A Gambler in the Making


Brad Angelo

Everything in a casino is designed to catch your attention and draw you in.

Gambling can be a source of great negativity and loss, for others it could be an amazing source of money and entertainment. For me, ever since I turned 21 over 2-years-ago I couldn’t wait to get out to that glowing city in the desert, Las Vegas, and test my luck at rolling dice and counting cards.

My recent trip to Las Vegas was not my first. I once went for a few days over 10 years ago at the age of 11. While I may have experienced the blinding lights and eye-catching ads of the Vegas strip before, now at 23-years-old I finally got my chance to put my money down in an attempt to come back with a heavier wallet.

Because it has been so long since my last visit my memories of Vegas my memories are a little blurry, so walking down the strip at night was almost like experiencing it again for the first time. On the first day there my family and I got to our hotel, the MGM Grand, late at night. While most of my family wanted to get settled in the hotel room and , I was way too excited to go to sleep and decided to hit the casino floor instead. Since I have no real gambling experience I wanted to start small and just hit the slot machines.

Luckily my father loves gambling. Since there is no gambling here in Hawaii he spent most of his free time before the trip researching instead. He basically became my gambling mentor for the entirety of this trip. 

I wanted to try as many different games as possible while I was there. While roulette and blackjack were high on my to-do list, my father helped me find an unexpected love in another table game, craps. My father knows a lot on the basics of gambling, but his specialty is on the craps table. He taught me everything there is to know about the game, where to bet, how to roll the dice, and the chances of each roll. I was very nervous when I first stepped up to the table, but once it was my turn to roll the dice I understood why my father loves it so much.

The feeling of throwing the dice, placing bets, and seeing your chips double when the perfect roll lands, it was like nothing I’ve ever felt. The energy at the table explodes whenever someone’s on a hot streak, everyone cheers and high-fives. Even if you don’t know anybody else at the table you can be sure of one thing, you’re all there for the same reason, to give that dice just one more throw. At one point the table was so hot that a $15 bet turned into over $100 dollars. However, the thrill of the moment got the best of me and that $100 dropped back down to only $30.

A lot of people see gambling as a waste of money. That’s not how my father sees it. He explained to me that you’re not putting in $100 dollars to get nothing back, you’re putting in $100 dollars at a chance for $1 million! This changed the way I looked at gambling and I took his words to heart. While I did have a limit on how much I was going to gamble with, I no longer felt bad if I lost some money. There were plenty of losses to go along with the wins and I may have come back about $200 in the hole, but in the end I had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back.