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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 6

(read part I here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4 or here for part5 )

An American tourist goes on a trip to China.  While in China, he is very sexually promiscuous and does not use a condom. A week after arriving back home in the States, he awakes one morning to find his penis covered with bright green and purple spots. Horrified, he immediately goes to see his doctor.

The doctor, never having seen anything like this before, orders some tests and tells the man to return in two days for the results.  The man returns a couple of days later and the doctor says, "I've got bad news for you. You've contracted Mongolian VD.  It's very rare and almost unheard of here.  We know very little about it."  The man looks a little perplexed and says, "Well, give me a shot or something and fix me up, doc."  The doctor answers, "I'm sorry, there's no known cure. We're going to have to amputate your penis." The man screams in horror, "Absolutely not! I want a second opinion!" The doctor replies, "Well it's your choice.  Go ahead if you want, but surgery is your only choice."

The next day, the man seeks out a Chinese doctor, figuring that he'll know more about the disease. The Chinese doctor examines his penis and proclaims, "Ah yes, Mongolian VD.  Very rare disease."  The guy says to the doctor, "Yeah, yeah, I already know that, but what can you do?  My American doctor wants to operate and amputate my penis!" The Chinese doctor shakes his head and laughs, "Stupid American doctor! American doctor, always want to operate.  Make more money, that way.  No need to operate!"  "Oh thank God!" the man replies. "Yes!" says the Chinese doctor, "You no worry! Wait two weeks. Dick fall off all by itself!

I’m working through all the questions that everyone has sent in.   Here’s a few more.


I have read all of your Walking with a Vegas Ghost articles.  They would make a great movie, I really mean it.  Anyway, please tell me that you are going to write at least a couple more of installments.  When I read them, I feel like I am right there with you and Mel.



I still see “Mel” once or twice each week.  We’ve played craps together a few times since the last Vegas Ghost articles.  I could probably put together three or four more articles in the series.  The problem is that most of his stories would either compromise his current job, or would re-open some long-closed Gaming Commission investigations.  I have to tread VERY lightly on what I can actually write when telling you about his experiences.



Have you seen any of those free Las Vegas magazines like What’s On, Today in Las Vegas, Tour Guide, and Vegas Today?  There is always a rack of them in a couple of hotels that we frequent.  Do you ever clip the coupons or use the 2-4-1 offers in them?



Those magazines that you mentioned are full of some neat casino offers.  Car rental discounts, free decks of casino cards or dice, free shot glasses at the Hard Rock Casino, various buffet discounts, numerous 2-for-1 food offers, Fun Books, free entry into the Imperial Palace Car Collection, free Rick Thomas show tickets at the Trop, and of course free entry into the Gambling Hall of Fame which is also at the Tropicana, are just a few of the coupons that can be found therein.  To answer your question, no, I do not use them, but I do keep a small selection of the “better” ones so that I can hand them out to visiting friends who want to do a “fun book/free show/free souvenir/free entry run”. 



Did you ever stay at the Debbie Reynolds Hotel?  Do you have any specific memories of it?



I never stayed there, but I did play there before she took over the Paddleboat Casino and converted it.  She made it into a slot-only house, but I did see her and Rip Torn’s show one night.  I called to make reservations, and asked when show-time was.   The room-captain asked what time we could be there for, and they’d start the show then.  My group of four people were the only ones in the audience on that particular Thursday night.  We had never met her previously, but Debbie came down to join us both before and after the show.  I knew then that her bankruptcy couldn’t be far off.

As a side-note, the Greek Isles Casino recently re-opened in its stead.  I haven’t been inside it yet, but I know that it is still “slots-only”.  I also understand that business is picking up.


Do you use one of those Slot Cards at each place that you play at?



Yes, I use a Player’s Card at every casino that has one.  I want all my play to be rated to maximize comp benefits.  If I think that a casino has “flagged” my account for surveillance to monitor my play, then I do not use it.



I go to Vegas several times a year.  Where would I most likely find you playing.  I know that you kinda want to protect your identity, but I’d like to see you shoot.   Where would I most likely bump into you, and how would I know that it is you?



I play in most of the casinos in Vegas, but I do play at some places more than others.  A quick scan of my articles will tell you the ones that I play at most often. 

