Posted by djatc
Jun 05, 2014

EV = Actual value = Cruise control

I hate keeping records because I am lazy but turns out it's very important to do so in figuring out the EV and how close you are to it. Turns out this year I am on track for expected and actual dollars. I did come across an unfortunate setback as some of you know but am slowly climbing back one quarter at a time. I read an article the Wizard did on a newspaper regarding slot spins and there was a graph that shows how much credits you were up or down over 10 or 100 spins. Basically every time I tried it I ended at 0, since slots is an -EV game. My graph is flipped upside down because of my advantage, and it kinda make me realize slow and steady gets the money, every time. (Unless you have to burn the play out but that's another topic)

Posted by djatc
Apr 11, 2014

The highs and lows of variance

So I usually run some money through casinos for bounceback, mailers, and food coupons. This would involve me finding out the best returning game in the casino that I can safely play on my bankroll, and try to find the sweet balance between playing enough to get mailers and getting diminishing returns.

When you factor in the return of the game + cashback + multiplier point days + bounceback, you're getting a good edge without much risk.

I'm in 2 cycles to a royal right now, but even then I would have winning days since I was running super well on playing for mailers. $1 premium 4OAKs add up as well as $1 deuces. Some days I would cash out half to 1 royal amount on quarters just because I was way ahead of my 4OAK cycles.

Cue the slaughter fest a few days ago... I could not pull a 4OAK or any premium hands, and the hold on the games were brutal. Losing the cost of a quarter royal ain't too bad ($-1000) but to be down almost a dollar royal is pretty heartwrenching, especially when I just moved up in stakes. I've pulled natural 4OAKs on DW, then 3 deuces on non-DW games. I've pulled 4 aces with a deuce on the redraw for 20 credits instead of 2000 on DDB. I've gotten 2222 on JoB.

The pros say that your bankroll will grow exponentially over time, and there will be fluctuations. In theory if you don't have any attachments to the money sure it's easy to say to yourself that things will work out, but seeing the bank account go down and down psychologically does put me in a sour mood. The edges we get are so slim in video poker, and all the return is held up in a 40k hand cycle that it's tough to go through bad variance. Imagine missing a royal cycle on a $5 game!

All the other plays I can't talk about have been doing very well, so I'm thankful for that. BIG edges, combined with lower hit cycles means you'll see the money back sooner and sooner. Running bad on a high % edge with payouts on the backend sure smooths out the bad times.

I've had people ask me about bounceback and mailers. If you want to know about certain casinos I will be happy to exchange information, provided the information I receive is of value to me. Since Las Vegas is a pretty small town we're probably doing the same plays so we'll overlap.


FleaStiff Apr 11, 2014

Good luck to you.

There will always be those who milk the city of "freebies" and "stay-cations" as casinos chase each other's players.

tringlomane Apr 11, 2014

Running bad on higher denominations and good on lower denominations has generally been the story of my life. Lately it's turned a bit, but I'm still royalless on both nickels and quarters. Can't wait for that to change...hopefully quarters first! lol

Hope it turns around for you dj!

djatc Apr 18, 2014

Just hit another royal. Its hard to tell myself to not be too fixated on hitting it since I'll brick a draw so many times. 1 in 40k odds usually come in 1 in 80 times lol

Posted by djatc
Dec 20, 2013

2013 wrap up

It's been a great year since I moved to Las Vegas. I have been extremely blessed with good variance and got myself the following:

2x $1 royals
8x 50c royals
7x 25c royals
1x 5c royal (I was screwing around at the Quad.....)
15-20x 1c royals

I've gotten them on the draw, 1 card, 2 card, 3 card, 4 card, and redraw.

and a ton of W2-Gs under the Christmas tree. My best run was 5x royals in a 3 day period. My last royal took me 5 scares. I had a $2k 4 deuces hit yesterday playing with profit on a $2 machine.

With that information put behind me I feel my EV will catch up and I will go on the worst run ever. Maybe I should start playing nickels?

