July 4, 2003


First, to all my fellow Americans on the subscriber list, happy Independence Day. This week's bonus offer appears on the right, and the details are at the end of the newsletter.

My Hiking Adventure

Last Sunday will be a day I won't forget for a long time. I went for about a 10-mile mountaineering trip near Mount Charleston with the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club to Mummy's Toe. Here is a picture of it. The way up went fine. Part of the normal route goes through Mummy Springs. However the Spring Mountain botanist happened to be on the hike and didn't want us trampling over some endangered plant by the springs. So we all followed a flagged detour around the springs.

On the way back down our group of 13 was more spread out. I was walking with a guy named Paul when we came back to the detour. At a steep section I let him go off ahead because he was evidently more comfortable with it than I was. So I was trying to follow the flags on my own but at one point they seemed to just disappear. I thought there was a group of four people to my right so I keep going that way, without the aid of the flags. However time keeps going by and there is nobody around anywhere. So basically I'm lost.

My options at this point are to sit there and hope to be found, try to go back the way I came and hope I find someone, or try to get back to the parking area on my own and then go back up the trail. I decided on the third option, partially because I didn't like the first two options, and because I figure the leader might predict I would do that and send someone down there to look for me. The group had a few walkie talkies (do they still call them that?) so if one person found me the rest would know about it.

So I basically just go down the mountain, figuring it will eventually take me to the road. About an hour later I see some roofs and I head in that general direction, expecting to find a road. Sure enough there is a gravel road at these abandoned cabins, which eventually leads to the main road. I came out a different place than where we parked so I get a ride back to the parking area and immediately head back up the trail. About 20 minutes later I encounter one of the other twelve in our party who was very surprised to see me. So he radios to the rest of the group that I'm alive and well and the rest head down. I then have to tell the embarrassing story over and over as the party comes down spread over four smaller groups.

It doesn't end there. In telling the story over and over I completely forget out my backpack, which was leaning against the tire of the car I rode in. The backpack contains my car keys, wallet, and about $500. This is admittedly a foolish amount of money to bring on a hike but we had to leave early and I forgot to thin out my wallet before I left home. I don't realize my mistake until we get back to the McDonalds back in Vegas where the group started from and where I parked. So I ask someone who lives close to me to just drive me home however he kindly drives me all the way back to Mt. Charleston, about a one hour drive each way. Unfortunately my backpack is nowhere to be seen.

So after I get back home I have my father-in-law drive me to the car with a spare key. I also cancel all my credit cards. Whoever found my backpack has my keys and knows where I live. So at night I turn on all the lights and keep my Glock 17 handgun locked and loaded by my bed that night. On Monday I still have hope to get a call from a good Samaritan, but I don't hear a word. So Tuesday a locksmith comes over to change all the locks. Considering there are four doors the $120 he charged was not as bad as I thought it would be. He didn't have to change the entire locks, just the insides. So I'd like to put in a good word for Access Lock & Safe.

That afternoon while I'm out I get a call from a Bank of America branch in north-west Las Vegas. When I call the next day they say they have my wallet and keys. So I make the long trip out to this branch, my faith in humanity on the line, hoping my money is still in my wallet. It wasn't. At the bank they just say someone found them hiking. All the stuff in my wallet is rearranged but it all seems to be there except my cash. My theory is someone found my backpack as they were ending a hike. They take the money, toss the wallet and keys into the woods, and drive off with the rest. Someone later finds them, sees I have a Bank of America card, and takes them to the nearest branch.

So while I'm thankful somebody did turn in those in, saving me a trip to the dreadful Vegas department of motor vehicles to get a new license, my opinion of the human race is much lower than it was a week ago. It is not enough that half of us are honest, that should be expected of all of us. So sorry to go on so long about this but it feels good to vent my anger.

Liar's Poker and Beautiful Women

To those of you who say "stick to gambling" I added a section on Liar's Poker to my site. Liar's Poker is a great game to play among friends. All you need is some paper money, so it's a handy time killer. It has happened lots of times when all I needed to win was one of my two opponents to have at least one of a certain numeral in their serial number. My new section shows that without any other information the probability of this is 81.47%.

Also for those who like pictures of me with beautiful women there is a new one at the Casino Pays web site. That is me in the top two pictures with Miss Carnival Casino.

This week's special bonus offer

Finally, I have an exclusive bonus offer from Casino King this week. Normally they offer a 100% up to $75 for new players. However for Wizard of Odds newsletter subscribers only they have raised the maximum bonus to $150. In other words deposit $150 and get a $150 bonus. The first $75 bonus will be given immediately. For the other $75 send an e-mail to marketing *at* casinoking.com after making a deposit and mention this offer. The playthrough requirement is 20 times the deposit plus bonus and as usual roulette, craps, and baccarat are not allowed. As I said before I recommend playing 4-play Jacks or Better and taking the double up option as much as you're comfortable with. If you don't like volatility then blackjack is the best choice.

Stay tuned for similar deals from Casino Las Vegas and Swiss Casino.