Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Oct 18, 2019

Global Gaming Expo 2019

If I'm not mistaken, this is my 21st consecutive World/Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Every year, I look forward to it. Every year, I'm exhausted by the end of it and happy it's over. When I lived in Baltimore and traveled to the show, it was more of a fun-filled event. Living here, commuting to the show every day, it seems more like a chore.

This blog entry is not meant to be a report about the overall show, but just several pictures and comments to capture memories of it. Click on any picture for a larger version.


A visit to the Global Gaming Expo is never complete without seeing Angela's smiling face. For those who don't know, she is in many of my gambling videos, either as my student or explaining how to play a new game at the Cutting Edge show. This year she was promoting Triple Flop Roulette.


Later, my first day, I visited the IGT section, where I happened up Jeopardy champion James Holzhauer playing short games against anybody who dared. Of course, I could not resist. The games were three questions only. In my case, two of my worst subjects, two on sports and one on rap & hip-hop. I attempted one, which I got wrong, and the other two I had no clue on.

However, after the game James noticed that I wrote "Wizard of Odds" as my name and asked if I was behind the site. I told him I was. He then complimented my Las Vegas Sports Book Groups page. It was one of the easiest pages I've ever made, but I was happy to accept the compliment from one of my heroes. I mentioned I wrote extensively about his strategy and he said that he would have a look.


A long-time fixture of the show is our own MrCasinoGames. This year he was primarily promoting Roulette 18, a roulette wheel numbered 0 to 18. However, I think I paid more attention to his model, trying to impress her with what little Chinese I know.


Later, I just happened to run into Mike Pertgen, inventor of High Card Flush. He is also a pai gow tiles dealer at the Rio. Just about anybody who invents games is at the show and you never know you you'll run into for a "stop and chat."


One of the best things about G2E are the lovely models dealing the latest casino games. There can be little debate the best can be found at ShuffleMaster. I took several pictures, but will post just this one as an example. She mentioned she was curious how the odds of the side bet were calculated. I gave her my card and said I do free math tutoring in combinatorial mathematics, but so far she hasn't called.


That evening Heather Ferris of Vegas Aces and I went to an industry party for game inventors, hosted by Raving. Rather than networking, we mostly spent time playing games against each other. As you may guess, I am very competitive and take winning very seriously to an annoying degree.


The last day of the show I had a little fun with Heather. She is a huge Star Trek fan and insisted I adopt a Tribble when we were near Aristrocrat. There we also were invited to the Bridge for this picture. It was actually a short movie. Guess who was handing out the Tribbles after leaving the Bridge???


This is Lisa, my model you see all over the Wizard of Odds and here. For, example, many hotel reviews, like that of the M. I haven't seen Lisa in years, but do follow her many posts on Facebook, so it was great to see her again. It was sad though. She suffered significant injuries from the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which she continues to suffer from, both medically and financially. Very sad. She was very fun to work with. If anyone needs a trade show model, I highly recommend her.


After near extinction after 2006, online gambling vendors are returning in bigger numbers to the show. For example, Asia Live Tech was there, including two lovely models. I gently took the representative there to task for the 47% house edge on the 5 and 16 bets in sic bo. He accepted the criticism and indicated they would think about it how they set the odds as they did.


Heather and I felt we didn't meet our quota of pictures with lovely models, so couldn't resist this opportunity, thanks to Novomatic.


I'll never get too old for these things. I noticed we were the only fools doing it.

By 3:00 on Thursday I was exhausted and ready to get back to normal. I also have a few extra pounds to work off, thanks to many heavy meals consumed over the show. It is only a month until the Cutting Edge Tables Games Conference, where I'm giving a session on table games. Hopefully I think of something to say by then.

Comments

smoothgrh
smoothgrh Oct 22, 2019

I'm saddened to hear that Lisa has suffered so much—along with so many others—because of a senseless tragedy. I'm glad you were able to see her and that she's still out and about.



Sounds like a good show this year, and you got to mingle with Angela and a famous Jeopardy champion!



