Sep 282008

20 bucks at a time – and when they hit, parlay it.  When they hit again (about a 300-500 payoff) I was going to make them a 200 bet for the next hit and save the rest.  If they hit again it would have paid 1400-1800 and I didn’t decide what would happen then.  But I didn’t get close to having to make the decision either.

I think I saw them hit twice one time during the whole trip.  And yeah, i wasn’t betting it at that time. It’s an expensive bet with a bankroll of the size I was using.

Which brings up another point.  One fellow on this past trip was commenting on my lack of full odds on a 4 or 10.  I had 25 instead of the max 30.  I was called an assortment of names.  My only defense was that I didn’t have the same kind of bankroll as the gentleman that was calling me names.

He replied back with the fact that I have a bigger bankroll because I have an income, versus his own situation, where he hasn’t drawn a paycheck from his self funded start-up.

I countered with the observation that those details in fact prove the opposite point – since I need to work, while he can afford to fund start-ups.

We called it a draw and got back to listening to “Mike” aka “Dale” converse with the drunk ladies next to him.  And then several tables later, we were both playing $25 craps, which is a significant step up from $10 craps.  After playing, several points were noted:

  • I seem less likely to stray from the betting strategy since now, the stakes are higher.
  • I seem more likely to walk away with a smaller % win – and be happy about it.  Winning 1/3 of my buy in @ 300 doesn’t seem like much and I would rather win big or lose it all.  Which often leads to the latter.  Winning 1/3 of my buy in at 1000 changes that mentality.  I’m satisfied with winning a third and much less willing to lose it all.
  • Since my initial bets are higher, I’m not pressing bets as much, and I’m taking more off the table, staying bankroll neutral on minor rolls.  At a lower limit, I would continually press in the beginning, meaning shorter rolls would have a larger effect percentagewise on my bankroll.
  • The math is easier, because all the units are green chips.  The 6/8 are a little different if you wanna bet 90 or 120…but once you get to 300 it’s easy again.
  • This will all probably need to be updated once I have a losing session at a quarter table.
  • Someone else turned 140 into 9k at blackjack but that still hasn’t swayed me.  We had the 4 up to 600 at one point this trip.  It has and will again, get much higher.

Perhaps once I get wiped out, I’ll have acquired the right discipline to apply the betting strategy at any limit.

Except perhaps for the small issue around having the fever.  The fever seems to suggest that going back to a $10 limit will not be possible.  At least until, I’m reprogrammed by the home boss.

Jul 032007

Demographic changing event over the weekend. No longer in the 17-34 demographic. Though, there is a bit of question around whether the demographic is actually 17-35. I think it’s 17-34 and then 35 to who cares. Though so far, all I’ve accidentally seen (cause I’m trying to avoid them) are ads for 6 flags and travel to Italy (with a subtext about Hepatitis – so maybe it isn’t a travel agency sponsoring the ad).

Visited Las Vegas for about 36 hours over the weekend, summary:

  • Birthday rolls exist. I think the last time I had good rolls was after I was hypnotized. And in the past, I’ve had good rolls on my birthday (setting dice with Catherine, from Harrah’s through Ceasar’s and just on a run from casino to casino) and this year turned good too. Trip started out bad, as the first 6 hours were not my birthday, but once the day changed rolls came left and right. Though, not non-stop. There were some horrible spells sprinkled around too. Need to cut losses sooner. Stop finding excuses to continue to play.
  • My final roll for the day was my record roll for costing the casino. Though, I only made about 300 on it. Others made probably 5-8k on it each (2 of them) and the guy next to me, I filled his rack with green, so that was probably 3k or so. The dealers made 1k too. I rolled 4 11’s to come out. Others were betting 25, then maybe 75, then 150 and 200 and change. It took forever cause it was funny math that needed to be done – for the dealers and the players. Then I made some points. And rolled some hardways for the people. I don’t make these proposition bets often – betting the 11 or hardways, cause they’re sucker bets. But when someone gets on a roll like I did, they get pretty exciting. When my father wins big, he’ll tip the shooter. I thought maybe these guys would throw me a hundred or so. Which, percentage wise, would have made a big difference for my bottom line. After my roll, someone throws out 125, nice. But that was another tip for the dealers. Then another person throws out 100. But that’s his next set of proposition bets. Then Cammy, who had to watch the tail end of this (and would have also made a ton of money on the roll, cause she bets the prop bets, and actually had a similar type run of numbers on her own roll about 30 minutes earlier, but left to go play blackjack) said “How about tipping the shooter?” and the guy next to me heard her and responded with “How about a round of applause for the shooter!” It warmed my heart like money could not do. But it ain’t paying any bills either.
  • It might not have been all about my birthday though, as we did see the Hans Kluk magic show over at the Planet Hollywood casino, with special guest assistant, Pamela Anderson. Luck changed once we left that show too, so it could have been her. She did okay – probably as one would expect – as she was never known for being able to deliver lines very well. My favorite moment – when she forgot it was her line, and she was a little flustered and ditzy about it. That’s genuine Pamela there – me likey.
  • Someone puked on my father in a poker room. My sister was at a table facing him, saw the whole thing. Some drunk guy stumbling around, walks behind him, then bends over, she’s thinking he’s going to spill his drink, but when he stands up, he’s got some cottage cheese like niblets on his face. Lady next to my father starts freaking out, she got hit by some of the spray. It was all over my father’s chair and down his back. Poker room management told him to go see security, they’d take care of things. But they didn’t do anything – he had to buy a new shirt himself. My sister’s poker table was impressed with how calmly he handled things. When passing along that compliment to him, my father said that it was easy – as he knows what it is like to be a little too drunk, to have to throw up, to be doing that in public, and that this gentleman didn’t need any more hassling than whatever he was already in for. This brought up other conversations between my sister and myself about my father throwing up while we were growing up. Tears flowed.
  • Met MySpace girl, who seemed nice enough but surprisingly tiny. Not that I’m one to talk, since I married suprisingly tiny too. Just that when I find another suprisingly tiny one, I want Catherine to fight her for some reason. Not many opportunities.
  • Got lectured a lot about how Sal is not performing up to his potential. He can count to 20 in Spanish, from watching about a total of 8 minutes of Dora counting in Spanish. And he does know the difference between “counting” and “counting in Spanish”. So, the reasoning/lecturing goes: if he could learn that so quickly and effortlessly, he would know so much more if we put a little effort into his mental development. I think the projections were, that he should already know English, Spanish, Korean and Russian.
  • Nako finished 700 something out of 3000 something people in the World Series of Poker tourney. Not bad, but 700th place doesn’t pay anything. Not sure what place my sister finished in. Something higher. Was fun to play probably – I only invested in him. Though my sister won her way in by winning a satellite tourney. $175 and only need to beat 9 people, with the bonus that one of them was my father. Nako lost another 300 for me when I had 300 on the 10 at the craps table and he came over, touched my back and said “How’s it go-oh, forget it, I was never here.” But it was too late, the damage was done, and the next roll was a 7. It was probably 450 or so, across all the numbers, but 300 on the 10 stood out.
  • I got a nice little voicemail from my kid too, which was fun.

Getting back to work, I had another donut cake from Ben. Fork is normal sized. This time, I ate a bit more of it, cause it was fresher. I think last time, it was there for a few days, so I let one of the young guys eat the donut. It’s a pretty good donut.

And when I got home, this is what I saw:

Update: I am in a new demographic. The old one was 18-34. The new one is 35-54. Then it’s 55+…one last milestone.

Nov 172006

…it seems like I can write about some fictional things from the last few trips I went on.  The Adobe MAX show was really impressive as they rented out 66% of the bars in the Palms. Then our Sports team one-upped the MAX show by getting access into the Playboy club there.  I didn’t think it was worth wearing pants for though…so I didn’t go up.  Others mentioned they wanted to know other things that weren’t done (like last time), so here they are,  for the sake of posterity:

  • No one said “Aces or faces” this time.  But A did get dealer to make out with the air. And the pitboss too. It was kind of funny and kind of scary at the same time.
  • B might have said “She might have had a hairy back.”
  • C might have said “Is he speaking english?” in the middle of someone’s toast. And the speaker wasn’t earlier, but was when the question was asked.
  • D might have said “I can’t get a grasshopper in this place!”
  • E might have said “I got all hornied up at the Playboy Club.”
  • F might have mentioned how he made his flight because G got a call at 9am about credit card fraud issues on the credit card.  After a night at the Palms clubs, this might or might not be a bad coincidence.
  • H might have stood up a cocktail waitress at 9am because they decided to take a “nap” at 6am.
  • J got really drunk and just ditched us at one point. We couldn’t find them.  Next morning, J’s roommate, K,  tells story of finding J in the room when K got back. Things seemed fine. Then hours later, K wakes up to sound of water being poured.  Looks around. J is relieving self on the entertainment center in the room, near K’s bag and shoes.  K gets up, hits J a couple of times, J is unphased. K gotos get towels.  When K returns, J is back in bed…but in K’s bed.  K really frustrated…but J apologizes after lunch when J wakes up.  J adds that during the previous evening, he lost his team’s GPS unit.  GPS units are funny things to lose.
  • L and M pitch reality show – if you’re going to take this show idea, I’ll let you know who L and M really are – about “Skymall Dude”. Who lives in a house that is furnished by only stuff one can get out of the Skymall catalog. They rattle of his various adventures, which is funny, but scary also because they seem to know way too many things inside the Skymall catalog.  My favorite?  The day Skymall Dude gets locked out of the house, but it’s okay, because he’s got his DaVinci Code cryptex.  Date night sounded kind of interesting too.
  • Not in Vegas, but N added that the show might have a twist of Skymall Dude being Safety Man.
  • Gambling sucked. Craps tables were tough. Though O and P had good rolls late into the trip,they also found a weakness to “loading the boat” – which by their calculations cost them around 1k.  My calculations of place bets – makes me wonder how good place bets are as well.
  • Q found his favorite dealer at the Playboy Club. Apparently, not all beautiful women can handle dealing 21 so well. Made lots of money on misdealt hands.  But not enough to woo the charming young lady.
  • Q and others also found out the Playboy Club has a fembot dealer.  From the way she took her first chip from them, they could tell something was unnatural.  And she demonstrated it repeatedly.
  • R came by and told S and T that U was getting into a scuffle in the lobby. R pointed out how they were only 150 (give or take 35 due to hearing and memory problems) pounds and wasn’t going to be much help.  S and T mentioned that security could help out…there were 3 card poker hands to be played.  U held his own.
  • V got tossed around on the dance floor a bit – over girls trying to get some attention.
  • W tossed cookies around a bit.
  • X thinks they are a robot from the past sent here to play Crazy 4 Poker.  Not sure why it’s from the past.
  • Y told me they “had a thing for me”.  I got excited and confessed my mutual crush. Turns out “thing for me” was a little prank/task they wanted me to execute.  Which I did.  Then I told Y he reminds me of the guy from The Office.
  • Z is saving more stories for later.
Oct 302006

So – another excuse to mess around with Flex a bit.  Though the Flex part was a bit more frustrating than I would have liked it to be.

Ported some Java craps code into Flex.  Needs Flash 9. 

It is really simple right now – you can only run x number of rolls and get stats on how many points were made, average number of rolls per roller, average number of paying number rolls per roller (4-10 type rolls, excluding the 7…).

All histogrammed out by # of points made by the shooter.

So all the shooters that made 0 points are grouped together for averaging purposes, all the shooters that made 1 point are grouped together, etc.  The actual graph at the bottom is the % of shooters that roll X points.  So yeah, still around 60% don’t make 1 point, 25% make 1 point etc.

Finding out that the average number of place bet-able rolls per 0 point making shooter is around 2 makes me feel better about betting against the roller to start off with.

Now I just need to port over the bet/payout code and then implement an interface to program in your own strategy, to compare betting schemes…

Oct 292006

This last Vegas trip wasn’t so nice with the dice.  No 6 or 8 got pressed up over 60.  Considering the pattern is 12, 18, 30, 42, 60 – that means it wasn’t rolled by anyone more than 5 times.  4 and 10 maybe got up to 100 a couple of times (10, 25, 50, 100…got tired of going 10-25-75 and nothing…).  5-9 made it up to 75 once.  (10, 25, 35, 50, 75).

So – no real good rolls. Probably the best roll was due to making points. But not many people made points. There was a series of rolls, where people were 2-3 rolls and out – that I eventually went to betting the don’t.  Which of course, forced the roller to hit his point. So then I switched back to pass. One point was his limit.  So back to don’t. Next roller able to make one point. So switch to pass. One point is his limit too…it was a crazy stretch of betting.

