Just like there are many ways to skin a cat, there are also infinite approaches to playing slot machines.
For some, it's betting the most you possibly can each pull in hopes of hitting some big score. For others — like my mother, the minimum bet master — if you're frugal enough you can make $20 last all day, while at the same time gorging yourself on free soft drinks and maybe consuming an entire pack of smokes.
And for others, it's more a matter of making a wide berth around any and every machine that promises riches for as little as one penny (but wagered in 40- or 50-cent increments, mind you) because there's no way you can win on those things, right?
Whatever your approach is, throw it out the door if you happen to be at Casino del Sol between 12 and 5 p.m. Saturday. That's when you have a chance to qualify for the 2013 Game King Championship Video Poker Tournament.
Yes, a tournament on a slot machine.
Such tourneys are all the rage in Las Vegas, where an entry gives you a fixed amount of time and a pre-set number of credits to go apeshit and try to end up with a higher balance than anyone else. Payouts vary, depending on the tournament.
The Casino del Sol tourney has a $5,000 prize pool, which might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things. But remember, it won't cost you a thing to play.
To enter, anyone who has a Club Sol card (which can be gotten for free) can get a chance to play a session of video poker slots on the DoubleDown Casino, an online social gambling game that is accessible through Facebook and with whom Casino del Sol has had a working relationship for the past year or so. The top 90 or so scorers in Saturday's qualifying move on to the tournament finals on Sunday, where they'll join five people who won entry via the online game.
The online winners also got an all-expenses paid trip to Tucson for the tournament. I know, and we have to live here for free.
To help you get ready for the big tourney, check out this 10-minute (!) video chocked full of strategy and tips. And if that doesn't whet your whistle, there's like 2,000 more on YouTube.