Move to Vegas for the right reasons

May 21, 2002 4:31 AM

Being involved in gaming for quite some time now, I’ve come to know many people who simply decided that a move to Las Vegas was the right thing for them to do. By and large, they’ve arrived from the Midwest or the East Coast, but a number have also come from next door in California. The profiles of most of them are somewhat similar: They’re usually retired or have decided they no longer desire to work; they consider themselves to be from society’s middle class; and they all play video poker. But there is one very common thread they all share that motivated them to actually put the plan into motion ”” every one of them believed beyond the shadow of a doubt that they would have little or no trouble withdrawing money on an as-needed basis from the many casinos around town.

As these emigrants prepared for their move, you could feel their blood begin to boil and their hearts pounding. The anticipation is especially high for former recreational gamblers, who somehow sense they will soon be playing video poker at will instead of waiting for those trips to Vegas to materialize.

Few if any of them actually consider they’ll now be living in a large city experiencing a heck of a lot of growing pains. No longer will they be securely ensconced inside a beautiful hotel along the Strip, and they discover that navigating city traffic can be strangulating. But once the video poker bug has bitten, they’re here to stay.

But what is it that gives video poker players such a bullish attitude? They’ve become enthralled with the expectation that what the mathematicians calculate on paper based on eternal perfect play, will be an easy act to follow. All they need do is play the 100 percent payback games, rake in the buckets of coins, live off the endless comps and enjoy lots of "free" fun.

Oh, if it were only so easy! When those who believe they will be living off of the casinos finally snap out of it, what they’ll wake up to is the stark fact that the casinos are living off them!

The lesson here is to think before you let your emotions take over. Are you moving to Las Vegas for what you hope will be a better quality of living, or are you excited that you will be closer to the lure of the machines? Moving to Las Vegas takes much more than money, because money doesn’t last if you move to gamble. It takes willpower, discipline, and other major interests in life in order to have a successful move. If your primary motivations are eating, drinking and playing video poker, you might reconsider your priorities. Remember, that fun-filled week of Spring Break has an ending somewhere.