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MALL SKINCARE SCAM WRITEUP: Lionesse, because gems work like that

right so today I went to the mall for the first time since last february and I noticed a tiny little display for a skincare brand called lionesse. it was kind of in one of those enclaves built into the wall with glass in front if that makes sense? anyway I had never heard of the brand and the packaging looked expensive (note: not necessarily nice), so I looked it up.
they CLAIM that their skincare is infused with gems, but like. gems aren’t gonna do anything for your skin? in addition to skincare, they also sell hot hair tools and products.
I’m suspicious for a few reasons, which I’ll list below.
1) the prices are INSANE
they’re legitimately more expensive than la mer or la prairie, but with none of the name recognition. they sell something described as a ‘jade eye wand’ that reminds me of a microcurrent device for $1,750. ALMOST HALF MY TUITION THIS TERM. by comparison, nuface sells a microcurrent device for fine lines all over the face for $150. and I’ve actually heard of nuface.
what’s even worse is what they call their ‘new age syringe’. it’s nearly $1k on their site, but at least one reviewer said she purchased it for under $200. in this mercari listing you can see the nozzle is bare plastic— not very luxe in my book. why couldn’t they add some kind of massage component like many eye serums have? in addition, they have a $3K magnetic mask and a matching moisturizer for $1.5K.
I can totally understand some beauty products being expensive for legit reasons. that limited edition hachiko brush from beautylish isn’t something I’d ever buy, but I see $80 in handpainted japanese craftsmanship as understandable. for the price of one full regime from Lionesse, however, you could have many, many appointments with a cosmetic dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. which leads to...
2) many of their products are supposedly anti aging
we know that anti aging skincare is marked up even higher than regular skincare. someone in their 40s will have more disposable income for wrinkles than a teenager with hormonal acne— and wrinkles don’t go away on their own, as far as I know. there might be some truth to the fact that active ingredients for anti aging are more fragile and harder to formulate than other issues, but I still think the skincare industry takes advantage of womens’ insecurity over being older than 25 and therefore supposedly disposable to society. people are perfectly ready to drop big chunks of change on something that might make them look younger. lionesse is taking advantage of the fact that people are used to spending big bucks on anti aging to make their own even more expensive.
every single one of the most expensive products (even though it’s all expensive, with some weirdly cheap products like a $20 body creme) claims to ‘lift’ or take care of your fine lines and wrinkles. one $1.5K serum promises to make your wrinkles disappear overnight. to me, no single cream is worth that much. just... see a plastic surgeon for non-invasive options. there’s still a huge around plastic surgery, despite the fact that many, many people have done it. I think there should be an even bigger stigma around selling less than an ounce of product for that much money. at least plastic surgeons are licensed.
3) the locations in at least 2 reviews the customers say they bought eye serum from a casino in las vegas (one mentioned the luxor). at least 2 reviewers mentioned purchasing it at malls, one of which was in new mexico. many of the packaging has instructions in french and english, which makes me think that they’re also selling in quebec (I live in maine so it’s literally right there). many, many of the reviews specifically mention salespeople, and impulse buys at vacation spots like new orleans, hawaii and (vivaaaaa) las vegas.
4) the reviews most products have no reviews. for the products that do have reviews, almost all of them are 5 stars with some 4 star reviews sprinkled in. the reviews seem different enough that different people must have written them. I actually do think 4/5 star reviews are real— due to the 1 2 star review I found. in this one review from january of this year, the reviewer says 3 important things. one, she bought it in hawaii. two, the salesman was pushy even though it was way too expensive. three, she doesn’t understand how the product is any better than olay or l’oreal.
that review was also from january 2020, and the most recent one I found. the fact that there’s been NO new reviews on the site between then and now makes a lot of sense because people aren’t going on vacations right now where people typically like to go on vacation— or the places where lionesse stations itself. if most of their sales are in person, offline, they may have straight up not noticed the negative review.
the positive reviews actually mirror the 2 star one perfectly. many of them mention salespeople (‘thanks to the nice young lady’ or ‘shout out to XX at XX mall’ etc), which to me shows that their marketing strategy relies heavily on in person salespeople.
I have a lot of respect for salespeople because they usually know a lot more about the product than I do, and understand why you might go shopping elsewhere. I’ve even had salespeople at sephora whisper to me about a cheaper alternative I can find at ulta (lmao).
however, I really think it’s a bad sign when a product can’t move itself without someone to speak for it. I can read about the moisturizing factors in a face cream, decide it sounds legit and purchase it. lionesse products can’t speak for themselves at that price point because there’s nothing about them that’s actually worth $400-1,500.
SO, WHAT’S GOING ON? initially I thought lionesse might be an MLM, but I don’t actually think that’s true considering an MLM requires the downline to contact people they know in person. there’s 3 possibilities.
1) lionesse is a legit business with a smart business strategy (I think selling to tourists is actually a really smart idea... if you’re not a scammer) that makes superior products, whose worst crime is marking up their products astronomically (name a beauty brand that doesn’t). 2) lionesse manufactures average skincare, marks it up super high and has unaware salespeople who believe the product is genuinely worth that much money sell it. 3a) lionesse is repackaging cheaper skincare (like l’oreal) in nice looking packaging behind the scenes and having their aware or unaware salespeople shill it 3b) the salespeople themselves are 100% complicit and more than salespeople. they themselves repackage regularly priced skincare and mark it up. in either scenario, whenever they’re found out to be scammers they shut that location down. that’s why all their locations are temporary-ish— like mall kiosks and casino booths (?? no idea but let’s assume they’re renting).
what are your thoughts? I remember reading about a similar scam where a mall salesperson gave a sample of a much more luxe product, but the actual product was much cheaper. I couldn’t find the post but a lot of commenters were PISSED after someone posted their haul on the main SCA sub. the important thing to mention is that I don’t think anyone who buys lionesse is necessarily stupid— we can all easily get sucked in, especially when we’re away from home in an unfamiliar environment. I saw a lot of people calling the woman who posted that stupid, or a sucker, which is really mean in my eyes. she already dumped $2.5K on a scam, do you really need to shit on her too?
I personally think the truth is somewhere between 2 and 3– they’re buying a cheap base, mixing a miniscule amount of diamond/turd powder in, and spending slightly more on packaging. I do think that the salespeople may be aware on some level that this is almost certainly a scam, but my best guess is they range from ‘naive’ to ‘super jaded but wants the money’.
do you have experience with this brand or similar ones? do you have a location near you? what’s your friendly local mall skincare scam?
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September 18th, 2020: An Alternate Universe

