Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 13, 2015

Rocky Gap Again part II

I also played some BJ, 3 card poker, UTH, and a bit of VP.

The latter was pretty awful. It's only available at the casino bar for 25 cents, out on the floor you have to play dollars and at least 3 lines at once. At the bar JOB was 8/5 and BONUS was 6/5 - 97.3% for JOB and about the same or probably worse for BONUS [I only noted that it was 6/5 and that gives a lot of possibilities I see now]. Killed a little time at these machines and lost $27 overall playing JOB. IIRC for $15 a pull at the floor machines you got the honor of playing still pretty bad paytables. As Teddy has noted elsewhere, they decided to gut their VP offerings, they used to be slightly better.

The BJ rules are good there including Surrender, this might be due to Maryland insistence as is done in PA, not sure.

D any 2
resplit limit: you can resplit once
re-hitting split aces - no

For my taste, and since I am a flat-bettor, the variance in BJ is too low to get excited even with good rules, so I refuse to play very long. Additionally, lately, in the face of Wizardly disapproval, I have been attempting to increase the variance at the cost of HE - this by putting some money on side bets if they aren't outrageous. Told that the 21+3 was no longer being offered, I glanced at what was printed on the table and thought I saw 'Lucky Ladies' - I knew I wasn't playing that as any HE I've seen has been humongous. As I neared the end - what I sensed to be enough action at Bj - I realized it actually said 'Lucky Lucky'. I knew nothing about this sidebet but since I was doing OK threw a couple of dollars at it. Later examination showed this is a much more reasonable side bet but with an RG alteration not shown at WoO.*

For the first time realized RG actually publishes many of their rules and even paytables - I found nothing needing an update. Does Maryland promote this kind of transparency? There also was a discrete sign on the wall near the cashier indicating the casino generally returned 91% to players. The link for the table games pdf, which puts Lucky Lucky last, is:


I hit very few naturals at my BJ session but did well with splits and doubles - it's fun to win those. I stopped slightly ahead and gave it away in tips.

I chatted the dealers up at the 3 card poker table to check out the paytables. They were surprised to find they were published, but let me write them down [I was double checking]. I didn't like what I saw for Pairs-plus, a 'meh' paytable, but warming up to them sat down to play for a bit. The game has way too low variance to play without the Pairs-plus IMO. Unfortunately you had to bet the table minimum, so I bet it only occasionally. They had a 6-card side bet too, on which you could bet a dollar, I think I bet it once. So this was my only time I ever played 3 card poker; I would have wound up even except for tip. Check out the pdf for the paytable if interested.

I was eager to play the Ultimate Texas Holdem, to pop my cherry on it - for various reasons like table minimum or availability had just never played it, and was glad a table was open. I donít want to repeat what I was saying in the thread I mentioned in the last post here, but have to say I was puzzled yet again at all the players ignorant of even a proper simple strategy. It occurs to me that smart phones are proliferating like crazy - this is a place that should have had plenty of players with them - yet not a soul even knew the basic recommendation to never bet 3x. Everybody just seems to learn how to play from other players and the dealers. Is this ever going to change?

This is a touchy subject but it has to occur to anyone playing that it is almost inevitable that there will be a percentage of dealers with modest abilities. They must still rake it in with all the ignorant players out there, but especially with straights, thereís just mistakes. I refuse to say anything when there are other players at the table, plus it all gets whisked away as you ponder. This really gets me into a mindset of me vs the dealer; pal, you better be able to call your hand correctly. After all this is even true with a friendly poker game. Naturally, vigilance is required for your own hand too. Such slippage has to lower the HE; I saw enough to wonder if it could disappear some sessions.

In any case, it was a lot of fun. I played more UTH than anything I think, even Craps. Wound up down $55 after tips.

Overall I wound up down $140 - kind of kicking myself for tipping to much maybe. But Iíll be back.

*after going back I'm pretty sure I got the paytable wrong


rdw4potus Jun 14, 2015

Looks like you and I noticed many of the same things about the UTH tables at Rocky Gap. I would think that the high variance of UTH's base game and the relatively low HE of the Trips bet would make UTH a good game for you. Plus, well, there's the dealer quality issue.

odiousgambit Jun 15, 2015

>UTH a good game for you

yes, I like the variance - which means there is really not much reason to play the side bet. I meant to mention I was up quite a bit at one point and started to press by increasing my bet a unit. That never seems to work out and I flamed out again LOL

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 05, 2015

Rocky Gap Again Part I

I had something to take care of not so far away from Cumberland MD a couple of days ago, so I got a chance to drop by Rocky Gap Casino. I think that makes my third time for the smallish but friendly venue. Checking into it beforehand this time, I saw they had Ultimate Texas Holdem now and was pretty sure that is a new offering. At least the one time I had checked on it before, they said they didn't have it when I called. This time I figured they just won't have it available during the week, but I practiced for it anyway [some of that discussed in thread http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/tables/22188-uth-the-21-outs/]

And I knew the BJ rules were decent. And there is a Craps table that would unfailingly give it's Siren call to snare Yours Truly.

