Posted by duckmankilla
Jul 07, 2014

Am I the worst gambler ever?

Currently sitting in McCarran airport waiting to board my plane and reflecting on the horrendous run of video poker from these past few days. Was playing 10/7 double bonus at the Main Street station and managed to lose $320 with $2,350 in coin in at $.25. To add insult to injury, MSS is running a promo where you get a scratch off for more money with every 4oak that you hit. In $2,350 worth of play, I hit exactly 0 4 of a kinds.

Meanwhile, while sulking around the casino trying to enjoy my beer, I watched a lady sit down at a 5 play vp variant with a horrendous paytable and get dealt a straight flush.

What I can only imagine is over a 101% game when you factor in comps, and the scratch offs, I managed to play to a whopping return of 86.4% if we're generous with the rounding.

The rest of the week didn't go much better.

I hate vp.


dwheatley Jul 07, 2014

Keep taking those shots, can't hit every time. Took me a while to get into positive territory when I was counting lucky lucky. High variance games can be discouraging.

odiousgambit Jul 07, 2014

no 4oak with that many chances is pretty astounding

duckmankilla Jul 07, 2014

Tell me about it. Since I have never played double bonus before this trip, I made sure to print out the strategy chart and bring it with me to make sure I was playing correctly. Didn't seem to matter much.

Additionally, I went 3 for 12 in blackjack match play coupons to book a loss there as well. The only things I won at on the entire trip were let it ride (3%ish edge) and a penny slot that I put $5 into and cashed out for $50.

I think I live in opposite world.

djatc Jul 08, 2014

I lost $2000 without hitting a 4OAK on 10/7 DB once.

duckmankilla Jul 08, 2014

On a $1 machine I assume?

mustangsally Jul 08, 2014

"Am I the worst gambler ever?"



Because you (including the vast majority) do not know what to expect from any length of play, except for a RTP% only

"reflecting on the horrendous run of video poker... I hit exactly 0 4 of a kinds"

less than 2000 hands played and NO 4oak, the machines you played are rigged against you

and what do you think are the odds of that horrendous run happening IS?

1 in 1 million?

1 in 10 million?

1 in 100,000,000,000?

"no 4oak with that many chances is pretty astounding"

"surprisingly impressive or notable"

so many are so easily impressed

1 in 80 ain't nothing as far as I can see

10 million VP players, expect 1 million to have that drought or longer

so the "worst gambler ever" is about (from my example)

1 in a million

so sweet

oh well,

I am so stuck on 7 lifetime Royals, all on bad pay tables (CA Indian casinos no less or more less)

in about 30k hands

that should make Sally

the worst gambler ever

odiousgambit Jul 09, 2014

I forgot it was $1.25 per chance since it would be 5-play no doubt. So, now I can agree it was bad luck, but not astounding bad luck.

mustangsally Jul 09, 2014

"managed to lose $320 with $2,350 in coin in at $.25"

Is this also a 1 in a million shot event?

(correction to my last post example. It should read out of 80 million VP players instead of 10 million)

what is the feeling here?

brings up the reality that even playing a +EV game with LOTS of variance

in less than 2000 hands played there is a very reasonable chance of losing $320 or more

and that is about 1 in 53

so it should be expected by those playing, but it never is from my survey data

Most VP players think the games are rigged if they do not win 50% of the time

no matter what the math says, public perception still rules


duckmankilla Jul 10, 2014


While I appreciate the vitriol with which you responded, perhaps my sincere questioning didn't come across as such. I admit to not really knowing what the chances are of losing $320 in $2,350 of coin in at $.25 one-play DB since I have never played that game before in my life. I was legitimately looking for the odds of losing at least that amount for that specified amount of coin in, and if you (or anyone else) could provide that for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

I saw a lot of numbers that you threw around (1 in 1 million, 1 in 10 million, 1 in 58, etc...) but if you do in fact know the likelihood of a $320 loss for $2,350 of coin in for 10/7 DB, I would very much appreciate the education.

If you could include the basic calculation (I understand the concept of variance and standard deviations, just don't know the formulas to get there), it would again be appreciated.