It's 9:00 am on September 18th in Las Vegas and your head is feeling a little too heavy, go figure. Sunlight barely peaks through the window of your room at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. The sliver of sun rays are scarce, but just enough to illuminate the crust on your eyes from a late night on Fremont Street. The inevitable "What happened?" thought runs through your mind. You head downstairs to grab something to soak up last night's debauchery and try and Hash House A Go Go out how you got to this point.
Sure, yesterday at this time you were at your desk doing nothing but last minute checks on which sets you needed to prioritize for the forthcoming next 3 days. Sure, you skipped out early to make sure you had everything packed for the 12th time this week. Sure, as soon as you got to the airport, the first place you hit after security was the nearest bar, because let's face it, the airport drink before vacation is a top 5 drink all time. Sure, maybe you shelled out more than you should have for that wimpy Jack and coke on the plane itself. Sure, Spirit Airlines is the worst. Sure, once you got to McCarran you told your friend that had never been to Vegas before to play those slot machines right out of the gate because they for sure pay out (sucker). Sure, as soon as you got to your room you threw your bags down with little to no regard just to rush back downstairs to take in the Glitter Gulch in all of its neon glory. Sure, you may have lost too much money at Binion's playing craps because "the dice were cold", when in actuality the devil on your shoulder and in your cup told you that recouping your losses was easy with big field bets (sucker). Sure, you danced like an idiot while watching the guy playing buckets like drums because it was "good practice for all the Fremont Stage sets you'll be at this year." Sure, you spent enough money at Pop Up Pizza to feed a small family of 4. Sure, you danced like an idiot watching the funk cover band at the Plaza that wear wigs and have synchronized dance moves, because eff it. Sure, you passed out with your clothes on, (thank god you took of your shoes). But really, how did you get to this point?
The existential crisis marred in a haze of last night's booze and smoke filled casino floors lasts all of 5 min, because the fried chicken benedict that's 3 sizes too big for the plate it's on offers a moment of clarity: It's Day 1 of LIB
Your head alleviates itself of any extra weight, and a shockwave of energy flows through your body as if the mimosa in your right hand is a liquid defibrillator. Your skin tingles knowing that in a few short hours you'll walk through the gates for the first time along with the thousands of others who came to this very city, on this very day to plunge into a pool of escapism. Oh yeah, that's how you got to this point. You slug your drink and head back upstairs to get ready.
While the rest of your crew does their thing, you adhere to your mental checklist, because let's face it, preparation is key if you're going to do the next 3 days right. Comfy shoes: check, chapstick: check, extra gum for new friends: check, hat for the sun: check, earplugs just in case you decide to hug the speakers: check, sunglasses: check. Those all accounted for and out of the way, you move on to more pressing items. Ah, your trusty Camelbak. It's served you well through all these years, and now it's time for the old broad to come out and play again. Drained and ready, you throw what you can in the pockets and strap her to your back, pulling the straps securely around your arms. You do a front kick to show dominance. And now...for your wristband. Let's be honest, this was the first thing you were checking for each time you went back and made sure everything was in your bag this past week. You take it out of the packaging that is much better than last year's, and hold the holy grail of concert tickets in your hand. It reads, 'You are beautiful" on it. You nod in appreciation, and blush a little bit. You slip in onto your wrist and pull the clasp to tighten securely, albeit not uncomfortably. As if the RFID is now a part of your DNA, you remember the weeks of making sure the wristband itself wasn't lost, and you breathe a sigh of relief. It's almost time. You glance at the rest of your crew after a brief moment of silence, you utter one word, *"¿Listos?"
After a cacophonous eruption of sounds that would be right at home on the plains of the Serengeti, you and your friends find your selves walking at a swift pace down Fremont. The street is much more busy than usual at this time in the late afternoon. You scan the crowd to find those that are sporting wrist decoration similar to yours. The army of translucent backpacks, throwback jerseys, bandanas and general jubilation reaffirm that you are headed the right way. You pass The D and know Sigma Derby will take scores of coins from you later that night. People jump on the scale outside Heart Attack Grill to your left after a few minutes more marching towards an experience akin to nirvana. The Fremont East District sign and Martini Glass beckon you further down the street, as the distinct sound of muffled bass begins to ever so slightly reach you ears. A right on 6th, and all of the sudden you're in a line that twists, turns and seems to never end. The pace is snail like in nature. At least that's what it feels like to you and your friends. All of the moments prepping, (mostly daydreaming about the sets you want to be at the most when the lineup dropped 5 months prior) have all led to this. You let you friends go through security first, as if to make sure that the whole squad made it in safe and sound. You tap you wristband to the scanner and re strap your Camelbak on. Inside the festival gates for the first time, you're surrounded by bevy of people who more than likely feel the same way you do. You friends are sharing daps and laughs left and right, while you simply savor the moment. A flurry of folks sprint past you on the left. You smirk, knowing they gravely miscalculated seeing their first set of the day. The Praying Mantis outside Container Park shoots its flame up into the atmosphere as if playing host to the grounds and saying, "Welcome". All the sights and sounds and you can only muster up two words, "Que Hermoso."
submitted by Slappy_Gilmore55 to lifeisbeautifulLV [link] [comments]

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Martingales: The House Goes Bust