Lots of soul searching during that time.  Imagining ways to help pass the time while the money is being squeezed out of me…after all, making money on good rolls isn’t really hard – place bets or come bets – doesn’t matter too much.  What is difficult, for me at least, is having my bankroll survive in between the good rolls.

A few options came to mind:

  1. Don’t press as fast.
  2. Don’t press bets until initial money is recouped.
  3. Bet the Don’t until people make a point.

The strategy to relax my pressing of the bets is to try and save a little money from the rollers that already make a few numbers.  The 2nd don’t press strategy is to be even more strict about it.

The problem with the first two strategies is that I’m basically phasing myself out of the game.  Maybe that’s not a problem. Just a side effect – but my gambling genes see that as a problem.

Starting off with a don’t bet seems like bad table karma but considering how the tables were this last trip, karma shouldn’t be my main worry.  Dusting off the craps simulations:

~60% of the people don’t make a single point.
~25% make 1 point
~10% make 2 points
~4% make 3 points

And it gets depressing after that.  By switching to don’t on the first roll for a player, I’d be winning on all the chumps that give us 2 rolls with no coffee.  Like me sometimes.

And I will need to forget about the people that don’t make a single point but roll the dice 100 times.  Or maybe I need to prove to myself that those rolls don’t happen every often and that if I do see one of those rolls, throwing up would be a reasonable response.

Seems like the craps simulations need more than just a dusting off…(probably some validation too…)

Jul 052006

That’s a line Luke uses – that I’ve wanted a reason to use. Now I have it.

We put Sal to sleep at around 9:30. Catherine stayed with him. I went to try the tables at Bally’s – haven’t done much gambling at Bally’s over the last few years. Or ever really. I remember buying a – I mean – getting a t-shirt along with our $20 parlay the first trip out with Ian 11 years ago or so. But that’s about as far as my Bally’s gaming memories go.

So hit the craps table. Not crowded, mid-week stuff I suppose. Buy in for 300, I get the dice pretty quickly, which isn’t a good sign. But at least, I’m qualified to roll.

Set the dice with the “crossed 2’s”. When the 2’s are crossed, they kind of look like an arrow – I like that look. Started rolling. Is a pretty good roll. Started hitting the 4 actually – doing the normal progression of 10, 25, 75, 150, 300, 600, 1000.  At 1000 things always get interesting. I get cocky. I start looking at table limits. Min 5, Max 5,000. Just a couple of rolls away.

Which seemed like it took forever. I was starting to sweat a bit.  Were they turning up the heat? Drinks were coming slower. Payouts were happening slower. All more time for superstitions to creep into my head. But I kept my head empty. Just seeing the crossed 2’s. Watching them float across the table and tumble.  Some random numbers. Possibly a point. But then another 4. 2k.  More random numbers and another 4. 4k.

At 4k – when you hit the number, you get paid 8k. Costs you 200 bucks. But you get 8k back. The mix of chips in my rack was starting to change. No longer dominated by red and green. It was getting more diverse. Anyway – when you go from 4-5k. It’s kind of anti-climatic. Everything’s been doubling. All so you can press it 25% now?

I asked if I could go higher. They said no. I said I thought all casinos took any bet – not just Binions. They said I should have started this roll at Binions. Fair enough.  What was less fair was the shift change…like 45 minutes early.  I tipped out the crew before they left – they gave me their best wishes of course. So, out go the fairly friendly dealers. In come the old surly ones.  But tonight it doesn’t matter to me for some reason. The Binions line make it clear – we’re here for business, not pleasure. Me too.

Take your time giving me the crossed 2’s. I’ll handle it. I’ll handle the barbs about setting dice. About slow play. Bring on your coolers.  Swap out the cocktail waitress. Bring on the don’t betters, rooting for their 7s. Baby doesn’t need new shoes (he’s got rather nice Pediped’s…) but baby might need to goto private school!

100 on the 4 for the dealers, I control. We’ll see if we can buy the new guys.

I hit a couple more 4’s. 250 vig on 10k coming in. 10k. Each roll had that kind of potential. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. And I’ve thought of this moment a lot. It was more just general excitement. I didn’t even mind the high 5’s that much this time around. Usually – I don’t like touching the other customers…but things just kept on looking better and better.