On day one, to my surprise, the UTH table was up and going when I walked in late aft. - no seats open either. The Craps crew was just standing around though; hmmm.

Empty table. This is when I like to go Darkside. It's nice to not worry about any other players thinking you are trying to jinx them, but I got reminded of one downside to an empty table. If you don't like your rolling, there's no one to pass the dice to. And, man, did I start out clobbering myself. I absolutely could not roll a 7 [or Craps during a come-out either] for what must have been something around 30 minutes. The crew just couldnt believe it. We joked I might beat that Pat lady with the record.


Only one problem: a Don't player trying to commit suicide!

It was $5 minimum, 3x4x5x, and I was only doing the Don't and the DC not allowing more than 3 numbers to be in action - yet I estimate I was down about $600 at the point where I was going to call uncle losing any more. I always vow to not switch sides in a session, and didn't this time either. Built up another 3 bets with odds at that point and finally rolled the 7-out darkside winner. Then I began to get it back. I swear that is the strangest yo-yo experience I've ever had in my life. Now I am rolling plenty of 7s and over the next hour or so climbed absolutely all the way back to being ahead a little. BTW in the meantime two other players came in and convinced themselves they should be going darkside and they are winning too. It was that rare occasion when it's just a table of Don't players whooping it up. Then I could see I was giving it back again and colored up; I tipped plenty and wound up $40 down, most of it tips. What a ride!

Part II will be UTH


Konbu Jun 05, 2015

Rocky Gap is a small and compact place but I had a good time there in April. It helps that I made the small and someone else made ATS (I had 1,1,1), and ended up winning there. Hollywood Charlestown is closer for me though, but the table stays at $10 even when only one is open, and $25 for PGP so I don't want to play 2 hands.

Drive 45 miles ~ 50 mins to Hollywood $10 no bonus bets or

Drive 120 milies ~ 2 hr to Rocky Gap for $5 craps with ATS bet...

odiousgambit Jun 05, 2015

Never had a bad time there. Friendly counts for something.

ArtVandalay Jun 08, 2015

I'm an hour away from RG. I used to go a couple times a week until they went to all CSMs on the blackjack. I just got tired of it. The UTH has been around there for about 6 months now. The table is usually empty during the week.

odiousgambit Jun 13, 2015

>The table is usually empty during the week.

it was empty at times during the day, but evening had it respectably busy

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 22, 2015

Chess: 1850 down to Kings and Pawns

I am fairly sure I have never beaten the 1850 at level 6 if we start from the beginning moves; I do remember being able to beat level 5 occasionally. I was playing more chess then and at my best. Level 5 was pretty fun, and Iíd say level 6 is the last practical level for play. The computer will take an average of 2 minutes per move at L6; that includes when the best move is obvious, so 2 minutes, often more, can feel like an eternity.

Iím not there now for sure. Here I am able to win at level 1, showing the vulnerability of the computer if it can be kept from getting ahead in pieces. At level 1 it may also have left itself at a bad place when all thatís left are Kings and Pawns. At move 32 I feel that White should win, having the more advanced pawns; itís how to beat the 1850, keep from getting behind on pieces and play a better end game. This is further tested below.

1.e4 c6
2.d4 d5
3.e5 Bf5
4.Nf3 e6
5.Bd3 Bb4+
6.Bd2 Bxd2+
7.Qxd2 Ne7
8.O-O O-O
9.Bxf5 Nxf5
10.Nc3 Nd7
11.Rad1 Qe7
12.Qd3 Nb6
13.b3 Qb4
14.a4 c5
15.Ne2 cxd4
16.Nexd4 Nxd4
17.Qxd4 Qxd4
18.Rxd4 Rfc8
19.Rc1 Rc3
20.Rd3 Rac8
21.Rxc3 Rxc3
22.Kf1 Kf8
23.Ke2 Ke7
24.Kd2 Rc7
25.Kd3 Kd7
26.Nd2 Kc6
27.c4 dxc4+
28.Nxc4 Rd7+
29.Ke4 Nxc4
30.Rxc4+ Kb6
31.Rd4 Rxd4+
32.Kxd4 Ka5
33.Kc5 h6
34.Kd6 Kb4
35.Ke7 Kxb3
36.Kxf7 Kxa4
37.Kxe6 Kb4
38.Kd5 a5
39.e6 a4
40.e7 b5
41.e8=Q Ka5
42.Qa8+ Kb6
43.Qc6+ Ka7
44.Qxb5 g6
45.Qxa4+ Kb6
46.Kd6 g5
47.Qb4+ Ka6
48.Kc7 h5