Martingales
Part One: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Part Two: Instruments of Darkness
Part Three: Absolute Zero
Part Four: All Sevens
Part Five: Whale-Watching
Part Six: On the Shores of Oblivion
Part Seven: Ante Up
Theme
“Okay, what the hell is this?” Martin’s confusion is evident in his tone as he takes in the sight before him, slowly stepping out of the elevator as he does so. Rather than the sumptuous yet gaudy building he’s been used to, here it looks like he’s entered into some ancient Greek temple. Worn columns reach to support a supposed ceiling, and rather than carpet, colorful flecks of tile make sweeping images that spread across the floor. The walls are stone as well, daubed in paint and carved with expressions of stern individuals, and of others kneeling before the banks of a snow-white winding path. No, not a path, a river, Martin notes as, upon closer inspection, he sees hands reaching into the depths, and others raised before mouths.
“Welcome to the Executive Level, Mister Gale,” A smooth voice says from beside him, causing the boy to jump a solid foot. An immaculate looking man in black suit and tie stands beside him, his face masked with an inscrutable mask of tragic woe. “Your friend mentioned that you were having troubles with your memories; please, allow me to be of assistance.”
Martin turns to look for Anthony, but only an elevator door is to be seen, the lift hidden behind twins doors of steel.
“Come now, Mister Gale, let’s have a conversation, you and me. Are you thirsty, hungry?” The masked figure saunters deeper into the room. Beyond a fountain of oily black water and that looks like its offering liquid snow, there sits a stone table, a pair of chairs on opposite sides. Well, a throne and a chair; the one beside the fountains is tall-backed and imperiously proud compared to its counterpart. Settling into his throne, the man gestures to the chair across from him. Martin’s teeth gnaw at his lip in concern, but he gradually makes his way into the room. As he does so, he notes the ceiling, where two figures are coiled overhead. Each is the mirror of the other, one dressed in white and with platinum tresses, while one is dressed in the inky coils of night. They stare down from overhead, neither lesser than the other.
“There we are.” The man says as Martin settles into the chair across from him. A gloved hand sweeps across the table in a casual grandness. What Martin thought was just a stone table bears second inspection, as it turns out to be tiled with squares of obsidian and some white stone-
Howlite, his mind supplies, though he hadn’t had a clue the word existed until that moment.
-Obsidian and howlite. On the table, a richly lacquered box rests. The figure across from Martin opens the lid, and begins to pull piece after piece from within. A chessboard, with pieces of onyx and moonstone.
“Do you play, Mister Gale?” the man asks.
“I- uh, I don’t know, but I-!” The confusion of this situation is all encompassing; whatever Martin had expected up here, it was not a chess game with a masked individual in what looks like a forgotten ruin. He begins to protest, but is cut off by one gloved finger being raised. The figure, whomever they are, commands authority to silence with even just a gesture.
”Right, I should’ve guessed. Well, let’s see what you remember, then. I find it easier to talk while my hands are distracted. Memory goes first, and the House responds.” The gloved hand goes from interdiction to encouragement. Martin looks down to the pieces, but his gaze lingers for only a moment before he’s back and focused on the stranger across from him. Another stranger and place he doesn’t understand, again!
“I don’t even know who you are,” Martin glowers at the tragic mask sitting opposite. “Why should I play?”
“You’re right, you’re right of course, Mister Gale. How about this then; we’ll include an ante for each piece taken. With each successful capture, the loser shall answer the question of the claimant, and do so truthfully. And as a show of good faith, I’ll give you an answer unbidden.” The woe-struck mask leans across the table, looking at Martin with a misery that he can feel deep within his chest. Pinpricks of red light can be seen within the depths, but anything remotely passable as eyes cannot be seen.
“You may call me Stamatios the Tragic,” a sibilant hiss of a sentence comes from behind the mask. It takes all of Martin’s effort to avoid shivering, but the displeasure must be clear on his face as Stamatios leans back into his throne.
“And now that we’re acquainted, Mister Gale, let us begin the game.”
Black 1; White 0
“First piece to me, Mister Gale,” Stamatios notes as a bone-white pawn goes back into the box. It was bound to happen, Martin figured. It had to be done to succeed down the road.
“How is your head feeling? Anthony had mentioned that you were still dealing with one doozy of a migraine when we talked.”
“It’s… better,” Martin says guardedly. He’ll play by the rules of the game, even the added ante, if it means getting some iota of knowledge from the stranger across from him. “But I still can’t remember much.”
“Well, I’ve always found that a little bit of knowledge can be a most dangerous thing…”
Black 1; White 2
“Well done, Mister Gale,” Stamtios says approvingly, “in just a few moves, you’ve claimed a pair of pawns. Have you had time to think of your questions?”
“What is this place is my first one.”
“Good, good. This room is a penthouse suite for my brother and myself to reflect and separate ourselves from the world. Just as the Lotus is a place of refuge for some, we need that ourselves.”
“A brother… Do I have any siblings, then?”
“A sister, that I have been told of; my brother would know better,” Stamatios sighs. Martin is hooked though. What he couldn’t get from Anthony in the terms of answers has been claimed here in just minutes! And what’s more, that proves the dream was right! A sister, a father and mother, cousins and uncles; a whole family is out there waiting for him!
“Can I-” He begins to press his advantage, but a warning finger is raised again.
“Questions, questions Mister Gale. If you want answers, you must play better.”
Black 3; White 3
A pair of white pieces return to the box soon after, along with an ebony as well.
“Two for me, and one for you, Mister Gale. You seem to have come off a little rougher on this exchange. I think I will hold onto my questions for now; feel free to ask yours, though.”
“Can I talk to your brother?”
“I certainly believe you could, yes. But he is not in currently, and I have no way of contacting him that you can use, I am afraid. Do not worry though, Mister Gale. If he wishes to talk with you, he will make himself known to you.”
Black 4; White 3
“”Mister Gale, what do you think of Anthony?” Stamatios the Tragic asks as he a white rook finds its way into the box.
“I… I don’t trust him. I think he’s lied to me about a lot of things here. I think I trust you more than I trust him,” Martin admits. “At least you didn’t try buddying up to me as a friend.”
“Hmm, I see… It’s a shame that some people have such disreputable motives. Taking advantage of someone’s memory lapses like that; simply boorish behavior.”
Black 6; White 3
“Mister Gale, you simply need to play sharper, you won’t get any answers at this rate.” The pieces are definitely looking lopsided in their box, with ivory outnumbering ebony by a significant amount.
“How does it feel, knowing nothing of yourself?”
“It’s… it’s not something I like. I feel like someone took five different puzzles and tossed all of the pieces together. Just when I think I’ve got the frame completed, someone goes and messes it up.
“Truly unfortunate to hear; it sounds miserable.”
“I… I wouldn’t say that,” Martin muses. “There’s nowhere to go but up, isn’t there?”
“Isn’t there?” Stamtios echoes. If a mask hadn’t been between them, Martin would swear that an eyebrow was being raised with the mirrored question.
Black 6; White 4
“Did I know Anthony before he found me?”
“No, I highly doubt it. He’s been a long-term resident of the Lotus for quite some time, and it’s a shame to hear that he’s being… casual in his approach to things. I take it he didn’t offer you anything to eat, did he?”
“I- Wait, you didn’t take a piece here, I don’t have to answer,” Martin retorts. The synapses in his head went into overtime now, dealing with that bit of information. Anthony had never known him, and he had stayed at the Lotus for a while. Nothing he said is true, nothing.
So… Where does that leave him?
“You’re right of course, Mister Gale,” Stamatios inclines his head in a slow nod. “Shall we continue?”
Black 6; White 6
“Is my name Martin Gale?” Martin asks.
“My answer will be a history lesson for you, Mister Gale.” Stamatios begins, as Martin takes another pair of pieces. The board has thinned considerably, with roughly half the soldiers and nobility on each side of the board. “In eighteenth-century France, gambling parlors were home to a particular theory of betting, and by extension, probability. Do you know what that is?”
“No…”
“I’ll tell you, then. If you bet fifty dollars on a hand of poker and lost, how would you go about recouping said loss?”
“I’d bet again,” Martin notes, wondering where this is going.
“But would you bet the minimum, or fifty dollars? How safe would you be, and how brave would you be in going past a point of safety?”
“I, uh…”
“Enter the Martingales; those supremely brave and supremely foolish gamblers who, when faced with loss, doubled their efforts. If you lost fifty dollars, you bet one-hundred. Down one million, you’ll bet two million; so on and so forth. I doubt you need more explanation than that.”
“That’s a terrible idea though, why would anyone do that?”
“Well, if you win, you aren’t out anything at all, of course. Someone can go from serfdom back to their lordship.”
“And a lord could be made a pauper,” Martin counters. “I don’t know how this connects to me, though.”
