Posted by odiousgambit
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"


DRich Feb 02, 2022

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.

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2022

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.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 28, 2021

Actually Not Smoove At All

Those 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.


odiousgambit Jan 27, 2022

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.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 20, 2021

The House Always Diddles

I'm working with a new online sportsbook. I wanted to check to make sure it wasn't diddling with the odds when you set up a parlay, since they don't say how they figure them. I was getting very interested in a +EV situation. If it doesn't pan out, and it looks like it won't, I'll blog about that too. 

In any case, I set up a parlay that was 3 legs, odds for straight bets were -450, -110, and +100, resp. The math seemed simple to me, that's 1/5.5 , 1/2.1, and 1/2 in probabilities ... but I was making the mistake of forgetting I was taking the fat end of the odds on two legs and crunched the wrong number ... the site showed it should be +366 and I was coming up with +2210 LOL. 

I realized that I was doing it wrong but was stumped and had to get help by searching ... this evidently is usually done by the so-called "decimal odds" gambling sites use, which is still somewhat of a perversion of regular math if you ask me. But then I woke up in the middle of the night and knew all of a sudden how to get the right answer with math I already knew. This working it out asleep thing happens to me a lot!

So for the 2 legs where I was on the fat side of the odds of 1/5.5 and 1/2.1, I needed to change those probabilities to 4.5/5.5 and 1.1/2.1. [derived directly from 450:100 and 110:100] The probability of a +100 bet, the last leg, is still 1/2. Multiplying these together gets 0.2142857142857143 which is 1 in 4.6666 ... 

Yep that means +366 is correct for that parlay. Actually, +367 I think, which shows they can't quite resist a little diddling!


ksdjdj Dec 27, 2021

I have always resided in Australia (mainly use "decimal odds" here).

I prefer "decimal odds" ( ` for 1) when betting on markets that have 3+ options you can bet on, mainly because it is easier for me to work out the "implied bookmaker's % " / "market % " (some online bookmaker's show you this at the bottom of the market, but most that I used don't).

It makes sense to me that most table games in casino's state it in "fractional odds" ( ' to 1)

I actually like "American odds" when betting on most sports (2 options to be on ), since you can see quite easily that "implied %" is in the bookmaker's favor,

eg -130 and +110 .

odiousgambit Dec 29, 2021

it took me a long time to get used to American odds. This is funny, but I imagined that if you bet at a brick and mortar sportsbook, you were expected to bet $100 minimum bet!

That seems so ridiculous now, but that whole world is fairly new to me, even now

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 12, 2021

Cherokee November 2021

I started, and then erased, a blogpost about a November 7-9th trip to Cherokee NC a couple of times now. I'm finding I just don't want to repeat what I observed in my last post about it ... you can just read the one titled "Cherokee May 2021" if you missed it. It was a repeat in most ways, including seeing elk in the National Park, and we again enjoyed ourselves immensely. Again we stayed and played at Harrah's Cherokee Hotel and Casino, to be precise. 

There are a few things worth noting. Met up with Doc and his wife again, always a good time with that admirable couple. This time also met up with Tuttigym! And as always some thoughts about the gambling. 

Had two nice dinners with Doc and his wife, and Doc and I got to play some Craps. I don't think there was much notable in the way of win/loss for either of us, but Doc came out ahead for sure. I definitely did not in the same sessions, but had a nice one to offset that, played at a different time. Doc and I mused how we missed the company of some members that we don't see anymore, not having much contact even. A real crowd showed up sometimes in past years, and those were good times. 

Doc now had left, but on my last day Tuttigym surprised me by deciding to meet up, even though it was just to be briefly. We visited for a bit and then of course had to play some Craps. I decided to go darkside as that was working out for me at another unwitnessed session. We were separated by the Stick, but after what I think was less than 30 minutes I see T-gym dumping a bucketfull of green chips in the middle of the table, coloring up. He had benefited from a shooter's long roll and didn't want to give it back I guess. I didn't get hurt darkside as I was only playing one number on the Don't line, more about that below. The shooter was rolling a lot of numbers but 7'ed out on the line number as I remember. T-gym said he was up about $300 which looked about right. We chatted a little more but then he was saying farewell. Since he clearly only had a small amount of time he could give me, it was nice of him to come by. Next though a woman went on a long roll and she was hitting the pass line number one after the other, making me replace them. She was *killing* me and I finally had to surrender, just betting no more and waiting for her to 7-out. Finally I gave up and colored up while she was still going, the session also killing my shot at breaking about even at Craps for the visit. 

