Life Lesson Entwined In A Gambler’s Tale

Lessons In Life and In Gambling

It was the third Friday in May 1974, the day that I would become a professional gambler, a fact that I wouldn’t fully recognize for many years. I learned many lessons in the three days that followed, lessons that I would relive and relearn in the years to come.


Saturday noon, my gambling career was in full swing and had been for all of 14 hours now. I was learning all of the great games that the Holiday Casino had to offer. MY friends Pat and Ray loved keno so we were in the keno lounge listening to Ray pontificate on his profound theories on how to beat keno. Rule number one was to always play the same numbers. The reason that this is true is simple. If you change the numbers that you are playing and the numbers that you were playing come in, well let’s just say that no one would want to live after you let the big one get away like that.


The BIG ONE, that lightning strike every gambler dreams of. Imagine seeing that big one hit during your first day as a pro. Yep Ray’s numbers came in. All seven of them. Well seven keno numbers won’t get you the top prize but in 1973 it could buy a new car. What’s a guy to do but celebrate right? Pat, aka Mrs. Ray would have no part of any time wasting celebration. There were other casinos with other slots waiting for her and the celebrating could wait.


Most wives have great stories of how they have used this secret or that psychology to turn their husband toward the proper direction or decision. This isn’t that kind of story and the persuading commenced and continued for quite some time before Ray gave in and got in the cab in search of different and more exciting gaming venues.


These more exciting venues turned out to be in that ultra chic, high rolling metropolis of Sparks Nevada. The choosing of a new casino fell to Pat. A challenge she accepted without hesitation, sensing perhaps a bit of irony in the air that would prove once and for all that her instructions and requests should always be heeded without question in a timely manner.


Sparks being what it is, er, was, hey probably always will be, a casino was chosen, a cab driver tipped and bigger and better horizons set out for. Pat found her slot and Ray found the keno lounge.


How long does it take to fill out a keno ticket? As any savvy keno player will tell you, not long, especially if you stick with rule number one and always choose YOUR numbers your ticket can be done in an instant. Ray filled out his ticket with his numbers and headed to the counter to have the keno writer log his ticket.


"I’m sorry sir this game is closed you will have to wait for the next game."


Now I know that I don’t have to tell the married men what numbers came up in that game, and the single guys will just have to use the faith they have in those of us that have accepted the challenge of matrimony to know that destiny and the big one collided in some kind of married man, I told you so, maybe next time you’ll listen, time warp of all time warps never to be lived down, and retold at every reunion, family gathering, or when ever HE needs to be brought back in line.


I can’t tell you fellas how to live your life, whether to get married or stay single. I can however give you some time tested advice that you can use that should make your life much easier in the long run. Learn to say yes when SHE says it’s time to go, so you don’t have to live the rest of your life like Ray.