“Well, Mister Gale…. You may not be the Martin Gale, but you are certainly a Martingale, at least in our eyes.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Questions, Mister Gale. I have answered what you have asked. Keep playing.”
Black 4; White 7
“Why do you think I’m a Martingale?”
“Because Mister Gale, I know you.”
Black 8; White 8
“Here we are, on the crossroads; halfway between existence… and oblivion,” Stamatios intones as Martin rolls his eyes.
“A bit melodramatic, huh?” He asks, and Stamatios shakes his head.
“Not at all, Mister Gale. There’s a tipping of the scales that one can only see when they’re perfectly balanced; your cousins know that better than most, I’m sure.”
“Wait, you know my cousins?”
“Only by reputation; and no, I won’t tell you their names. Focus on the game, Mister Gale.”
Black 9; White 10
“How can I get my memory back?”
“There’s several ways, I’m sure. Time would probably be the most effective method, I would say. Certainly the safest.”
“What happened to me?”
“I cannot say, for I was not a witness. I can only offer a guess, but that would not help your situation, I fear. Mister Gale, how does that make you feel?”
“Why are you trying to psychoanalyze me?”
“I’m not; I’m trying to understand you. If you want help, you need to be understood. And unfortunately, there’s not much for me to understand yet. Like you eloquently said, you’re like a bunch of puzzles put together. We can each put together a different picture, and what I think you are may be very different than what you think you are.”
Black 12; White 12
“And now we’re in the endgame, Mister Gale. May I say, this is a most admirable game. I daresay you could even give my brother a run for his money as well; we’ve had ample time to practice together, and it seems like you would fit in quite well.”
“What do you mean?” Martin asks.
“Well, quite simply, you would be a natural fit to join my brother and myself in our day to day operations. The Tragic, The Comic… The Cynic?” He offers in a lilting voice. “It’s not like anyone except for me has given you the truth so far. The Lotus-Eaters down below hardly care about you, Anthony is a tool that I would leave to you to take care of as you’d like, and you’d have quite a bit of autonomy to pursue your own endeavors.”
“That’s… what’s the catch?”
“Hmm… ask a different question for now, I’m not sure how to properly answer it for you yet, and don’t want to lead you astray. I’m not a proverbial snake.”
“Then what is Camp Half-Blood?”
“...I see you are recuperating more than Anthony would have led me to believe.” Stamatios’s voice is guarded, for the first time since the game of chess and questions began it actually sounds like he is on the defensive. “I am bound by my word though, Mister Gale. It’s a Camp, one for training people such as yourself to fight and survive a world that would have you dead. A Camp that you left of your own volition, I might add.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you’re a Martingale, Mister Gale. First for a claim, then for family, then for fraternity. And everytime its cost you something more; your normalcy, your innocence, and now, your memories. Eventually you won’t be able to pay the costs… and what then?”
Black 14; White 13
“One minute from doomsday, Mister Gale,” Stamatios notes. “And with myself right behind.”
Martin’s eyes scan the desolate board. If this were a literal battlefield, it would be clogged with blood and corpses. Here, on immaculate howlite and obsidian, it’s an austere representation of the battle of questions between them.
“...Why did this happen to me?” He asks as the seconds transform into minutes of silence between them. The question had been building for some time in him, and now seemed as good a time as any to ask, with an onyx bishop and ebony rook, staring down the gleaming bastion that his own rook provided against, as Stamatios had put it, oblivion.
“I mean, why me? Out of everybody in the world, why am I the one who has this lot?”
“Because we needed someone like you. Someone intelligent, and enduring. Those qualities are rare to find together, and even rarer when you look for the other conditions as well. Not many people would be willing to play a twenty-hour game of chess for answers.”
“Twenty hours?!” Martin exclaims. It had hardly felt like twenty minutes, let alone twenty hours. No twinge of hunger, no parched throat; nothing to indicate that this had been going on for the better part of a day.
“Well, in here, I suppose it seemed a little faster,” Stamatios admits. “I can only imagine how it went outside of here… But yes, you have the patience to see something through to the end, that’s another thing.”
“I- I don’t care about that, I just- I don’t want to be a toy to you, or to anyone else!” Martin protests, pushing his chair away from the board.
“Mister Gale, I do have an alternative for you, if you’ll hear me out? ….Good, thank you.” He adds as Martin, halfway to his feet, settles back into his chair again.
“You’ve been hurt by everyone you know, and forgotten everyone else you knew. You don’t even know what your life was like before the Lotus Casino took you in… So why risk the outside being worse?” Stamatios asks. From within a pocket of his suit jacket, he pulls out a small earthenware bottle with a wooden stopper.
“I can make the pain stop for you, in all ways. You just need to drink of the Lethe, Mister Gale. One mouthful, and you’ll forget everyone that’s wronged you, every pain that’s hurt you, everything that’s happened to you; just let the River consume it all.” With a free hand, he points up to the ceiling. Martin’s eyes follow his hand, and he stares up at the figures, astounded to see them slowly revolving around each other. More shockingly, they each look wounded, hurt. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises mar their body and clothes, looking as if they spent the past twenty hours on the chessboard’s battlefield rather than the pieces.
“Existence is a terrifying thing,” Stamatios continues. “And I can offer you a reprieve. Think of it, oblivion. You don’t have to worry about knowing anything, you just get to be! There’s no expectations, no obligations, you will just get to exist, in the truest sense of the word! This is a brand new start, Martin; very few get an opportunity to travel this particular road.”
Martin’s eyes drift to the clay bottle. It looks so plain, how can it do what he’s promised? There has to be a catch.
“There has to be a catch,” Martin echoes, an observation which Stamatios rewards with a nod.
“Astute. With this option, we would like you to become one of us; a Brother of Oblivion, a member of our dear little cult. And no-” he stops the protest. “I won’t tell you who or what we serve; it’ll be a waste of my breath if you do choose the option, and I do hate repeating myself.”
“And if I don’t take your option? Am I free to go?”
“I don’t know about free, but you will be able to leave, yes.” Stamatios muses. “We’ve found you before, we will find you again. I doubt you’ll like what happens when we find you again. I daresay you’re running out of limbs and friends to save, at this rate. We won’t kill you, but everyone else… well, if Peleus didn’t hate dogs so much, we would have already solved this problem.”
“I… are you-”
“Yes, that’s a threat, Mister Gale,” Stamatios sighs. “I rather thought you’d pick up on the inference, honestly. You were much sharper with all of your memories, you know.”
DWOOOOoooooom-
With a droning noise being the only alert, the lighting of the room vanishes in a trace. Martin’s eyes dart from side to side, looking for the source. His own eyes widen as they settle in on Stamatios’s eyes glowing red in the depths of his mournful mask.
”Please do not be alarmed, guests. We are currently on emergency power due to an unscheduled power outage. Concierges, please guide guests back to floors ten and up and explain the compensation package at their convenience. Also, inform them that any damage due to flooding on floors one through nine is covered by our comprehensive insurance plan. Mister Dhark, to the basement level ten. I repeat, Mister Dhark to basement level ten, please.”
“Damn it…” The expletive drips like poison from behind the mask. Stamatios rises to his feet, staring down at Martin and their board.
“Stalemate it is, Mister Gale. You have a choice before you now. If you are here when I return, we will welcome you into the Brotherhood. If you are not, then my brother and our agents shall plan our next move. This elevator is set to run on emergency power, so your escape will be guaranteed in these conditions; I doubt my brother or I shall have time to hunt you for quite the foreseeable future…”
“But when we do, I shall see you skewered on a dozen spears and force-fed the waters of the Lethe, so you only can remember the agony of pain without the reason why… Keep that in mind during your thinking process. I shall return within the hour.” And with that, the pair of red eyes vanish. Martin stands from his chair, looking around the room. The only measure of light comes from the elevator’s readout, otherwise the room is in complete darkness. Martin looks down at the chessboard, his eyes looking for any sort of answer that may be hidden in the battlefield.
It’s a stalemate game; neither of us would have won this. Just where this innate knowledge of chess comes from, he has no idea. The same thing happened with the game of Mythomagic on the main floor, though… Just a sense of how things work in terms of logic and tactics.
That’s neither here nor there, though. What matters now is the impasse that Martin finds himself in the twixt of.
If I drink the vial.. I lose sight of who I am, but the people I left behind will be safe… But I’ll never remember them again. He grabs the vial from the table and bounces it experimentally in his palm. It’s such a light object, to hold such weight in his mind.
“But if I go without, I put everyone in danger… But I could remember who everyone is… maybe,” his thoughts turn into words as he weighs the option in hand.
