mcallister3200
mcallister3200
Joined: Dec 29, 2013
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Thanks for this post from:
Forager
October 20th, 2016 at 10:11:53 PM permalink
Most of this is geared towards beginning card counters, but some of these concepts apply to advantage play in general.

I've been a card counter for about 5 years and full time AP for about 2.5. A lot of this advice you may have seen or heard similar things from accomplished players like Colin Jones or Bigplayer. That is not a coincidence, I've learned a lot from more accomplished players that I've tried to apply.

- Your work ethic and discipline will be the key factors in your success 
                                                                                  
               Skill level of course but that is a part of your work ethic. Capital and intelligence are helpful in anything, but at the end of the day the guy putting in the hours to find and smash games gets the money

- Master game selection and risk of ruin

              Don't play marginal games! What's a marginal game depends on your bankroll size and risk tolerance, but whether you play at the red chip level or black chip level your time is too valuable for that. Set a risk of ruin you are comfortable with and stick to it until heat considerations are the primary factor in bet sizing. To bet over full Kelly, even if your counting skills are strong, is to be a gambler hoping to get lucky. This thought process does not belong anywhere in advantage play.

- Advice for bankroll under 20-30k
              Play the best technical games you can find without significant travel expense at the exclusion of everything else. If they won't take your action at this level they're not worth a lot of $ in the long run, but may have some value now. Save every $ you can. It's tempting to buy new clothes and fancy $100 dinners when you have a big win, but each dollar needlessly spent at this level costs a multiple of that in compounded earn.

- Over 100k
            Be willing to travel and search for tolerance. Stay frugal but even the most tolerant place isn't going to let you play 15 hrs/wk there for the length of your playing career. Tolerance and networking become more important than technical game conditions at this point.

-Work on your weaknesses, know them and your strengths
            I think for many AP's our ego will be a weakness. It's easy to get into pissing matches. I think this happens because in most lines of work you are recognized for your talents and accomplishments, in advantage play recognition of your skill is often dangerous and harmful.

- Be Patient!
           Card counting can be a grind with lots of ups and downs. If your skills are strong and you work hard, you will reach whatever realistic goals you set.

- Be aggressive!
         Whether the church team, or Smallcap, every very successful card counter I've heard of in recent memory has had one thing in common: A strength in their game was aggression in bets. Even the best game is only good if it is played well. Costly cover, weak betting spreads, and over tipping will guarantee a card counter mediocrity in the long run. These habits also cost more than the sims will show for a small bankroll, the cost of not being able to apply the additional gains from a stronger game to increase EV faster or decrease risk is very harmful!
        You can ease into it if you want but don't be afraid to push tolerance levels. You will get backed off a lot if you're betting decent money but when you find that place that lets you play 8 hours a day for days or weeks, it's worth it. You'll never find that place if you're never willing to push the boundaries.

-Learn to network effectively
    I recently went on a trip where I had never been, had excellent information from a friend with vast playing experience in the area. The first or second game I would have hit I was advised to play on way out as there would be ramifications elsewhere. A place I may or may not have played without additional info I knew I'd be able to get as many hours as I pleased more or less. I ended up not playing a lot due to illness, but friends can be very helpful! Trust but verify, we're all out to make $ but we all have our own approach. Some people mean you no harm but won't share info on good games. Those guys can be great. When they say somethings bad, it's the first place I check. It can be a tell.

   Develop your own strategy on sharing information that works for you. I'll always try to help anyone who will help me. I think being super worried about getting information of equal value in return can be hurtful. Be careful, but even if I think I helped more than they've helped me, I'm still better off than before and it probably didn't cost me anything, and they often will be appreciative and willing to help when you need it down the line. I tend to be a bit wary of those who always insist that they get equal value in return, I'll be friendly but am usually a bit more guarded. It may work for them, but I think those with this philosophy are always going to try to take advantage of you eventually. Let's take advantage of the casinos.

Hope this can be a help to some.
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
  • Threads: 144
  • Posts: 18086
October 20th, 2016 at 11:09:00 PM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

Most of this is geared towards beginning card counters, but some of these concepts apply to advantage play in general.