I had quite a build-up of anticipation for playing Ultimate Texas Holdem on the machines with the $1 minimum. One shot at getting a seat went south fast when I realized how drunk the other people were. I made my excuses and left. I did have it to myself in the wee hours of another occasion ... something like 4 hours in fact. Naturally that meant I was more likely to lose, but I couldn't seem to get ahead at any point and wound up down about $50. Playing with no one else at the table didn't normally seem to matter much, except several seats out of 4 are plagued with glare so you want to be able to pick. As far as I could tell, without making a test obnoxious to the others, the game waited for you to make a decision no matter how long you took. That potentially was a problem as I sometimes study a strategy card I brought, plus one of my own making. But my last shot at it early in the morning was solo again, though. Unfortunately bad luck crushed me so bad right off the bat I just bailed out right away and went to the dice under glass machine and played the darkside for 2x odds. This was one thing during the visit that kept paying off for me. It had a sign that said $1 Craps, but it was $5 for the pass/DP ... I think I remember that right. 

I was playing real table Craps in the way I've come to do it when I don't like the table minimum. There's a lot to like about this casino, especially now that it's easier to get a room comped. But they are determined to keep table minimums high, and now it seems $10 tables are a thing of the past. I wind up exploring ways to keep my total action under control without going to the extreme of just making a few large bets in a short session. Instead, I keep to making a max bet of about $50 to include the line bet plus free odds. Additionally, only the one bet until it resolves. At Cherokee the free odds are 10x, but if the line bet minimum is $15, you can't put down 10x odds and keep to about $50, of course. So lately I have avoided completely any Come bets; this means missing out on the excitement of a shooter who's hitting all the numbers. In fact it can be boring somewhat until you remind yourself what you have on the line, which is plenty. If I play darkside, I skip the DP and play the DC only when the shooter is on my side of the table. This usually makes for a small wait period, limiting my action even further. 

So it means playing at roughly 2x odds instead of the available 10x odds. 2x makes for a 0.606% HE, while at 10x, it's 0.184% . Now I've been telling myself 'who cares?' as long as it's below 1%, but I've gone with this for a while and I just feel like I notice the difference. 2x it seems makes for more than three times the house edge of 10x. One problem is I've previously been pretty lucky at the Cherokee Craps tables. Sometimes the minimum was lower, and sometimes the Teddys method was available. I don't have control over these things.

I could do 10x and keep my action the same. That means one short session with big bets. I'd have to tell anybody who wanted to play Craps with me I wouldn't be there long. I'd miss out myself on the escape you get bellying up to the Craps table and saying goodbye to the real world for a while. So, I don't know. I think I really should go to this.

Posted by odiousgambit
Oct 08, 2021

Forget the Darseks

I've gotten the message that my previous blogpost was too cryptic, suggesting people didn't 'get it'. 

I'll try to make it clear this time. 

I've got a problem taking advantage of the +EV offers that I'm getting from my online sports betting platform. Most of the problem comes from arbitrarily limiting my funds, I'm determined to use only the winnings I've gotten to take advantage of the offers. In case you haven't heard of it, the Kelly Criterion states that you will lose your bankroll under the normal course of events, if that bankroll is too small vis a vis the size of your bets. Even if those bets are +EV. This can easily be understood with a coin toss game where you keep both coins if you have the closest toss to the wall. One guy brings 1000 coins and one guy 2 coins. Even if guy #2 is a marginally better coin tosser, guy #1 is going to go home a winner every time, save for the most extraordinary luck for #2. 

So, for me, I've created a Kelly situation in that every time I try an offer that represents risking a good % of my bankroll, it will be in effect. Let's say the offer requires a $10 bet [as many do] win or lose on an even money bet. The difference in outcome is $20 on that particular bet, if it wins or loses. I am forcing myself to be such a piker that either outcome is quite noticeable to this arbitrarily limited bankroll. 

The latest development is that I am reaching another arbitrary limit. I can't have $600 in winnings unless I know they are going to subtract losses in any report they would generate. Though I am nowhere near that after losses are subtracted, I am now nearing it as a total with losses not subtracted. Though this is extraordinarily cautious it means I have to stop soon. Seeing what report is generated at the end of the year is going to tell me a lot.