Posted by djatc
Apr 15, 2013


So I finally bought VPW and started keeping a session of my FPDW exploits. As the game will be my bread and butter when I make the move to Vegas, I wanted to make sure I didn't give up any edge I could keep for myself. A 1 cent error is equivalent to a 0.8% loss out of $1.25, and every 1 cent I give up adds up over 1000 hands in an hour (I can consistently get 1k or over that at this point). The only hands I have trouble with are the non Qhigh or Jhigh 2 card royal draws, and some 4 card straights/3 consecutive SFs.

In the case of "AJ"Wxx (x being low cards) that do not help make a straight/flush, you would hold AJW which I didn't know about since I was playing a simplified Qhigh or Jhigh 2 to a royal strategy. Khigh can be included if there are no penalty cards too as I learned. I've been playing the "casino" version to simulate a session and found this and the 567s9x type of hands to be the only problems. If you have 3 to a consecutive SF you can throw away the 4th card that makes the inside straight. Little things like that are the only problems with FPDW, and the fact it can return 0.76% off the top is the reason why this game is so popular.

I've been checking out strategy for JoB and I tend to make the same mistakes for 2 high cards/3SF, and high card with a T. I'm working on JoB since Palms offers a 50 line at 1c/2c which is full pay, and I can use that machine for points and promotions the FPDW cannot. I got a couple more months to make sure I can play perfectly so I can maximize my VP time. My goal is to log a 40k session in a week while making razor thin mistakes. That should be enough to pull a royal, or miss the royal cycle once at least.

One thing that is a mixed feeling for me is that when I hear people playing other machines and the "credits won" song goes off the chain, especially next to a DDB machine that hits 4 aces w/ low kicker. I'm impartial to other people's results since it doesn't affect me anyway but when you're in a drought of wild royals and 5oak it starts to be a bit frustrating. The casino is a weird place; one group of people on the table next to you are making great money, meanwhile you're stuck $500 and the dealer keeps pulling a higher card against your made 19/20 in BJ. I was stuck for close to a grand at Luxor on UTH and the 3 card poker table across from me was cheering because somebody hit the royal/sf/whatever and was waiting to be paid. Being the idiot I am I was trying to get back to even and had a miserable time when these guys were high fiving each other and singing.

On another note I think I have a decent amount of comped rooms so I can take up residence there Howard Hughes style (except the wealth and buying out the hotel when the mob asks you to leave) for a bit until I find a permanent place to stay at. I'll be doing research on which properties are best to use a local ID, and which are best to keep my WA state one. I'm guessing the off-strip casinos give you better mailers if you are local, and vice versa for strip properties. Not that it matters much on the strip since I cannot find a decent play. I did receive 3 free nights at the El Cortez for some slot tournament. The problem is that they aren't in the time I will be down there so hopefully I can get another one, and combine them with a 2 for 1 offer I have. Luxor has sent me 3 free nights for the slaughter written above so I will take advantage of that too, and I have some Myvegas points that could get me 4 more weeknights. Sam's Town has been awesome in sending me 3 free nights for 3 months, so I'll use that too along with the initial 5 free nights the Bconnected network sent me. I think I can stretch out my hotel stay to about a month if I play my cards right. I never use a host so I dunno if that would work, seeing that I am a quarters player. I'll definitely blog the adventure.


RogerKint Apr 15, 2013

Fascinating and I can't wait to hear about it. One tip that everyone seems to talk about is keeping your old out of state ID. Playing quarters is good enough to get complimentary rooms downtown. Downtown properties also have some good promos if you're willing to learn Bonus VP games.