As to identity, now that’s a prickly subject.  I would recommend that you survey the tables for ALL Precision-Shooters.  Some are better than others, while some are MUCH better than most. You want to determine which ones are most likely to earn you money. Bet with them, and avoid most other shooters until they prove their abilities to you.


You said that your girlfriend doesn’t play craps that much, but she shoots the dice really great.  How does she do so well?  Does she practice in the hotel room before a session?  What does she do when she’s not playing with you?



First of all, let me say that I let her play with me EVERY chance I get!!  Oh, you were talking about CRAPS!  She has a knack for doing well when she throws, and is very relaxed when she shoots.  She is gregarious and out-going with the crew and with fellow players.  Sometimes they are so engaged in conversation, the dealers just go through their payout routine as a minor disruption to their ongoing conversation with her.  I have noticed that they make a large number of payout errors in her favor.   I tip accordingly.  She says that she doesn’t really bear-down to target her throws.  Rather, she says that she just uses the same pitch over and over and over again, and doesn’t “over-think” the throws.  The consistency is pretty amazing when you consider that she is hesitant to raise her bets unless the dice-crew keeps encouraging her to do so.  I just shake my head and smile wryly, as I collect my bets.



When you are in Las Vegas, do you ever drive to any of the outlying areas?  If so, where do you like to play?  What are the local casinos like?



I play at most of the “local” casinos in Vegas.   They have a smaller, friendlier feel than the larger Strip resorts.  Due to the larger number of local residents who play on a regular basis, the dealers quickly learn and remember names, faces and betting methods. 

Dealer tips in the local joints are quite a bit lower, so they appreciate it, and service the hell out of a tipper.  The neighborhood places can get pretty busy, especially at the low-limit tables.   “Off-hours” are a little different than on the Strip, as are the food offerings in the restaurants.  The best values are found in the Buffets, while the gourmet rooms are a little less posh than their LV Boulevard counterparts.  However, quality is almost equal and pricing is significantly lower.  Entertainment is generally skewed towards a “new-country” theme.  

Some of my favorites in North LV, are at houses like Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, and Fiesta.  Out on Boulder Highway, I like Sam’s Town, Boulder Station, Arizona Charlie’s East, Showboat, and Boulder Station.  In South LV, I play at Silverton, Sunset Station, Reserve Station, plus a couple of small casinos out in Henderson, and Lake Las Vegas.  I enjoy the two Summerlin casinos; Suncoast and the Regent in west LV.


I like your insight and attitude.   I was wondering if you could give us your personal opinion on all of the Strip casinos.  I know that’s a big request, but we respect your opinion, and we like reading about Las Vegas from your perspective.  We don’t get there more than once or twice every two or three years. 



My opinion might be of limited value because I view casinos somewhat differently than most occasional visitors do.  There are a number of excellent sites like Las Vegas On-Line’s “lvol.com” site, which rates the casinos and provides visitor comments.  However, in an upcoming article, I will provide my thoughts from a Precision-Shooters point-of-view.



Do you ever eat at the famous buffets of Vegas, or do you stick to the better restaurants?



If we are not dining at a restaurant, we will visit a few buffets.   The variety and quality is pretty good.  Believe it or not, a couple of the ones that I like are NOT on everyone’s Best of the Best lists. 

We each have our own tastes, and I don’t need to pay $24.99 for a buffet, if I’d be perfectly happy with one at the Orleans of equal or greater quality for $9.99.  I haven’t actually paid for a buffet since 1993, but what I am trying to say is that price does not always equal quality.  A point-of-fact would be the Rio Seafood Buffet.  Even when the Rio mails us comps for their $27.95 extravaganza, we give them away to friends or acquaintances.  Some people will think that is heresy, but we have found that the quality has diminished significantly over the past two years.  Some of our current favorites are Main Street Station, Paris, Bellagio, Mirage, Alladin, Golden Nugget and Texas Station.


Do you ever use the various monorails between the resorts, or do you always use a limo or something?



I rarely use casino or airport limos.  One of the rare exceptions is if I have friends coming into McCarran Airport or Hughes Aviation, and my car isn’t big enough for the group or their luggage.  In that case, I will arrange for a casino-limo to pick them up on my comp-account.

Depending on where I park, and where I plan to play; I will hop on either the MGM/Bally’s monorail or the one at Excal/Luxor/Mandalay.  I infrequently use the Mirage/TI or Bellagio/Monte Carlo trams.

Thanks again for all the great questions.  I hope the answers were helpful.

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

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