildly irritated by this development, but she had no choice because she had to make an announcement for any total Free Play over $100, "Congratulations to David Landstrom," she began, "Who has just won $550 in free play, including, of course, hitting the $500 Free Play slot that has eluded everyone else today!"

Barely concealing her irritation, she then pulled out a form and scribbled the amount in free play won as well as her initials on it and instructed David to take it to the players club desk in order for the free play to be loaded. He did and was told, "Your free play will be available in ten minutes, sir."

David was prudent enough to want to see where he stood after the free play before deciding what else to do, so he opted to return to his room for another shower. His clothes still felt sticky and absolutely gross, so gross, in fact, that he briefly contemplated a stop at the gift shop for some new gear, though he decided against it.


Nate Frazier made his way back into the casino freshly showered and renewed after his partially interrupted date. He took a look at Greg Larson who was frantically scrolling through player accounts in the computer, "What are you doing here so late?"

Greg groaned and ran a hand through his silver hair, he looked up, eyeballs just over his glasses and replied, "Checking on some players, freezing some PINs, some of these people look promising and then they stop delivering almost immediately. I’ve got, like, ten accounts that have done nothing but pick up free play for several visits in a row. They’ll get a second chance, but they’ll have to reset the PINs, and any more of this shit, and the cards are getting killed outright."

Nate replied, "I guess I might as well look at that, too. My NBA guy didn’t get here yet, did he?"

Greg was surprised by the question, he knew the answer, but Nate had been doing this long enough that he shouldn’t rely on Greg for everything, "Nope, you’re just in time, lover-boy, the sedan is on the way right now."

Nate called the driver’s cell and was informed that they were about ten minutes out. Selecting a sandy-colored tie that complimented both his pale blue button-up and skin tone, Nate made his way to the valet entrance of the casino.


The sedan pulled up a few minutes later, and Nate walked up with a broad grin on his face extending his hand to Malcolm Jones, an NBA forward for the Indiana Pacers who, while not a superstar, was a solid player coming off of the bench. Why Jones would choose to frequent the Golden Goose, Nate had no idea, but given the amounts that Jones was known to buy in for, and lose, at the craps table, Nate really didn’t have a reason to care.

"It’s so great to see you, Mr. Jones," Nate began, "It always seems like it has been forever since your last visit! The analysts have been saying this is going to be a breakout season for you!"

"You flatter me, and you already know to call me Malcolm," came the response, "The analysts haven’t talked about me since I got drafted in the first round three years ago, and the ones who do talk about me are saying that drafting me in the first round was a mistake. I’d love to have a breakout year this year, but really, I’d be thrilled if I play well enough just to have a place in the league come next season."

"Don’t sell yourself short, Malcolm," Nate said, even though he paid almost no attention to basketball whatsoever he continued, "You looked great almost every time you got on the court last year, hopefully you’ll carry that over to the craps table tonight! I have our finest suite all ready for you, including a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon on the dresser per your request, shall I show you up?"

"No thanks, Nate. I’m just a guy like anyone else, no need to go all out for little old me, if I could just have the keys, that would be fantastic."

Nate produced an envelope containing two magnetic key cards to Malcolm Jones’ suite and they said their goodbyes. Nate was actually somewhat relieved that Malcolm did not want to be properly shown up to his room, now he could just go back to the hosts’ office, shut his computer back off, and get back to the redhead waiting for him, no doubt impatiently, at his apartment.



Just as Nate was making his way across to the casino floor back to the main entrance, he had parked in the drop-off area as he had not planned to be there for more than ninety minutes, even if Malcolm had wanted a proper showing of his suite, where he ran into David Landstrom, who was wearing the same clothes as earlier despite the fact that his hair was clearly damp from a shower...or sweating.

"Hey, Nate, good to see you!" Nate wondered at the sudden joviality that had been missing earlier, but soon found the reason without even needing to ask, "I got called in the Plinko drawing and won $550 in free play!"

Nate barely suppressed a groan and cursed himself inwardly for even telling David about the drawing entries, let alone the fact that he had been the one to put them on there in the first place. Unless David had a colossal meltdown, or played for several hours, there was almost no way that he was going to start off as a profitable player for him. "That’s great, David, aren’t you glad I told you to activate those entries?"

"Absolutely," David said, "In fact, I almost forgot about them, and I did it as I was just about to go up to the room for the night."

"What happened?" Nate asked, "Did you not do well the last few hours?"

"No," David replied, "I did just fine. I won $215 off of that $50 in free play you gave me, and I haven’t played anything else since. I’m just looking for something to play this $550 on right now."

Resigned, Nate replied, "Well, good luck and good night. I’ve put in twelve hours today, and it’s a Tuesday for crying out loud! I don’t even know why I’m still here."