Lately, I've been playing a lot of VP progressives and occasionally a couple will sit down at MY bank. The type that argues over which cards to hold when neither of them are correct. They don't know the progressive is high but are just there to kill time or whatever. I keep saying in my head over and over "I swear if they hit the royal..." and "These two are going to hit the royal before I do I just know it. Yup, it's gonna happen." It's so bad I had to move to the other side. lol

tringlomane Apr 16, 2013

Good reading so far! Look forward to future stories. As for grinding up free play, vpFree2 says there are a few quarter and fifty-cent NSUD machines that aren't excluded from promos. It's a bit higher return (0.19% higher), but it might be a bit more variance depending on how you are playing the 50-play JoB. You playing all 50 hands at 2c a hand? Of course if you play NSUD, then you have another strategy to learn if you haven't already. :)

djatc Apr 16, 2013

I'm usually a nice guy about other people hitting the royal (I start up conversations, and wish good luck to all that are trying to hit it) but when it happens to someone else it's the weirdest feeling in the world. It's like I am "entitled" to the royal (of course not really in the grand scheme of things).

About your comment tring I do see that NSUD is the next tier after quarters. A 99.73% payback with a great slot club (such as South Point on 2x days) can net a great amount, almost close to FPDW! South Point has a 50c 50 play NSUD machine and I'll be exploiting it when I have the bankroll. I'm a sucker for multi-line games and the bankroll needed is a lot lower since you get more payouts from 0-200k. I don't want to spend my quarters bankroll on NSUD just yet since FPDW can offer so much, even without promos and drawing entries. The thought of winning a car or cash equivalent for playing VP is alluring though....

Turns out I got a nice bankroll boost from a TR offer for $700 freeplay. I'm doing some simulations right now playing 28 hands at $25 and coming close to $600 average. I figure $30k coin in would get me a host or something, but I guess I'm too small to register at Caesers'.

Posted by djatc
Apr 09, 2013

Having money owed when well off > Having money owed when broke > owing money

I guess it beats being broke and destitute I guess.

I applied for financial aid for school, as well as the GI bill to get some cash flowing. Since I am a "new" student (first quarter after coming back from the military) everything will take forever and a day. Luckily I kept some cash reserves but it's my gambling bankroll so things might get a little hectic until everything starts to fall into place.

I also have some money owed to me for cashing in my leave days. I couldn't take them and was forced to sell them at a reduced rate so I have a nice check coming.

UNLV might be a bit expensive for the time being, so I'm looking to transfer to CSN (College of Southern Nevada) and take as much classes as I can before transferring. This will save me money and get the general education classes I don't have out of the way without paying university rates.

Working out a schedule with the guard is pretty tough since I'm trying to work out once a quarter drills instead of every month. I got approved for a Southwest premier card so if I spend $1k in 3 months (buying gas cards and grocery gift cards to make it up) I get 2 free round trip flights, which cover the rest of the year. Drills only pay lodging, but annual training days pay mileage, lodging, and per diem, basic pay, BAH, and BAS. It's more beneficial in my favor to take AT days when they are offered.

Living next to a casino would dictate I grind it out on the VP but I live in Washington state, the home of the Class II machines. I was lucky enough to hit 2 royals before finding out this was a bad play. Good thing is I got mailers for $150 the first cycle, and $300 for the next! Cashed in all my points as well and made like $800. I haven't touched live poker in ages (I've been humbled by my bad play and I don't have the bankroll to support it) and no table games. With all those factors I haven't given them any action in months.

What I have been doing is playing a FP JoB progressive in Oregon, but the cost to get there and come back prohibit from making this an AP. The progressive usually gets around $1500 and makes for a decent hourly with 0.28% cashback (99.82% at 4000 coins), but I only hit the $1,150 one a couple months back. This was before I did the math on what the strike point is, and lost a ton of value, W2G or not. Progs are high variance, holding ATs over A and breaking high pairs for 3 to a royal make for lost present value and more future value towards hitting the royal. Last time I was there someone playing hit it for $1900, then I played the next one for a while but went to sleep, played for a bit, and after going to the buffet someone else hit it. Kinda aggravating I drove so far, but that's life.


Wizard Apr 10, 2013

Thank you for your service. You might start a thread on low-level video poker plays in Vegas. Mailers and points are pretty much the name of the game. For casinos that have multiplier days, wait for the good ones. For example, at Stations and Coast casinos I would hold out for at least 6x. As has been discussed in a thread, Dotty's is generous with mailers.

