It's not too late to sign up for June keno tournaments
June 10, 2014 3:09 AM
by Pesach Kremen
To those of you who have not yet entered the upcoming June keno tournaments and think perhaps it is too late – not so. The casinos set aside a block of rooms for tournament players so even if the website or 1-800 number shows full there is still space for you, the tournament player.
Want to spend a last minute weekend in Vegas? Play at the El Cortez tournament June 12-14. Want to spend a few days during the middle of the week? Play at The Orleans, June 17-19. Want to have an extended week? Play in both!
We all know how expensive a last minute weekend in Las Vegas can be. Most of you go to gamble. Why pay for rooms if you don’t have to, especially at higher weekend rates? If you are reading this column the presumption is you are a keno player. You will probably circulate a few hundred dollars playing keno (most players do) as the same money gets used over and over again.
For example, you play $25 in tickets and get back $15. You play another $25 and get back $30. You play another $25 and get back only $5. Luck is with you and you get back $100. You play $25 and get back $10. You play a multi-ticket of 20 games for $100 ($5 per game) and get back $65. You try it again and cannot hit the broad side of a barn, getting back $10. Next time you hit 6-of-8 and get back $150 for your $100.
And it goes on and on. Basically you have circulated about $500 during your trip but are only down about $100 (average based on 20% house edge).
But you have paid $50/$100/$100 for your room for three nights (two are weekend nights) when you include the resort fees and hotel taxes (10%-13% depending on location). If you were lucky enough to hit a big one, great job, but you could do better if you hit that in a tourney as you get prize money, too.
You like video poker (don’t we all?) and you dig into your wallet for your first $20 of play.
Why spend all that money up front?
If you play in these keno tournaments you have no cost for your rooms and get either $30 of free slot play (good for video poker) at El Cortez or some free buffets at The Orleans. If you hit a good win in keno you get supplementary pay in the form of prize money. Thus you win more and lose less.
Think it is too late to get cheap travel arrangement?. Think again. You do not have to fall for the fly/drive mentality the travel industry is always pushing on you. Amtrak and Greyhound serve much of the country, too, and most of their discount fares do not require a millennium advance purchase.
Amtrak has a connection through the San Joaquin Valley daily via Bakersfield in the form of a very comfortable wi-fi- and outlet-equipped, tour-style bus. Greyhound is now putting in wi-fi and outlets on many of their buses as well.
Booking online, even just a few hours before, can get you a tremendous discount. Someone else does the driving and worrying about the idiots on the road constantly cutting you off. Also, do not fall for the myth that you “need” a car in Las Vegas. The CAT system goes almost anywhere and many routes even run 24/7.
Since you will circulate $500 playing keno anyway, if you’re a regular keno player, you might as well play in tournaments and have the casino pick up many of your expenses. Besides, it is MUCH more fun.
There is another benefit of playing in tournaments as well that has not been mentioned in prior columns. Playing in tournaments shows the casino you are a serious player and puts you on the mailing and invite lists for future offers and promotions. Plus, at this time of year tourneys tend to have lower turnout, thus your chances of placing in the money are even better.
While Las Vegas does get hot in June, the really oppressive heat is still a few weeks away and the hotel air conditioning can handle even the most extreme heat.
Well, what are you waiting for? The tournaments are there for you, the keno player. Give it a try, it’s fun for all!
Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at PesachKremen@GamingToday.com.