The Star Trek set reminds me of the Star Trek Experience that was at the Las Vegas Hilton in the late '90s and early 2000s. Heather makes a good counselor to your Wizarding captaincy!

IndyJeffrey
IndyJeffrey Nov 03, 2019

Curious...why do you refer to the game as 'Triple Flop Roulette' when the signage states "Royal Flop Roulette'? And the rule cards have it as 'three way roulette'. And the house edges! Yipes!

Voj777han
Voj777han Nov 28, 2019

dear Ladies and Gentlemans, players on machines or in live gambling to all of you reading this, I wish you luck or the sigh of faith in a big win. By chance I came across this page today and the operator's statements that seem to understand the gambling machines and his answers sound sober. Before and I emphasize this, I ask for help in the matter of "clear in your head" to inform every reader that I do not speak English. I live in Central Europe in the Slovak Republic, which belonged to the countries of the so-called Eastern Bloc and at school, children in addition to Slovak learned Russian. Although I speak German Czech Polish Russian Serbian and although I understand English and I would speak in a simple text English I knew what I learned thanks to Microsoft and the need to work with the English version of Windows, I would for example, these lines that you read already mastered. I come to the ground of my plea for understanding, which is the use of translation via google translator, because this supposedly quite well done its work, but in most cases changes the meaning of the text as a whole. Therefore, I apologize for a certainly difficult understanding. Please the specific person where I posted this text, because I did not find the appropriate box to help me and because of the imperfect knowledge of the language, put this text in my name on the right forum in order to give me an answer to the following question. Is it normal if a gambling machine of 70 to 100 spins in a row does not give the player a single minimum win? The more money I throw in there and I play the max bet, the less wins come. I've been losing money for 25 years. I have definitely lost more than $ 3 million, much of which I have gained through various frauds and by any machinations, ie never outstanding loans. If I write that out of a good 500 attempts when I put 1000 euros (~ $ 1050) into the machines, if I won 5 or 6 times I don't lie. I came to the game room to get 10 15,000 usd in a bet of 50 usd on a spin where the max winnings were 50 or 100,000 usd for the biggest win and I usually left all my money there. Getting into the gambling room of $ 5,000 and leaving with the fact that you don't even have $ 10 for a taxi was my daily bread. It was useless to send control to machines or operators. If a controller came in the back room, he took the envelope with a few large bills and left with a smile. The fact that your name then the name of the person who reported the gambler knew from the police before you left the police after the matter was the rule. And you could run. All the boxers, street combaters and the like worked for these bosses. I don't have to write about it anymore. So much for the background of my question. Would it be possible in Vegas not to give any winnings in 100 turns? Thanks to all of you.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Apr 03, 2019

My First Vegas Vacation

The year was 1986, I had just turned 21, and was eager for my first Las Vegas vacation. My friend Deron had recently turned 18 and fallen into $50,000 from a car accident that he was a victim from many years before. The money was frozen until the day he turned 18, when he got it all in a lump sum. He wasn't as enthusiastic for a Vegas trip as I was, but he had plenty of money and was eager to spend it. Being underage was not much of a deterrent back then as Las Vegas was especially liberal about letting minors drink and gamble and every kid in southern California knew it.

Western Airlines (the only way to fly) must have been running a special because I was both cheap and poor back in those days. In case you've never heard of them, Western merged with Delta in 1987 and their brand was dissolved. My choice of a hotel was the cheapest one on the Strip at the time, which was, of course, Circus Circus.

Shortly after arriving, it became clear that Deron and I had different ideas about what to do. My gambling budget was about $20 and I was eager to survey the Circus for something in my price range to play. Deron went straight to a liquor store and quickly went about getting drunk in our room, which was also his normal routine back home.

As I recall from 33 years ago (geez, I'm old) the minimums at the blackjack tables at the Circus were $2 or $3 at the time, which was outside of my budget. However, I did find a video blackjack machine that accepted bets as low as $0.25, which I was comfortable with. I was not the gambling wizard back then that you know today. Instead, I was just playing for fun with no knowledge of the fine points of the rules or correct strategy.