"Okay," David said, not bothering to thank Nate for any of it.

Nate stopped and turned around, "I almost forgot, make sure you stay tonight, when I set up your free buffet earlier, I also set you up with a free breakfast buffet."

In a surprising turn of events, David responded, "Oh, thanks, then."



For the next fifteen minutes, David wandered around the slot floor in a near fugue. He considered that the $550 Free Play, if he ran at all well, might be enough to bring him back to even or a little better for the day. Contemplating that possibility, he considered just playing it off, going to bed, enjoying the breakfast buffet and starting over some other time. He could even go back to the bank the following day and make the deposit he intended to make as well as putting back the money that he had taken out just several hours ago.

Eventually, he returned to the Winning Wolf game that had treated him so well just over an hour prior. Again setting the game up for $1.00/spin, David completed exactly 550 spins and ended up with $505 from the free play, bringing him up to $1,030 in cash, despite the fact that his biggest single hit was a free games set that resulted in $60.

He walked by the craps table where Sammy was still shooting, but Nick was nowhere to be found. Apparently forgetting his earlier apology, as well as any notion of leaving with roughly the same amount of money he had entered the casino with, he asked, "Where did pain in the ass go?"

Sammy basically growled in response, "For the record, I consider Nick a friend of mine and have a good time shooting with him. There is a certain pain in the ass that does come around this table from time to time, though, but I’m not going to mention any names. By the way, I like London Broil and Swiss on Marble, should you care to bring me a sandwich next time you come."

The stick looked up, given that he was a shopper at A Penny Saved, he got the joke. "Listen, let’s just all behave like gentlemen and keep the insults to a minimum, I don’t want any blow ups here at the table like we have been having between you guys lately."

David grunted while Sammy muttered something that could have been mistaken for an apology. The dice went back to Sammy, who had a point of four going as well as place bets on the six and eight, and he sevened out on the very next roll. He stifled a yawn and, tossing a red chip to the supervisor said, "That’s for the crew, probably five more bucks than you’re going to see the rest of the night unless someone else comes to the table."

In an uncharacteristic showing of restraint, David simply handed in five one-hundred dollar bills and said, "Give it to me in greens, but five red chips, too."

After nearly forgetting, David tossed in his card and sniped, "Make sure I’m rated the right way, or Nate will probably have your jobs."

While the supervisor knew that Nate wouldn’t have their jobs, even if he wanted to, he did recall that David Landstrom was to be rated correctly from now on, and he handed the card to the pit boss saying, "In for five-hundred."

For reasons that only made sense to David, he played while completely abandoning, ‘The Ultimate System,’ he mostly seemed to be making flat bets of $25 on the Pass Line with a $5 Crap Check on the Come Out roll and backing the $25 with $25 single odds (except $30 on points of five and nine) when a point was established. He proceeded in this way for the better part of an hour, and was actually up about $300, when Nick DeMarco strolled up to the table with none other than Malcolm Jones, each of them buying in for a thousand.


Nick’s amicability had suddenly returned, strangely even extended to David, and he whistled and quipped, "Look at that chip rack you have! Playing with the big boys now, have you been doing well?"

David really didn’t know how to take this turn of events and couldn’t help but wonder at Nick’s cheerfulness, "I’m up a few hundred here and for the day. Who is that, your bodyguard?"

David still didn’t realize that Nick was a decorated Judo practitioner and instructor and said, "I have no need for a bodyguard. This is my friend, Malcolm Jones, and if you must know his profession, he plays for the Pacers."

David was impressed, even though he didn’t know anything other than the Pacers were some sort of professional sports team. "I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, I don’t really follow hockey."

Malcolm broke out into a broad grin, "Basketball, my friend, and you can call me Malcolm. The Pacers are an NBA team."

David, generally incapable of any sort of genuine embarrassment, found himself genuinely embarrassed, "I’m sorry, Malcolm, I don’t really follow any sports at all."

"Nobody’s perfect," Malcolm replied, "It’s been a long time since I’ve been at the table, though, let’s throw some dice!"

The stick looked at David, as much as it disgusted him to extend the same courtesy he would extend to a normal player to someone who wasn’t a normal player, or person, for that matter, he said, "It’s up to you."

David had just sevened out prior to the arrival of both Nick and Malcolm, but since the pair had not yet bought in prior to the seven-out, he had the right to immediately shoot the dice again if he wanted to. David was standing stick right while both Nick and Malcolm were positioned stick-left with Malcolm the closest to David. He mused for a moment, but decided he would rather remain on agreeable terms with Nick. Almost as a peace offering, he said, "Give the bones to Malcolm."

