Missing the point?

Mar 6, 2006 2:15 AM

Getting something for nothing: ah, that sure sounds sweet, does it not? Well, in video poker circles it is a powerful message — one that by itself can make or break bank accounts.

And guess what? Casino managers have been onto this concept longer than any advantage player’s losing streak.

Those who live in and around Las Vegas that play video poker, will attest to the fact that the number one reason they head for all the local casinos almost daily is because they get the thrill of their lives opening up all the mailers from all of these joints that compete for all of their money.

They’ll also readily admit that they frantically search everywhere for any kind of promotion that smells good. It’s as if the casinos are the masters and their video poker-playing customers are their obedient cash-depositing servants.

But how do these players justify their being constantly roped-in to play far more often than they normally would?

Yet, this nonsense is what keeps the so-called advantage players going, and I’d hate to be around to see their withdrawal symptoms should all the promotions disappear.

How often have you read about this or that guru or this or that forum writer say they went into a casino with a pocketful of cash because there was a multi-points day, double-your-cash back "for our best players" promo, leather jackets giveaway, a special drawing to see who wins the car, the opportunity to climb to the most revered level of the slot club, or my personal favorite — the famous "card of the day" special deal?

And it’s all because of that colorful little card these players got at their local slot clubs. But why such an acute addiction to the cards?

Now let’s take a different path for a moment. Let’s look at how and why I’ve become so successful by playing both the game of video poker as well as the casino marketing game with the casinos.

About 90% of what I receive in the mail gets tossed. Many offer hundreds of dollars in freebies, cash, comps, etc., yet if I was such a sucker as to not be able to just say no, imagine how much money it would cost me just to be led around by the Poker Pied Piper.

So what’s wrong with chasing all the promotions if you live in Las Vegas? Um, how about you’re doing exactly as the casino wants you to do? You’re being led around by a bunch of colorful slot club cards when you know a whole lot better.

One of the most important rules I play under is gambling only on my schedule and under my terms. Face I, especially those who say they only play with an edge: No player ever enters any casino where they walk in with an edge. Period.

A player’s only advantage is one in which they understand that video poker can only be consistently beaten in short-term bursts and within a well-prepared plan. You go in expecting to beat the casino at its own long-term game, and you will lose barring extreme good fortune.

But go in and play on only YOUR terms and you completely disrupt the plan the casino has conveniently laid out for you. They want you to lose, they incorporate promotions to get week-kneed advantage players to come in with more money than they would normally risk, and they continue to prosper!

So what’s it sound like to you at this point? Sound like going after the points and the freebies and the promotions will get you to the promise land that the gurus who sell these ideas advertise? You think that you have any sort of edge when playing on their machines and to the tune of THEIR offers? Do all those points add up to something so special that it makes your day?

Kind of silly, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, if you want to keep on playing for the points, the status, the special attention, the top tier slot card, the bragging rights, and the non-stop junk mail barrage, then keep on filling up the machines for when I come to town.

You see, I’m playing for the money, and I usually take it home. I’ll let you have all the points.