That first time legally gambling went great! The blackjack went very well. Meanwhile free drinks were served right and left. As I recall, I ended up about $6 after about an hour. My bankroll was already up 30%! However, I felt guilty about abandoning Deron so quit while I was ahead to check on him.

When I got back to the room, Deron was quite drunk and a bit annoyed that I just left him there. In my defense, I gave him a chance to hit the casino with me, which he declined. Then I regaled him the story of my $6 in gambling winnings and all the free drinks from lovely cocktail waitresses, but he seemed unimpressed. He was already much drunker than me and my $6 was insignificant to the insurance windfall he recently came into.

The following morning I was eager to return to the same blackjack machine, which I did. This sitting did not go as well as I quickly gave back about half of my winnings the previous night. So I decided to cool down on the gambling and go for a walk down the Strip. I recall meandering around the Frontier (yes, I crossed picket line) and the Stardust before I found myself at the Fashion Show Mall. There I found myself in a book store where I wondered if maybe there was a book about blackjack. If so, perhaps it could shed some light on how to play properly and improve my odds.

The book I encountered, and I remember this clearly, was Playing Blackjack as a Business by Lawrence Revere. I had no idea a whole book could be written about the game. All the many chapters on card counting went right over my head, but there were conveniently some full color basic strategy charts near the beginning in chapter 3. To this day I use the same coloring scheme in my basic strategy charts as a tribute to Revere. The charts were absolutely perfect for my level at the time and what I was looking to accomplish. Did I mention I was a poor cheap bastard at the time? Instead of actually buying the book, I asked the cashier for a piece of paper and something to write with, which she kindly provided. I then sat there in the aisle copying one of the basic strategy charts on the back of some flyer the cashier fished out of the trash.

Although I had little idea how much this strategy would help, I was eager for round 3 with the Circus blackjack machine, armed with my hand-written basic strategy. After the long walk back to the Circus I went right to the machine and had at it. Round 3 went my way. As I recall, I won back the $3 I lost that morning and a few dollars beyond. I don't recall all the details, but I think there were a couple more rounds. By that evening I was up about $10, feeling great, but was getting bored playing against a machine for quarters. I was hungry for where the real fun seemed to be, at the tables.

Despite growing my bankroll from $20 to about $30, I was still too poor for the Circus tables. At the time, there was a small casino across the street called the Silver City. Their marquee mentioned in big letters $1 minimum blackjack. That was a price point I was comfortable with so crossed Las Vegas Blvd and looked for a seat at $1 minimum table. As I vaguely recall, only two or three tables were at this minimum and were completely full. I had to stand around for a while waiting for someone to leave.

After finally getting a seat, what followed was about four hours of non-stop play, strictly flat betting $1. The free drinks were flowing and my $20 buy-in was fluctuating between $20 and $30 almost the entire time. Meanwhile, I'm sure I was slowing down the full table checking my hand-written basic strategy frequently. I'm sure nobody was happy with a non-tipping slow-playing noob camping out at the table for hours. However, I didn't care about that at the time. For me, my maiden foray at a Las Vegas blackjack table was a complete success.

Around midnight I figured it was time to check on Deron, who I spent almost no time with this trip. Crossing the street I encountered a creepy guy who was "looking for some action." I won't get into that bit of the story, but suffice it to say I made a stealthy escape from the situation. When I returned to the room, Deron was a bit angry about being abandoned, but was so drunk that the alcohol took the edge of it.

At some point during this trip I purchased 10 post cards for $1. Before calling it a night I wrote out the whole story of my experience on these ten post cards for my girlfriend at the time, Christin. As I recall, I decided against sending her the cards as she was a good girl and wouldn't have approved of so much debauchery. The following morning, I think we had breakfast at the infamous Circus Circus buffet, which I loved at the time, before heading off to the airport and back to Orange County.

