Part 2: 4G/5G and Jesse JamesI got the message loud and clear that my old phone wasn't going to work anymore, not even for basic phone calls. I pretty much had decided to upgrade to unlimited calls and texts even though I was saving an absolute bundle with my pre-paid plan where I was charged 25c for each minute and 20c for each text. Every time I checked for how much I had been spending over the last 12 months, I would come up with a figure $12 to maybe $19 a month. Some months I'd be making a lot of calls and it'd be double or more these figures, but the average was always low.
I had already decided to give it up, though, and getting the new phone seemed like the time to do that too. With some difficulty I was able to get what is typically referred to as a flip-phone that would work with 4G. I was going on about not wanting a smartphone and I told the salesman I just needed to make calls and texts and didn't need much for data, but what he heard me say was "I'm cheap". To be fair, the phone he sold me was about the only choice without selling me what was clearly a pricey smartphone, so I'll take some of the blame. Plus the phone was new to him as well, and he wouldn't know if people liked them or not. In any case this too-cheap-phone was terrible to make calls with. It wouldn't drop the calls, but there were periods where the other person couldn't hear me.* I decided I had to get an upgrade.
I threw my cheap nature out the window and just told the guy to get me what will definitely work. These can be quite expensive, but he had a phone for just a few hundred dollars, working on 5G. Unfortunately, I had to upgrade the data portion for it to work, so now I'm spending more each month on something I still don't need. Arrgggggggh. So I laid my Jesse James joke on him. You say to the guy "where is your horse?" and he will say something like "huh?" Then you say "Jesse James had a horse!"
The whole experience hasn't been good. Life is not better. It's made me withdrawn at times. I feel manipulated. More on next blogpost.
*Cell phones don't work with a transmit button, where you press it and then say 'over' when done so the other person can then press the button and talk. I can't find anything on this, but I believe it is true that this means a cell phone has to decide which side transmits. Otherwise there could be feedback? Incorrect switching seems to be a problem with about any cell phone if there is a lot of background noise. This phone I'll call 'submissive' as it tended to keep switching back to the other speaker at all times, not just if there was noise on that end. Plus I think it may have had a pause period when I was to speak. It's possible the phone may have been made to work if I could get the other person to just be aware of the problems, as some calls went ok. But I decided that was too impractical.
A Vow Bites the DustI'm going to say that if you don't have a smartphone now, you soon will have unless you have no cell phone at all. Recent experience tells me that. If you have to get a new cell phone, it will be a smartphone [I'm pretty sure about this]. Yes, there are inexpensive flip-phones you can still get, but they seem to be just stripped down smartphones with few features. A new one has to be compatible with at least the 4G network or they won't sell them, and that's the bottom line. 3G is going away.
I have a smartphone now, and I resent it. I guess I'll have to explain, which will take more than one blogpost. But here is the bottom line: I vowed to never have a smartphone and I've had to break the vow.
I'll make the first blogpost on this a rant against the smartphone. I'm going to offend some people, so I apologize in advance. Smartphones are damaging society. I don't know how serious it is, maybe my concern is overblown. But at least in the case of our upcoming generation, it's a threat to mental health even.
Case in point: my own behavior I had to modify just because I had an ordinary cell phone at the time. I'm at a cookout staged partly to celebrate my return visit to some old friends. I went without my wife, so though she is supportive of both of us having some time away from each other, the smart spouse knows things are best if you don't just completely disappear. So instead of calling we are texting back and forth for a while during this cookout. Finally a friend tells me, wow, that is obnoxious with 'all that beeping'. It occurs to me it's also just plain rude to ignore everybody for that period of time too. I would never have done that years ago. Technology made it possible and sure enough, the next thing you know you don't even realize how rude you're being. Everyone is getting more and more like that, so there's the shelter of normalization ... but it wasn't really normal with this group. Not good.
Smartphone users, the ones who really get into it, are even worse. In the worst cases you go out to dinner together and they don't have dinner with you! You're at the same table, but they are face down on this glowing object the whole time. The phone alerts them about something and they just have to check it, you know, like an addict who can't take his mind off what he's hooked on. Something you say might trigger it, maybe you were wondering if so and so actor was dead, say ... here he goes, gotta look it up and he's thinking we all appreciate it. No, dude, just join us, you know. While you still can, keep this up and you'll forget how.
