Posted by TheBigPaybak
Apr 08, 2014

Gambling in St. Kitts

I recently returned from a trip to St. Kitts staying at the Marriott which included The Royal Beach Casino. While we flew in on our own, I made arrangements through a junket group so was able to get "casino rate" on the room with the expectation that my account would be reviewed upon checkout based on my amount of play.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the gaming, having a good mixture of slot machines and table games for a "hotel" casino. From a gambling perspective the trip went my way, as I was able to survive the slot machines and did well on the tables, even hitting trips on 3-card poker fairly early in the session. During the trip a few interesting things came up:
1. Initially there was some confusion on when to pay the Super Bonus bet on Crazy 4 Poker, although after working with their management we got the issue resolved and all was well: everyone was professional about the situation and I appreciated that.
2. They had "The Royal Egg Hunt" promotion going on which was basically a drawing where you then got to pick 5 plastic eggs which each contained a symbol. Based on what you picked, your prize was determined from $100 to $10000. If I recall correctly, the grid was 6x6 for 36 eggs to choose from, and while I wasn't sure of the distribution of symbols, it seemed like you would have to be really, really, REALLY lucky to win anything close to the top award, which meant picking 5 of the "Easter Egg" symbols. I was able to generate a decent number of entries and actually got picked to go on stage and ended up with two-pair for $400! The other winners got $500 and $200 so I did pretty well, considering.

The trip itself went pretty much picture-perfect with the exception of heavy rain on one day so we had to cancel our rain forest hiking tour and a *little* hiccup on the way home: I had joked we may not make it back as having ticket prices of $666 before taxes, something would get us! Ha ha- until about 20 minutes before landing during heavy turbulence I looked out the window and it went white- and then a huge BOOM when we all kind of looked at each other and thought, "Well that wasn't good, was it..." And then as the somewhat surreal moment was sinking in, the planes engines started to throttle down literally a few seconds later, talk about timing, right?! I soon realized we were just beginning our decent and all was well. Upon landing the captain confirmed we were indeed struck by lightning during the flight, which supposedly happens on average once per aircraft per year. Doing a little research today, I educated myself that although I doubt it's a feeling anyone could get used to, that when it does happen it's not something that's brought down a plane since 1962, which is a pretty good safety record, and even the issue that occurred in 1962 shouldn't happen today with safeguards in place. But none of us had any idea at the time it happened, so if it happens to you, take a little comfort in that fact!


ontariodealer Apr 08, 2014

I used to work in that casino....hope you got around the island.

Tomspur Apr 08, 2014

I got offered a position as training manager there but the money was not good.

Have they managed to get the golf course in good order at the Marriott? I remember when I was there in 2007/8 they had no golf there because someone had apparetnly watered the golf course with sea water? I don't know how accurate this is, could just have been a cab drivers tall tales.

Used to love their pool and the beach wasn't bad either!

Thanks for the review.

TheBigPaybak Apr 09, 2014

We did get to see the island! I thoroughly enjoyed the scenic railroad tour they had which was about two hours on the train and 45 minutes on a bus- but I like trains so found it relaxing. We also had a rain forest hike planned but it sadly rained during that time so we had to cancel. Plus a lot of time at the pool!

TheBigPaybak Apr 09, 2014

Not sure about the golf course as golfing isn't our thing although from what we causally saw I trust it was all in order- and sure thing!

Doc Apr 09, 2014

Nice report!

I had a chance to visit the Royal Beach Casino in 2009 while on a cruise ship stop in St. Kitts. I posted an image of my souvenir chip (linked here) in the Casino Chip of the Day thread, and along with it I told a couple of stories about my visit to that island. I didn't get to stay at the casino long enough to form much of an impression of the full gamut of the gaming.

odiousgambit Apr 10, 2014

I'm in the process of asking the Wizard if he has plans to cover the Caribbean casinos.

odiousgambit Apr 10, 2014

OK, a 'scoop' for those few checking into blogs, stay tuned for a WoO report on the Dominican Republic coming soon to a computer near you

Posted by TheBigPaybak
Mar 26, 2013

The "Other" Casino...

