Monday, May 08, 2006

Back to Greektown

On my walk back from Comerica Park today I decided to cut through the Casino. It isn't really a short cut, but like I said a few days ago, I like watching people gamble. This time, I was walking through the slot machine area when i noticed an old guy sitting at the dollar slots. I had already passed a woman sitting at the quarter slots with over 600 credits waiting to eaten by the machine, but this guy seemed more interesting.

He was wearing a non-descript blue baseball cap, and had about $44 dollars in the machine when I started to walk past him. I stopped, and watched. He was betting $2 at a time, and losing his money at a furious pace. Within a minute, he had gone through the $44, and was feeding the slot machine some more. Two more twenty dollar bills went into the machine, and a minute later, he had torn through it.

Stand up, I thought to myself. Walk away. But this guy wasn't going to let the machine take him. He pulled another two twenties out of his billfold, fed it to the machine, and played some more. This time, he had some luck, and after a few wins, was up to about $90.

Cash out, I wanted to tell him. Cash out, and be glad that you didn't lose everything today. But he could not here my silent screams, and five minutes later, he was back in his billfold.

This time, he pulled out a single twenty, and fed the hungry machine once more. Still betting $2 at a time, he went through the twenty within seconds. Finally, after spending over $100 in the slots, he stood up.

Time to go home, I thought, and watched him walk away. I wanted to follow him, and ask him the one question that had been burning in my mind since I started watching him play. How much did he need to win before he would stand up from the slots without burning through all his money. Was there a magic number, or was he there to play until he had gone through all the money in his billfold.

I watched him round the corner, and decided to see where he had gone. I didn't want him to see me, I didn't want him to think i had been following him. So I walked over to the spot I had last seen the man, rounding a corner.

There he was, sitting down at the slot machine. Still at the dollar slots. Just hoping to find a luckier seat.


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