Each to His Own Vice
Marvin R. Shanken, Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
The Best Places to Gamble, Sep/Oct 02
Maybe you are hooked on the craps tables. There's nothing like the feeling of having a pair of hot dice in your hands, the table covered for every possible combination, and you keep rolling and rolling and rolling, each roll adding up to hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The second best thing is being at a table where someone has a hot hand and you're riding his wave.
Or maybe you're into $50 Nassaus with your golf buddies. There's nothing like standing over a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th green, with a couple hundred of dollars on the line. If you think your hands won't start shaking, you haven't been there. You can't help but get a taste of what Phil Mickelson feels on a Sunday afternoon when a missed putt might mean the difference between a $600,000 or a $200,000 payday. It's a thrill when the ball rattles into the bottom of the cup, and you're the winner.
It might be that your favorite pastime is standing at the finish line at Saratoga or Belmont, or Santa Anita or Hollywood Park, banging the rail as your trifecta pick comes down the home stretch in order, promising a payoff at 90 to 1. Or maybe you just like to pick winners, looking for the handicap tip that will give you the sure thing. If that horse makes the turn in the lead, your heart will be pounding and you'll be jumping up and down as your horse finishes first.
And don't overlook stepping up to the plate with money on the line for your favorite pro or college team. Yeah, it's not legal in most states, but you can always put some bucks down with your best friends, or if you're in Las Vegas, you can place your bets in the sports books. It does nothing but add to the experience of watching the game. What decent American hasn't bet on his alma mater or favorite NFL team?
Whatever your choice of vice or pastime, find something that gets your juices flowing, and get out there and have some fun. It doesn't have to be gambling related. If you're building a wine collection, go buy that case you've been dreaming about having in your cellar. Or get the special mag wheel for the '60s hot rod you are restoring at nights and on weekends. Or buy a new custom fly-fishing rod and plan a trip to that remote stream in Argentina you've always wanted to see.
Just do something that gets you focused on life's many pleasures. Enjoy a little time with the vices. You'll be better for it.