Blackjack Action – Chapter 7
Steve felt his pulse quicken slightly as he watched Lisa approach the table where he was seated. Her walk was not exactly that of a model on a runway, but her movements were in no way lacking in grace and femininity.
Steve rose and pulled the chair out for Lisa as she greeted him, “Hey big boy, what’s up?” Her voice was soft and feminine but carried a slightly lower pitch than one might guess to look at her.
“Thanks for coming Lisa. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and you were my first choice. Hope you don’t mind.”
Lisa reached across the table and placed her hand on top of Steve’s as she replied, “Well, as long as you don’t make a habit of waking me up at the crack of dawn, especially on my day off, I’m here for you. You know that.”
“You’ve always been a good friend and good listener and that means a lot.”
“What’s bothering you Steve?”
“Oh, nothing much except that we are over $80,000 down, the Slot Online team is in disarray, Jimmy’s out of control and becoming undependable, Sam is driving me crazy with his constant griping about everything under the sun, and to cap it all off, Mr. Ciau is coming to the states to observe us.”
“Ugh, I had no idea we were down so far,” (Lisa sounded surprised). “I knew we had 2 or 3 rough sessions but I thought we were still close to even or maybe a little ahead. We were up quite a bit at first weren’t we?”
“Yeah, we were up over $70,000 after the first few days. After that we kind of just broke even for awhile, then we totally hit the skids last week. Jimmy couldn’t win a hand if his life depended on it, then after I took over again I didn’t do much better. But, I suppose, fairly large bankroll deviations are not that uncommon in blackjack, but I really messed up by playing at a unit level that was too high for our bankroll. Then, to add insult to injury, I increased our unit level trying to recoup some of our losses and we just continued to lose. It was a dumb amateur move on my part and I should’ve known better.”
“Steve, kicking your own butt isn’t going to help the situation and neither is worrying and getting all upset.”
“Lisa, to tell you the truth, I’m losing faith. I’m not even sure this is going to work now. I was totally confident at first, but now I just don’t know anymore. I’ve played a lot of winning blackjack in my day, but it was always single and double deck pitch games. I did a lot of testing on multiple deck games at home, also ran a lot of computer simulations and this method always made decent money over the long haul, but live play is a lot different from computer simulations and dealing cards to yourself at the kitchen table. What we are running into just is not the same game.”
“Steve, you once told me that life was like gambling because you experience losing streaks and winning streaks and other times you just break even. But you said the winning streak will come sooner or later if you just believe. Now, gambling is your life. You can’t quit believing in that winning streak, Steve. It’s going to come sooner or later.”
“You’re right,” Steve agreed. “I’ve got to keep the faith, and, maybe things ARE beginning to turn around. I won $40,000 here last night playing alone.”
“Hey, that’s fantastic!” Lisa said excitedly as she squeezed Steve’s hand even tighter. “We’re going to make a big come back, watch and see.”
“We’d better. Fortunately, when I spoke with Mr. Ciau last night he told me he had to delay his coming to the states for a few more days. I’ve been avoiding telling him exactly how poorly we’ve been doing lately. He doesn’t seem like the kind of man that easily accepts failure. As a matter of fact, he has a reputation for being ruthless and intolerant.”
“Don’t worry about Mr. Ciau,” Lisa said coyly with a smile playing at the edges of her supple lips. “He knows this was a risky venture and I’ve got a feeling he might not be as hard a man as you think.”
Steve knew what Lisa was saying but he didn’t want to acknowledge it. In fact he didn’t even want to think about what she was obviously offering to do. He quickly changed the subject to more trivial matters.
Jimmy was hunched over a craps table with a drink in one hand and black chips in the other. He had a $100 chip on the number 5 and another $100 on the 9. A stack of chips totaling $120 covered the 6 and 8 so he could get the proper 7 to 6 payoff should either of those numbers hit.
“8, hard 8!” yelled the stickman and the dealer pushed $140 in chips toward Jimmy. This shooter was having a hot roll and Jimmy was up $2400 in addition to the $440 worth of bets he had on the layout.
As Jimmy watched the dice tumble and bounce across the green felt of the craps table, he became aware of a sweet feminine fragrance that seemed to be emanating from some point near him. Then he felt a soft touch on his arm. Jimmy looked to his right to see an incredibly lovely young woman wearing a low cut evening dress.
“Oh, excuse me,” she said, “May I squeeze in here?”
A big broad boyish smile lit up Jimmy’s face as he said, “Sure, come on in pretty lady.”
“You must know a lot about this game,” she purred in Jimmy’s direction. “You seem like you know what you are doing.”
“I know a little about it,” Jimmy proudly admitted. “Do you play?”
“Oh know. I’d like to learn, but it seems awfully complicated.”
“Not complicated at all sweet thing.” Jimmy picked up 5 or 6 red $5 chips from the rail in front of him and handed them to his new protégé and began explaining the game and helping her with her bets.
The beauty in the black evening gown seemed a little slow picking up the finer points of the game but was very willing to try as she rubbed her hand up Jimmy’s arm and rested it on his shoulder and snuggled her delicious body in close to him. Jimmy was immensely enjoying the attention and overt affection his new acquaintance was bestowing upon him. This girl was obviously very attracted to him and didn’t care who knew it. Jimmy was so engrossed with his female companion that he didn’t notice the knowing smiles on the faces of some of the other male craps players at the table.
Jimmy’s instruction to the young beauty was abruptly interrupted when another fair damsel walked up and tapped Jimmy’s companion on the shoulder. “Shirley, I just got a call from our friend. We’ve got to meet her upstairs so we can take care of that little piece of business. Then you can come right back down and play some more.”
“Right,” Shirley agreed. “Jimmy, are you going to be here for awhile? I’ve got to take care of some business then I’ll be right back.”
“Sure, I’ll be here!” Jimmy promised excitedly.
“Well, then, if you’ll excuse me for a few minutes I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll be here,” Jimmy reaffirmed.
Jimmy watched hungrily as the two lovely specimens walked away quickly and with purpose. “This looks like it could be a good night,” Jimmy thought as he turned back to the craps table. Jimmy looked down at his rack. Suddenly he felt sick, stupid, and totally embarrassed all at the same time. Where 24 black chips had once stood in his money rack, there was now only 16. Jimmy knew Shirley wasn’t coming back.