There was some mistakes I've made, the biggest being that I started "gambling" a lot higher and lost more then I should have a couple of times at bac, craps, or BJ. I have gotten rid of that bad habit and only play these games with matchplays or free bets which give me the juice I need. I also make sports bets (Go Seahawks) for small amounts of money which makes watching the game more enjoyable. Making a withdrawal at the ATM is fine if it's a +EV play, but horrible when you lost your session roll on a bad run at craps.

I do take shots too often, which leads me with more losses then I should have. $200 losing days on quarters turns into $400 at 50c, and $600 at $1. I tinkered around on a $5 machine when I hit the $1 royal, which is stupid considering $500 is only 20 bets on $5's. I haven't done that in a while neither, and only if I am up a few hundred to close out a session on a multiplier day or something if it takes too long to run through the maximum points.

Hopefully 2014 will be a better year, and I can start to move up in stakes beyond quarters and the occasional 50c to dollars. It's 4 times the exposure, but 4 times the reward as well. Also maybe I'll get more steady hosts to appreciate my action. As of right now even running through Platinum at MGM, or Diamond at CET I do not have a host. Most player's club people are surprised, by saying, "You play so much, you really don't have a host?".


Perdition Dec 20, 2013

Glad you had a great year. Quick question, where are all the 1 cent royals coming from? With my small bankroll I was going to start at nickels but if there is a penny machine, even better you know.

Thanks again for the private messages you sent to help out. I hope to have at least 10% of this success for 2014.

tringlomane Dec 20, 2013

Palms has penny 9/6 JoB at least.

And nice number of hits. How many hands you typically playing per day? I'm royaless for 15 months now...blah But I dunno if I have done a royal cycle yet.

teddys Dec 21, 2013

Nice. I closed out the year with a $3500 negative swing on $0.25 8/5 Bonus Poker Double Super Times Pay 5 lines. In retrospect, I wish I had played smaller. The variance of that game is brutal!

EvenBob Dec 23, 2013

So does this mean you're up for the year? No dollar

amounts are mentioned.

teddys Dec 24, 2013

"Nobody is ever ahead" -Steve Wynn (and AlanMendelsohn)

djatc Dec 25, 2013

Yes I'm up for the year. I paid rent, and bills strictly through my gambling wins. Unfortunately I had a bad swing after this post and almost wiped out Decembers profits. Back to the grind... Zzzzzzz....

djatc Dec 25, 2013

Perdition: 99% of my penny plays are just for fun, mainly at the 50 play jacks at the palms as tring said. Its my favorite time waster if I'm meeting people for dinner. If you're grinding nickels you might want to camp out the ldw machine at the D......

Tring: I play every day about 4-5 hours on my main play, and spread my multiple point days throughout. One example is the 7x point days at the Orleans. They only allow 10k points per day so I crank it out on nsud quarters, and play ugly deuces 5 play if I have a good session with profit. I would say I play a royal cycle in 2 weeks.

Teddy: I used to hate STP until I caught lightning in a bottle at Fremont on STP bp. I kept hitting hands with multipliers, where most sessions I end up with a multiplier which bricks then get a paying hand. I played double STP and got screwed as well. The STP/ultimate x is addicting though not for the same reasons. Wonging multipliers is my favorite "loose change" accumulator lol.

Posted by djatc
Oct 22, 2013

Still here and loving it

I just have to say "why didn't I move here sooner?"

It's been 3 months since I moved here, and I love it. Besides the opportunities of casinos who are fiercely in competition with one another, I take advantage of the great eats I am able to get for cheap (free with a tip which costs significantly less then what I would pay), and have gotten a bit spoiled in how casino staff treat me since I am "gambling".

I took a shot in moving here since there are many vices which can bankrupt a man financially. I did make some early mistakes (getting involved in negative EV games) but started to be more disciplined. I met some great people here who are very smart and know what they are doing to make it in this town.

I read Comp City from Max Rubin and found the part where he talks about getting a free room, free food, and free entertainment on the cheap very true today. I'm not rich by any means and I am able to get "day-cations" like a well off person. Just the fact you are risking money in a good or bad game gets you so much here. Comp City and Frugal Gambling has stretched my bankroll to enormous amounts. That and the Wizard of Odds has changed my life in how I see the numbers.

