Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crappy Casino Come-ons or the Night Red Rock Ran Out of Robes

This may possibly be the last blog I ever write. I'm serious. My whole belief system has been shaken to the core. My world has come to an ugly, crashing halt.

I honestly don't know whether I can go on. It's one of those days where something a rational person may perceive as minor, to me becomes a major blow to my sanity.

It's the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I'm simply crushed. You may think I'm joking, or exaggerating for effect. But I am not. It's a personal tragedy of such proportion, that my very ability to live and breath and make it through the night will be severely tested.

Today was the day, that Red Rock (and I presume other Stations Casinos) finally had a decent give away -- a nice, big, fluffy, white robe -- and the very second I finally achieved my 500 points, and strode up the the promotions counter, they ran out of them.

I had been waiting for this day and my fluffy white robe for weeks. . . WEEKS . . . God and Stations Casinos really does hate me.

I can take losing money --- lots of money --- I've learned to stoically walk out of the casino, and drive away controlling my anger and fear.

But this . . . THIS, I don't know if I can survive this slight.

Mostly, Stations Casinos give away really, really crappy stuff. How crappy? Last week they gave away a drawstring bag, I kid you not, now THAT'S crappy. These giveaways happen once or twice a week, and are used to lure us locals into their gambling dens. It may be ice cream bowls or a "Guaranteed Play" T-shirt (which I cut up to use as rags to polish silver,) but generally the stuff is pretty cheap and useless, ergo a drawstring bag -- which I suppose I could store my rags in. When you have to actually apply thought towards re-purposing an item, that is one crappy come-on. The crappiest of give aways usually appear during "Mystery Gift" day, which Stations uses to clean out their inventory of crap.

Silverton Casino gives away slightly better stuff. I actually like my turkey tureen, and pumpkin teapot I got this month, and the turkey platter may actually get used this holiday. This weekend Silverton had an "Expansion Sale" to clear out their inventory under the guise of making space for their new tower. I guess all that crap takes up a lot of space. You see, I do believe that Silverton (take note Stations) judging from all the stuff at the sale, buys enough of these items so that every slot member can get one, should they show up that day.

The "Expansion Sale" had most items available for $1 or 500 slot points. Their big fluffy white robes, however were $20. Of course in anticipation of picking up my big fluffy white robe at Red Rock the next day simply for earning 500 points, I wasn't interested in buying Silverton's.

The sale was set up by the pool, and the item displayed on my promotional post card that I had my eye on was a red enamel colander -- quite useful, and attractive. I got to the sale around 4pm, and there were no colanders left. There were weird modern chrome plated toilet paper holders, chrome hanging baskets, As Seen on TV Pasta cookers, food flipper thingies, foot pampering kits (only 50 cents,) pumpkin teapots, pumpkin gravy boats, turkey platters, battery cables, American flag trays, gingerbread man trays, bunny trays, wire fruit baskets, sweatshirts, and the aforementioned robes, among other things.

For every five items you purchased you got one free. In the line for cash payment, the guy running it was giving away an average of two or three things free to those buying quantity, and making deals on whole boxes of stuff. My first run through, I bought five items and paid with my points (It came out to about 1000 points for five things, not 2000.) I took the stuff out to my car, and came back for more. On my second trip I paid $5 cash and left with two sacks full of assorted and sundry freebies (well, not free today, but damn near close.)

The sale seemed to be very popular, and I kept thinking about all the friends and relatives unwrapping modern chrome toilet paper holders on Christmas day saying "What the HELL is this?!!"

Rampart Casino actually tailors it's Christmas season giveaways to Grandparents (Rampart is in area surrounded by retirement communities) shopping for little ones, by offering radio controlled cars.

So now I have bags full of crap, and I know the true value of this promotional stuff -- about a buck.

Still, I was excited to get a big fluffy white robe (BFWR) from Station Casinos (I had spied it in a case at Palace Station, and it did look quite useful.) To get the robe, I would have to rack up 500 points, which from previous experience I knew would take a few hours of my regular play. The giveaway counter was open until 8pm, and I arrived around 4:30pm, which should have given me plenty of time.

I first swiped my player's card at the kiosk, which told me I was eligible for both 7x and 3x points. I chose 7x and tried to chose 3x as well, when the kiosk freaked out and told me to see the Player's booth.

I wasn't certain if the multipliers would figure into my 500 points, if I understand correctly the multipliers don't kick in for 72 hours. No worries though, I commenced to playing "Sultan's Jewels and the Genie" an older game, I've recently discovered that has a feature reel with 3 different bonuses (Snake Charmer, Right to Left win, and Magic Lamp) plus a traditional bonus game. I was sitting across from the giveaway table and could see the BFWRs, and all the players picking them up.

I moved over to the new "John Wayne" machine and got almost $40 ahead. I was feeling pretty good, but I kept checking my points, and they weren't racking up as fast as I thought. I continued to play "John Wayne" and began to lose my lead. I moved back the Sultan and the Genie and began playing faster. This seemed to suit this machine, and I hit quite a few bonus rounds. I kept eyeing the BFWRs and anticipating picking mine up. After a couple of beers, I went to the restroom and when I return someone was on "Genie and the Sultan" so I walked over to the "Goosin' Around" machines. I couldn't hit a bonus round (I've since learned these are part of WMS' G+ "volatile" "celebrate the win" series) -- and I wasn't celebrating.

I tried "Village People Party" and then moved back to my position across from the BFWR. I was playing as fast as I could, and although it was getting later, I thought I would still hit my 500 points in time.

As I looked over to the giveaway table I saw a disturbing sight. There was still a pile of BFWRs but it was growing smaller, and a pile of "As Seen on TV Foot Massagers" had appeared. I should have known right there that they were running out of robes, and would replace them with the crappy gift I had already received on a previous visit, but I kept the faith and continued to rack up points. I was only 50 points away from BFWR nirvana, and I comforted myself with the thought that surely they wouldn't run out of robes, especially for such loyal a player as I.

Of course, I was wrong. As soon as I hit 500 points (not one more, not one less) I bounded over to the table only to have all my hopes and dreams dashed. The girl at the table couldn't have been nicer, and she could sense my distress growing. She offered that they often run out of the good stuff -- this statement didn't real help, except it did give me a little ammunition for my arsenal against Stations and their plot to ruin my life. I asked if I could pick up the BFWR at other Stations (I was desparate at this point, I knew this was unlikely) and she replied they might have some, but they all close at 8pm (it was 7:45pm.) She mentioned that I could check at the Player's Club, and I walked over there, but the line was very long. I asked a floor guy standing there in a suit, and he said they had nothing to do with the giveaways.

I returned to the table, thanked the girl for her kindness, and told her to give her boss hell. I took my crappy Foot Massager, and tried to put on my bravest face.

I hit the "Life of Luxury Far East Fortunes" machine on the way out. I got a bonus round, but quickly began to see I was losing control. The only thing worse than leaving with a Foot Massager instead of a BFWR would be losing a considerable amount of money in the process.

I got home, poured myself a drink, and had a good cry.

Tomorrow I will shop for a BFWR paid with cold, hard cash to sooth my troubled soul -- it won't be the same, but I suppose it is not the end of the world.

So the moral of the story is -- at Station's Casinos gamble early and gamble often on big fluffy white robe giveaway day -- the good crap goes fast.

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