Which is better to choose? Should I be turned into one of them to protect others? Or should I be myself, and live with the consequences and dangers that such a choice brings?
“What would Father do?” He asks aloud, with only the babbling of the fountains available for reply. He sighs, looking down at the phial in his hand. Slowly the gears begin to turn in his head, as a plan begins to form.
Thank you for your patience, Lotus Hotel and Casino Patrons. We are now pleased to announce that our temporary power issue and flooding has been corrected. You are now free to return to the lower floors, where we will be offering free games for the next two hours! No risk, only reward as our way of thanking you for your patience! Thank you, and remember, when you stay at the Lotus; a weekend stay is like a year’s vacation!
Hundreds of people slowly return to the lower main floors of the casino. Bell-bottoms, poodle skirts, three-piece suits; all walks of life push against each other, eager for the opportunity to let their wallet’s feast on fortunes that they cannot understand… or care to, for that matter. Waitresses flit from table to machine with serving trays filled to the brim with ambrosial lotus flowers, ensnaring their prey just as surely as a spider pounces on the fly already ensnared within its web.
Martin notices none of this as he pushes out from the crowd, shoving his way through to a direction that nobody else seems to care to go; the exit.
“Excuse me sir! The game floor is-” The woman behind the check-in counter begins, but her words die in her mouth as she sees him effortlessly walk through the revolving door. In the past year that she’s worked the welcoming counter at The Lotus, she’s only seen two other groups do that. One pair with a lawyer towing them out, and the others after causing a scene and leaving after a few minutes. Never someone just by themselves.
“Have a-” She can’t even remember what she’s supposed to say when someone leaves the Lotus, it’s such an intermittent occurrence. Instead, she presses a button on the phone resting on her desk. She knows what she's supposed to do when it happens though, the laminated sheet of paper by the phone ensures that A few seconds of ringing, and a click is heard as the second line connects.
“Mister Dhark, the House has went bust. I repeat, the House has went bust.”
“So, both of you have lost your shirts in this little thought experiment, I see.” A man dressed in an impeccable charcoal suit and a mask miming comedic joy. Before him kneel two other individuals, each wearing masks of tragedy, one with hunched shoulders and a cloak, while the other wears a suit that is a twin of his comedic twin.
“Dear brother, it is not our fault; Anthony threw the game before we even had a chance to turn him to our side,” the Tragic protests.
“And who is Anthony’s handler, kind brother?” The standing Stamatios asks, being rewarded with a slumping of his twin’s shoulders.
“But, Lord Stamatios, we aren’t… aren’t done yet.” The hunched figure wheezes. “He’s… he’s hardly left…. Left Vegas. I can, with Skilos… I can catch him.”
“No.” The word is absolute, a glacier that signals the finality of all life that dares defy its passage. “He beat the pair of you, as I thought he would. He deserves the reprieve. I take no satisfaction in taking a piece off the board when it’s broken.” Stamatios the Comic turns from the kneeling figures, crossing back to the stone chess board where his Tragic brother and Martin had played their game. Kings and rooks and bishop still stand tall upon the board. Idly, he flicks the ebony king, sending it toppling to the floor with a clatter.
“And he managed this without only instinct… He did not know of Athena or his gifts, and he still put you to a stalemate, kind brother? Surely, you were humoring him?”
“...No, dear brother. I played my best game. We took twenty hours, which the Casino took as twenty weeks. The House always-”
“Don’t you dare say that tiresome cliche, kind brother, or else you shall find yourself as a fountain ornament before the month is out.” the smiling Stamatios notes. “Though, you did well enough to stall for time. My agents have found several leads that we have been looking for for some time. We shall prepare to move when we are able.”
“And what of us, dear brother?”
“You, kind brother, will see to the Casino. Make sure that there is no lasting damage from the power outage. And see to the rainwater that poured in; I swear we’ll have to get that carpet torn out and replaced. It absolutely reeks of seawater, dead fish, and failed ambition down there.”
“And me… Lord?” The Oathbreaker heaves the question. Stamatios the Comic turns to him with his forced smile.
“You, my loathsome abomination, will be going to New York. If our Martingale ups the ante, then take him out, but not before. Skilos is yours. And if you fail or kill him before his time… You’d best hope he remembers how to kill someone like you first. His mercies will seem like a mother’s compared to what will await you should I get my hands on you.”
“...Yes, Lord.” He gasps his assent as he rises to his feet. From within the depths of the cloak, he draws a crystalline whistle. Pulling the mask up to his nose, he brings it to his exposed mouth and blows. Nothing happens for a heartbeat, then two. On the third, a bounding hellhound leaps from the shadows.
“Skilos… bring me to New York.” The Oathbreaker commands as he clambers up the monster’s back. Once he is firmly seated, the pair bound into the shadows and vanish once more.
“Dear brother, I do not trust him… I believe we were rash in elevating him,” the Tragic intones.
“I do agree, kind brother. Consider this our third test of Mister Kaufmann. If he finds a way to remember that he is in fact Mister Kaufmann, then he will be rechristened in blood.”
“I remember our game on Tetepare, when you thought Mister Cleary would be Mister Kaufmann’s equal. Do you stand by that?”
“No,” the Comic smiles, and based on the tone, a genuine one hides beneath as well. “I do not believe we’ve met his equal in many, many years, dear brother… We will either enter true existence once more, or final oblivion. We stand-”
“At the Crossroads.”
“At the Crossroads, yes. And Mister Kaufmann shall dictate the path. Now, go get that carpet dried. Oh, and have a long talk with Anthony about his… thoroughness when it comes to preparing our guests.”
“...Yes, dear brother.” Rather than rising to his feet, Stamatios the Tragic sinks into the shadows pooled around his feet. Stamatios the Comic looks up at the slowly spiraling image of the mirrored women on the ceiling and sighs.
“You really only have one hope, you know.” He pauses, then adds. “Each of you, I mean. Either I shall win, or Mister Kaufmann will… Best of luck to both Memory and Oblivion, may the true grandmaster win.”
The world is dark outside the bus depot, as dark as Vegas can manage with all of the neon and gaudiness. By contrast, the depot is threadbare and boring; Martin can’t think of the last time he’s been somewhere that’s felt half as comfortable. The light up display board he has been watching updates, with the second bus listing ratcheting up to the top of the board. A screech goes up through the building’s speaker system, followed by a scratchy voice.
Now boarding, Las Vegas to New York City. Please have your boarding ticket ready, and begin forming to board. Now boarding, Las Vegas to New York City.
Martin settles near the front of the bus, a small bag filled with toiletries by his feet. The card that had been handed to him by the concierge in the Lotus seemed to have a few uses outside of the casino, it seemed. Beyond the necessities, there were just a few other items; two to be exact. The first, the logo of the shirt he had found in the suite’s hamper. And two, wrapped within the cloth, a stoneware bottle that sloshes ever so slightly when it is moved.
Wait, what? A third item, a box the size of a pencil case stamped with a Caduceus stares up at him. Curiosity getting the better of him, he gingerly opens it. Nestled on a fitted interior rests a bronze ring, and a matching bracelet. Tucked into the side of the box, a small note is hidden. Unfolding it, his heart begins to tap away at a faster speed as he reads the contents, one part typed, the other handwritten on the bottom.
Dear Mister Gale,
We at the Lotus Hotel and Casino wanted to say we appreciate the opportunity to cater to you, and hope you enjoyed your stay with us. Please find enclosed a lost item that was recovered in the flooding, as well as a token of esteem from one of our patrons. We do hope that you will consider the Lotus in the future for all of your celebration and relaxation needs.
The Lotus Hotel and Casino
Well done, Mister Gale. Enjoy your reprieve before the game begins anew. Olly olly oxen free.
“You got cleaned out too, huh kid?” A man in his late forties settles into the spot behind him. Peeking over his shoulder, he shakes his head good-naturedly. “How much did they take you for?”
“...Everything.”
“Damn, at least you thought ahead enough to have your ticket home and souvenirs prepared. Me? I had to call up my wife and ask her to wire me some money. I’m just glad we have a comfy couch; I’ll be sleeping on that for a while, I think. Fuck Vegas.” Regardless of the expletive, he still seems in good spirits as he laughs at the thought.
“Fuck Vegas,” Martin echoes, though no laugh follows. The air brakes hiss as the bus lurches forward. Turning his gaze to the window, Martin watches as the bus garage is left behind, and soon enough Vegas itself fades away. Before his eyes drift closed, he sees one last thing.
“WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS, NEVADA” the iconic sign greets the departing demigod.
“...Fuck Vegas.”
[Storymode]
Total Time in the Lotus: 28 Hours (6 on the casino floor, 2 unconscious, 20 in the Executive Level)
Total Time Elapsed: 26 weeks.
submitted by SuperEnergeticNow to CampHalfBloodRP [link] [comments]

