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Sands Macao : There is Another Yi Ha Hai Jackpot Winner!



After an unbelievably long, humid and hot day trudging around inspecting the dusty corners of Stanley Ho's gaming empire, I popped over to the Sands Macao, via the Babylon Casino on tip end of the Fisherman's Wharf. The area of the Fisherman's Wharf next to the Sands is currently under more construction, the land has been reclaimed and a whole new section is currently filled with cranes and other heavy equipment. I'm not sure if another casino is planned for that area, but based on the lack of players at Babylon, I doubt it. Anyways, I jumped across the highway there and headed into the Sands.

Lots has been said about the Sands Macao, and most of it centered on how the Sands recouped its $265 investment in its first year of operation, plus $20 million more in 'walking around money.' The Sands Macao ha been heralded as a money printing machine, a soulless box of baccarat, a resortless gambling hall, and one of the best gaming industry investments ever made. That a casino with only a smattering of VIP suite accommodations can pull in this kind of loot is very impressive. One can only wonder what the Sands will pull in when their hotel expansion (see photo) opens in late September 2007.

I attempted to pack away my preconceptions about the quality of the Las Vegas Sands Corporations casinos and rode up the rear entrance escalators with wide eyes and eager anticipation. It didn't take long before I had my first taste of what, to me, is a bit of corner cutting. In nearly every casino I've entered in my 37 years, the second you set foot into the property you are pelted with a wall of air conditioning, an atmospheric envelopment which may or may not be enriched with higher concentration of oxygen or aromas designed to loosen your pursestrings. With the Sands, this isn't the case... at least not the rear entrance escalators - a damn shame since the humidity on the Macau peninsula is stickier than the set of a skin flick. I recall thinking to myself... if this was Wynn (or any other property) this long escalator ride would be the first state of relaxation, not the home stretch of exasperation. The escalator arrived in the middle of a mall style food court, just beyond the extremely welcoming and ever-present metal detectors. Lord knows how hungry Triads love to exchange gunfire for a tray filled with Quarter Pounders. Yet again, I submitted my camera bag to search and danced through the metal detector only to hear the inviting sounds of a bank of spinning reel slot machines lining the left side of the hallway that I presumed led to the main casino floor.

For those who've been following this blog so far, you know that I've encountered two banks of spinning reel slots (that were in operation) throughout this entire trip - Wynn and the Diamond Casino had about 4 each. I gave the Sands Macao's machines the once over but didn't recognize any of the games, they were all in Chinese text and featured reel position graphics of roosters and other objects. The funny thing they all play the same little tune you hear on most Double Diamond machines when you press the button, that ascending or descending little song (in the key of C, mind you) that are hypnotically comforting and trance inducing. Well, to me at least. Since I couldn't read the games, I decided to skip em. I'd give anything for a Double Triple Wild Cherry at this point, I don't care if it's HK$5000/credit, I'll go rob the McDonald's to get some loot if I have to. To the other side of the hallway was a bank of Bonus Poker (9/6) machines that actually had a handful of players up in em. Mine!

I settled in for a little bit at the VP to catch my breath and cool down before I hit the casino for a little exploration. Instantly, a drink server came by and offered me some OJ. Awesome service... particularly since I was at THE LAST video poker machine before the McDonalds and friends. I played a bit, hit a couple of quads then gave it all back and more. While I was there, a Chinese guy and his girlfriend hit the machines next to me. The dude whipped out a cig and puffed 1/2 of it, ashing everywhere, then dropped the very lit remains onto the carpet below him allowing it to smolder a burn mark into the Sands' carpeting. Hrm. I guess he didn't see the ashtrays in plain sight between each and every slot machine. I don't mean this to be an indictment of the Chinese peoples' care with flammable materials, or lack of respect for a business' investment, but I did see this same scenario replay itself three times in Macau.

They lost their money (bad strategy + using the 'double up' button killed the guy) and left. I kept whittling away at my losses till I got back to almost even when all of the sudden this loud piercing rooster call blasted over the casino P.A. system.

AwwwwaAAAAH AwwwwwwwwAAAAAHK

Then came an announcement in Chinese which, of course, I didn't understand. Fortunately (and props to the Sands for this) it was repeated in English.

"There is another Yi Ha Hai Jackot Winner!"

I snickered. Yeeeha! Hi! It peeled yet again.

"AwwwwwaaaHHHH AwwwwwwwwaaaHHHH
(Something Chinese) Yi Ha Hai (Something Chinese)

There is another Yi Ha Hai Jackot Winner!"

And so this continued two more times. Drilling Yi Ha Hai into my pea sized brain. I continued whittling away on the VP for a while, sipping some OJ and getting my chill on. It's been a long day walking around and a little down time is just what I...

"AwwwwwaaaHHHH AwwwwwwwwaaaHHHH
(Something Chinese) Yi Ha Hai (Something Chinese)

There is another Yi Ha Hai Jackot Winner!"

:|

"AwwwwwaaaHHHH AwwwwwwwwaaaHHHH
(Something Chinese) Yi Ha Hai (Something Chinese)

There is another Yi Ha Hai Jackot Winner!"

"Yi Ha Hai Mother Fucker" I said to myself outloud, doing my best Bruce Willis.

"AwwwwwaaaHHHH AwwwwwwwwaaaHHHH
(Something Chinese) Yi Ha Hai (Something Chinese)

There is another Yi Ha Hai Jackot Winner!"

By this time, I had had enough of this cock and decided to g.t.f. outta there and check the rest of this joint out... I gathered up my crap, double checked the location of my wallet and passport and headed down the hallway into the casino.

Part 2 coming a little later, yo.

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