Who cares, anyway?

Mar 27, 2006 5:53 AM

Yuri something. That’s the first name I think of when the discussion comes up about whether anyone really cares how anyone else does playing the game of video poker.

So, who’s he?

I’m told he was a local math wizard at the university who loved to play video poker at all the local joints that had local promotions and reel ”˜em in specials.

I’ve also read some of his writings, in which he claimed that the game could be beaten by applying all the long-term math theories, all the expert play, all the positive hype, and all the promotion adders that one could muster.

On paper, just as in any classroom, it was as clean and tempting to follow as chasing a real rainbow with a real pot of gold resting at the end.

But alas, something went terribly wrong. You see, what Yuri forgot was to add in a bit of common sense to his streaming illogic. And he apparently never stopped long enough and take a moment to look at all the beautiful casinos around town — partially built by advantage players just like him!

At first, he gloated phenomenal success, but then — just as with most players who insist they hold a "long-term edge" over the casinos and who make believe all the comps they get are the end all — his world fell apart. The game had gotten the better of him.

From what I’ve read on the forums, the poor former genius ended up homeless, he couldn’t feed his family, and his only way out was to make plans to return to his homeland —where hopefully no one has heard of his fall from grace.

It was then a guru or two made pleas on the forums for people to donate to this fellow’s cause. I don’t know the extent to which that was successful, but I do know I offered to contribute and was turned down — probably because I also offered to help him out with his gambling problem and misconceptions — an offer worth far more in the long-run than simple cash.

That’s his story, but the question still remains: Is there really anyone who cares about the results of others? I follow other writers’ columns on the Internet from time to time, and I recently came across interesting input from probably the world’s most recognizable name in video poker — Bob Dancer. Certainly he’s earned his place in the industry and continues to back up his legend with high-stakes play. But after that?

In this article he states how he was in the hole about $100,000 in January, but now it’s not as bad as that. (All on video poker?). He goes on with the common feel-good words saying how his wealth is fine, etc. That’s great, but does anybody actually CARE? Of course, it matters a little to those who support him by purchasing his many products. After all, they need the reassurance. But, what about everyone else?

The fact is, whether someone wins or loses, is always up for debate among the readers. Another guru proudly states winning every year supposedly playing math-perfect. I wouldn’t believe that for a second, but then again, who really cares, and what’s the point anyway if not for image-building during the marketing process?

Which brings us to me. I’ve publicly broadcast right here in this column along with on various Internet sites that by the start of 2006 I was up a little over $650,000 since I began playing my own play strategies nearly 9 years ago — after losing about $250,000 in 6 years of expert-play. As of right now I’m at $683,700, which means in 2006 I’ve netted about $33.5k profit in just three trips. How important is all that?

Well, it seemed quite important to one local advantage player in 2005, who after saying I was falsifying my record (then at around $640k), I challenged him in a separate column to put up the $640k as I did, and for his bet he would receive undeniable proof-of-winning — with any doubts being decided upon by a Nevada arbitrator paid for my me. He walked away.

Another Internet math geek also questioned my record, and he also walked away when it came time to do put up. Both said they had that kind of money to bet. It cost me $6,000 to retrieve that money from my personal account, and I did learn my lesson: Don’t bet the nay sayers. They’re only a jealous lot.

One interesting point I’ve taken from all this is that, with all those who say they’ve won and portray themselves as big-time winners over ANY amount of time, I’m the only one who plays video poker professionally that has ever offered to publicly prove my record, and perhaps more importantly, no one but me has ever reported losing so much as well as admitting to being addicted to the game.

Could it be because I don’t need a certain perception to keep my video poker business or show running smoothly and in only one direction? It’s all right there for anyone to decipher, and only you can make your own call.

But the most important lesson learned is that, for all the bragging that I and others may do, and for all the guru-like prowess displayed with all the seemingly nebulous numbers, the majority of players — you and other regular players just like you — do not care in the least about how I or anyone else does.

I use my record to help players understand there is a better, free way to learn to play the game profitably. Just let me know, and I will help you. Now, just where the heck else are you going to find such an offer?