Is this a scam? Got a call saying I won a drawing at a home showing event, which I did enter, and this is my prize

I was at the Philly Home Show a couple weeks back and entered a drawing at the event, only detailed we provided were name/numbeemail. I got a call back saying we won a package. The lady explained everything on the phone and didn’t ask for any personal details or form of payment. She said all we have to do is go to this event and listen to a timeshare presentation for 2 hours and are not obligated to buy/pay for anything, then we get a free trip to Vegas or Orlando. The hotel she told us to go to is legitimate.
How do we know if this is a scam? Is there a golden rule for knowing if you actually won something in a drawing?
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Fantasea. Resorts" [email protected] Date: January 29, 2019 at 7:46:12 PM EST To: Subject: HERE IS YOUR INVITATION FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT IN ATLANTIC CITY ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9TH AT 1:30 PM - NG

60 N Maine Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401 fantasearesorts.com
Your scheduled Presentation and Gift Pick-up is for
DAY Saturday DATE February 9th TIME 1:30 pm_
For any questions, call 609-858-0403
GIFT CODE: *******
Congratulations ******** (I blocked out my own name here)
YOUR VACATION PACKAGE AND BONUS GIFTS ARE WAITING HERE FOR YOU TO PICK UP.
LAS VEGAS OR ORLANDO VACATION · 2 Round Trip Airfare · 4 Days and 3 Nights Accommodations SHOW TICKETS · 2 Adult Tickets in Las Vegas to Blue Man Group or Mystère™ by Cirque du Soleil ®, or similar -OR- · 2 Adult Tickets in Orlando to SeaWorld or Blue Man Group or similar
SHOPPING • A Discount coupon book for The Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City (Up to $1000 in savings at over 150 stores).
SHOW TICKETS • 2 tickets to any Broadway Revue show at Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City based on availability.
MINI VACATION • An exciting 3-day/2-night stay. Good at more than 40 Different Destinations (you have one year to use it).

• Please bring this letter with you, either printed out, or on a smartphone or tablet.
• Please bring 2 forms of identification: A government picture ID such as a driver's license plus a Major Credit Card (Debit cards, Prepaid Cards, Business Type Credit Cards are not accepted as a form of identification for this promotion.)
• If married or engaged or in a significant relationship, both you and your spouse or significant other must attend the presentation together.
• One gift package per household or vehicle please.
• This is a very limited time promotion.
• Please arrive promptly for your Presentation and Gift Pick-up.
• Be ready for a fun and informative presentation and tour (120-150 minutes) about Fantasea Resorts and the renaissance of Atlantic City. During the multi-media presentation there will be light refreshments.
Any questions, please call 609-858-0403

The night before your presentation you will have the opportunity (but are not required) to stay in a Fantasea Resorts Suite based on availability.
If you already reserved your suite you can skip this section.
We have made a few of our Suites available for you to check into the night before your presentation for a special limited time promotional rate. Once you reserve your suite, your presentation time will change to the morning after you check in. Please verify your presentation time when booking your suite. The special promotional rates are as follows: Sunday thru Thursday arrivals can enjoy a 1 night stay in a studio suite for $29 plus tax or a two-night stay for $49 plus tax. Friday arrivals can enjoy 1 night for $59 plus tax or Saturday arrivals can enjoy a 1 night stay for $89 plus tax. Your room rate plus $10 per night in taxes will be collected when you make your reservation. Upon check-in, you will need leave a $50 refundable security deposit for any incidental room charges made during your stay. (During Holiday Periods, Pricing May be Higher)
If you would like to reserve a suite you must call the FantaSea Resorts Reservations Dept. at (888) 964-6050.
(This number is for booking your suite only) Hours of operation: Mon - Fri, 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM Saturday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Sunday Closed. Holiday hours may vary.
All reservations are on a first come first serve basis
Please have your credit card ready when you call. There will be NO additional charge to your credit card unless you fail to cancel your reservation at least 72 hours in advance, do not attend the presentation, or fail to meet the qualifications for this promotion. Your presentation time may change when booking an overnight stay. PLEASE CALL ********** TO RESERVE YOUR SUITE NOW
**Important: YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO STAY OVERNIGHT TO ATTEND PRESENTATION AND RECEIVE YOUR GIFTS!
FLAGSHIP RESORT 60 N Maine Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
It’s Easy Getting To FantaSea Resorts At The Flagship From New York or North Jersey: Take Garden State Parkway South to Exit 38 (Atlantic City Expressway) Follow directions below.
From Brooklyn/Staten Island: Take Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island. Stay on the Staten Island Expressway to Goethals Bridge to New Jersey. Take N.J. Turnpike South to Garden State Parkway (exit 11). Follow directions below.
From Philadelphia area: Cross Walt Whitman Bridge into New Jersey. Stay on I-76 South (North-South Expressway) to the Atlantic City Expressway. Take the Atlantic City Expressway to Atlantic City. Follow the directions below.
All Others: Take the Atlantic City Expressway to Atlantic City. Turn left on Atlantic Avenue. Go to the end of Atlantic Avenue. The 32 story Flagship Resort will be on your left. The garage might be going through some renovations, if it is not finished when you arrive please park in the lot adjacent to the building, Parking is Free. Enter the building through the front entrance and take the elevator to the 7th floor to the Welcome Center.
Present this invitation and your 2 forms of I.D at check-in desk. Enjoy your visit!

Everyone is welcome to visit FantaSea Resorts, Flagship Resort even if not eligible for this promotion. This offer is designed for credit worthy married, engaged and cohabiting couples (both parties must attend, one must be over the age of 25 ), and single persons currently working or retired with a combined annual household income of at least $40,000. Multiple families or couples who know each other are not eligible to attend presentation on the same day. Children are permitted to accompany their parents on the tour, but only a maximum of 3 children per presentation. The purpose of this advertising promotion is to acquaint you with our facilities and vacation ownership program: however, you are under no obligation to purchase and you will receive your promotional package upon completion of the presentation. Because of the value of this offer you must bring 2 forms of identification: A government picture ID such as a Driver's License plus a Major Credit Card. Debit Cards, Prepaid Cards, Business Credit Cards and Checkbooks are not acceptable forms of identification for this promotion. At Least One Party has to be a permanent US resident or a US Citizen. All Must Be Able To Read, Speak and Understand English.
2 Round Trip Airfare: Your vacation certificate must be registered within 6 months of the issue date and allows one full year from the registered date to select and complete travel. Year-round Sunday through Tuesday departures are available from major airports within the continental U.S., Calgary International, Toronto Pearson, or Vancouver International Airports, and is based on airline availability. Availability is limited during major holidays New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.
Two travel dates are required a preferred and alternate; each must be at least 45 days in advance with a minimum of 30 days between the two dates selected. Reservation Deposit: Following a travel itinerary selection, the Reservation Deposit is due. Once you confirm a reservation, the government taxes, carrier and agency imposed fees are due at the time of booking. Any refundable deposit paid amount on file at the time of booking will be applied to the charges amount due at the time of booking. Charges in excess of any refundable paid deposit amount on file are owed by the traveler and must be paid at the time of booking using a valid credit or debit card. Any Refundable Reservation Deposit balance remaining after charges, will be refunded 10 days prior to travel.
The certificate for the 3 day / 2 night mini vacation is sponsored by GRAND INCENTIVES. This vacation offer is for 2 adults 21 years of age and older. Up to 2 children under the age of 18 may stay in parent's room for $10 per child. There is a $50.00 refundable room guarantee deposit required. Once your deposit is received your reservations will be processed. All reservations should be made at least 45 days in advance. All reservations are subject to availability. Driver's license required for verification of age and major bank credit card required – no debit cards. Certain Peak times and locations may be extremely limited, for example, June, July, and August. The 3 day / 2 night mini vacation does not include food, transportation, taxes, tips, telephone calls or items of personal nature. Revue Tickets: Good for (2) show tickets at Resorts Casino. Not redeemable for cash. Coupon is non-transferable. Only (1) voucher per customer Must be 21 years of age or older. May be redeemable at Resorts Casino. Based upon availability. If there is no show on the day you are here the show tickets will not be replaced with another gift. Some shows may be sold out to the general public. Check with Box Office.
The Tanger Outlet Discount Coupon: can be redeemed at the Atlantic City Tanger Outlet Shops for a Customer Discount Book with discounts at shops like Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Gap, Guess, Izod, Polo and others.
The developer reserves the right to discontinue this promotion at its own discretion. FantaSea Resorts reserves the right to substitute gifts of equal or greater value should the indicated gifts not be available at the time of your preview. Flagship Resort Development Corp. (07-00-0009) is registered with the New Jersey Real Estate Commission and the New York State Department of Law. Registration does not constitute endorsement of the merits or value of the property. Obtain the New Jersey Public Offering Statement from the sponsor. New York residents should ask for and receive a New York Timeshare Offering Statement. This offer or any part thereof is void where prohibited by law. Employees, owners or people who have toured our facilities in the last 12 months are ineligible. Flagship Resort Development Corp. is a members of the American Resort Development Association. Promotional package is given in exchange for taking a fun and informative presentation of our resort (120-150 min). The price range of timesharing vacation plans available is $9,900 to $50,000.
THIS ADVERTISEMENT IS BEING USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOLICITING TIMESHARE SALES. COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN AN OFFERING PLAN AVAILABLE FROM THE SPONSOR.

