A few nights ago I went with a group of five friends to Palomino Club (club website). All my buddies are professional gamblers, mostly sports bettors now, though I played on blackjack teams with a few of them years ago.
There’s a big difference between gamblers and professional gamblers. The kind of gamblers the casinos like are the high rollers who come to town with a big bankroll and start throwing money around trying to hit a lucky streak (but usually don’t). The strip clubs like these guys as well. They’ve got money in their pockets (or high limits on their Amex cards) and they intend to spend it.
My professional gambler friends, on the other hand, don’t bet a dime in a casino until they’ve analyzed the odds eight different ways and know that, in the long run, they’ll come out on top. They see casinos as places where you get money, not places where you lose money. And, because you have to have money to bet in order to get the casinos’ money, pro gamblers are notorious tightwads.
The main reason my buddies were in a Vegas strip club in the first place was because they were my guests and the bottle was on me. (Pro gamblers hate to pass up freebies.) But because of the bottle service and the bucket of beer, our table was attracting dancers. Sitting there in Palomino at our VIP table, I felt like I should put a sign on the table: WARNING to DANCERS: These Guys Are Pro Gamblers–Don’t Waste Your Time.
I’d been to strip clubs with these guys before and the only dances I ever saw them buy were MNF half-time dances for one dollar.
But the dancers kept showing up and were flirting with us like crazy. One dancer attached herself to my buddy Pete–running her fingers through his hair, nibbling on his ear, whispering things that made him laugh. Watching this go on for 15-20 minutes, I got the distinct feeling she was going to win this battle. Pete had the biggest smile on his face I’d seen since Boston beat the Yankees in the AL playoffs in 2004 and he won $100k on his $1k bet.
I finally turned to my buddy Tony, another professional gambler, and said, “What are the odds Pete buys a dance?”
“She won’t get a single dollar out of him,” Tony said. “Not one buck.”
I was wondering if I could get him to give me odds on a friendly wager over the matter when Pete and the dancer stood up from the table together holding hands and she lead him off to a dark corner for the first of several lap dances.
Never bet against a Vegas strip club dancer.