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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jackpot: GNW Casino Night is a Winner...

One of the great benefits of living in a neighborhood with a homeowners association like the Great Northwest is ability to hold community events that serve the neighborhood, are close to home, and are extremely fun. The creative GNW staff organized a casino night event that was extremely successful, well attended, and based upon the happy faces of the folks there, an event worth repeating.

My wife and I along with several neighbors made the short trip down to the Lodge of the Great Northwest in Silver Creek on Saturday, May 2nd, and found the place transformed into a small Vegas style gaming floor. Upon entering, we paid a $25.00 fee per couple which included tickets for free drinks and two chips worth $1,000 each. Oh sure, if we could have cashed them in for actual money, I might have called it a night right there, but no, these chips were for playing!

As the room began to fill with residents, people were able to talk with the various dealers and members of the gaming crew manning the tables, to help explain the various games. As our blackjack dealer Jack told us, these casino nights are all about teaching people how to play the various games without the risk of losing a load of real cash.

At precisely 7PM, people could begin cashing in the $1,000 chips for smaller amounts and start with the games of their choice. For me, it was right to the Craps table. I'll be very honest, I still find Craps to be a confusing game, but the few times I've been to Las Vegas, I find it to be completely worth the money - that I eventually lose. And the GNW Casino night was no different.
There were several experienced gamblers who fully understood the terminology, the odds and the various strategies involved, but for me, I relied very heavily on Allan, one of the guys running the Craps table to keep me straight on when to place bets. Eventually, thanks to a lady who had a long run of good luck, I made a series of solid bets and walked away with a healthy heaping of chips, as opposed to my experiences in Las Vegas where I tend to walk away empty handed!Craps wasn't the only game in town. I have always enjoyed the sound of the one-armed-bandits, though rarely have I appreciated the shear waste of money. True to casino form, my experience here was no different. For $500 in chips, the players receive a bag full of tokens that work the slots. And of course, I went through that little baggy in about two minutes. But other people were luckier than I. Several people hit big on the slots, and I'm sure they will thank me later for contributing my tokens to their big take-home.My wife was having fun at the black jack tables and so I decided to join in. In the grand scheme of things, I think this is the best place for you to get bold and play a lot of chips. Like Craps, the table is made fun and entertaining by the dealer and the excitement of the people joining in. Thankfully, we had a good crowd and excellent and entertaining dealers. As the night went on, my confidence and chips began to grow and I started to make some larger bets.

There were several tables of people playing Texas Hold'em, in fact it was so popular I saw people waiting for a chair to open so they could get in.
Other folks played the Roulette table which seemed to be very popular as well.And it wouldn't be Casino Night without a little cheer from the bar. A professional catering staff was brought in to man the cash bar, and as it turned out, it seemed to be a very popular idea.When the gambling officially stopped at 10PM, the players traded in their chips for tickets toward drawings for prizes including the grand prize, a trip to Las Vegas. Depending on the amount of chips you had, you got a certain number of tickets, so really, those who did extremely well in their gaming got more chances to win the prizes.And the winner of the trip to Las Vegas was the same lady that had the hot hand in Craps earlier in the evening!

Oh sure, it would have been nice to win that trip to Vegas, but when all was said and done, we had a great time and really enjoyed the evening. I was impressed by the entire group of professionals who staffed the Casino Night. They never lost sight of the fact that we were there to have fun and learn about the various games, and as people would show interest in a particular game, the dealers would engage them, encouraging them to give it a try. You can't ask for more than that.

My only question would be, when can we do it again?

Wanna see all the pictures? Head over to the Flickr Page.

1 comment:

Anon E. Mouse said...

Great report, Dave! I was out with an insistent client who's computer had the unfortunate timing to break down and need repaired that night.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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