I found happiness last night at the MGM in the form of mechanical horses. For the first time in five years, I played Sigma Derby. It’s a large rectangular device in which people sit around all sides and place bets on two horse win-place combinations as the little mechanical dudes race around a track inside the glass case. During each race, the 10 possible combinations of the five horses are given specific odds so if you bet one quarter on a 2 to 1 you double your money or if your longshot 43 to 1 comes in you get $10 and change. It’s an incredibly silly and fun diversion, and apparently old machine as it has no dollar bill slots. You have to get a roll of quarters from a change girl to play it.
This was the first Sigma Derby I’ve seen since we played one at Caesars Palace in 2001. Heck, might even be the same machine.
As for that little thing they call the World Series of Poker, they played down from 45 to 27 players today, stopping at 5:15 this evening, after just five plus hours of play. Unfortunately, Rob Berryman, a 21-year-old University of Alabama student, busted out 33rd when his inside straight flush draw did not make it after the flop. I didn’t realize we had a Tuscaloosan still in the hunt until T-News sports editor David Wasson informed me of it yesterday. It turns out Rob was one of the college kids playing in that fraternity game I wrote about last fall when I was working on a proposal for that college poker scene book.
He seems like a good kid and he doesn’t plan to splurge with the money. He told me he won’t play again next year unless he wins a seat. His family was here to cheer him on and I’m happy to see him fare so well.
We writers shall soon depart for food and drinks following our short day so I must conclude.