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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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Why We Don't Go to the Erewhon Any More, Just So's You Know

2 March 2004

Mo and me was goin' to the Erewhon casino pretty regular. Coupla times a month, maybe more. 'Specially when we had personal invites to shows or affairs from Betsy, our host we got along real good with. Better'n good. Like, she never forgot our birthdays or anniversary. And, when I say never forgot, I'm not just talking Hallmark but honored guests at sit-down la-de-da dinner-dances for players they respect the most, and keepsakes to boot. Plus, I can't count how much stuff we took home since Betsy made sure we knew whenever there was giveaways. A whole closetful of toaster ovens, a barbecue grille, two or is it three steam irons, one a them wet-n-dry vacuums, and some VCRs ?? four a which we wrapped and gave out and I think two we still have.

Anyways, I had my favorite machine there. A triple bonus Roaring Rubies. You could prob'ly say it was a lucky charm and I almost hit the jackpot more'n once or twice. Mo went to the roulette table. Played a system he read somewheres, 'bout making a $10 bet on the Even and $1 on 10 different odd numbers, which this expert gambling goorah said gave him odds but the dealer didn't know it so the pit boss rated him high besides. We always had points to go free at the all-you-can-eat, and sometimes Betsy upped it so's we could try the Le Royale where they use tablecloths and such.

Well, one day they was having this appreciation weekend for their finer players. We had a free room that Betsy upped to deluxe. Not only that, but a coupon for the Carriage Club between 8:00 and 10:00 to pick up our free 21-inch Waldorf color TV.

The weekend didn't turn out so good. For one thing, Betsy told us on the QT she was quitting the Erewhon to go into another line of work. Another thing was my machine was cold for both days, and Mo did bad at the table. The worst was they insulted us, which when we told Betsy, she blamed it on a new high muckety-muck who was a prize you-know-what and helped make up her mind to quit the place. Namely, as we was leaving and putting our TV in the trunk, the people parked next to us was packing a 36-inch Sony they said they got from their coupon at the Pandora Room. I told Mo how come we only got a 21-incher, being finer players and all, which we'd be ashamed to put in the spare bedroom when certain other solid citizens was getting decent models of which anyone could be proud to have in their family room when the grandkids was over.

I was mentioning this to Flora down the block, who asked why don't we meet her and Harry at the Sans Souci casino next trip. They got lucky machines too. And she'd fix us up with Mel, their host, who takes extra good care of them. Plus, she says that the all-you-can-eat was voted number one with U-Krak-Em king crabs and a chef direct from Vienna Austria who whips up sky-high pie for dessert right before your own eyes. That, and she showed me the giveaways they got, which fill a good half of their basement playroom, and make the Erewhon look chintzy to tell the truth.

Well, we went. And let me admit right off, we didn't know what we was missing 'til then. Mel was a sweetie. Nothing against Betsy, but he pulled the strings. Slam bang and we was one-month members of the posh Elite Club where you snick-snack and drink without a comp and money's no good except you're s'posta tip the waiters who wear tuxedos and they call butlers. The only thing was that Mel said he was glad to go out on a stretch for us, but he would stay outta trouble with the big cheese if I tried the 50-cent or maybe dollar machines, or the new nickel slots long as I went the max on all nine lines, mostly to prove we was premium players.

There was more. The Sans Souci was classier. You didn't see no tank tops or hair curlers. Near the machines, the porters were always around sweeping paper and whatnot off the floor. And you didn't have to wait so long for gals to bring drinks while you're gambling, who by the way dressed fancy but not skimpy, and you could tell meant it when they said they hoped we'd win.

Mel just made us members at the Elite again for next month and sent a card with the good news. The best part of the card was by your famous poet name a Sumner A Ingmark that I mesmerized:

The esteem we've established already portends,
That ere long you and I will be fav'rite best friends.

Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.