Don’t become
trapped by v-p

Feb 14, 2006 12:03 AM

Have you ever wished you could go back in time to erase some of your foolish mistakes? Well, welcome to the world of gambling, where people make mistakes all the time, often finding themselves in over their heads and no way out.

Since I began playing video poker in 1990, I always wondered why most of the people I met were from "somewhere else." Finding a Las Vegas native was a rarity. Then I figured out that people move to this city to be closer to gambling.

Over the years I’ve learned two important lessons surrounding my gambling profession: First, no one wins at video poker without the proper planning and intermittent doses of good fortune along the way; and, second, the more anyone plays the game the more they will lose, barring extreme and consistent good luck.

Want to argue that point? Then tell me just how it is that the local casinos keep renovating and growing, and just how it is that more and more of them continue to sprout!

Profits in the locals casinos are staggering, and they’re fueled in good measure by video poker players.

Since my first book published in 2000 identified some of the main pitfalls of the game, I’ve talked to many video poker players living in Las Vegas that have moved from other parts of the country.

Invariably, no one admits moving here because of the gaming, but instead because of the ”˜weather, taxes, or the cheap food — or maybe change vocations or even retire. But by and large, the majority of these people are die-hard gamblers who just cannot live without the video poker machines.

As sad as it sometimes is, most or all of these "relocators" will never tell the truth about why they moved or how they lose most of the time. They are compelled to create a fictitious feeling of comfort, and they have the dire need not to be discovered for what they really are or have really done.

No casino game is more addictive than video poker, that’s for sure. As an interactive game, it gives the player the opportunity to make thousands of choices before the result is out. That’s also why it’s the game of choice for most local gamblers.

There’s also the mountain of promotions designed to rope in every regular player on demand. Combined with the relatively ease of getting bundles of comps and gifts from the slot club, it’s very simple to understand why these people just can’t say no.

Inveterate gamblers seldom admit making any mistake of any kind, but I guess that all depends on the degree to which they are currently paying the piper — and the video poker piper is hungrier than most.

Myself, I can’t imagine making a move just to be closer to machines. One of my strictest rules while playing is never be greedy. And that’s precisely the reason so many people move to Las Vegas.

At the end of the day, many people tell me they shouldn’t have moved. Some return home. Those folks sound as happy as any I’ve ever spoken to. I can’t guess why.

Las Vegas is a great town to visit, and many fine people have obviously found it as a fabulous place to live. But those who come simply to be closer to the machines are another story — and they know it.

When the local casino managers — who regularly have the best video poker pay tables in the state — see the influx of gamblers, they’re certainly not going to ask what the reason for the move was. They just want to make sure you didn’t forget your wallet!

Las Vegas is a great town to visit, and many fine people have obviously found it as a fabulous place to live. But those who come simply to be closer to the machines are another story — and they know it.

When the local casino managers — who regularly have the best video poker pay tables in the state — see the influx of gamblers, they’re certainly not going to ask what the reason for the move was. They just want to make sure you didn’t forget your wallet!