In the case of children, they are being given these phones and raised on them. I am largely not in contact with this, but articles are being written about huge mental damage being done.
So: I had a vow to never be like this. And thus a vow to never have a smartphone; that had to be broken. I feel very manipulated. Very. I'll explain more with the next blogpost.
Feb 20, 2022
Why Gamblers Can't Get EducatedWhen I see some seemingly with-it, at least fairly articulate, person post here with some remarkably stupid idea, I sometimes have to remind myself that it's not so easy to get educated about smarter gambling. The internet is full of misinformation about gambling, and the book world is no different.
Behold "Trade Secrets About Casino Craps That Will Save You Money", an article sent to me by gmail because I want to have articles about developments in Florida Craps sent to me. Never mind that the word 'Florida' can not be found, but let's say you're the guy who doesn't know much about Craps and wants to learn more. It's a perfect example of misleading or useless information.
'They' has to mean the casino, so here is misinformation Item One. Not the worst thing for someone to believe, I guess, but it is simply incorrect. The Casino wins the same amount of money in the long run no matter how the bets go down as long as it's the same amount of action.Quote: article, edited
Casino craps may be the most exciting game on the casino floor...
Thereís certainly a case to be made for a game that hands a player whoís eight drinks deep a pair of dice and lets them fire away...
The casinos love it when players decide to team up in a show of solidarity. They stand to win a lot more money by having the entire table betting in the same direction.
Now for the more discerning newbie, this is the first flag. You should 'just know' right off the bat, no secrets are going to be revealed.Quote:
Here are 10 more trade secrets about casino craps that will save you money.
I'm including this one to show some of the advice is OK.Quote:
When You Bet More, You Lose More Craps tables are full of a myriad of bets for players to choose from. Many players will opt to place several bets across the table in an effort to minimize their risks of losing bets. Unfortunately, this merely serves to increase your overall liability...
But he winds up saying this.
I'm not sure what he means, you could interpret that to mean you should do one-roll bets like the Field. If so, terrible advice. I think he meant to say one outcome 'per bet' and just one or so bets.Quote:
Try betting on one outcome per roll. It seems incredibly straightforward, but most gamblers never get this concept.
I guess he means by comparison, like 101 is 1% more than 100; but the reader might think he means the HE is 1% less. Badly worded. I suppose it's OK to recommend the Don't, the Wizard does, but personally I think it's bad advice for someone new at playing Craps because they're so likely to embarrass themselves by making the bet when the puck is 'ON'. The amount saved is such a small matter, honestly.Quote:
Your Best Bet Is Going to Irritate Other Gamblers. The majority of craps players will bet on the pass line...The pass line has a relatively low house edge that slowly draws on your bankroll. It will also keep you in the good graces of most of your fellow gamblers.
However, if you want to get every last roll from your gambling funds, the donít pass line is the way to bet. This bet has an advantage over the pass line thatís less than 1%...
Yes, and here you are recommending it to a newbie. Really?Quote:
... The drawback to betting the donít pass line is that you miss the sense of community and oneness that you get betting the pass line. You may also be subject to some verbal abuse from the majority of players that are losing every time you win a bet
Dude, you wrote it like you are supposed to write payoff odds, not probabilities. Come on guy, back to school, the numerator is on top, the denominator on the bottom, remember? NOT SIDE BY SIDE. The colon, when used, reads like the word 'to'. For the 7 what you wrote reads as '1 to 6' when the probabilities, sir, are instead one 'in' 6! When we use a keyboard, generally we have to use a slash to suggest numerator/denominator, the one on top, the other on bottom. Man! not getting this right drives me crazy.*Quote:
The Dice Have Many Different Probabilities. Every roll of the dice has only eleven possible outcomes... Here are the probabilities for the different possible totals:
6 or 8 (5:36)
5 or 9 (1:9)
4 or 10 (1:12)
3 or 11 (1:18)
2 or 12 (1:36)
Considering that the writer surely knows he is putting out a worthless article, I think he must have burst out laughing after writing that. Especially since there's not a single thing there about how to spot a 'bad bet'Quote:
The above figures wonít necessarily translate to wins, but knowledge is power. Plus, every bad bet you donít make is saving you money.