I've been a card counter for about 5 years and full time AP for about 2.5. A lot of this advice you may have seen or heard similar things from accomplished players like Colin Jones or Bigplayer. That is not a coincidence, I've learned a lot from more accomplished players that I've tried to apply.

- Your work ethic and discipline will be the key factors in your success 
                                                                                  
               Skill level of course but that is a part of your work ethic. Capital and intelligence are helpful in anything, but at the end of the day the guy putting in the hours to find and smash games gets the money

- Master game selection and risk of ruin

              Don't play marginal games! What's a marginal game depends on your bankroll size and risk tolerance, but whether you play at the red chip level or black chip level your time is too valuable for that. Set a risk of ruin you are comfortable with and stick to it until heat considerations are the primary factor in bet sizing. To bet over full Kelly, even if your counting skills are strong, is to be a gambler hoping to get lucky. This thought process does not belong anywhere in advantage play.

- Advice for bankroll under 20-30k
              Play the best technical games you can find without significant travel expense at the exclusion of everything else. If they won't take your action at this level they're not worth a lot of $ in the long run, but may have some value now. Save every $ you can. It's tempting to buy new clothes and fancy $100 dinners when you have a big win, but each dollar needlessly spent at this level costs a multiple of that in compounded earn.

- Over 100k
            Be willing to travel and search for tolerance. Stay frugal but even the most tolerant place isn't going to let you play 15 hrs/wk there for the length of your playing career. Tolerance and networking become more important than technical game conditions at this point.

-Work on your weaknesses, know them and your strengths
            I think for many AP's our ego will be a weakness. It's easy to get into pissing matches. I think this happens because in most lines of work you are recognized for your talents and accomplishments, in advantage play recognition of your skill is often dangerous and harmful.

- Be Patient!
           Card counting can be a grind with lots of ups and downs. If your skills are strong and you work hard, you will reach whatever realistic goals you set.

- Be aggressive!
         Whether the church team, or Smallcap, every very successful card counter I've heard of in recent memory has had one thing in common: A strength in their game was aggression in bets. Even the best game is only good if it is played well. Costly cover, weak betting spreads, and over tipping will guarantee a card counter mediocrity in the long run. These habits also cost more than the sims will show for a small bankroll, the cost of not being able to apply the additional gains from a stronger game to increase EV faster or decrease risk is very harmful!
        You can ease into it if you want but don't be afraid to push tolerance levels. You will get backed off a lot if you're betting decent money but when you find that place that lets you play 8 hours a day for days or weeks, it's worth it. You'll never find that place if you're never willing to push the boundaries.

-Learn to network effectively
    I recently went on a trip where I had never been, had excellent information from a friend with vast playing experience in the area. The first or second game I would have hit I was advised to play on way out as there would be ramifications elsewhere. A place I may or may not have played without additional info I knew I'd be able to get as many hours as I pleased more or less. I ended up not playing a lot due to illness, but friends can be very helpful! Trust but verify, we're all out to make $ but we all have our own approach. Some people mean you no harm but won't share info on good games. Those guys can be great. When they say somethings bad, it's the first place I check. It can be a tell.

   Develop your own strategy on sharing information that works for you. I'll always try to help anyone who will help me. I think being super worried about getting information of equal value in return can be hurtful. Be careful, but even if I think I helped more than they've helped me, I'm still better off than before and it probably didn't cost me anything, and they often will be appreciative and willing to help when you need it down the line. I tend to be a bit wary of those who always insist that they get equal value in return, I'll be friendly but am usually a bit more guarded. It may work for them, but I think those with this philosophy are always going to try to take advantage of you eventually. Let's take advantage of the casinos.

Hope this can be a help to some.

Good post.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
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October 20th, 2016 at 11:42:16 PM permalink
Thanks for the great post. Happy hunting and good luck.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
RS
RS
Joined: Feb 11, 2014
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October 21st, 2016 at 2:57:42 AM permalink
+1, MC.

DON'T PLAY MARGINAL GAMES.

In my opinion // to me -- this means play games where you have a high likelyhood of coming out ahead. Analyze what you're going to play and look at the possible outcomes (over some X period of time). If you don't have a high likelyhood of coming out ahead, you should have an excellent payoff when you do hit (ie: such that if you lose twice as often as expected, you're at least breaking even or better).

