Putting Bills Into a Machine

Last week I wrote that my son-in-law passed away recently. My wife Bonnie is very close to her daughter, Joyce, so we’ve spent more time than usual hanging out together.

It probably had to happen. One of my gambling buddies, “Al,” lost his wife to a lengthy illness some time ago. Bonnie likes Al a lot. After Joyce signaled that she might be ready to date, setting up Al and Joyce for at least one blind date became inevitable. So, we made it happen. Although Al and Joyce were both involved in Bonnie’s and my wedding party eight years ago, they didn’t remember each other. They were both married at the time and not at all on the make. They were polite to each other, but I guess neither did anything particularly memorable that day!

We recently got four show tickets at South Point.  Since Al and I each also had dining coupons at the South Point, we set it up a foursome for dinner and the show. With Bonnie and I both there, that’s about as safe as a blind date can get.

This was very soon after I had discovered the promotion at Molly’s I wrote about here a few weeks ago. The closest Molly’s was about two miles away from the South Point, and more or less on the way home for both Al and Joyce — who had come in separate cars, out of an abundance of caution on a blind date.

I suggested they stop by Molly’s after the show if they were still talking to each other. If they weren’t talking to each other, Bonnie and I would take Joyce to Molly’s and Al could go to hell! (I didn’t expect this result, of course, but can’t resist a good one-liner.)

Going to Molly’s would give them some time together without Bonnie and me hovering nearby, and Joyce would get a chance to see Al “in his element.” I explained the promo to Al (as I knew it at the time — now I have more information and would explain it differently.) He’s been to enough of my classes and has been gambling for long enough that he could exploit this promotion just fine — and could guide Joyce through it if she were willing to be guided.

I suggested to Joyce that Al would know how to play all the hands perfectly and she should follow his advice. Al piped up, “I just hold the aces,” to which Joyce replied, “Me too.”

The thing is, Al was 100% joking and Joyce 100% wasn’t.

The next day Bonnie got a text from Joyce saying she had a good time, would go out with Al again if he asked, and won $43.75 the night before to Al’s $37.50. “The thing is, though, he kept watching me play and telling me what to do on the machine. I hate that! I like to make my own decisions.”

Joyce is clueless about the winning process at gambling. She plays for fun. Extracting the most out of any given situation is not something for which she strives. Her previous husband lost many, many tens of thousands of dollars gambling, at least, over the years. To her, that’s the normal result if you gamble.

Al, on the other hand, plays to win. We’ve often played the same promotions, using similar strategies. We’ve discussed various games and promotions over the years — each of us trying to discover something to help us extract a little bit more.

Whether this difference of opinion on gambling is too much for them to overcome is for them to work out. 

I texted Al, kidding him that he was clever to let her win more at Molly’s. I told him I didn’t really care if they matched up with each other and intended to stay friends with him either way.

He told me that he was going to ask her out again and wanted to know that if it worked out, would he have to call me Dad?

It didn’t take me long to respond: “Absolutely! And make sure you don’t get too frisky with Mom!”

So, I don’t know what will happen from here. I do know, though, that a number of couples have split up because they couldn’t agree on gambling issues. It’s all fun and games when you’re winning, but losing $10,000 or more of community property makes it an entirely different ballgame.

Joyce has seen Bonnie and me together for the past nine years. She knows Bonnie is happy she’s with me and that I’ve been successful at doing what I do. Trusting me didn’t come easily for Joyce, but now I think she does. And she has heard me say that Al has the skills, discipline, and bankroll to be successful at gambling. Presumably, she can conclude that I’m someone knowledgeable enough to make that determination. 

While she’ll still do her own research and come to her own conclusions, she’s far more willing to give Al the benefit of the doubt than she would have been had she met him out of the blue while not knowing me and my lifestyle first.

I’m rather curious to see how this plays out. And however it does play out, I’ve probably written enough about it and will let them have some privacy going forward.


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