It’s not often that you get the opportunity to experience the life of a high roller. This weekend I got that chance. I got to be a Maverick of Chance. After arriving at the airport and checking in, I had a small run in with WWE stars, Randy Orton & The Big Show after trying to take a picture of them both – they were pretty much having none of it. Anyways I had one of the most awesome travel buddies; let’s call her Em Jay, who made sure all the flights/travel arrangements were sorted out. We landed in an ice-cold, gangsters’ paradise, Jozi and were met by an Avis man who took us to Montecasino in a sexy, Audi A3 Sportback. I must admit, I felt honoured to be given the opportunity to be a part of Montecasino’s launch of their new campaign Mavericks of Chance.
We arrived at Montecasino and were dropped off at the Southern Sun hotel where we checked in, unpacked our bags and took a few minutes finally relax. The room was exquisite and I almost got sucked into a little nap right there and then. We decided to embark on a quick look around the Casino area and in order get ourselves mentally ready for our day at Monte. We had a massive day ahead of us.
Next up we made our way down to the @Monte Restaurant to register for the Mavericks of Chance meander. This is where I took the chance to enjoy a quick meet and greet while at the same time testing out the new Maverick cocktail (a pink drink of note – but strong enough to make any man want another one). I finally got to meet Avon who had been my point of contact and the organiser of everything to do with this amazing excursion. At this stage my excitement grew as he explained that 3 lucky people were going to win awesome prizes while someone was going to walk away with the first prize of a ’52 LG Flat screen TV. I got to catch up with old mate and ex office colleague Tim Hill over or cocktail or 3 (I knew this meant things were going get extremely entertaining throughout the day and night). Once everyone was settled and grouped together we were directed to the La Toscana function room to be briefed about the Mavericks of Chance meander as well as the day’s itinerary.
Here we met Montecasino GM Steve Howell who explained what being a Maverick was all about:
“Being a Maverick of Chance meant you are someone who exhibits great integrity & independence in thought and action. You are a true Maverick in what you do – you challenged the status quo by taking risks and challenges that others thought were insane… You took a gamble knowing that the greater the risk the greater the reward. Today is about having fun and throwing caution into the wind.”
And that’s exactly what we did…
Julia, our group leader and all round legend, took us through everything again explaining that we were going to play 3 sets of slot machine games and then moved onto the tables games such as: Roulette, Black Jack and Poker. The top 9 contenders from each round with the most accumulated points made it through to the next round – a semi-final to say the least. The top 9 of both of those semi-finals made it to the final. The top 3 were set to win the aforementioned amazing prizes. Julia then directed us to the slot machines and it was game on. Gambling, gaming and taking risks was all I could think about. I must admit the Brandy was flowing by now. I was trying my best to make sure I made one of the semi-finals and after watching the competition, I thought I had no chance. The table games lead us to loosen up a bit and become more adventurous, throwing out big bets and taking more risks for that big win and a chance to make the semi-finals. Unfortunately we didn’t have too much luck on the tables and I thought my chances of making the finals were slim. Very slim but boy, was I wrong. I came 3rd out of everyone in the slots section securing my seat into the semi-final and a massive smile on my face. The semi-finals and finals involved a slot machine based game where there was only one button, with the same bet per spin. So everyone just pushes furiously accumulating points over a 3 minute period. My contenders were fierce and after taking the lead in the “Beat The Heat” competition I ended up slipping down into fourth and had to wait to see if I made the top 9 once the Tables semi-final was completed. I made it, I came 6th between the two semi-finals and I could feel that flat screen getting closer. My name was called for the final and I took my seat. My heart was racing and all I could think about was placing in the top three. Three, two, one – GO! People were screaming and shouting encouragement, the MC was going crazy. I started off slow over but shot up into first place with a minute to go. I started slipping down in second, then into third and TIIIIIIIMES UP! I was bubbled into 4th place in the dying seconds and felt my heart sinking as I realised I just missed 3rd place and a new LG DVD player. I was gutted but still pleased I made it that far. There was a prize giving afterwards and I watched them give away my flat screen. Okay, I was seriously gutted…
La Scala was the setting for the post meander dinner and we were treated to one of the most magnificent dinners I have had in a while. I chose the rump steak with a Parma ham & Gorgonzola sauce. Brandy’s, Tequilas, Jagers and Whiskeys were flowing now and stories of the day were being shared across the tables. We had to call it quits around 11pm after a day of games, gambling and fun.
Massive thanks must go to Avon, Steve and the rest of the crew at Montecasino that looked after us. It was an incredible experience that I won’t forget and I look forward to my next trip to Monte, hopefully sooner than later.