My “Hungover” Time in Vegas and What Not To Do When Gambling

When I went to Las Vegas last weekend for my friend’s 21st birthday, I was determined to really make some cash making sports bets. With my knowledge about college basketball and the NBA, I thought there was no chance I could lose. I was wrong.

I don’t know what it is, but I have never been able to come out ahead when making sports-related bets. I’ve been making them since I was 13. The only good thing about being Armenian is that I had crazy facial hair by that age and was being offered drinks by Vegas cocktail waitresses at 13. That was fun and all, but I just recently realized that they really didn’t care how old I was, just as long as I was making bets. Things have changed in the last few years. You don’t get free drinks anymore. The only way to get free drinks is to make a bet and ask the bookie for a drink ticket or else you have to pay for it. The Vegas I knew as a kid had free stuff being given out all over the place. Now you have to play big to get comped big. What a shame.

So anyway, the first game I bet was the Jazz over the Warriors minus something like six points. Easy money. The Jazz destroyed the Warriors. I then let that money ride on the Oklahoma City Thunder minus five against the Knick and newly acquired T-Mac and Eddie House. Sure thing, right? Wrong!

You see a lot of things in a sports book: Men and women of all ages, winners and losers, happy people and people angry as hell. Watching a game on a big screen with about 50 or more people watching the same game is quite an experience. People cheer with you when a player hits a three or they yell an expletive. It’s a real bonding experience with the common man. Then the game ends and you are either a winner or loser. You either cash in your ticket or you tear it up.

Well, like hell I’m going to end on a sour note, so I bet some more. Yep, Vegas sure can get you hooked because you figure you are bound to make that money back, right? Well I did because I had a sure thing: my uncle. My uncle can just pick, whether it be horses, soccer, baseball, or basketball. He calls me and tells me to bet a hundred of the winnings that I was sent to collect for him on 623. He actually knew the number of the team he wanted without looking at a betting sheet and from a few hundred miles away. 623 was the University of San Francisco and they were the underdog to Santa Clara by a point and a half. They won by three in overtime.

I would have been in great if I had stopped, but no. Blackjack is fun, but not fun when you are betting 25 a hand at 2:00 a.m. and everyone but you is winning. Thank god that my plane left at noon the next day, though. From 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. I won $300 at video blackjack.

I am not quite sure why I have written what I have written. I was asked to write about my experiences in Vegas for a column and this is all I have. My trip was filled with a lot of high-priced steaks, a lot more vodka and ups and downs. In the end, isn’t that all you can ask for from Vegas? I would just like to leave you potential gamblers with some tips that have been proven by me.

Vegas always wins in the end, so if you are up big, walk away. The worst thing you can do for a sports bet is to overthink it. There is no way to pick a winner 100 percent of the time. Don’t let your feelings make the bet, but don’t dwell. Team records are usually a good indicator of who will usually win. If you got no action, then you have no room to talk. Always stay on 13. And of course, you got to be in it to win it.