At move 32 I change the 1850 to level 6. Now, still playing White, and blundering at move 42, I am able to prevail in a somewhat different game; it takes 49 moves again. This suggests the end game did not improve for the 1850 at level 6 over level 1:

32.Kxd4 Ka5
33.Kc5 h6
34.Kd6 Kb4
35.Ke7 Kxb3
36.Kxf7 g5
37.Kxe6 Kxa4
38.Kf7 b5
39.e6 h5
40.e7 h4
41.e8=Q a5
42.Qe4+ b4
43.Ke6 Ka3
44.Qb1 g4
45.Kd5 b3
46.Kc4 b2
47.Kc3 Ka4
48.Qxb2 h3

Then I switch and I play Black, level 6, starting with move 32 again. White [now the 1850] at level 6 takes 60 moves to win. Like a mother fretting over all her babies, it just canít see that it has the game wrapped up by ignoring those pawns. Then, after Queening, it canít see it doesnt need to scarf up any more pawns or need any other Queens.

32.Kxd4 Kc6
33.b4 b5
34.axb5+ Kxb5
35.Kc3 Ka4
36.Kc4 Ka3
37.Kc5 Kb3
38.h3 Kc3
39.g3 Kd3
40.f4 Ke4
41.Kd6 Kf3
42.Ke7 Kxg3
43.Kxf7 Kxf4
44.Kxe6 g5
45.Kd5 Kf5
46.e6 g4
47.e7 gxh3
48.e8=Q h2
49.Qh5+ Kf6
50.Qxh7 h1=R
51.Qxh1 a6
52.Qf1+ Ke7
53.Qxa6 Kf7
54.b5 Ke7
55.b6 Kf6
56.b7+ Kf5
57.Qc4 Kf6
58.Qg4 Kf7
59.b8=Q Kf6

I test my last statement about not needing any more Queens by playing White again vs. level 6 at move 49. I am able to get checkmate on move 59 ... perhaps the conundrum caused by the Black pawn potentially putting the White King in check could have been avoided, making mate possible by move 58.

49.Qe5+ Kg4
50.Qxh2 h5
51.Ke5 Kf3
52.Qh3+ Ke2
53.Ke4 Kd2
54.Qd3+ Kc1
55.Qe2 Kb1
56.Kd3 a5
57.bxa5 h4
58.Kc3 h3


Joeman Mar 25, 2015

OG, your blog posts have inspired me to start thinking about chess again. I haven't played competitively since I was a teenager, and I hadn't played a game in 10 years (and it was probably another 10 years prior to that when I last played). Anyway, I have started to play Microsoft's Chess Titans on the default (Intermediate -- Level 5) setting and am getting my butt handed to me regularly! :P

Good luck in your pursuit! (I know... it's chess. Luck has nothing to do with it!)

odiousgambit Mar 25, 2015

Cool! Post some PGNs! That is such a nice development these days, to be able to post and see the games.

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 16, 2015

Chess: Improving

I feel I should point out again that the games can be followed with an analyzer - otherwise these posts are just a bunch of drivel - nobody is going to try to replicate the game manually for somebody at my level. With an analyzer, it's available in a flash.

I like http://www.chess.com/analysis-board-editor .... you click on the "paste PGN" and copy and paste in the moves.

This is the first game I've won against the 1850 at level one - that doesnt mean I won against an 1850-rated player but something unknown, maybe 1100-1400 ? I insisted on the beginning move, e4 e5, otherwise it was rule-enforced including touching a piece. I can't remember if I took White out of book*

Improvement has come partly from being reminded of necessary precautions in play, such as examining the possible actions of each enemy piece each contemplated move, and the extra caution needed for pieces advanced to the 4th rank or beyond [which caused the embarrassing blunder in my first post in the thread]. It all sounds simple, but when I am rusty I don't have the discipline.

The computer never resigns, so I played it out to checkmate to make member Jbyrd happy LOL.