Well, let's call it like it is: trading stock options is in many aspects, just another way to gamble. I occasionally do this, and have done so on BlackBerry:
1. Short April Puts
2. Long May Calls

A company long left for dead, the bet is for good news to be disseminated this Thursday during their earnings release. While I don't have time to post my full rationale, I can say the amount of disinformation put forth by both bloggers and analysts alike has been astounding, to the point where I took the above actions. We'll see come Thursday...

...long time without a post, and we continue to make progress on this project:

Very time-consuming. Hope to have a prototype within the next month or so...


FleaStiff Mar 27, 2013

Well they say to buy on the rumor and sell on the news... so I can understand going short the April Puts but why go long the May calls unless you feel the need for a hedge?

TheBigPaybak Mar 27, 2013

Actually there's no hedge with what I've done, at least none that I can see: if the stock goes down, I lose on both. I sold the puts earlier in the month for a premium of $3.15, so as long as the stock stays above 12 through the 19th of April, I stand to profit. If it's 15 or higher, I keep it all on that trade. Below 12, I lose.

The May calls are completely speculative on my part. I'm banking on some positive news that may compel the now 155+ million shares sold short to cover. As the new CEO seems like a straight-shooter, I tend to believe some of his recent comments which seem to have implied more of a good versus bad surprise coming.

We'll know tomorrow.

TheBigPaybak Mar 29, 2013

Certainly yesterday's trading action wasn't the best outcome. The Company reports a profit well above any estimate, but still ended the day slightly down on Nasdaq, although oddly slightly up on the Toronto exchange.

All in all, for anyone following the Company, it was a great quarterly report, though. So we may see some positive activity going forward.

TheBigPaybak Apr 25, 2013

Well on the Puts, I was able to keep about 2/3 of the premium although it would have likely been 100% if not for the fraudulent news perpetrated on the Company.

Still have some hope on the Calls, although cutting it close to expiration!

TheBigPaybak Jun 16, 2013

All calls expired worthless- although doubled-down for January 2014. 6/27/2013 will be a major catalyst either way- hoping for a better outcome this time!

Posted by TheBigPaybak
Nov 16, 2012

Texas Hold'em Bonus - The Luck Continues

My amusement with -EV table games continues, as does my luck. Currently a favorite has been Texas Hold'em Bonus, which has a ridiculously high house edge side bet where you get paid with a pair or an Ace with a Face, with A/A the top payout at 30:1. On my last two trips, I've played three hands total of this game, receiving A/K unsuited, nothing, and AA. I also managed to win the base game with my AA hand for a total payout of $3400. The latest trip also had a total upside for slots, with one nice hit of a little over $1000 on the WMS game, Gems Gems Gems !

Finally, even my $100 match play won on roulette, a nice way to cap the trip!


odiousgambit Nov 16, 2012

they let you match play roulette? did it have to be on black or red?

TheBigPaybak Nov 16, 2012

They allow for Red/Black, Odd/Even- maybe some other bets, but I'm not sure. I bet Odd and got lucky. My preference would have been to bet Bacc- but their table never seems to be open...

Posted by TheBigPaybak
Nov 05, 2012

Straight Flush in Fortune Pai Gow

This trend of casinos offering non-Banking Pai Gow Poker is frustrating. Well, hopefully it's not a trend, but it keeps me from playing the game at casinos that don't allow banking. For the most part, anyway. Took a trip this weekend and made an interim stop at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, PA and played a little Pai Gow Poker, as my final destination did not offer the game. The trip started well with a win on my $100 Match Play, betting black on roulette which nicely came up for me. Played some slots and was up a couple hundred more and then gave it back, for the most part. They got a new WMS game which was amusing:

Of course, I never did get the feature.

