Eleven Eleven Club/2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Eleven Eleven 2005 -- summary report Current mood: disappointed
It is with bittersweet heart that we report this post-mortem update on the annual 11-11 trip to Atlantic City. While dozens were invited in 2005, only five loyal, willing, and able members of the Eastern Seaboard Gambling Commission were found in attendance. This summary is written with them in mind -- they made the effort; they kept a tradition from dying out; they deserve to be remembered. Truly, they are "veterans" on what is also known as Veterans Day.
And yet, one 2005 pilgrim was not even an 11-11 veteran! Bobby Zetusky (Greg Kohs' brother-in-law) made his very first 11-11 trip this year. Furthermore, two other attendees -- Tom Brislin (of Spiraling fame) and Mark Shapiro (Greg's buddy from college) -- were attending only their second-ever 11-11 trip.
Balancing out the "newbie contingent" were Ed "Chief" Strother and Greg Kohs, who are themselves long-time loyal attendees. Gregory Kohs (eleven letters in that name) missed only one year, when daughter Maddie G. Kohs (eleven letters) was 3 weeks away from being born out of a high-risk pregnancy. We can't remember a year where Ed has not been faithfully present at the spinning wheel, at the fateful moment.
Pre-event dinner and discussion took place at Angeloni's II, corner of Arctic and Georgia Avenues. Dinner items included rolls, salads, fried calamari, tri-color ravioli, veal parmesan, shrimp cakes, gnocchi, and chicken francaise. A Captain 'n' Coke was imbibed. And, the following educational item was presented, from the field of Numerology:
About the number ELEVEN - 11 is double digit and is therefore considered a Master or Power Number. In Numerology, 11 represents impractical idealism, the visionary, refinement of ideals, intuition, revelation, artistic and inventive genius, avant-garde, androgyny, film, fame, refinement fulfilled when working with a practical partner. Eleven is a higher octave of the number two. It carries psychic vibrations and has an equal balance of masculine and feminine properties. Because eleven contains many gifts such as psychic awareness and a keen sense of sensitivity, it also has negative effects such as treachery and betrayal from secret enemies.
Many associate 11:11 with a wake-up code or alarm as they see it on digital clocks and watches. It can also be seen as a key to unlock the subconscious mind - our genetic encoded memories ... that we are spirits having a physical experience - not physical beings embarking on a spiritual experience.
11:11 - or derivatives of these numbers - 111 and 1,111 - are digits that repeat in time - thus a metaphor for reality as patterns that repeat in time for us to experience. This can refer to the rise and fall of civilizations - our personal experiences and lessons - loops in time - whatever - they are cycles of time that create and recreate, following the blueprint.
The number 11 may appear in one's physical experience to signal an upcoming change. The numbers say, "Pay attention!"
11 represents spiraling twin strands of human DNA moving into higher frequency of consciousness.
11 represents balance.
At the end of dinner, Kohs presented a listing of the various events in his family's daytime experiences on that 11-11: Stephanie's coffee came to $2.11, while Maddie and hers lunch bill with tip was $11 even. Their two fortune cookies each included the number 11 in the "lucky numbers" list. Steph's trip to the Dollar Store involved 11 items. Maddie took a nap for 1 hour and 11 minutes. And, when Neil Diamond started singing on TV, Maddie ran into the room and started dancing to his song. The significance? Count the letters in the singer's name.
All that remained was a short discussion of where to place the High Holy Bet. Plans had been laid for the Showboat. However, three members of the crew wanted to be able to play poker that night, and if the Showboat's new poker room was full, there was only one "next door" option -- Resorts -- into which Ed will not set foot. So, an impromptu decision was made to go to the closer and more centrally located Bally's Park Place.
This was probably a mistake.
As you enter the Bally's foyer, a sign by the bathrooms reads:
"No changing of clothes in these bathrooms."
That's not a good sign.
