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How'd you get hooked?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Happygirl21, Jan 19, 2017.

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  1. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 VIP Whale

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    As I am getting closer to this next trip I started thinking, like, really thinking, how did I get here? Here being the wonderful world a gambling, lol.
    Looking back, I think it started in the mid 70's.

    My grandparents owned a bar or as they liked to call it, a cocktail lounge, when I was just a sweet little girl growing up. Well, I can clearly remember sitting with my grandmother painting quarters red with red nail polish to plunk into the pinball machine located at the entrance of the "lounge". We did this because the guys that came to collect the money from the machines would give me "my" quarters back ( in addition to popping several free games onto the machines for me). Although I can not recall at 5 years old which machine I was dumping them into, I do recall hustling bar patrons by age 9, wagering on games of pinball on the brand new KISS machine and PAC-MAN video machine. I had to laugh, the Who's Tommy is like my childhood anthem and this past October, when I was DT, they played it on the canopy, must have been destiny!

    Anyway, from there as a teen, I graduated to the local arcade, placing a friendly wager on a game of silver ball here and there and well, everywhere, lol. Today, Comet and High Speed are still my two favorite machines!

    Then somehow along the way, my step father became a partner in a racehorse. So needless to say I spent sometime at the Meadowlands, yelling at the jockey's to "smack that nag!" All the while, learning about trifectas and daily doubles.

    Soon after, when I was turning 21 my mother ( who was not a gambler) took me to Bally's AC for my 21st birthday. At the stroke of midnight, I was on the casino floor at Showboat, being the type of BJ player that I now want to smack upside the head, or even worse, evokes such emotion in me I just get up and walk away. So to anyone that I may have been at a table with way back when in 1991, I am soooooo sorry. I really thought I "needed" to get 21.

    At the age of 21 I had more "liquid" cash then I probably do today and, well, I was hooked on AC, cluelessly may I add. Then one day a much older man that I knew handed me a video, told me to watch it, and then come back and see him. That was my introduction to BJ. (Black jack for all you thinking..young girl + older man + video + come back and see him = intro to BJ.....lol). After much review, we took our first day trip to Harrah's. My $50 buy in turned to $500, pretty darn quick...and as they say, the rest is history. His advice to me was, if you get to ten times your buy in leave.

    No one else in my family gambles, my friends may throw 50 bucks in a slot, and none of them understand my love of Vegas.

    So with that, I am curious to hear how some of you got turned on to gaming/gambling. Do you come from a long line a gamblers or are you the only one you know? What's your story? Hope some of you share.

    :hmmm:
     
    My boy's 21st Birthday count down is on!
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  2. QuaDxAceZ

    QuaDxAceZ High-Roller

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    Growing up my family and I lived about 90 minutes from Atlantic City. My father and grandfather were huge gamblers, taking the ride down to play craps 2-3 times per week. I would spend much of my summers down there(I remember loving it down there, this was when AC was much more attractive for families unlike today). I was never allowed on the casino floor but I was so curious and interested in everything gambling. One day my dad and grandfather bought this mini craps table(probably half the size of a small pool table) for whatever reason lol. I was only allowed to watch while they "practiced" but being a kid(about 8-9 years old a the time) I started picking up on the game quickly. A couple weeks later I started playing with them with my fake chips. By age 10 I was ready for the big leagues. Only 1 problem, I was 11 years away from playing legally. The day I turned 21 I went to AC with my dad(my grandfather unfortunately passed when I was 12) to play my first session of craps. I was nervous but still remembered how to play, and I remembered my grandfathers famous words/advice, "hard ways are for suckers". To this day I love the game that I literally grew up playing
     
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  3. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    My best buddy had been stationed at Nellis AFB which introduced him to Las Vegas. By the mid 70's, we both could afford a trip so we made plans. We built Blackjack and Craps layouts out of cardboard and he taught me the basics and we read some books and practiced, practiced, practiced.

    Around '75, we booked one of those junkets they had at that time (5 Days, 4 Nights At The Fabulous Tropicana!!!. Includes airfare and ground transportation!!!) We arrived and there was literally nothing but desert south of the Trop. The Trop was completely different from what it is now. My very first act at a Blackjack table was to fall backwards off of my stool, an act I have repeated a few times down through the years. Rodney Dangerfield was appearing in the lounge. We visited all of the old famous casinos from the movies and really felt like hot shit.

    I won $700 at Craps at the Silver Slipper and treated my buddy to a full course lobster dinner at The Sands.

    That was it, I was hooked. Have been going at least once a year since. There have been a few gaps, but it has been more or less an annual thing since then.
     
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  4. hotreds

    hotreds Illegitimi non carborundum!