Finally, don't overlook gambling in the military itself. I've never known anybody in the Guard, but all my friends who enlisted full-time (I'm sure there is a military term for it) said if you knew where to look gambling on base was not hard to find, and sometimes very lucrative.

tringlomane Apr 10, 2013

Wiz definitely has a good point about gambling with your military cohorts. If you hold your own at 1/2 NLHE at the casino, you'd clean up playing versus them in a rake-free game.

djatc Apr 10, 2013

Thanks Wiz and tring for the insight. I will be looking into getting into some great poker nights but I don't have the connections at the moment. I'll be blogging my adventures here about my lowroller to highroller (doubtful but it'll be a nice read if nothing else) plays. I loved getting mailers from the casino I went to because they rebated me a lot (they are all class II machines so shame on me.). I'm hoping to make the move to Vegas to take advantage of all the casinos and the great AP. I just bought VPW and hope to log a good amount on FPDW and NSUD so I can make the most of a -EV game that turns +EV after drawings/mailers.

Posted by djatc
Apr 01, 2013

Reinvesting profits and not buying dumb shit

Piggybacking on the last blog post:

When we start a business or in the sake of this forum start to gamble with an edge, we have to be careful as to not bleed our new venture dry by constantly reinvesting profits to float or take on bigger risks. The initial investment was a pain to put together, and now must be watered in order for it to grow.

I'm sure many businesses have taken out more money then they are taking in when times are good, such as the real estate market. I know of couple of people who leveraged a ton to acquire real estate in the hopes that they will make money when the property value goes up, and assume it will always go up. I was in a position years ago to start accumulating rental properties (good thing I didn't, as I had no capital or experience) and take a shot at being a broke landlord. My ambitions have always been way too big for someone of my age for some reason. Maybe it's an insecurity thing, who knows.

The last 2 Vegas trips have humbled me and brought me back down to earth. When I would make my Oregon trips to play the JoB prog (Usually at a return of 101% or so if the meter is good) I never got my money in bad on a table game. No single hand of BJ, or any other game with a house advantage. Sure I'd leave $700-$1000 poorer trying to hit the progressive but it was always +EV and variance is a thing we have to accept as gamblers.

When I got to Vegas my willpower went right out the window. I spent more money on -EV games then a +EV game. I should have been hunkered down at the Palms trying to hit the royal on the FPDW machine, or earning points for the buffet on the 50 line JoB machine. I am going to self-exclude myself from table games in the future. I cannot ask the casinos to do this (I don't want to stop completely, I want to set daily limits), so if anyone is reading this blog I am willing to offer a bounty on myself. If you see me playing at a table game and call me out I will give you $500. If anyone is down let me know, and I'll send pics of myself. I am moving to Vegas in a few months and will usually be at any casino with a FPDW machine (most likely Palms. Great eye candy.)

Anyway going back to the story about the business. The amount I lost was a decent amount of my VP bankroll and now I have to rebuild. The great thing about FPDW is that your losing sessions aren't too big, and I've been having breakeven stretches on my marathon sessions. As long as I stick to that and the JoB machine (50 line reduces variance because you can spread out the point accumulation on multiple hands instead of 1) I should be able to put together a decent roll in the future to move up to the 50c machine or $1.


AcesAndEights Apr 03, 2013

I feel you man, but for me the +EV game is card counting, and the -EV temptation is craps. If I lived in Vegas I would take you up on the bounty idea in exchange for a similar deal on me.

Posted by djatc
Mar 30, 2013

Everyone learns an expensive lesson in BRM

Bankroll management is the big difference between winners and losers. If a game is +EV, then with a sizable bankroll you can literally play forever and ever while making a profit. The best example comes from playing FPDW at a 0.76% advantage for quarters. With a 3 to 5x amount over a royal ($3k-5k) you can play for a long time and more likely then not be ahead. The calculation of playing a quarters FPDW machine comes out to about $9.50/hr not including points (at the Palms you can earn 1 point per $4 coin in, with no promotion points gained). I usually save my points for freebies like food or buffets ($8800 coin in for a dinner buffet on Tues/Thurs/Sat), which are attainable after 7 or so hours of quarters play (1000 hands/hr x 1.25=$1250 coin in/4 points per $1).