Mark "Piro" Shapiro commented that Bally's is a really filthy casino. And this was borne out in the poker room -- a densely crowded, smoke-infested corner of the building, exiled to the sixth floor. Yuck.
Anyway, Bobby, Piro, and Greg made their way to a Caribbean Stud table down on the casino floor, while Ed and Tom spent some time at a roulette table. The Caribbean investment club of $40 each ($120 total) was parlayed up to $162 at one point. Then, the bubble collapsed, and the group bailed out with $52 total. The two parties converged at the designated roulette table.
Greg plunked down $60 to play at the table, to sort of "hold a space" for the Divine Moment. That didn't work out so well. The number 4 kept coming up. (Should have taken that as a Brett Favre signal, and changed out Atlanta as his Stay Alive pool pick.)
Anyway, as 11:11 came near, Ed had the pit boss worked up nearly into a lather. He understood the karma. He rallied behind the mojo. He was keen on this annual tradition among friends. The pit boss even counted down the "official" casino time, minute by minute. "Three minutes remaining... Two minutes remaining..."
That's when Ken the Croupier popped the bubble. We merely asked him to exchange our $55 cash for single-dollar chips, so that we would have a decent little "tower of power" on the 11. His response:
"You want all fifty-five chips on the 11? No, you're not getting singles for that."
What?! We hollered back, "We've had ninety-nine chips in single-dollars on the 11, over at the Showboat! There were no problems. Give us the singles!"
Time was too short to change our table at this point, and Evil Ken held his ground. "If I give you singles, and the 11 hits, but my elbow knocks over the stack and it's a mis-spin, you"ll be thanking me for giving you these $25 chips."
At which point, Kohs started desperately chanting in monotone anguish, "Bad, bad, BAD, BAD Bally's!"
Time resigned us to this being our fate. Another croupier who just didn't understand, and he sealed the deal by spinning us a 25. If you look at a standard American wheel, you'll see that you can't get much farther from the 11 than the 25.
So ended The Moment.
The Caribbean investment club then plunked down their wounded $52 on the "Third Twelve" cell, hoping for a high number, nailing down a 35 (even though the croupier called "20" out loud -- what an idiot), tripling their $52 to $156, giving each a $16 overall profit from the club.
Tom and Ed decided to bag the night. Piro, Bobby, and Greg went up to the poker room, but Piro left after seeing that there was still a waiting list. Ironically, Bob and Greg were seated 2 minutes later, at the same table. After an hour of playing against some pretty lousy players, Greg was up $68 and Bobby, having been victimized by one lady who played every hand and only hit her river flushes and straights when it was against Bobby, was down about $25 or so.
Chicken strips at McDonald's before the long trek home.
So, those of you who didn't attend, you each have your rationales for not going. Some excuses are perfectly valid, others not so defensible. You may even say, "Oh, those poor schmucks didn't win again. I'm glad I stayed home." That's what made this trip so disheartening. Has the Eastern Seaboard Gambling Commission lost its vim and vigor, that staying home is just another option for the night? Have you long forgotten the "impractical idealism" that is the Number Eleven? Are more of you inclined to just end this charade than to carry forth its tradition?
If we are indeed at a crossroad, one might suggest that we disband the ESGC and replace it with a new group, completely unaffiliated with the old, but with better, stronger rules about participation, coupled with a more organized and aggressive effort to gain the "sponsorship" of a casino each year.
For example, a letter should be written to every casino, months in advance of 11-11, stating our intentions, and asking what they will offer in return for our attendance. At the bare minimum, we should be entitled to a croupier who will give out chips in single-dollar increments, no matter how much the potential tower of power shall teeter. A roped-off private roulette wheel would surely win the annual bid. These and other innovative bright ideas would be encouraged in the "new" ESGC, and the membership would therefore be emboldened to participate, surely be more durable in tenure, and more bountiful in reward. What say you, all?
-- High Holy Day Historian