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    Not so much gambling, but got hooked on Vegas when we were visiting Arizona and decided on a whim to visit Vegas as a kind of bucket list thing. Fell in love with the glamour and glitz! Hope we can continue to make two trips a year!
     
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  5. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer VIP Whale

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    I was walking through the as a poor college kid just to oogle at the fancy properties. A Red Card agent got me and a friend to sign up for a players card with the promise of $10 in freeplay. Took me forever to figure out how to actually use the card and freeplay but when I did, I made $38 playing slots. This was a big deal for me. We quickly googled where else they had this free play stuff and some joint named The Palms we never heard of also gave $10 to new people. I hit a lucky free spin bonus on a machine and got $125 or so. I was hooked. Read about Steve Bourie and Anthony Curtis and realized Vegas could be in my budget with the right expectations.

    Today, I play enough to get comped stayed at Luxor almost any day of the year. This is nothing for many of you but it's still surprising to me how far I've come. Didn't think I'd ever level up at a casino property and once thought lowly of those who did. lol

    If I hadn't been so lucky on those first two tries, I doubt I ever would've become a Vegas regular.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  6. bobby jones

    bobby jones VIP Whale

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    Late bloomer here- had no desire to go to Vegas or gamble for that matter. Had been to the race track a few times and Casino Rama a few times. Convinced by ex gf @ 15 years ago to go and that was it. I always considered myself more nature boy than bright lights boy but, as I get older the idea of canoing on a freezing cold river seems to have less appeal than lounging fountain side at the B!

    I am still not a huge a gambler - my bankroll is at the smaller end but, Vegas is my escape from the crazy 9-5. I golf, gamble, eat at restaurants I normally wouldn't, partake in a few more libations than normal and see some shows - four days of fun then back to reality:(

    We now live ten minutes from 10 minutes from Fallsview and it has become my local. We are there so often but, the vast majority of time I am just slipping $40 into the bartop and watching "the game" more often than not walking out with my $40.
     
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  7. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    It's just me (and my sisters). My parents are pretty straight-edge people. My first time gambling was in Vegas during my "once in a lifetime" trip there. My sister and I decided to put $1 a piece through a penny slot just so we could experience a bucket and coins. From then on, we were hooked.
     
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  8. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm VIP Whale

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    mine started out at harrahs casino at 21, i use to play an scratch off or powerball if my mom or brother would purchase it for me

    anyway, before going to my 2nd job, id walk into harrahs and play $20 through a 25cent slot machine and win or lose, id walk out each day...finally that got boring as i wasnt winning anything, lol...so my friend and I set out to table games...took a few hundos over a few days to figure everything out...jumped on roulette and it was a lil weird never have played it. so I lost a few hundos but liked it and started patterning the wheel and dealer spinning

    oneday I was trashed, bought in for $100 and cashed out with almost $1,000 and everytime I hit a number, whatever I had on it was the dealers tip, lol...i was hammered...

    went out and bought some stuff I wanted and went back and done it again...I was hooked...not long after that, many of those dealers were walked out
     
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  9. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Motorcycle road trip from Monterey to the turn-around-point (Vegas). When we got to Vegas, we just walked around (Fremont Street) and stuck our heads in a few casinos, but that was it. Being in the Army and under twenty-one - back then - had its merits. A wee bit of gamblin', mostly eyeballin', a drink or two, and back on the road. Years later, a trip to Reno with my friends was the first real gaming experience (slots and roulette...hardly any money involved). Then, some time in the late nineties, it occurred to me that the Mrs. had never been to Vegas.Soooo...we went for a quick three day stay at NYNY. Turns out, a late night at the MGM blackjack table paid for the flight, our room and a portion of our libation and dining. Pretty good introduction. But the fun part was watching her take it all in. We continue to go back, 'bout once per year, 'cause it's Vegas. Not for the gaming, per se, but because it's a decompression...completely removed from home and whatever schedule or constraints were in place. We live in 'mericas vacation destination, but - as is always the case - life catches up with you, so Vegas is our escape.
     
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  10. mdm4sfest

    mdm4sfest VIP Whale

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    I WAS 18 AND GOING TO COLLEGE/LIVING AT HOME IN YOUNGSTOWN. MOUNTAINEER IN CHESTER, WV WAS ONLY SLOTS AT THAT TIME SO ME AND A LARGE GROUP OF FRIENDS WENT DOWN. I CAME AHEAD OVER $400 ON PENNY SLOTS....EVERYONE ELSE WON IN THE GROUP TOO EXCEPT 1 PERSON. THIS LEAD ME DOWN A DARK ROAD OF GAMBLING AND HOOKERS...WELL GAMBLING.
     