Looking back, I think I was kind of a jerk for not spending enough time with Deron, not buying the blackjack book, and enjoying countless drinks and time at the table without ever tipping a dime. In my defense, I had no idea what tipping etiquette was. Nevertheless, it was a fun and memorable trip, for me at least.

As a postscript, Deron blew his entire $50,000 insurance settlement in less than a year and had only a car worth about $3,000 to show for it. Some 15 years later he died of alcohol cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart due to many years of excessive drinking. I'm sure being a heavy smoker didn't help any. I tried in vain to stop him many times, but I'm sure to him it was just more nagging in addition to what he was getting from his mother and other friends. That is a sad story I could elaborate on, but won't, at least not today.

On another topic, I'd like to remind all my readers that the registration for the Burning Man ticket open sale is from noon Wednesday to noon Friday, Pacific time.


Deron, with his memorable haircut, outbound at LAX.


Me, posing in front of an airport limousine, that was strangely the same price as a cab. My first limo ride!

Comments

smoothgrh
smoothgrh Apr 04, 2019

Thank you sharing memories from your first Vegas vacation. Like any great story, it's filled with excitement, reflection, suspense, comedic situations, good times and bad—and I'm sorry to hear, tragedy.



Your friend's story sounds similar to that of some lottery winners—a windfall turned tragic. I'm sure you tried your best to help, but usually this situation requires extreme intervention, which most young people don't have the wherewithal to do.



Video blackjack was also my gateway drug into table games. I remember getting frustrated with its slowness and trying to Martingale it, which I quickly learned doesn't work. And I also remember being a noob at the table: trying to hand the dealer my money instead of laying it on the table. Nice homage to the blackjack book author!

TigerWu
TigerWu Apr 06, 2019

Awesome! Love these old Vegas stories. My first gambling bankroll was $40 back in 1998. I got it up to $57 at an empty blackjack table with a noob-friendly dealer before calling it quits for the trip. This was at the Monte Carlo.

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Apr 18, 2019

>noob-friendly and Monte Carlo.... two great bits of luck.

My first dealers were not friendly and I was at the Imperial Place with acqaintances who had dragooned me solely because they would need a relatively sober driver. Even after I graduated from Gambler'sSchool, I did not know anything and overheard the Base Dealer saying 'he could have really hurt us, if he knew what he was doing'.

My first trip coincided with a heat wave and also with headlines about several dealers being found in shallow graves.

I knew however that I was hooked.

odiousgambit
odiousgambit Apr 20, 2019

yeah, these first time stories are interesting



my first and only vegas trip is recounted somewhere in my blog I think



for sure, Michael, I would kill any guilty feelings about abandoning someone who just wanted to stay in the room and get drunk.



It is funny how people think money will last. $50,000 is a lot of money to save, even now, but was never enough to think it would last, not 33 years ago and not now.

Zuga
Zuga Jun 25, 2019

great story Mike. geeez I was 5 back then. :D

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Dec 20, 2018

Homicide: Life as an Extra

Back in 1997 I worked as an extra for one episode of the outstanding police drama Homicide -- Life on the Streets. My episode, 'Shaggy Dog, City Coat,' aired on January 16, 1998 the 11th episode of season 6. A whole day of work came down to just a few seconds of air time. I'm the pathologist in the white coat walking in the background. The best shot of me is at the 1:04-1:05 point in the following scene.


Direct link: https://youtu.be/4QIl4qyjV-E

If you would like to enjoy the entire episode, please use this YouTube link, where I can be seen at the 10:20 point, which, coincidentally, is the police code for "location." That video is better quality than the capture I did from it.

I wrote about my experience in my article Homicide: Life as an Extra

Comments

100xOdds
100xOdds Dec 20, 2018

last century, I played an online game and director Aaron Spelling was one of the players.

he invited a select few of us to come to Hollywood and be extras on his show Beverly Hills, 90210.

I declined, mainly because it was sooooooooo far away from where i lived (East coast).

(I've had dinners with others that played the game and was local to where i lived.)



20/20 hindsight, i should have went...