submitted by A_Shot_Away to Scams [link] [comments]

Today Ends My Week of Degenerate Gambling At Sea

Hey folks!
Today I returned to the US after a week aboard the Oasis of the Seas gambling at the single zero roulette table. If you're interested, you can read the original story here where I kept day by day notes in the comments about my winnings and observations. Finished ~$2500 ahead Martingaling for a week.
Cruise Background
I wanted to vacation in Vegas this fall, my wife wanted to cruise again, so I spent a few months searching cruise lines, looking for a single zero roulette table with at least an 8-bet min/max spread. As it turns out, there are thirteen cruise ships in the world that fit that profile (that I discovered), and after checking all of them against NovembeDecember departure dates from CONUS, I downselected to the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean for a 7-Day Caribbean cruise, booked it, and thus it was so!
The Game
For the duration of this cruise, I played single zero roulette and nothing else. The casino on board the Oasis of the Seas has four roulette tables; two American roulette tables on the smoking side, and one each American/European on the non-smoking side. I use the word "European" loosely because while it was single-zero, it had no European rules on it. All four tables were $5 - $100 on the inside, and $5 - $1000 on the outside. I attempted to make arrangements before the cruise as well as with the casino manager during the cruise to raise the limits for my gambling to no avail since I didn't have an established play history with Club Royale. I also requested La Partage be put into effect during my session play without luck - but that was a long shot anyway; the only single zero table I know of in the US with a minimum bet lower than $25 is the $10 - $3000 La Partage table at the Soaring Eagle in Michigan (sorry guys, terminal games don't count!)
Single zero roulette tables have a 2.7% house edge; down from the scandalous 5.4% house edge of American roulette (let alone the scammy triple zero crap that Carnival Cruise lines and the Venetian in Vegas are doing); La Partage lowers it to a magnificent 1.35%, but alas - I was destined to go without.
My Bets
Most of you are probably familiar with a martingale) series bet. For anyone else; on a $5 - $1000 table, $2,000 can bankroll a 8-bet sequence where I double my bet each time I lose, restarting my bet sequence each win. Due to chip denominations, my martingale progression is $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, which I find more reasonable than 5/10/20/40/80/160/320/640 due to the typical chip denominations 1/5/25/100/500/1000. In a tip of my hat to superstition, my increases from $10 to $25, $100 to $250, and $1000 to $2500 where applicable are my way of "punishing" the casino for making me leave the comfort zone of the outside minimum bet. Mock me if you must; its my personal flair - if my bets grow that high I "deserve" to win more than my base bet for the stress of having to bankroll the roll.
The chances of heads or tails on a coin flip are 50% for either outcome. On a single-zero table without La Partage, the equivalent bets - black/red, even/odd, 1-18/19-36 is ~48.6%, with the other 2.7% representing the green zero, or house edge - creating a theoretical loss probability of 2.7% of your bet per bet over time.
While the probability of an individual spin being black or red in my case is ~48.6%, the martingale betting progression ties your bets into a session, such that on the table I'm playing on, as long as I don't guess wrong 8 times in a row, I always win. On the off-chance that any newbs are reading this, this is NOT a "strategy" or "guaranteed way to make money." Martingale betting is a low risk, low reward means of using a large sum of money to win a little sum of money - pretty much the opposite of what people go into casinos to do. In statistical terms, the chances of me guessing wrong 8 times in a row in an 8 spin series is three tenths of one percent...but no one sits down for 8 spins and leaves - so my gambling is that when the house spins my losing sequence...I'm not there. =D Such is gambling.
Goals!
I've learned over the years that if I don't sit at a table with a fixed goal of when to leave, I will get bored and start making side bets (other even money bets or thirds) - more ways to win also mean more ways to lose, and when I am gambling, I am heavily socializing and drinking; I can't keep track of all of it at the same time. My goal is thus to always leave with 120% of my bankroll.
This trip was a bit confusing for me because I couldn't reconcile what my bankroll was. Not knowing whether the table limit would be fixed to $1000, or be able to be raised to $10,000 I brought $5,000 in cash with another $35,000 available as credit - I'd wrongly assumed the casino would at least double the table min/max to $10-$2000, and had been hoping they would leave the minimum and double the maximum, adding a one-bet buffer to my 8-spin series. With a $1,000 bet maximum, I stopped bringing more than $2,000 to the casino. If my bankroll is $2,000, I aim to leave with $2400. If my bankroll is $5,000, I aim to leave with $6,000. With $10,000, I aim to leave with $12,000.
I initially hoped to turn $2,000 into $2,400, but after doing that the first night gambling and the prospect of the rest of the cruise being bereft of gambling, I decided that since I'd brought $5,000 to gamble with, even if I could only play with $2,000 of it, my 120% goal meant I wanted $1,000 in winnings or bust.
On day two when I realized how stingy Club Royale was, and that I'd be buying my own drinks, I shelled out $360 for the liquor package, and adjusted my winning threshold to also cover the liquor package. Then there was a $300 spa treatment. Then an $1800 studio photography session since my wife wanted some nice pictures - something we've not done in a decade.
With these confusing inputs leaving me unsure of how to decide if I was up or down, it came down to the fact that while the casino was generally open 8-12 hours a day, the lone roulette table with the single zero didn't open until 8:00 PM - about when the cruise shows started. I did some begging and pleading to have it opened earlier every day to mixed success - a bit on the first day and on the last day, with nothing in the middle. They really wanted people on the American tables - which I had to resist, since for much of the cruise, it was American roulette or nothing. I contented myself during those periods with drinking, socializing with other gamblers, watching, drinking, and trying to find people who didn't have the booze package so I could buy them drinks.
Fun Facts
Anyway; it was a blast - but I'll probably go to Vegas for my next vacation instead of cruising. I want to gamble during the day, and go to shows in the evening, not wander around during the day, then have to decide whether I want to gamble or watch shows in the evening.
edit And here's a picture of me at my remote office aboard the cruise ship in case anyone was wondering what your mean old /gambling moderator ShelixAnakasian looks like.
submitted by ShelixAnakasian to gambling [link] [comments]

A week of degenerate gambling on the Oasis of the Seas comes to a close!