My apologies for the 7 cycles behind on the Royal. That sounds painful.


duckmankilla Jul 10, 2014

And just to be clear, not once did I ever claim that the machine was rigged. I was simply lamenting my negative variance and asking if anyone knew the actual odds of this happening.

odiousgambit Jul 11, 2014

> $.25 one-play DB

Now I know what happened: you angered the dice! OK, there aren't any dice, so you angered the RNG gods! Perhaps it made sense because of the promotion for hitting 4oak, still, the gods were angered. Best theory I've got [g]

pokerface Jul 26, 2014

You are not the worst gambler (I guess you meant the most unlucky gambler?).

Losing $320 on $.25 machine is like losing $1280 on $1 machine. That's really nothing.

I had multiple sessions lost 10 times more than that without hitting a 4 of a kind.

Well, I also had lucky times such as hitting four royals in one day (all single play!)

Posted by duckmankilla
Mar 20, 2012

Moving forward with a Career

Let me start this blog off by saying that I have been uncertain of my career path ever since entering college as an undergraduate. I enjoyed the study of history and had some excellent teachers in high school, so I decided to take up history as a college major. About halfway through my undergrad work, I realized that career opportunities for a history major were somewhat limited and unless I wanted to become a lawyer, politician, historian, or work in archives somewhere, that I needed something else to supplement my degree. I tinkered with some ideas and eventually decided that since I was already pursuing my history degree, I might as well add education to it as at least with an Education Degree i could teach what I enjoyed.

Let me also say that people told me to pursue a dual history/education major coming into college but I was against the idea of pursuing education from the start... more because I didn't think I would make a very good teacher than anything else. As I looked into my options, I discovered that pursuing an education degree would have taken me an additional 4 years on top of the two that I was already into school, and decided that wasn't really right for me either. So i entered the Education Minor tract and graduated last year with my History Degree, an Honors concentration, and a double minor in Economics and Education. Yay.

Flash forward to this year and I'm in a position I would never have dreamed I would be in a few years ago. Coming into college I was passionate about sports but I didn't want to pursue a job my first semester because I was under the impression that the collegiate curriculum would consume all of my time and that I needed all the time I could get to focus on my studies. This, of course, turned out to be completely untrue and I decided to apply for a job in our Recreation Center on campus for the Spring Semester of my Freshman year. Landed that job and progressed quickly to become an Intramural Sports supervisor, manager, and most recently, intern. During my undergrad senior year, I discovered that universities were actually paying students to come and work as Graduate Assistants in exchange for a full tuition waiver, stipend for living expenses, and multiple professional development opportunities. I quickly joined National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and began searching for these opportunities. Here's where it got interesting.

With a committed relationship lasting almost my entire college career and family being a large part of my life, I couldn't see myself leaving the comfort of my home to pursue an assistantship in a university many many hours away from friends, family, and loved ones. All of my relatives live within around a 4 hour driving radius and we are all very close. Having a girlfriend at home didn't help the issue, and I decided not to pursue a graduate assistantship at the time. This year, I was fortunate enough to obtain an internship through the Recreation Center and was given the opportunity to build my resume and skill set doing something I never would have thought was a viable career field. After securing the internship, I set my sights on pursuing an assistantship for the academic year beginning in the Fall of 2012.

In addition to the experience that I've gained, the current Graduate Assistant at my own school will be graduating this Spring which left the door open for me to apply for the Graduate Assistantship position at my own university. A few months ago, I decided that if I were offered this position, I would jump at the chance and would accept without blinking. Fortunately, I was offered the position here a few days ago complete with full tuition waiver, a generous stipend, health insurance, and a separate professional development fund. However, after applying to multiple schools and having interviews with each of them, I received a second offer from another school. As I said previously, a few months ago I would have sealed the deal and accepted the position at my native school already, but as it stands, I'm not so sure.