Back to some of his better advice, which I don't include.Quote:
Youíll Never Beat the Casino Long-Term.
I dunno. Everybody knows the casino has that house edge. Players get deluded into thinking there might be a system that can work, true, but this is due to other influences and the player's own idiocy. As Mission says, what they really want is to keep playing. If the House wins in the end, but they kept playing longer, is what they're usually wanting. Why insult the reader saying the House edge is secret?Quote:
The casino doesnít want players to become savvy to this fact.
Just some blah blah here saying you can get tossed out for being rude. Really? I didn't know that.Quote:
Players Can Shut the Game Down.
OK, some not well written but good advice, not included here, ending with,Quote:
You Should Never Hedge Your Bets in Craps,
I don't see how you can lay this one on the casino. Many pit bosses think you really can get over on them with the comp system this way, so hedging bets is not really encouraged.Quote:
The casinos want to get as much money as possible from players; the hedge bets are merely another tool in their arsenal.
Back to good advice, but hardly a secret.Quote:
You Donít Need to Know Every Bet to Enjoy Craps. Most players think they must understand every bet on the craps table before making a single wager. Thatís not at all the case ...
Now he's really having to reach for something to fill the article with now. Not worth reproducing.Quote:
Not Your Garden Variety Gas Station Dice.
Rarely? And really different than the Pass line? Only somewhat different, it seems to me.Quote:
Donít bet the Donít Pass for Immediate Gratification. The donít pass line is your best chance of leaving the casino with house money playing craps. Thatís because the house edge is the lowest in the game, so any wins count more because youíre losing less often.
However, it would be best for you to have the patience to bet the donít pass line. Rarely will the bet be decided on the come-out roll.
Itís Not All in the Wrist. Dice control is one of the craps strategies that has been floating around for decades. Yet, despite the alleged experts who preach the merit of dice control and the dozens of books that have been written on the subject, thereís no evidence that it works.
Let me clarify if you could control the results by holding the dice a certain way or flicking your wrist casinos would change the rules.
Wrapping it up here, satisfied, I guess, that he has succeeded in totally confusing the guy 'new to the game'Quote:
Our Conclusion: If youíre new to the game and want to get the most from your sessions, these 10 trade secrets about craps will save you money.
* an edit. I woke up in the middle of the night again realizing I had some errors. I've also had to fix the title twice, the first fix had an embarrassing error. So I guess I should lighten up? The thing is, I really do get the feeling the idea here is to actually just write a bunch of drivel, not caring to educate anybody in reality.
Mr. OG, You took a great deal of time and effort into producing this blog. It is well done and easy to follow. Thank you. I personally would quibble on your assessment of "hedging." I can use "hedging" as a +PV (probability value). That is a new term I have invented. (I think it is new.) It is defined as "producing wagering patterns that increase the "probability" of winning a wager to the extent that the player creates a personal edge over the HE/HA.
BTW I will not try to start a thread with that one. Members will go ballistic.
The thing is, I really do get the feeling the idea here is to actually just write a bunch of drivel, not caring to educate anybody in reality.
Pretty sure you nailed it.
Fortunately, some websites and authors still have pretty good quality standards.
Mr. OG, I went to the link you provided and clicked on the article. I thought that perhaps you might have left a comment or two to inform the readers of your accurate criticisms and comments. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I will jump in and do my thing and see if any feathers are ruffled.
Yes, Dieter... I don't remember the details of how I came across the W.o. Odds site [which came before WoV]. You could email Michael with a question and he would email you back very reliably. Perhaps I just got lucky, because there surely were tons of misleading books and websites to lead you astray back then too. On the other hand I'm fairly sure being able to discern dreck from spot-on is extremely helpful in this matter.
Tuttigym: looking into finding your comments now. I'll leave some too.