Then, I couldn’t believe it – they actually brought in William Macy. He was the cooler in the movie The Cooler.  Like that could even stop me now. I chatted it up with him. Complimented him on his wife, Felicity. How my wife liked her interview on 60 minutes. Then I told him I really liked him in A Very Muppet Christmas and Glengarry Glen Ross. I knew he wasn’t in Glengarry Glen Ross. I just wanted to mess with his head a bit – to cool off The Cooler. He was gracious. Who you gonna bring next?

Since they were upping their game a notch, I wanted to up my game a notch. During a slow payout as I was downing more water, it hit me – I couldn’t put 1k on the come line cause I didn’t want to bet 1k on everything (yet)…but you can increase your come bet after it’s made.  So I went with a $25 come bet.

4-2. Okay – max odds on the come bet. Press the place bet. Another $25 come bet. Rolled an 8 or 9. Then another 6. Off-and-on…then I got to experiment.

1-3. Tossed out 300 to get 10050 back.  And I got a new come bet on the 4. I asked if I could raise the come bet. They said we might as well try it. Okay. 1k with 3k odds. So now I had 9k on the 4…

Took a couple more rolls…but it came along.  Was paid out. But forgot my come bet. So I was just off. Man. Stupid. Too many distractions. Did I mention I was sweating?  Another come bet, then we take everything up. Tell me I was caught up in the moment. The excitement. But it sure felt cool bumping my come bet up to 2k with 6k odds. Kept the come bet on the table this time. Off and ons around as I rolled numbers. Even numbers. Then the 4. Let’s press it again. 4k with 12k odds and I even got 6k in change…not a bad deal.

I had to ask for a towel. So maybe I didn’t feel nervous, but I sure was looking like it. I’d like to think I looked more like a Shaq or Wade at the free throw line. A professional, doing their job, just sweating a bit while doing it. But we know I probably didn’t. I mean, there’s 26k on the table and I’ve got the dice.  I get some lame security towel. The type they put over chips when you leave for the bathroom. Whatever. Just makes me more motivated.

Hit the 4 again. Let’s go to the max with max odds. 30 thousand dollars on the 4 in various forms. Let’s go back to that Shaq analogy. Game 3. Heat trying to come back. Shaq hits two clutch free throws. I’m here. 30k on the 4. The little deuce-deuce waiting for me. 3-1. Perfect. Trembling as they go through the motions. Come bets paid first – 45k.

My rack had been completely transformed.  Red, green and black look out of place. Pink, yellow, purple, brown…wait – those are names that commoners would use.  Rose, banana creme, fuchsia and chocolate…that was the neighborhood I was in now. To pay the vig on the place bet of mine and for the dealers, I had to break a 5k chip. Not cause it was my only chip. But because it was my smallest chip. Amazing.

The table had gotten pretty crowded, but somehow this lady got her way up to the front of the table where my dice were landing.  I don’t even know how to describe what she was wearing…barely is probably the best word. Don’t look. Then figure that’s taking me out of my game. So then, don’t not look. Sigh. Just roll the dice.

Yes. See. There. I can still roll some 4’s!  During my next roll, she blows a kiss while the dice are in the air. I catch it out of the corner of my eye as I’m tracking the dice in the air.  What’s she blowing a kiss for? I’ve got a wife and kid upstairs. One die stops – 2. The other die is bouncing around, spinning…spinning…5. Oh. That’s why she’s blowing the kiss. They had brought in the big guns – the hottest cooler.

So it was over. I was tired and sweaty. Even though I drank probably two dozen bottles of water, I probably lost 5-8 pounds.  I had become smarter. My posture improved. My vocabulary had grown. I was funnier. And possibly even better looking all of a sudden…what a roll.

I’m not used to counting chips of this demonation and I was pretty dazed anyway. It was in the neighborhood of 173k and change. I left the 3k and change for the team. Maybe they’ll complain, but we were betting throughout. Their bet was up to 1k by the end. And they were the coolers. The 170 number was good. Fun. And not too big to get me in trouble like Rick


So – this is currently just a work of fiction. But as we goto Vegas next week and since Chapo woke me up barking at raccoons or something in the backyard and I can’t go back to sleep – I figured I’d write this entry now. And then next week, I could just say:

Hey, remember that roll? It happened.