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Saw a backoff at Mirage.

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January 15th, 2012 at 2:58:17 PM permalink
teddys
Member since: Nov 14, 2009
Threads: 140
Posts: 4253
So I'm back from my Vegas trip and tying up some loose ends and stories. Here's one:

I was playing blackjack at the Mirage. I play almost exclusively on one table where the rules are as follows: Double Deck, S17, DAS, no surrender, and resplit aces. This is a kind of infamous table. Another forum member posted about it here: DD, S17 and metaphysical viagra. Unfortunately, I didn't run into these ladies, but I did have a couple good winning sessions at the game. The game is almost an unspoken challenge to counters: the penetration makes it very hard to beat, but the rules are just about as good as it gets on the strip, and minimums are $25 most of the time.

One morning I wandered down at about 10:30 A.M., and bought in for $400. Two younger guys were already there playing. Now, my spread is just about pathetic: 1-4 units, which won't make me rich, but it's good enough for me, and by no means do I have advanced blackjack skills. One thing I like about this particular game is that the players are generally good. It is a self-selecting blackjack table.

But after a few minutes observing these guys' play, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. First of all, they completely fit the counter stereotype. One guy was an Asian with longish black hair, who did not say and word and always was intensely focused on his game. The other guy was maybe half-Asian/American, but looked similar and had on a t-shirt that said "got gambling?" on it. His betting was almost exactly correlated to the count. Got Gambling? was spreading $25-$250/$300, and he got a blackjack when he had a big bet out. At one point, insurance was offered, and I thought about jokingly saying, "What's the count, boys?" It was just too funny to watch.

Finally, there was a dealer change, and these guys just continued what they were doing, offering no cover at all. A guy in a suit, who I did not recognize, walked out from behind the pit and asked to speak with the guys for a moment. The dealer had no clue what was going on. I said, "I think they are going to be politely asked to leave." I was almost losing it. The suit took the guys back behind the table for five seconds, then brought them back and said, "Please color them up." They colored up and left. The dealer still didn't know what had happened. He thought it was a language issue.

Meanwhile, I continued playing, chatting with the dealer, and getting a few more high counts. I won a few insurance bets, colored up up $175, and left, having had my entertainment for the day.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." ― Rig Veda 10.34.7
January 15th, 2012 at 3:10:36 PM permalink
FleaStiff
Member since: Oct 19, 2009
Threads: 161
Posts: 8254
I would have been certain to remain at the table for a good long time after such an incident so as to quite clear that there was no teamwork involved. Of course If I had been there it would probably have been a five dollar table.
January 15th, 2012 at 3:32:37 PM permalink
Ibeatyouraces
Member since: Jan 12, 2010
Threads: 40
Posts: 5051
A 1-12 spread on that $25 game at Mirage is a bit too high and is just inviting a backoff. When I played it, I kept a slieghtly more conservative 1-8 and never got a second look. And I made ALOT of money on it while there.
"Shut up Meg." Peter Griffin, Family Guy
January 15th, 2012 at 3:44:09 PM permalink
EvenBob
Member since: Jul 18, 2010
Threads: 373
Posts: 14999
Did the dealer who went on break rat them out?
"I've been around people and I've been around dogs. I prefer dogs.." Charles De Gaulle
January 15th, 2012 at 3:46:31 PM permalink
Paigowdan
Member since: Apr 28, 2010
Threads: 98
Posts: 4235
Surveillance or floor ratted them out, bless their hearts. Few dealers can count or care to.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
January 15th, 2012 at 3:47:05 PM permalink
FleaStiff
Member since: Oct 19, 2009
Threads: 161
Posts: 8254
Quote: EvenBob
Did the dealer who went on break rat them out?
Probably not. They had already reviewed the tapes, I'm sure. The casinos are just too careful for it to be non-tipped dealer takes break and player instantly gets 86'd. Surveillance may have phoned, floor or pit may have phoned up and asked for history review. Players club history was checked. Security was probably on standby forty feet away or something.
January 15th, 2012 at 3:59:38 PM permalink
EvenBob
Member since: Jul 18, 2010
Threads: 373
Posts: 14999
Will they be banned from all MGM properties? Surely
their pics will be sent around.
"I've been around people and I've been around dogs. I prefer dogs.." Charles De Gaulle
January 15th, 2012 at 4:07:16 PM permalink
Ibeatyouraces
Member since: Jan 12, 2010
Threads: 40
Posts: 5051
Most likely the eye in the sky. Funny I play for over 2 weeks and am never bothered but 2 "asians" play once and get the boot. I did notice alot of asian players at this game, but no counters. This is why I was taught not to be greedy and just blend in.
"Shut up Meg." Peter Griffin, Family Guy
January 15th, 2012 at 4:32:44 PM permalink
FleaStiff
Member since: Oct 19, 2009
Threads: 161
Posts: 8254
Asians, particularly Korean manufacturers representatives, are in town for CES.
Chinese New Year is approaching but not yet formally underway.
January 16th, 2012 at 2:29:01 PM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Jan 5, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 2839
Quote: Ibeatyouraces
Most likely the eye in the sky. Funny I play for over 2 weeks and am never bothered but 2 "asians" play once and get the boot. I did notice alot of asian players at this game, but no counters. This is why I was taught not to be greedy and just blend in.

This brings up an interesting point...when I was reading Burning The Tables... (Ian Andersen) he had a list of stereotypical traits associated with counters. One of them was race and his perspective is that a white person would be suspected of counting before any other race. This doesn't really jive with my experience, as it seems like there are a lot of counters out there who are Asian.
"Let's get f---ked up and gamble!" -teddys
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Bovada is the only Internet casino endorsed by the Wizard.
Here are my reasons why and my promise of support.