Wizard
Wizard Dec 20, 2018

Who knows, maybe you would have ended up with Shannen Doherty.

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Dec 22, 2018

In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang the stars impulsively approached an extra and asked him 'can I get large jars of K-1 Jelly at the gift shop?. This turned the extra into a Standout designation and he received additional pay.

odiousgambit
odiousgambit Dec 22, 2018

>K-1 Jelly



were you getting started on your taxes? K-1 is a tax form used for "trust, partnership or S corporation". It turns into jelly when you get so mad at it you tear it up and start chewing it. Which you will do if you ever have to do one.



KY, now, that's a different animal

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Dec 28, 2018

yeah. ky jelly. it was running gag thru the whole movie of two utterly unbankable stars.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Aug 08, 2017

Bridge Jumper

Warning: Let me warn you that this blog entry is morbid in nature. If discussion of dead bodies bothers you, stop reading now.

Usually when I use the term "bridge jumper" I refer to a bet like the no safety in the Superbowl. They call them bridge jumpers because you have to lay about 8 to 1 odds. If you win, which you expect to do, you mostly just get your own money back, so it doesn't mean much to you. However, when you lose, you feel like jumping off a bridge. Especially after the fourth safety in seven consecutive Super Bowls, but that is another story.

On Sunday I saw the body of a real life bridge jumper. I was doing the Black Canyon kayak trip, which Lisa wrote an article about in 2009. This trip is one of my favorite activities in Vegas and I highly recommend it for anybody who is in decent shape. This was about the 5th time I've done it, this time with my boot camp group.

When Desert Adventures took us down to the launch site at 6:00 AM I helped carry the kayaks from the trailer to the beach. Most guests helped to carry their own kayak but some were not strong enough so I made multiple trips. Meanwhile, everybody else was evidently claiming one and launching. In the end, there were about 25 guests and 24 spots in the kayaks. Guess who didn't get one? The guy who was the most helpful lugging them to the beach. File that under no good deed goes unpunished.

The staff was very apologetic and said they had never seen that happen before. After making some calls, they said they would have to take me back to the Hoover Dam Lodge and I could launch with the 7:00 AM group. Due to dam rules, I could not just wait by the beach by myself. Without any choice, that is what I did. Let the record show that the company later sent me an Email saying they put a $65 credit in my name towards a future trip (the total cost is around $100).

When I finally get back to the spot I started a couple in a tandem kayak from the 6:00 AM group was just off the shore and warned us there was a dead body floating in the river. The staff let me go first and I said I didn't mind the dead body in the river. The 6:00 AM couple suggested I stay far to the left of the river if I didn't want to get close to the body.

About five minutes later, I saw a lump floating in the river. Per the advice I was given, I paddled around it as far as I could and at a pretty good speed. There was no way to tell it was a human body from this distance but I assumed that it was.

I then met up with the rest of my group and we took a side trip to the Gold Strike hot spring. The hot spring was totally washed out, by the way, due to recent flash floods. This was true of the other two hot springs along the trip as well. However, we still spent about an hour exploring up the canyon, hoping to find a pool deep enough to sit in, but never did. During this hour the dead body was quite the topic of conversation. I felt a bit left out of it because I went by it so far and fast. Eventually, with a 4:00 deadline to keep in mind, we got back in our kayaks.

Shortly after more paddling downstream I notice a familiar looking lump floating in the water. Sure enough it was Mr. Body* again. He floated past Gold Strike Canyon while were were exploring it, giving us the opportunity for a second viewing. After hearing so much talk about it I couldn't resist getting a close look this second time around.

So I trepidly got closer and closer until I could at least see that it was a human being. His position was back in the air and his face turned at an angle away from me
and half in the water. From this point, I could see he had nappy** dark hair, indicating that he was probably black. I then looked into the crystal clear water and could see bloated legs and an arm dangling there. The only clothing that I could tell were cargo shorts. About 75% of his skin had peeled off, revealing a morbid pale layer under the skin. The legs and arms were at unnatural angles that not even the highest yoga masters would be able to achieve. There could be no other likely explanation to his death than jumping off the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which is just south of the Hoover Dam. I suspect his bones and joints were all shattered in the fall, explaining why his bloated extremities were at very unnatural angles. At least I couldn't see the face, which fortunately remained turned away from me.