People in different situations give different advice.

A red chip player can't play the same way a black/chip player can play. Those with monster bankrolls can play different games and have a different attitude about plays than smaller bankrolled APs. Bob Dancer may not give a sh** about variance since he has the bankroll to back it up. This doesn't mean a lower bankrolled AP should have the same attitude "it all works out in the end". Hint: It doesn't work out in the end if you hit ruin and bust your bankroll.

Get good at MATH and LOGIC. Not everything is straight forward or simple to figure out. Oftentimes it can be very difficult to figure out how to play a newly discovered game. Use logic to figure out how to potentially beat it and use math to determine if it's a good play or not.


Your EV is the most you can expect to get. Mistakes occur -- you're not going to be playing perfectly every time. Extra expenses are incurred -- your car may break down on a trip.....you may get robbed....you may just misplace money (ie: leave it in hotel safe).....you may get shorted on a payout or get the short-end of the stick on a promo (ie: Revel).


Learn from your mistakes. Things go wrong, and when they do, try to figure out what caused it to go wrong so you don't make the same mistake in the future, as you may end up in a similar situation down the road.
beachbumbabs
Administrator
beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
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October 21st, 2016 at 6:03:50 AM permalink
Excellent thread. Thanks, guys.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
FDEAD3709
FDEAD3709
Joined: Oct 1, 2016
  • Threads: 2
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October 21st, 2016 at 6:20:27 AM permalink
My best advice : CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CAREER FIELD.

I believe AP's will concur ?
mcallister3200
mcallister3200
Joined: Dec 29, 2013
  • Threads: 15
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October 21st, 2016 at 7:01:10 AM permalink
Quote: FDEAD3709

My best advice : CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CAREER FIELD.

I believe AP's will concur ?



Depends what you want in life, but if you want it and are cut out for it I'd disagree. If you want the most stable job, then it's not for you. Relationships, or if you have a young family, Are challenging with the lifestyle.

For me, I feel like, if you only have one life to live, spending 40 years behind a desk or bent over a craps table is the wrong choice.
Argentoz
Argentoz
Joined: Oct 21, 2016
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October 21st, 2016 at 7:31:33 AM permalink
Every man builds his life and makes his choice. Every day is a chance, you need to use it!
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
  • Threads: 144
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October 21st, 2016 at 7:43:07 AM permalink
Quote: FDEAD3709

My best advice : CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CAREER FIELD.

I believe AP's will concur ?

YES, CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CAREER FIELD

The less AP's the better. Two younger AP's (nice guys BTW, they have accounts on this site) cost us about 14k in value (in just one day) being that they got to the 2 good machines early(You bastards (-: )

I might be overestimating how much it actually cost us because we did get down on other stuff, but you get my point. It only takes a one or 2 people as competition to drastically cut your earnings down.

There are a few people that have everything it takes to become a successful AP, yet they seem to be stuck in a low pay dead end job. If I had to give them some impartial advice, I would have to say.... Go for it. But It's a catch 22. If they are stuck in a low paying job then where do they get the money? Yes you can start with a fairly small bankroll, but you really have to know what you are doing or know someone who does. No amount of math skill, books, programs, radio shows or forum information or whatever is going to help you. Most likely, someone who knows how and what to do isn't just going to give out that kind of free guidance and information.



I know some smart people who tried. They seemed to have what it takes including a fair bankroll. They play +EV stuff properly, they don't over bet their bankroll and run as they should for the most part, but eventually they fail. Each for various different reasons, but there's a few common key elements. I won't go into what I think the key elements are here.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
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October 21st, 2016 at 7:54:29 AM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200



For me, I feel like, if you only have one life to live, spending 40 years behind a desk or bent over a craps table is the wrong choice.

Yet there are guys paying thousands of dollars and many hours just hoping they will be bent over a craps table for the next 40 years.

Good luck with that, because NO ONE is actually supporting them self playing craps while using DI techniques.

Oh wait.... were you talking about dealing craps? How much does the average craps dealer make? I would assume that would be one of the less boring dealers job?

If you can, I say, do everything you can to turn your passion or whatever you like into a business.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪

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