Why risk 3 to 5 grand to make $9.50 an hour, and theoretical at that? Well the main reason is exactly like playing poker; as you move up in stakes your returns go up exponentially even though you win less per hour. A 1/2 no limit player can see about 30 hands an hour, and make about $10 or 5 big blinds. He decides to take a shot at 2/5, and finds himself making 4 big blinds instead, but since the BB is $5, he effectively doubles his income while spending the same amount of time. If he goes up to 5/10 and beats it for 3 big blinds an hour that's $30 an hour, which is more than 2/5, while still playing the same hours (his skill level would have to increase as he goes up, but he spends his work schedule at the same times).

Video poker works out to be the same way. While there are no FPDW above quarters, in the dollars realm there are 100.17% DB with $10 a hand, and other machines that can work out a higher hourly. The granddaddy of video poker machines are the 100.17% DB machines at $10 which works out to $23.25/hr after bonuses. You could get a higher return playing double points at South Point but for regular grinding purposes the Palms machines can be played daily.

The big money seems to come from playing -EV games while a promotion of giveaway is going on. This would mean spending a part of your bankroll on an under 100% game while stuffing the giveaway drum with your name. These giveaways if played right by calculating equity the right way can net quite a bit to the bankroll. Bob Dancer states that these giveaways have made him a winner for the year as opposed to just playing regular machines.

Anyway the reason why I made this blog was because I am trying to be a VP grinder. My last trip humbled me because I got my money in bad at the table games and left about $2.5k lighter then I should have. All the comps I've received does not equal up to this much and I am looking to sell them since I cannot use them all and would prefer to add back to the bankroll. A couple of places have sent me freeplay so I hope to parlay that into something nice, but I'm not betting my money on it. If I only stuck to VP I would only have lost a few hundred, because I played 9/6 JoB 10 play quarters for a few hundred which wasn't great but it was manageable.

Sitting at the table games have cost me 2 grand or so. 1 at Caesers, and 1 at Luxor. I could have prevented playing at Luxor since I was only there to earn 500 or so Mlife points to get to Pearl. I achieved this by playing $1 3 hand JoB and leaving when I was up a hundred. Problem was I had to play Ultimate Holdem so I sat down and proceed to bleed out my $1000 I brought for the Mlife thing.

My next trip will be only playing at +EV machines, and keeping table games to a minimum of $200 or so a day, and cashing out when I double. Ultimate Holdem can be played for as low as $10 + 1 for the trips bet so I plan to keep it that way, and play better strategy to keep losses to a minimum. I have some Bconnected comps I plan to use at the Gold Coast so I can play at the Palms on the FPDW machines. I can sell my Caesers comps for a pretty penny and claim their freeplay so I can finally leave there a winner.


teddys Mar 30, 2013

What amount did you play UTH for at Luxor and Caesars? I dumped $2-2.5k at Bellagio and Aria on their tables after a really bad UTH binge but I was up a lot (no excuse). Never got anything from MLife. Stick to video poker and you'll be guaranteed to get the best of it.

djatc Mar 30, 2013

$1k at Caesers from a mix of Pai Gow, UTH, and BJ, then $1k at Luxor only playing UTH.

Funny thing is I won a sizable amount at the Palms on UTH. Left with a purple chip 2 out of 3 days I played. I couldn't understand how this game can be this swingy when I was playing very close to the strategy off the WoO site, but I didn't learn about the PF bet making the most amount of money. I didn't do 4x as often as I should since I was skeptical of raising J8o or KXs for that much.

Seriously if I only stuck to VP I would only have been out $2 or 300. 10 play at quarters is a bitch and I fed the machine a couple hundred. On FPDW I always got my money in good and broke dead even, maybe only a couple hundred since I played multiple sessions where I didn't get the wild royal.

djatc Mar 30, 2013

Bleh can't edit the last comment..... I was playing table minimums at $10, $15 at Caesers. They sent me $700 in freeplay so I'm gonna stick to the $5 JoB machine and grind it out.