I heard that another guest called 911 to report the body when it was seen the first time. About two hours after this call would have been made a ranger boat came up the river at a fairly high speed with a siren visibly but not audibly on. A pontoon boat followed it but that may have just been a coincidence. From a distance we watched two or three people in the ranger boat get out what was either a huge orange tarp or bag and try to scoop up the body with it. We were rather far away so it was hard to tell how they were going to go about it. After about ten minutes later we headed back down the river while they were still evidently fussing with the the orange tarp/bag. I imagine they would have needed a crane to lift the body into the boat as it was obviously very bloated, which I think ranger boats are equipped with.

Sometime much later in the afternoon we saw what looked like the same ranger boat heading downriver. I couldn't tell if it was the same boat that scooped up the body as they probably have more than one at Willow Beach that look the same. There was no sign of the big orange tarp/bag on it. Back at Willow Beach the guides who picked us up said that he was indeed a bridge jumper. They were apologetic that we had to see that but it clearly wasn't their fault. The driver of my passenger van said that he has encountered dead bodies before on the trip but they were always stuck on the side of the river somewhere and this was the first time one was just floating down in the middle. The news doesn't mention jumpers from the bridge much. I tend to think the Park Service likes to keep such stories quiet.

After the day's adventure, my boot camp group stopped at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company, where we had much deserved beers and bar food. There we made a toast to "Bob," a name another guest attributed to Mr. Jumper. Another guest shared some very close shots he took of the body. I took only a few from a far distance but these photos were taken within a few feet of the body and saw more disturbing angles than I saw earlier, including his ear, which looked tiny compared to the bloated head it was on. No, I didn't ask for copies, which would have been easy to send me as the pictures were taken with a cell phone. Very clear and colorful pictures too, taken with a late model Android. They made the body look more morbid than it really was. After dinner we all went back to our respective homes with a good story to tell.

* Mr. Body is also the name used to refer to the murder victim in the board game Clue.
** I hope this term is still politically correct. To those who disagree, please read Happy to Be Nappy.

Comments

odiousgambit
odiousgambit Aug 10, 2017

I'm scared of heights to some degree and I have to think this would be the last way I would ever pick to try and commit suicide. I wonder if such a person before such despair hits was also afraid of heights, but at this point the fear has gone away?

onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle Aug 11, 2017

Decomposition of bodies in water was part of the Smiley Face murders theory. This person you saw might not have actually been a jumper, but nobody will ever know if it wasn't because so much evidence is lost. I've heard jumpers always regret it, survivors say. I'd have not gone down river if I'd had known a dead body was there, I couldn't handle seeing something so tragic.

Wizard
Wizard Aug 11, 2017

About the cause of death, that is what the guides said when they picked us up. Occam's Razor would suggest the same thing. I also heard when someone drowns they initially sink but eventually bob up to the surface. I'm tempted to add a picture of the floating body. It was taken from a distance but if you zoom in it rather morbid. Probably won't.



I have heard that survivors from jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, and I think about 10% do, later expressed feeling regret on the way down. Then again, maybe that is just an urban legend. I've also heard there are more suicides around Christmas but Snopes says it isn't true.



Personally, if I ever take my own life, and I probably will if I'm diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or something else involving a long protracted death that causes me to be a burden on my family, it will be pills for me.

onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle Aug 11, 2017

Pills? Lol. How about a guillotine with enough helium balloons glued to your head, so your last thoughts are you're thinking you're headed(pun intended) to heaven.

odiousgambit
odiousgambit Aug 12, 2017

think twice before choosing your method of suicide



wow this is getting morbid sure enough! honestly I don't spend a lot of time thinking about suicide!!