I am Black

1.e4 e5
2.Bc4 Nc6
3.Nf3 Nf6
4.Nc3 Be7
5.d3 O-O
6.O-O d6
7.Bg5 h6
8.Be3 b6
9.Qe2 Bb7
10.Nd5 a5
11.Nxe7+ Qxe7
12.Kh1 Ba6
13.Bxa6 Rxa6
14.d4 Raa8
15.d5 Nd8
16.Qc4 Nb7
17.c3 Nc5
18.Bxc5 bxc5
19.Rfe1 Qd7
20.Re2 Rfb8
21.Rc2 Qb5
22.Qxb5 Rxb5
23.c4 Rb6
24.Re1 Rab8
25.Ree2 Rb4
26.Kg1 Ra4
27.b3 Rab4
28.Kf1 a4
29.bxa4 Rxa4
30.Ke1 Rb1+
31.Kd2 Ra1
32.Kc3 Ra3+
33.Kd2 R1xa2
34.h4 Rxc2+
35.Kxc2 Ra2+
36.Kd1 Rxe2
37.Kxe2 Nxe4
38.Nd2 Nxd2
39.Kxd2 f5
40.Kc3 Kf7
41.h5 g6
42.hxg6+ Kxg6
43.Kd3 Kg5
44.Ke3 Kg4
45.Kd3 h5
46.Kc3 h4
47.Kd3 Kf4
48.Kc3 Ke4
49.Kc2 f4
50.f3+ Ke3
51.Kc3 Kf2
52.Kd3 Kxg2
53.Kd2 h3
54.Kd3 h2
55.Kc3 h1=Q
56.Kd2 Kxf3
57.Kc2 Qe1
58.Kb2 Qb4+
59.Ka1 Ke3
60.Ka2 Kd2
61.Ka1 Kc2
62.Ka2 Qb2#

*the computer knows extensive 'opening book' but it is possible to make it play without using this knowledge - this helps

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 15, 2015

Chess Cont.

It occurs to me that I should not flatter myself to think anyone would be particularly interested in continuing to analyze my chess, or anyone else's at my level, so I will switch to blogging. It's what a blog is for I think. That's not to say I wouldn't be very happy to see any comments!

I won't repeat what I put in the thread,


except my last PGN posting, where I am starting to play a little better [thought I would win], but the Radio Shack 1850 shows again what it can do even at low levels.

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nf6
3.Nc3 Nc6
4.Be2 Bc5
5.O-O O-O
6.b3 d5
7.exd5 Nxd5
8.Nxd5 Qxd5
9.c4 Qe4
10.Bb2 Nd4
11.Nxd4 exd4
12.Bf3 Qf4
13.g3 Qe5
14.Re1 Qd6
15.Qc2 d3
16.Qc3 Qg6
17.Be4 Qg4
18.Bxd3 Be6
19.Be4 c6
20.Qe5 Bb6
21.h3 f6
22.hxg4 fxe5
23.Bxe5 Bxf2+
24.Kg2 Bxe1
25.Rxe1 Bxg4
26.Bf4 Rae8
27.d3 Kf7
28.Kf2 h5
29.Re3 Bd1
30.Bf3 Rxe3
31.Bxe3 Ke6
32.Bf4 Bxf3
33.Kxf3 g5

white resigns

I also take Jbyrd's advice and played out the first PGN I posted by switching sides at move 22. It probably is true there is something to be learned by switching sides instead of resigning in some cases. In this case, I blunder again at move 27 as Black [stupidly failing to realize the White Queen can take a pawn and prevent disaster by putting me in check], but Black [now me] wins in the end. It shows the 1850's weakness is the end game [bear in mind it's playing at level one here though]

1.d4 d5
2.e3 Nf6
3.Nc3 Nc6
4.Nf3 e6
5.Bb5 Bb4
6.Bxc6+ bxc6
7.Bd2 O-O
8.O-O Bb7
9.a3 Ba5
10.Na4 Bxd2
11.Qxd2 Ne4
12.Qd3 Qd6
13.Rfe1 Rfb8
14.b4 Qe7
15.Qb3 a5
16.Nc5 Nxc5
17.dxc5 axb4
18.axb4 e5
19.Rxa8 Rxa8
20.Qb2 e4
21.Ne5? f6
22.Ng4 h5
23.Nxf6+ Qxf6
24.c3 Kf7
25.Ra1 Rxa1+
26.Qxa1 Qd8
27.Qa5 Qa8
28.Qxc7+ Kg6
29.Qd6+ Kh7
30.Kf1 Qa1+
31.Ke2 Ba6+
32.Kd2 Qb2+
33.Kd1 Bd3
34.f4 Qc2+
35.Ke1 Qe2#