Watch out, Vegas, you have only one decade to prepare for my eleven-year-old. This little kid – the adolescent embodiment of Lady Luck – is quite a challenge to defeat in games of chance. And it all started at an early age.
The summer before her fourth birthday included a trip to Walt Disney World. Along the way home we visited our friend Jay in the Hampton Roads area of VA. He had purchased a fun little family dice game called Toss Up. It involved rolling ten dice, each with three green sides, two yellow sides and one red side. The object was to build up points each round until reaching one-hundred points. You’d begin by rolling all the dice and setting aside any green to count as your points. You continued to roll the remaining dice until you stop or get at least one red and no greens. So long as you roll at least one green you can continue, otherwise you lose your points for that round. Should you be lucky enough to get to ten, you can begin again with all ten dice to add to your total each round as long as you continue to roll greens and add points. At only three years of age our second child obliterated us. Jay and I are both pretty good with math and probability, so we took some calculated risks to get high scores. She just enjoyed rolling the dice…and getting greens! My wife tried to tell her numerous times she could lose all her points for the round, but she wanted to continue. Being a little more competitive, Jay and I both said, “She wants to roll, let her roll. She knows what she’s doing.” She sure did, because she kept rolling those darn greens and beating the tar out of us. She even stopped and skipped a turn because she “quit.” But then she wanted back in the game. Even with that lost turn her lead was insurmountable.
That was the first emergence of her Lady Luck alter ego. She’s had other such occurrences since then, but there are two recent ones which really stand out.
The first occurred about two weeks ago. She and her little sister found some of the old role-playing-game dice I used back when I was an all-out geek. (I am simply a reformed geek as I no longer play, just enjoy my memories of gaming.) The girls wanted to play a game with them so I made one up on the spot. We’d each roll a die and try to “win” the die with the highest roll. Then we’d earn a number of points equal to the highest possible total on each die. Well, wouldn’t you know, Lady Luck pounded us into submission once again. (If she’s ever a gamer I want her on my side.) She rolled a 4 on the four-sided die, a 6 on the six-sided die, an 8 on the eight-sided die, a 9 on the ten-sided die, a 12 on the twelve-sided die, and a 16 on the twenty-sided die. All fellow RPG veterans will be thoroughly impressed by this feat, and insanely jealous for not hitting such numbers in their gaming days.
Tonight was another lesson in luck-ology! I received as a gift this Christmas a card caddy; a carrying case with two decks of playing cards, a miniature pencil and score pad. We’ve played poker twice with it, but whereas the first time was just for fun, tonight we played for keeps. Seven-card draw was the name of the game, no wilds and pot-limit. We started with thirty pennies each, and I quickly lost all of it to Lady Luck. Now, in order to make an easy living the hard way she’ll have to work on her poker face. Then again, that’ll only draw in more money from other players for her to then get the necessary, lucky draw to win the big money. Fortunately for me, we are only playing with pennies. Otherwise I’d need a second job.