In keeping with the theme semi-loser of my previous post, I wanted to talk about video games today – and games in general.
What started me thinking was my current obsession with Hold ‘Em Legend on my iPhone. I have been playing it for about 3 months now I think. I liked the Apple Hold ‘Em since it came out on the original iPhone and got pretty good at it but was unchallenged after a while. There are only really 6 games and once you have one those, it gets a bit repetitive. Enter Legend! Here you have about 7 or 8 levels (they added a Jade room a few months back) and each level has 3 or 4 sub-levels. The cool think is that there are loads of Achievements (four of a kind, straight flush, eliminate 3 people at a time, that sort of thing) and you get sucked in. Once you win the bracelet on the last game at the Rio, you think its all over but wait – there is the High Stakes games that open up with three more sub-levels per level. I worked my way thru all of these and even in a stroke of luck on the bus to the ski hotel from which i am writing this post, I even won the 3 round grand championship. But there is one two-round championship on the next to last level that I just can’t seem to beat. It is so annoying! The interesting thing from a psychological point of view is the exhilarating feeling from winning the big matches and the desperate feeling when on a big losing streak. Just two weeks ago, I was on this terrible losing streak. I had gone from $170M down to under $20M. I really wondered whether I’d bottom out. And yet, with a little patience, I came all the way back. Now if I could just win the damn Empire two-round bracelet!
In real gambling, my luck has greatly varied over the years. The first time I was just freshly 21 in a casino in Tahoe and sat down with the guys with pork-pie hats and cigars and within 45 min, went from $20 to $75 and was really happy! Then a few years later, I was in Windsor, Canada (bored stiff from working in Detroit just across the strait) and in about 30 min of poker slots (the $20 minimum at the blackjack tables scared me off of there), I hit a royal flush for C$400. I immediately cashed out and bought a mountain bike (which I still have 17 years later) with the money. The latest experience was my first trip to Vegas three summers ago. Luck wasn’t quite the same this time around. I think one time I was up to about $1100 or so and then blew it all plus another $700. I reassure myself by recalling the extraordinary €/$ exchange rate at the time. But as they say, Vegas wasn’t built by the winners in the casinos…
Well, back to vacation now 🙂