Anyway I think sleeping pills have a high rate of failure due to vomiting - to the stomach it's similar to too much booze. Some guys say it is a woman's way to do it too

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Apr 04, 2019

Talk about statistical bias: 'ten percent regret it on the way down' can only be derived from interviews with the few survivors and anyone interviewed in the psych ward will have learned to parrot that it was a mistake and he will never do it again.



Alzheimer's worries? Go brush your teeth. Plaque is not the effect of alzheimers its the body's defense to it. Using ultrasound to blast the plaque helps restore mental skills. Brain scans show alzheimers about a decade before symptoms become pronounced. And the root cause of Alzheimer's Disease is periodontal disease that has progressed and migrated. So Alzheimers is simply poor oral hygiene followed by at least fifteen years.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Jun 29, 2017

2017 National License Plate Meet

One of my biggest interests outside of gambling is collecting license plates. I had a small collection going starting in high school I believe. However, around 1985 I discovered that there is a who club for license plate collectors, known as the ALPCA, which stands for Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. I quickly joined and my collection swelled in size from about 20 license plates to about 1,500 today.

I'm not as active as I used to be, for lack of time, but do bid on plates on Ebay a few times a month and usually attend the annual "Silver State" meet, which is always held at or near Vegas. Every year there is one big national meet in a location that bounces around the country from year to year, tending to favor the east coast. However, when they announced that the 2017 national meet would be in Ontario California, in the boring outskirts of Los Angeles, I couldn't resist attending for at least a day. I was due to visit my mother anyway, who also lives a bit south of Los Angeles. In my 32 years with the club I had only been to two national meets before, which were in Chattanooga and Reno, I believe in 1992 and 2013 respectively.

Where I am at with my collection is I have almost everything I need from California and Nevada, which is where my emphasis is. What little I don't have is very hard to find. This meet I found nothing that filled in any missing pieces. However, I didn't want to leave empty handed so purchased some international plates. I by no means claim I'm trying to get a license plate from every country, but do try to add some new countries to my collection from time to time, especially if it is from Central America, the Caribbean, one of the micro-countries in the Pacific Ocean, or a country that westerners seldom travel to.

In that end, here are some I picked up this year. Click on any image for a larger version.


Cuba is a difficult country where it may be easy to acquire a license plate once you're there but it is difficult to get them out of the country. Customs will seize them if they catch you trying to take one out. Note they are of the size and simple style used in the US in the 60's and 70's.


Haiti is another tough country to get. I've been next door in the Dominican Republic recently, where local license plates were plentiful in souvenir shops. However, whenever I asked about plates from Haiti everyone just shook their heads.


I don't know much about Saint Eusatius except that it is a very small island in the Caribbean and I believe a self-governing possession of the Netherlands. Plates from there are not often seen at the collectors meets, I suspect because the population is only 3,193, according to Wikipedia.


This is a Palau license plate I've had for years. I consider it one of the most beautiful license plates ever made. Little did I know that Palau has 16 states, I think 11 of which issue their own license plate. By the way, if you're wondering where you've head of Palau, Survivor did seasons 10 and 16 there.

















Above are some I just acquired from most of the states of Palau. They now follow the standard 6" by 12" size made of aluminum.



Finally, on a much different note, here is one I would file under very difficult "enemy state" countries to get license plates out of us. The owner said his source there mysteriously disappeared. Hopefully not for anything to with license plates. Coincidentally, on the same day I purchased this plate, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for a temporary compromise on the attempted ban from travel from six majority Muslim countries, including Somalia.

Comments

IndyJeffrey
IndyJeffrey Jun 30, 2017

Thank you for sharing. I collect tickets from sporting events I have attended over the years. And I have found, much like license plates I suppose, technology is changing them and making them much more boring. In the case of tickets, it's not very exciting to collect a print-at-home ticket.

onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle Aug 11, 2017

I saw a license plate with simply the word "mulatto"on it in Pennsylvania last year by Pittsburgh. I'd have guessed such a term wouldn't get approved but it was. Wonder how much money that person could make by just selling their plates and continually reordering.