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Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Passport, Old Memories

Today I got my new passport. And before discarding the old one I browsed through all the visa stamps in it. I tried to re-create the reasons for all the trips from my memory. Since early 1999 I went to the United States over 20 times. The first trips weren't gambling related at all. I was there for business, the honeymoon with my former wife, a dance competition ... and a dance workshop.

The trip to the dance workshop in June 2005 was the one that changed my life. The funny part is that it was just by chance. It was just a two day side trip to Vegas because my dance partner had some business meetings. This wasn't my first trip to Vegas and it was like the last two times: Enjoying the city, the entertainment and some slot play (for small money). And of course I lost some money. On my way back to L.A. I found THE book in a bookstore at McCarran airport: Ed Thorp's "Beat The Dealer". I read the whole book on my flight back to Germany and I was caught by the Black Jack bug.

I studied a lot. Found Stanford Wong's webpages and made my first Black Jack related trip to Vegas in September 2000. I ended the week with a whooping $12 win and felt like a big winner. Since then till January 2005 I made more than 10 BJ related trips to Vegas, Reno, Tunica, Biloxi and the Indian casinos in California. Sometimes I was able to combine the trip with some business but the main purpose was always "BJ".
I had good times, I had bad times ... but the trip I remember most was a four weeks trip through all the gambling places mentioned above. That was a great time (the big wins I made on that trip helped of course). Unfortunately this was an all-time high for a very long time and "standard deviation" showed her ugly face (some call her "Lady Luck" for some reason). It took me almost two years (and three frustrating trips) to reach my next all-time high ... just to get slapped in the face again by this "nice Lady".

But there is always a reason for something. On that trip in early 2005 I decided to take a break from Black Jack and take a poker lesson in the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. And after doing a lot of reading and brainwork I was caught by a new bug. Three months later I made a poker only trip to Las Vegas in May 2005. That's were this blog started...


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