I met a guy at a business conference here in South Carolina not too long ago, and he told me a crazy story about his last trip to Vegas. Thought it was worth sharing: Gary was from Atlanta, on a "boys" trip to Vegas last fall. He wasn't a big gambler, but he did like to play a little BJ. They stayed at Venetian, and one of the nights the group went down to the casino to play a bit. Gary was playing BJ with the group, and after a while decided to take a break and walk around. After a few minutes on his own, he spotted a BJ table that looked good, so he sat down to play. He was doing pretty well, winning most of his hands, with bets of $15 - 25. After a while, he was up $350. So now he's playing with the casino's money, right? So he starts increasing his bets, up to $50 - 100 at a time. And he keeps winning. And keeps increasing. He clears $1000 soon, and is really on a roll. And his bets are no less than $100 per hand, and sometimes closer to $200, even $300. And the money is rolling in. Soon he is betting $400 - 500 hands, surrounded by stacks of black. And a small crowd of people has gathered to watch. And the wins keep coming. After three of the luckiest shoes in history, Gary counted his chips and found he had won over $11,000. So he collects his winnings and goes to find his friends. He sits down at their table and tells them his incredible story. No one can believe it. Gary is in a great mood (of course) and is enjoying the moment. His friends are trying to get him to jump into their BJ game, but he is content with his winnings, and just wants to keep drinking his Jack & Cokes. But, after a while, the game is calling, so he decides to play a hand. He buys in for $1000, and continues his level of betting several hundred. But this time he loses. So he doubles the bet to win it back, but he loses the next one too. So now he is embarrassed, after talking big to his friends, but now losing several hundred in two hands. So he gets another $1000 in chips, and the chase is on. He loses several more, and is getting more and more frustrated, betting bigger to try to win it all back. It must have been a pathetic scene, watching the downward spiral. He didn't gamble it all away right there, he stopped with a couple thousand, but it didn't last the rest of the trip. He gave it all back to Venetian before the trip was over, plus a little more. He was in good spirits when he told me this story, but it was several months after the fact. So I guess the moral of the story is, once you win your first $11,000, then stop.