Malcolm thanked David, took the dice, and proceeded to go on a forty roll tear. The Craps table allowed for up to 10x odds that night, so Nick and Malcolm were mainly just flat betting $10 each on the Pass Line and backing it up with $100 in odds. David essentially continued to bet in the same fashion that he had been, but the roll ultimately resulted in six made points and four come out winners against only one come out crap number, and of course, the inevitable seven-out.

Counting his chips, David realized he was up over $500 more dollars and was up a total of just over $800 on the day with a bankroll of $1860. He was nearly beside himself with joy, and after a seven-out by Nick that he had not been betting, repeated what he said earlier, "Give the bones to Malcolm."

While not quite the roll he had earlier, Malcolm did succeed in making and repeating a point of four prior to sevening out against zero come out wins or losses. Just like that, David was up another $100 to over $900 on the day and a bankroll of $1,960.

David was in complete and total disbelief and, for a moment, became convinced that the dream he had was prophetic before remembering that he had been playing Let It Ride the whole time in his dream. Nick took the dice and said, "I’m tired of getting shown up by amateurs," he winked at Malcolm, "You might be a professional basketball player, but you are not a professional dice shooter. Here comes a one-hundred roll hand!"


Nick rolled an immediate point-seven-out.

Once again, David chose to pass the dice to Malcolm, and Malcolm again delivered a profitable roll. He made three points and two come out winners against one come out loser before sevening-out. David was up an additional $180 to roughly $1,100 on the day and a bankroll of $2,140. He could hardly contain himself, "Malcolm, quit playing in the NBA and go to your true calling, shooting dice full-time!"

Malcolm laughed, "It’s all luck, but don’t let Nick hear you say that. I’m going to bed, good night, nice to meet you David!"

David was taken aback, "Bed!!??" "How can you just go to bed? You’re killing it with every roll!"

"I know," Malcolm replied, "And, I’ve won a good bit of money in an hour and had a lot of fun. The table will still be here tomorrow, you know."

David couldn’t believe it, as rare as it was for him to thank people he said, "Well, good night and thanks for rolling the way you did."

"I had no control over that."

"Either way."


David wasn’t sure what to do at this point. He had $2,140 in his wallet, which was just slightly more than he came into the casino with, and it was nearly two in the morning. He thought about going to The Nest and grabbing a drink, but he decided he didn’t want to just have one and, since the state mandated alcohol must not be served after 2:30a.m., there wasn’t even enough time for a lightweight drinker such as himself to drink enough to properly celebrate.

He also wasn’t necessarily in the mood to celebrate, what he really wanted to do was win more, but he couldn’t figure out exactly how in the hell he should go about doing that. He wandered around the casino, occasionally sitting on a slot chair and contemplating his next move, for the better part of a half hour. When he finally decided to return to the craps table, he found that it had closed because two in the morning hit and it went fifteen minutes without any players.

Roulette had closed sometime prior, and Let It Ride had already closed at some point during his nap. The only games available at the time were Blackjack and Mississippi Stud. David gazed forlornly at the empty tables for other games, many with the lights on the signs still glimmering, but decided that it was time to go to bed.



David slept deeply, contentedly, and without dreaming and awoke the next morning one hour too late for the buffet. Since it was Wednesday, he was supposed to be off, although the schedule was going to change the following week. He called Nicholas Allison, just to be sure he was off that day, and it turned out that he was.

David recounted his money, $2,142.63, and he still had $150 and change in the bank. As much as he hated to admit it, it was actually the most money he had ever held at once in his entire life. Over the next several minutes, as he rolled dreamily from side to side, all of the cool things he could do with just a thousand of that, while sticking the rest of it in the bank, occurred to him. There was nothing at all tying him down, other than work, so he could try to schedule a vacation somewhere. He hadn’t been out of the country since his mom took him to Mexico to celebrate his college admission...though there was no such celebration when he dropped out.

He also contemplated the possibility of going out to eat, not just going out to eat, but going out to eat several times. The money could be used for several delicious meals, especially since he considered tipping waitresses to be a complete waste of money and abstained from doing so. He also considered the possibility of buying some old beater, that way he would have some wheels and could get around independently and without sweating to death.

However, the thought that kept coming back to him, regardless of what he could do with the money he had and how fun all of those things might be; was that he could do so much more with more money.

Go back to chapter 4.
To be continued in chapter 6.

About the Author

Mission146 is a proud husband and father of two. He generally fell quite a bit short of the expectations most people had for him, though happily so. Mission146 is currently a salary-slave in Ohio who enjoys documentaries, Philosophy and gambling discussion. Mission146 will write for money, and if you wish for him to do so, create an account on WizardofVegas.com and send him a Private Message with your request.