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Blog: The Gang Who Broke The Bank At Stratford Westfield
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The Casino is located in the big shopping centre which we can see from our house, but we have never been in before because, well, why would we? A pal had said it was really nice, so the vouchers were the small PROD required to make us go. I must admit to being a little trepidatious - would they even let us IN to a swanky place like that? Would someone say "Hang on, you don't even know how to play POKER, GET OUT!"? Or would we get sucked into a spiral of iniquity and end up selling our shoes to pay for one more go on the Penny Falls?
We need not have worried. The doorman smiled upon us and we were whisked up the escalators to a HUGE room which was a mixture of all the wild guesses I had made as to what it might be like. There were LOADS of fruit machines, so it looked a bit like a seaside amusement arcade (though there were no HANDLES to pull), and there were grumpy-looking people slumped in front of them still wearing their coats, so it looked a bit like the corner of a massive BOOKIE'S. But then there were also Blackjack tables and a whole ROOM full of people playing Poker, so it was also like somewhere JAMES BOND might go.
We wandered around and had a JOLLY nice time. We got our free drink and snack, plus more drinks, and sat down for a go at the fruit machines. Being devil may care types we decided to allocate ourselves an entire FIVER each, to spend how'ere we wished, but to my astonishment some people were spending that on a single go! A bloke sat next to us SLUMPED down looking fed up and put a TWENTY POUND NOTE into the fruit machine! Why would you do that? The Pictures On My Dial was playing for 10p then 20p then 33p a time, which seemed like the very HEIGHT of lavish living, but this guy was paying ACTUAL POUNDS at a time! MADNESS!
We were just there to enjoy ourselves but amazingly The Coins In My Slot got on a WINNING STREAK and reached the point where her initial £5.00 stake had given her back £9.37! We GOGGLED at this fortune, but like the cool cat she is she decided to pause why she was ahead and CA$H OUT with her MASSIVE WINNINGS. We then went to look for another machine for me to lose my fiver on. I don't understand Poker or any of that sort of thing, but when we were little we DID have a toy roulette wheel (why did we have a toy roulette wheel?!? Surely that must have come from an errant aunt/uncle somewhere? Or a jumble sale?) so I had a VAGUE idea of the mechanics, and decided to give it a go.
I am a SENSIBLE person and I KNOW that games like this are entirely skill-free, but still as soon as I started I was CONVINCED I was doing TACTICS, especially when I was winning. I had The Numbers On My Table beside me and I have to admit I DID feel like J.Bond with Glamorous Femme Fatale beside me - if it had been a REAL Roulette table rather than a screen I would DEFINITELY have asked her to place some chips for me, it would have been DEAD SAUVE!
After some ups and downs I got down to £4.50 and decided to have one last go, scattering 25p bets across the different numbers. "It's just a bit of fun," I thought, "then we can go home." But then BLOW ME one of my numbers WON and suddenly my pot was worth NINE POUNDS!
I cashed out at this point too and we SWANNED over the the CA$H desk to collect our ENORMOUS winnings. We both agreed that the cashier looked VERY impressed with us - we'd changed a tenner into two fives with him earlier, which he remembered (I assume because he doesn't usually meet such big spenders?) and initially he was complimenting us on coming back for £9.37, little realising that we also had MY payout still to come, and thus were in ACTUAL PROFIT!
I almost expected SECURITY to stop us as we left, like they do in the films when HUSTLERS use a SYSTEM to bankrupt the Casino, but I imagine they must have been busy elsewhere, so instead we strode out with our WINNINGS, utterly flipping DELIGHTED with ourselves. I probably WON'T be giving it all up to become a professional gambler JUST yet, but COR it was fun for an afternoon!
posted 17/4/2018 by MJ Hibbett
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