The benefits of going to a school in a completely different region (moving to the South vs. the Northeast) can provide me with some great learning experiences for my future. In addition, I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of my interviews with the school in question as their laid back vibes are refreshing and reassuring and they have a great deal to offer as far as experience in the field is concerned. The family aspect is the toughest part. While I'm trying to convince my girlfriend to join me, it's a tough sell as her family is all up in the Northeast as well. Asking her to pick up and move to the south isn't exaclty what she had in mind, but she is encouraging me to do what I feel is best for my career and have the rest work itself out. It's a tough call, but one I will need to make by this Friday as my home university has requested that I let them know of my decision by Friday at the latest.

I guess in summary I have landed myself in a place I would have never thought possible, but I am thankful to be here. I truly enjoy what I am doing at this point and while many of you can imagine that the money in a Campus Recreation Field isn't great, I think that working with students and doing something I enjoy can more than make up for the pay cut. Life takes some strange turns, but I'm hoping that these winding roads lead me down the path to happiness. I think I am leaning towards heading south at this point, but I don't think I've completely made up my mind yet.

For anyone reading this, I know it's just another life story, but with this potentially life-changing decision to make, it helps to quantify some of it by putting it into words, even if no one is going to read what i've written. So for anyone who is reading, feel free to comment on any part of this blog entry.



EvenBob Mar 20, 2012

So you're in your early 20's?

FleaStiff Mar 21, 2012

Things seem to have gone well for you and your girl friend SEEMS to be saying that if you leave, she will stay where she is. It might be best to make up your mind about just how much "laid back South" job is worth to you if you lose Current Girlfriend. Sports jobs CAN be a career ... but usually its for the fairly young set and opportunities diminish with age or any taint of school problems even that were not of your own doing.

Good luck.

hook3670 Mar 21, 2012


How old are you guys now? Would your career oppertunities be the same no matter which place you choose? Where in the South versus where you are now?

boymimbo Mar 21, 2012

It seems like you have a big choice to make, and two days to make it. From what it seems from your own writing, you seem drawn to this new opportunity away from home. The trade off is that you'll lose your friends, family, and perhaps even your loved one. Because you are even considering this choice, it's far more about getting away from your familiar track to something completely different, and I think it's that pull more than the job offer yourself that is causing the struggle.

When I was in my early 20s, I had to make a choice to stay home, have an okay job, and finish my post-graduate work in Toronto, or move to Vancouver and finish my studies there. I had never been to Vancouver. However, I realized that being at home, I was stagnant. My friends were my friends, my family was my family, and my routine was same old, same old. So I moved, and absolutely loved it. My friends back home are the same ones, but I'm not limited by them. The same is true of my family.

My advice for you is that you should probably go for it. These career opportunities only happen once, and I think they happen for a reason. If your girlfriend truly loves you and you love her, then the relationship should survive despite the challenges (whether she moves in with you or not).

duckmankilla Mar 21, 2012

@ Bob, yes, we are both in our early 20's.

Thanks for the words of wisdom guys. I know its a tough call but I'm considering moving from New Jersey to either Ole Miss, the University of Kentucky, or Oklahoma State. Ole Miss has offered me the position already and I know I am one of the final candidates for Kentucky and OK State, but the latter two won't offer their positions until the national conference which starts next Tuesday, so I will have to decide to either accept or reject this job before then.

I'm of the same vein in thinking that things will work out with the girlfriend. We have been together for nearly four years, and that is certainly a benefit, but at the same time we haven't really been apart for all that long either. Even when the summers rolled around, our respective houses are only about an hour apart. The 18 hour drive to Mississippi, 13 hour drive to Lexington, or 24 hour drive to Stillwater is a bit different if she chooses to stay at home. It's not an easy call.

EvenBob Mar 21, 2012

In your early 20's, what do you have to lose. You

have time to make many mistakes, even big ones.

Those often turn out to have the best memories

and are the best learning experiences.

Ayecarumba Mar 21, 2012

Ask your girlfriend to become Mrs. Mankiller, and migrate south. Time to stretch your wings.

buzzpaff Mar 24, 2012

Despite sayings to the contrary. you can always go home. At your age if you do not follow your dreams, you will regret what might have been for the rest of your life. GO FOR IT !!!!