Hey folks!
Today I returned to the US after a week aboard the Oasis of the Seas gambling at the single zero roulette table. If you're interested, you can read the original story here where I kept day by day notes in the comments about my winnings and observations. Finished ~$2500 ahead Martingaling for a week.
I called out 14 crew members that I thought were exceptional; 11 of them in the casino - the crew were amazing everywhere. The ship itself is probably due a refit. Elevator buttons broken, chairs broken, everything looking a little run down and scuffed. I won't dig into the ports because everyone in here probably knows their way around the Caribbean by now. =D
Cruise Background
I wanted to vacation in Vegas this fall, my wife wanted to cruise again, so I spent a few months searching cruise lines, looking for a single zero roulette table with at least an 8-bet min/max spread. As it turns out, there are thirteen cruise ships in the world that fit that profile (that I discovered), and after checking all of them against NovembeDecember departure dates from CONUS, I downselected to the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean for a 7-Day Caribbean cruise, booked it, and thus it was so!
The Game
For the duration of this cruise, I played single zero roulette and nothing else. The casino on board the Oasis of the Seas has four roulette tables; two American roulette tables on the smoking side, and one each American/European on the non-smoking side. I use the word "European" loosely because while it was single-zero, it had no European rules on it. All four tables were $5 - $100 on the inside, and $5 - $1000 on the outside. I attempted to make arrangements before the cruise as well as with the casino manager during the cruise to raise the limits for my gambling to no avail since I didn't have an established play history with Club Royale. I also requested La Partage be put into effect during my session play without luck - but that was a long shot anyway; the only single zero table I know of in the US with a minimum bet lower than $25 is the $10 - $3000 La Partage table at the Soaring Eagle in Michigan (sorry guys, terminal games don't count!)
Single zero roulette tables have a 2.7% house edge; down from the scandalous 5.4% house edge of American roulette (let alone the scammy triple zero crap that Carnival Cruise lines and the Venetian in Vegas are doing); La Partage lowers it to a magnificent 1.35%, but alas - I was destined to go without.
My Bets
Most of you are probably familiar with a martingale) series bet. For anyone else; on a $5 - $1000 table, $2,000 can bankroll a 8-bet sequence where I double my bet each time I lose, restarting my bet sequence each win. Due to chip denominations, my martingale progression is $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, which I find more reasonable than 5/10/20/40/80/160/320/640 due to the typical chip denominations 1/5/25/100/500/1000. In a tip of my hat to superstition, my increases from $10 to $25, $100 to $250, and $1000 to $2500 where applicable are my way of "punishing" the casino for making me leave the comfort zone of the outside minimum bet. Mock me if you must; its my personal flair - if my bets grow that high I "deserve" to win more than my base bet for the stress of having to bankroll the roll.
The chances of heads or tails on a coin flip are 50% for either outcome. On a single-zero table without La Partage, the equivalent bets - black/red, even/odd, 1-18/19-36 is ~48.6%, with the other 2.7% representing the green zero, or house edge - creating a theoretical loss probability of 2.7% of your bet per bet over time.
While the probability of an individual spin being black or red in my case is ~48.6%, the martingale betting progression ties your bets into a session, such that on the table I'm playing on, as long as I don't guess wrong 8 times in a row, I always win. On the off-chance that any newbs are reading this, this is NOT a "strategy" or "guaranteed way to make money." Martingale betting is a low risk, low reward means of using a large sum of money to win a little sum of money - pretty much the opposite of what people go into casinos to do. In statistical terms, the chances of me guessing wrong 8 times in a row in an 8 spin series is three tenths of one percent...but no one sits down for 8 spins and leaves - so my gambling is that when the house spins my losing sequence...I'm not there. =D Such is gambling.
Goals!
I've learned over the years that if I don't sit at a table with a fixed goal of when to leave, I will get bored and start making side bets (other even money bets or thirds) - more ways to win also mean more ways to lose, and when I am gambling, I am heavily socializing and drinking; I can't keep track of all of it at the same time. My goal is thus to always leave with 120% of my bankroll.
This trip was a bit confusing for me because I couldn't reconcile what my bankroll was. Not knowing whether the table limit would be fixed to $1000, or be able to be raised to $10,000 I brought $5,000 in cash with another $35,000 available as credit - I'd wrongly assumed the casino would at least double the table min/max to $10-$2000, and had been hoping they would leave the minimum and double the maximum, adding a one-bet buffer to my 8-spin series. With a $1,000 bet maximum, I stopped bringing more than $2,000 to the casino. If my bankroll is $2,000, I aim to leave with $2400. If my bankroll is $5,000, I aim to leave with $6,000. With $10,000, I aim to leave with $12,000.
I initially hoped to turn $2,000 into $2,400, but after doing that the first night gambling and the prospect of the rest of the cruise being bereft of gambling, I decided that since I'd brought $5,000 to gamble with, even if I could only play with $2,000 of it, my 120% goal meant I wanted $1,000 in winnings or bust.
On day two when I realized how stingy Club Royale was, and that I'd be buying my own drinks, I shelled out $360 for the liquor package, and adjusted my winning threshold to also cover the liquor package. Then there was a $300 spa treatment. Then an $1800 studio photography session since my wife wanted some nice pictures - something we've not done in a decade.
With these confusing inputs leaving me unsure of how to decide if I was up or down, it came down to the fact that while the casino was generally open 8-12 hours a day, the lone roulette table with the single zero didn't open until 8:00 PM - about when the cruise shows started. I did some begging and pleading to have it opened earlier every day to mixed success - a bit on the first day and on the last day, with nothing in the middle. They really wanted people on the American tables - which I had to resist, since for much of the cruise, it was American roulette or nothing. I contented myself during those periods with drinking, socializing with other gamblers, watching, drinking, and trying to find people who didn't have the booze package so I could buy them drinks.
Fun Facts
Anyway; it was a blast - but I'll probably go to Vegas for my next vacation instead of cruising. I want to gamble during the day, and go to shows in the evening, not wander around during the day, then have to decide whether I want to gamble or watch shows in the evening.
And here's a picture of me at my remote office aboard the cruise ship in case anyone was wondering what your mean old /gambling moderator ShelixAnakasian looks like.
submitted by ShelixAnakasian to Cruise [link] [comments]

Veteran's Day: Deals and Steals

If there is something you're aware of, that isn't on this list, mention it below. Make sure you call ahead to make sure the location in your area is participating in these offers.
It's not my fault if you go into a restaurant that isn't offering this deal, and you don't have enough money to pay your tab. Don't forget to tip your server.
The second half of this list is retail offers. There are even things to involve the families.
Food
Retail
submitted by LrankLcean to AirForce [link] [comments]

Veteran's Day: Deals and Steals

If there is something you're aware of, that isn't on this list, mention it below. Make sure you call ahead to make sure the location in your area is participating in these offers.
It's not my fault if you go into a restaurant that isn't offering this deal, and you don't have enough money to pay your tab. Don't forget to tip your server.
The second half of this list is retail offers. There are even things to involve the families.
Food
Retail
submitted by LrankLcean to army [link] [comments]

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