And then off to Pai Gow Poker: I probably didn't win a hand in the first 10 hands or so- but didn't get killed, either receiving a lot of pushes. I then actually had a chance for a straight flush, with a few different cards that could help me, already having the Joker in my hand. Squeezed out the last card and saw it was a red-six, needed a heart so was expecting a diamond, but wouldn't you know it, actually got a heart for a 5k payout! Nice to get ahead of the game for the session. My luck continues this year...


FarFromVegas Nov 05, 2012

I hit two straight flushes last time I played, but one was a Dragon Hand so I didn't have a Fortune Bet out--I only earned an Envy Bonus for myself and the table. The other one I only had $5 on the Fortune but the $250 was welcome!

Congratulations on your big win!

TheBigPaybak Nov 05, 2012

Thanks! Pai Gow Poker is probably my favorite game to play in the casino. Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to have 5-Aces, although never a natural royal or 7-card straight flush. My buddy's fiance actually did get a 7-card straight flush one time, although it was at a casino without the bonus bet, of course!

RaleighCraps Nov 05, 2012

Nice hit ! Pai Gow Poker is not kind to me at all.

NicksGamingStuff Nov 06, 2012

The D/ Fitzgeralds did not allow player banking. In the 10 months I worked there I had about 5 customers get mad they could not bank

TheBigPaybak Nov 06, 2012

It's true not a lot of people seem to bank these days, although for me, it's one of those nice options that will affect where I play at, along with other factors.

Posted by TheBigPaybak
Oct 12, 2012

Cash Cube!

So Greektown Casino in Detroit had a promotion where you essentially earned entries for half-hourly drawings from noon to 9 pm on most weekdays- and I was lucky enough to get my name called to enter the "Creepy Cash Cube" which was one of those machines that had money swirling all around you where you had 20 seconds to stuff as much as you could in a box and also any that you held as the time expired would count in your favor. I have to say it was amusing, and my final count was $629 - which seemed to be at the higher end of what people were getting although I heard one player was able to get $1200 the day before. Going into it, I would have been happy with anything over $500 so I fine with my efforts. I also saw some totals in the $200/$300 dollar range which seemed low. One thing I did realize, was that if you were to play heavy in the morning to accumulate a bunch of tickets, you would have a good chance of getting picked, as even at 5 pm, there wasn't that many entries for the promotion from what I recall. All in all, a lot of fun, and I thought the amounts they were on average giving away were respectable- a nice promotion!


1BB Oct 12, 2012

I've seen these in various casinos. Is there a strategy to it?

TheBigPaybak Oct 13, 2012

I asked the operator for some tips, and he mentioned to stand more in the front where you could presumably have an easier chance of stuffing money in the box which made sense. For this particular promotion, you couldn't grab anything from the ground nor stuff any in your pockets. Any that you held at the end, though, would count- and I had a good amount there- so when you sensed the end was coming, you'd probably want to try and open your arms some more and use your coat a bit. There were different denominations although I'm not sure how high they went: I caught around 6 $50s or so. I thought I heard they had a $500 bill in there, but maybe I was wrong. But it would seem difficult for the person who got $1200 to have been twice as good as me and others who scored like me.

DJTeddyBear Oct 15, 2012

I was in one of those once. At the Foxwoods Bingo Hall.

One trick they told me was to put my arm up against the wall. The dollars would catch and I could scoop them.

Their other hint wouldn't have helped you. Their rule was, I had to catch them and slip them thru a narrow slot in the wall. An employee would help pull from the other side, once they were able to get ahold of it. The hint was to fold them first.

One hint they never told me was, after a while, when there wasn't a lot of bills swirling around, to look up. There was a ton stuck to the roof vent. I reached up and scooped them down.

TheBigPaybak Oct 16, 2012

In my case, there was a large number of bills- but your point about looking up was something I didn't try which may have been quite useful- good point!