I don't think I'll ever move away from Las Vegas.


tringlomane Oct 22, 2013

Glad things are going well for you so far! But remember you're over-royaled at the moment too! :P

Beethoven9th Oct 22, 2013

Good for you, man! Vegas is a wonderful place for a disciplined gambler.

We still want to hear that Louie Anderson story though...haha ;)

djatc Oct 22, 2013

Oh boy you heard about Louie...... that was creepy.

Perdition Oct 23, 2013

I worked with a radio guy that told me that he used to see Louie Anderson pick up on young boys quite often. I don't know if he meant underage but it was implied it was pretty young. I guess now that Louie is pushing 60, maybe he moved the bar up a bit, but probably disconcerting nonetheless.

ClarkWGriswold Oct 24, 2013


I don't think I'll ever move away from Las Vegas.

Wait till it's a week straight of 110+...then you'll think differently.

djatc Oct 27, 2013

Clark: I moved here in the middle of June so I was here on the hot days, and kept myself in a casino as long as possible.

Perdition: I have played video poker next to Louie and since I don't want to slander the guy I'll just say whatever your buddy said probably is true.

onenickelmiracle Dec 20, 2013

Save for rainy days, deal with and accept bad runs without trying to luck your way out, and diversify your income even if it's something beneath your self-image. Don't be one dimensional because one day it could all change.

Posted by djatc
Sep 15, 2013

Y U No take comps?

I'm starting to get food offers besides buffets. I love buffets because they are fast, simple, and I can get a plate of food when I am starving. Maybe it's the gambler in me but I am impatient. When I am hungry I want the food now, not in 10 minutes. Also most places have a buffet pass for comps so it saves a ton of time. I suggest everyone check out the Bacchanal buffet at Caesers. Best buffet I've been anywhere. $45 for lunch is pretty steep but it's worth it.

The problem is that in a lot of places the marketing department is not in close range with the other departments, and it leads to quite a mess of what I was promised and what I actually got. I made a reservation for one thing and got something totally different, or was told it would be comped when it wasn't. It took a lot of back and forth between properties to straighten this out and I am not too happy about it. Now I watch room charges like a hawk and always ask upfront whether or not it's covered.

This happens with matchplays/freeplay as well. Too much unwritten rules regarding how to use them, and it hurts EV when I can't do certain things with them.

Some restaurants are not owned by the casino, which means they do not honor coupons/comps. I learned this after charging a significant amount on my room and getting the surprise when I checked out..... Same situation with coupons. I always just assume since it's in the casino it's good there, but turns out it's not at some places (Ping Pang Pong at Gold Coast..... great frog legs btw)

Avoid Las Vegas BLVD crossing Flamingo. There's construction and people try to drive across the intersection but fail to make it and they get jammed up causing a huge pileup. Avoid strip hotels with parking on Las Vegas BLVD. Too many drunk/stupid people wandering around looking at the Bellagio fountains or some flashing thing and it's impossible to turn in. I'm finally getting into a rhythm of using the highways and sideroads to get from place to place.


teddys Sep 16, 2013

PPP did take my comps last time I went there...

FleaStiff Sep 16, 2013

corporate ownership and computer linkages are important.

I think its ridiculous to have a Starbucks or Starbucks-like place if its computers can't do fast comps or can't do comps at all.

Its gone thru alot of name changes but there is one casino-hotel on the far west side of town that are almost at corporate warfare with each other so a comped room is absurd.

Getting to know the buffets and the ins and outs of avoiding lines is good. I'd rather pay more than wait on a long line.

Too many footnotes and fine print is annoying. Sometimes a meal at their top tier restaurant is not worth a coupon for their buffet.

Good luck on the freeloading.

djatc Sep 17, 2013

Teddy's: they didn't take my coupon, but I used my comps. The coupon is a free buffet, with a very small fine print saying its good at Boyd owned restaurants.

djatc Sep 17, 2013

For $5 off.