Tuttigym, I may also not leave a comment due to the sign-in process being a bother
Hedging can be misunderstood. Soopoo apologized for hedging in a thread where it seemed to me he was instead using arbitrage, a completely legitimate thing that only similar to hedging.Quote:
I can use "hedging" as a +PV (probability value). That is a new term I have invented. (I think it is new.) It is defined as "producing wagering patterns that increase the "probability" of winning a wager to the extent that the player creates a personal edge over the HE/HA.
Now, as far as your ability to make hedging work for you to win, I guess the proof will be in the pudding. Finding wagering patterns that will do so is the dream of all gamblers, going back to the dawn of time I think.
BTW I will not try to start a thread with that one. Members will go ballistic.
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Jan 28, 2022
Really, BetMGM?Are you kidding me?
are you kidding me?
I've got my win/loss statement for 2021 with BetMGM online gambling now. I've kept good records of my own using their provided information that they provide in detail. Additionally, I have kept separately a record of deposits and withdrawals which was meticulously checked and re-checked.
Understanding that I decided to be a piker to avoid the $600 in aggregate winnings over time that they say will cause a report to the IRS, I expected a report showing I won more than I lost to the tune of a couple hundred, a bit less actually. Instead I see a win/loss statement showing I lost about that amount. Considering the whole situation here, they have no excuse for this. None!
In other words the online win/loss statement is the same BS made-up wild guess that it is at the brick and mortar casino! I am absolutely floored! This means I will have to continue to play without knowing what they are going to claim. More importantly, I don't know if I will get a W2g generated due to incorrect information.
I can't count on them getting it incorrect in the way I would want. I'm going to have to continue to be a complete piker since that last bit "can't happen"
Some companies issue 1099's below $600. The IRS just says that if is is over $600 they must issue one. I once got one for a $50 drawing win at a casino.
issuing paperwork when it isn't required? sort of odd
I'm reminded of when, at my age, I get carded at a bar, trying to get a drink, to make sure I'm 21. Clearly that bar just got busted for selling to minors! This business of 'got caught now I'll be super vigilant' might be at work when you get a $50 1099. Or maybe some other reason like "it feels good to be an asshole sometimes"
in this, coming up with incorrect win/loss when they should be able to nail it down to the last cent, well, makes me think they want to preserve the inaccuracy. If they were accurate, the IRS would love it and ride them? Just a theory.
Dec 28, 2021
Actually Not Smoove At AllThose who live in hipper circles may think of the [new-to-me] comedian JB Smoove as the perfect choice for mascot [is that the right word?] of the irreverent ads being run by Caesars Entertainment for their new online sportsbook enterprise. Certainly it's somewhat droll to see a Black Caesar ... I guess the downside being you now have a flippant image for folks to dwell on should they not be happy with their experience. I can say for my self, in fact unhappy, I readily focus on that image.
Having won enough bets with BetMGM to fear their threat to report winnings to the IRS, I've stopped betting there till January to keep from going over the line that causes reporting*. I was looking for an alternative site to bet sports online, now that Virginia has that.
I'm a hold-out against smartphones, so I needed a site that works with desktops, and though maybe most of them do, the introductory information they offer seldom indicates that they do. Smartphone apps rule the day for this way of gambling, it seems. I learned in some manner I no longer remember that Caesars Sportsbook does have betting with just a home computer, so I decided to give that a whirl.
By some unclear arrangement, William Hill runs the sportsbook, at least here in VA they do. The Terms and Conditions are the usual eye-popping declaration that you have no rights whatsoever, etc [and which I have already blogged about] so although they offer an up-to $1001 match to your initial deposit, I again started things with a modest amount I'd be willing to throw away should I get any grief about withdrawals. In fact, the first real thing I tasked them with was showing me that process would be painless ... they did pass this test with a quick transfer back into my paypal account of the amount I deposited. Testing this and that is how I go about it, and, unfortunately, not all has gone well.
I'll state again that I am a little different than most, and would have accepted the opposite experience, meaning I would have contacted no one in that operation should obstacles to a withdrawal have been unreasonable. And I will not contact anyone again about other things that did not go well, after trying to email with the address provided for such. The last thing I want with this kind of activity is dealing with any hassles. Nothing would make me more miserable; the price for them to pay is a negative review.
