The Vegas Guy

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

I'm Joe Bob Briggs. I'm The Vegas Guy.

I don't live in Vegas. I don't shill for Vegas. I don't get comped at Bellagio for writing this column.

In fact, I don't get comped anywhere. The bankroll I get from UPI to write this column is enough to play nickel slots at the El Cortez for about three hours. Per year.

Naw, the reason I'm The Vegas Guy is that I love Vegas. And I don't just mean the city. I love all 47 states that have some form of legalized gambling, and I tolerate the other three because I know the places where it's illegal. I like my blackjack dealers to be talkative, my croupiers to be loud and lively, and my poker opponents to shut up and deal. I think that the saddest sight on the planet is a beautiful woman at the roulette table who has to wait five extra minutes for her complimentary umbrella spritzer, and I think the happiest sight on the planet is a heavyweight fight with close odds and rumors of a Don King fix. I think card games should continue till one man is standing. I think you should split 3's against a dealer's 7, even if the pit boss doesn't like it.

And--oh yeah--one more thing. I think the volcano in front of the Mirage Hotel is just as cute as a goldurn hemorrhoid.

Starting next week, I'm gonna hit every casino resort, riverboat gambling joint, greyhound dog track, Indian bingo hall and underground card room between Maine and Hawaii-- they don't allow gambling in Hawaii, so I'm just going there for the hell of it-- and I may even mosey up into Canada to see the Casino Montreal, which looks like a French palace, and down into Mexico for Casino Nogales, which looks like a car wash. And when I get finished with these saloons, you're gonna be glad I made the trip, cause I'm gonna tell you exactly how much they're pinching off the slot paybacks, how many decks they're dealing and how deep they're slicing em, and how long that shrimp cocktail sauce has been sitting there at the Captain Ahab Buffet.

And just to make it interesting, I'm gonna carry a little bankroll with me-- based on my UPI salary, adjusting for money management variables, that bankroll will be somewhere in the low two figures-- and I'm gonna sample the green felt just enough to try to keep a running tab of how much the casinos stiff me and how much I'm able to gouge back at em in the form of freebie rooms, food-court vouchers and gold-lame Tropicana fanny-packs.

Don't think I'm making light of this job, though. I'm a warrior. I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing this for every low-roller who ever blew the Superfecta in the ninth race, crapped out on a full table of double odds, or puked on his shoes. If you've ever been to Tunica, Mississippi-- and you can't call yourself a real gambler if you haven't-- then you know I've already been humiliated by some of the finest casino managers in the tri-state area. I've earned this title. I take it seriously. If you know what I'm talking about-- and I know you do-- you need to send me your tips on how to hassle the house, inflate the odds, and soak the struggling casino that needs your bod in position to make that quarterly Wall Street statement look good.  Together we can take these guys.

And be sure to say hi to me on the floor. That's me in the brown sport coat with the chips stuffed in my pockets, because I hate it when they make you leave em on the table. If you're not sure, just ask somebody. I'm The Vegas Guy.