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  11. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    Prior to last year I had been to casinos several times. Foxwoods is a short drive for me so I would go on the occasional day trip organized by my wife's work place, or stop into a casino while on a business trip in Milwaukee or New Orleans. I'd play the slots, lose $50, and leave, but never really enjoyed it.

    Last year was my 10th wedding anniversary so we decided we'd celebrate it in Las Vegas. I'm not even sure what prompted me to watch a video about craps on Youtube before I went, but I learned the basics of the game. When we got to Vegas my wife really enjoyed playing the slots at Casino Royale and we ventured back to the craps table and spent a couple hours there, and had a great time.

    This past September I was at a conference for work and attended a casino boat cruise on Lake Champlain. I withdrew some cash from the ATM, ready to lose it at the craps table, and when I got there they gave me $500 in fake chips. No cash value, everybody was playing for fun and prizes at the end of the night. I ended up spending the whole cruise at that table and was up to $3300 by the end of the night, but it was worth jack squat. It was the most fun I'd ever had in a gaming environment so I've been trying to plan a casino trip since. Since it's tough to get an overnight babysitter to watch our 3 kids, we decided that we'll make Vegas an annual thing.
     
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  12. Onmyown32

    Onmyown32 Low-Roller

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    My first trip to Vegas was with the kids about 6yrs ago and I never gambled even once. I wasn't a gambler then at all, not even an urge to try.

    I never gambled until maybe 5 yrs ago. My now husband and I were dating and took a trip to Memphis and he wanted to check out Tunica so we went for the afternoon. So much fun.

    When we got married that July we planned a "honeymoon" in Vegas the Sept after kids went back to school. We been going 3-4 times a year ever since!! This will be our 4th anniversary in July.
     
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  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I think I got hooked on gambling sitting on my grandmother's lap in a casino in Elko, NV. She'd let me feed the quarters in and pull the handle. Left her hands free for her cigarette and martini. :)
    .
    As an adult, I'd make the occasional trip to Tahoe or Reno and I'd play a few table games, but I wasn't what I'd call a gambler. It wasn't until I discovered Video Poker that I felt like I was really hooked. I could be my introvert best, play at my own speed and still get the thrill of the win.

    I didn't discover the beauty of Vegas until 1995. It wasn't the gambling for me as I had that a lot closer to home in Reno/Tahoe, but the overall spectacle of that place really drew me in. I loved the themed casinos, the huge mega-resorts and the constant "party" vibe. 20 minutes into our first trip I knew I would be a fan for a long time to come.
     
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  14. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    I remember playing some type of dice game with my Irish grandmother.Guess it was Yatzee with five die but maybe some Irish rules involved.Saturday afternoons and keeping score on a notepad.
    I cannot pass by a Sic-Bo table because of that for sure.
    Went to Monmouth Park at 17 and was hooked on the whole scene.Could spend quite a few races just bringing under $40..One day I hit a $2.00 exacta that paid $140 or so..showed the ticket to a railbird next to me and he said that's gonna pay..(I still had no idea of approx. payouts).Hooked for life right there probably.
    Then AC opened up and a new ballgame of BJ...and along the way hanging in Jersey Shore local bars your sportsbetting options there etc.

    Love your story Happy Girl21 !!! Jersey Girls rule.. Best Wishes on the upcoming trip !!
     
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  15. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 VIP Whale

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    Thanks for indulging me, guys! In general I am a people person and think it's interesting to hear other peoples stories. How or whatever drew us in, seems to have us all hooked and coming back for more!

    Happy Gaming to all :beer:
    Thanks, jamesxnj!
     
    My boy's 21st Birthday count down is on!
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  16. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    My family always played cards- penny poker, euchre, bridge, Casino, you name it. That or Monopoly, so we were used to cards and used to games involving real or fake money.
     
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  17. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I had my first trip to LV in the 1970s when I was a 20-something. My late aunt was really the one who got me semi-hooked on slot machines and Las Vegas culture. I think my biggest gap in not visiting LV was about 18 months.
     
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  18. kevin853

    kevin853 High-Roller

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    Never was a gambler and never visited Vegas till a couple of years ago. Do part time advantage playing on online casinos and sports at home in the UK but only play at home when I have the edge.

    Never visit casinos at home but they are tiny anyway. Just enjoy everything about Vegas and love just wasting a bit of cash there even though never end up losing too much.
     
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  19. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever LasVegas4ever.com

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    No one in my family ever gambled nor did I until my husband dragged me to Vegas in 1991.
    He gave me $20 to play and I won 500 nickels, which I assumed was a million dollars.
    (I have really bad math skills, what can I say?)
    I was in love, with gambling and Vegas.
     
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  20. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    :haha: Blonde. Back in the coin hopper days, 500 nickels felt like it should be a million dollars when you were lugging it to the cage.
     
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