Win a few, lose a few

I’m not much of a gambler, but I’ve seen some people win big.

Well, you might remember — back in the day — when the Muckleshoots opened a bingo parlor just to test the potential for a bigger operation. That little place wasn’t even open two weeks before the tribe realized they’d stumbled upon a very lucrative enterprise.

If I recall correctly, less than six months later, in April 1995, they opened a 13,000-square-foot tent that offered a café and several table games. Shortly thereafter, they constructed a more permanent brick and mortar building and, over the next two decades, this place has been enlarged and modified until they created the 340,000-square-foot casino we know today. During the past few years, there were a few more subtle changes, but nothing too drastic.

However, now the place is undergoing another major renovation. This time they’ve more or less destroyed almost the very thing they had before; for example, Club Galaxy, the former home for live entertainment and dancing, has been closed for remodeling. And given the colorful “swirly” carpet they’re laying down, it’s a bit challenging to walk around the place without getting lost or dizzy, especially if you’ve had a few drinks. They’re currently constructing a major, multi-storied, 400-room, luxury hotel, complete with a lounge and perhaps a pool on the top floor which, I presume, will offer a splendid view of the Kent Valley and perhaps the mountain as well. When completed, the place might be comparable to the glamor and flash of a Las Vegas hotel and could challenge the dominance of the Snoqualmie operation.

Of course, the astounding success of casinos rests on probability mathematics; that is, no matter how much an individual might win, the general odds are always with the house. Personally, I’m not much of a gambler – the wildest bet I’ve ever made was a $100 bill at Caesar’s Palace on roulette’s red and hit it – and I’m reasonably certain I’ve lost more than I’ve won. Yet, I’ve always enjoyed visiting hotel/casinos, not so much to gamble as to lounge beside the pool with a piña colada.

I have, however, observed some big winners, as I’m sure many of you have. Indeed, I was with a lady one evening – a very significant lady, I hasten to add – when she turned a $5 bet into $66,000! Indeed, I was so excited and happy I nearly embarrassed myself. I stood there awestruck while the attendant counted out her winnings in $100 bills which, to this day, is the largest amount of cold cash either of us had ever seen! Drinks were on her.

Then there’s the recent story – a verified, factual story – of the man who, on a $6 bet, nailed the jackpot for $1 million! (One can understand why this relatively young fellow damn near collapsed from a coronary!) I’ve no idea how he collected his winnings, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have paid him in $100 bills.

It’s events like this that fuel our dreams and keep us coming back. Forget about the odds of probability theory. People actually win, big time! And it may as well be you as the other fellow or gal.

So, after an evening’s adventure in Seattle or a movie, it’s nice to stop by the Muckleshoot casino to test your luck. Recently, I’ve been on a losing streak but, what the hell, you never know.