Having said that, I'll acknowledge that it is possible that using a smartphone app would work much better. There is plenty of evidence the problem is bad design for the desktop app. You get the experience of seeing an offer you like and taking care to follow the steps you are to take, then, after making the bet, getting no indication that you are set for the offer. This even occurred with the initial deposit match offer. I would go to make my first deposit and see that the offer code is auto-filled into the box to use, that the code is correct in fact, but right next to this box it says "incorrect code". Finally I just made a deposit with the code box empty, giving up on it since I was only going to put a small amount anyway. A couple of days later I see it gets matched with a freebet. No indication that this was going to happen, and this is the way things go. You simply don't have a way of knowing.
I initially see a lot of matching freebet offers for various parlays. The expected result is to lose the parlay, especially since they demand it generate odds of +300 or more. Generating +299 is not enough in this actually odd notion they have. So, of course, getting the freebet on a loss has to come through. The first time I try it, I cautiously use a minimum bet. 10 cents! The parlay loses and after about 24 hours I get the freebet. The next two times that I've tried this and lost, no freebet shows up. Yes I've waited plenty of time.
The difference with BetMGM is remarkable. With them you get acknowledgement on every offer. If something didn't go right, one of the ways you can tell is you can cancel the bet [you can't if you go in on an offer]. There is a section of the site you can go to check things out as well. Often, the offer uses a 'token' you use for extra assurance. Caesars does not allow you to cancel a bet btw. This opposite experience with Caesars is of course completely unacceptable. They have to fix this or forget it! I can't recommend Caesars as a result and think it is regrettable they have put out such a terrible product.
Ironically, right now some offers from Caesars I'm getting look pretty good, though there may be deal-killer conditions. I don't know because I'm not looking into them. I'm done.
* you may be thinking I'm bragging, but, no, I'm just being cautious in the extreme. That outfit does not say how they are going to report wins, and though they would have absolutely no excuse for doing so, may not factor losses before deciding the report should be on its merry way. If they do factor losses, I have nothing to worry about. I'll know something around the middle of January it seems.
there was a $20 minimum for withdrawals that was not mentioned in the T&C and I had run my bank down to $9. Got this up to $20+ betting on hockey and got the rest of my money out. So I am now officially done with this ... with yet another sore point to think about.
A nefarious minded bunch here if you ask me.
Mr. OG, I have a hand-me-down I phone 6. My carrier is Cricket. I pay $30/mon total. I have unlimited talk and text with 5 g's of data per month which I never exceed. My phone is never tied to me at the hip because I rarely use the data and get fewer than 8 calls a month and text occasionally to those I am close with. If I am with someone and they are involved with their phone, I either say something very rude or leave. If I can, I will make sure my presence is felt whilst the involved party is buried deeply into their phone. BTW I have no pictures and just a few apps. I keep my existence simplified.
good for you sir!
I've had good luck combining a good earpiece or headset with a modest phone. This solution does not work for everyone.
I do find many of the "smart" features useful, including the camera, web browser, podcast apps, calendar reminders, and the ability to use an app to get another phone inside the phone. I do use the phone; at the per minute or per text charges you mentioned, my phone use cost would substantially exceed the flat rate unlimited plan I'm on. Thousands of texts a month adds up quickly.
I haven't dived into the specifics of modern cell phones like simplex/duplex audio. I know that cheap phones seem to mute the microphone when the speaker is making noise, so the other person doesn't get audio feedback and the phone doesn't need to include a high quality (expensive) noise cancellation system. The "speakerphone" mode on cheap phones is often unusable. You may not notice; the person on the other end may.
>noise cancellation system
the phone I got first, which I had to get rid of, lacked this if there is such a thing. An old fashioned early 20th century type phone avoids feedback by keeping the microphone and the speaker isolated from each other. So I think a cheap cell phone instead tries to control who is transmitting while shutting the other down. Sometimes it worked OK, but the other person can have no noise in the background ... and not try to speak while the other person is speaking. A delay factor was involved too, I believe, when you started to speak. Ugh . The phone just belongs in the trash.