Slow down, cash out and leave a winner

Apr 11, 2005 3:35 AM

Those who’ve followed my message over the years understand that I believe in winning consistently. For instance, I go into casinos EXPECTING to win each and every time, and although I come out ahead around 90 percent of the time, I still absolutely hate to lose.

One of the main disagreements I have with those who believe in long-term/expert-play strategy is that they really don’t know what it takes to win on a consistent basis. We regularly hear words such as "I expect to lose about 70 percent of my casino visits." To me, that translates into having a miserable time seven out of ten times. Is that what you’re after in this game?

As sure as the sun coming up every morning, however, the next words out of their mouths claim that the three out of 10 winning sessions outscore the seven losers by the tiniest of margins, that is, after all the comps, cash back, freebies, tournament invites, theoretical add-ons for them even when nothing is won, and VIP host smiles are all added in.

To me it’s an exercise in futility, because I’m only there for the money.

I’ve said this time and again: If I lived in Las Vegas I’d go out to win a small amount playing Bonus Poker every single day. Maybe that would be just ten $10 credits, five $25 credits, or two $100 credits. It could be twenty-five $5 credits, whatever. It all depends on what you want or need.

But it would also mean those marathon six hour sessions in front of a machine would instead be replaced by short-term bursts that would come to an end in as short as 10 seconds.

I can already hear the math critics whining. But it’s always they who only can see the one side of the ledger that they like to see. They’d say "Sure, you will win far more sessions than you will lose, but with the hefty bankroll needed to assure such wins, that one devastating loss is certain to arrive, thereby wiping out all the small wins accumulated along the way, and more."

Now, here’s the other side of that balance sheet that makes sense. Why is it always "small wins" and "a devastatingly large loss?" Has anyone ever heard of a "huge jackpot win?" In fact, it’s been my overwhelming experience that such wins come quite a bit more often than the big losses. I think my critics know that too, but since they can’t figure it out on a slide rule then it just can’t be true!

Another theme I preach on is that anyone who gambles would certainly want to be able to count out a $50 profit at the end of a long day of gambling, rather than count ATM slips. So it wasn’t worth your time for just fifty bucks. Get real. That’s where mental toughness comes into play. Here’s where true winning players get separated from make believe winners and outright losers. You gonna buy groceries with ATM slips? Think about it.

So let’s look at all the reasons short-term play far outdistances long-term strategy when it comes to video poker. How’s your back? You enjoy sitting in those casino chairs for hours on end waiting for the masseuse that never comes? What about your girth? Do you feel good about giving only your fingers the only workout of the day? And my favorite pet peeve: Second hand smoke. Yes, I know, a great many video poker players already light up for reasons no one can understand. But if you don’t, just how enjoyable is it spending all that time breathing in other people’s problems?

Thankfully I’m in good health, but that doesn’t stop me from coughing for a half hour sometimes after being in a casino for several hours. Even so, I can bring up a subject here that’ll just make many of you easily forget or ignore everything I’ve said thus far: Slot Club Cards! Yes, those who sit at machines for long hours are sure to reap the benefits from those little demons. In fact, as strange as it may sound, there are people who play just for the points!

Take a hint: More and more people are learning to play hit-and-run video poker. These are the people who’ve been able to come to grips with their mistakes of the past, as I have, and are ready to embrace a whole new kind of enjoyment playing the game. There is no math that can analyze it because it just isn’t in any of the casino playbooks. And we all know the casinos invented long-term mathematical strategy. It doesn’t take a lot upstairs to see that the only way to beat them is to play exactly the opposite as they expect you to do.