Consistency is key to v-p

Apr 2, 2007 4:41 AM

I will go over my play as it has occurred this year so far, and I hope you’ll see that it is a far more interesting approach than that of sitting at the machines for hours pounding away until your heads start to bob up and down. What’s even more interesting is that, in my five total sessions to date, I’ve played only seven hours and have won a profit of around $5,400 without adding in all the comps, gifts or cash back everyone else does.

I didn’t start playing for profit until early March because I was busy following sports and had other family duties to take care of. My first trip was to Laughlin, where I planned on playing just two Romp-Thru-Town (RTT) sessions with a win goal of $500 per session. I stopped in the newly named Aquarius (was The Flamingo) in the early hours of the morning and found I had no player’s card with me.

The slot card booth wasn’t open, so did I panic and leave to play in another casino where I had a card? HAHAHA — absolutely not! Folks, I’m in there playing for the money and not for the points. If I don’t have a slot card I don’t even blink. Yes I know, some — actually most — players have a near heart attack when they either don’t have a card or they see the dreaded words "REINSERT CARD" pop up on their card reader.

That’s why I usually win and they don’t. Playing for the money has to be the prime directive of any serious video poker player, and it is the only force that drives me at the machines. On this visit, playing for $10 minimum mini-session win goals, I won an overall $500 on the first session and $520 on the second. More importantly, after collecting the cash I immediately left for home — a mere hour-and-a-half after arriving.

A few days after returning home I received an e-mail from a player who wanted to come to Phoenix from Nebraska, on her way to Las Vegas of course, so we could meet and I could show her my methods. I named the casinos around the area and she chose to meet at Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Maricopa — 65 miles from my home. I had no problem with that.

When we met up she said she wanted to play a RTT on their $1/$2/$5 machines with a win goal of just $100. She was properly prepared for and had a bankroll of $6,500 with her for this "training" session. The only problem was, after losing about $900 she decided it wasn’t for her and she went to the slots. Confusing for sure — and I would have rather she did what she said she was going to do — but at least we used my player’s card so I would get SOME credit for my efforts.

If I were a quitter in the middle of my play strategy I’d be a loser many times over. But that’s not me, and so I set off for my second trip to play for profit in Laughlin and Las Vegas a week later with renewed firmness of purpose. My plan was to play 2 RTT sessions for another minimum win goal of $500 per session, and one single play strategy with a win goal of $2,500.

My first stop was at Caesar’s Palace, which I’m beginning to like more and more. I had my Diamond Total Rewards card with me so my play would help build up credit to keep it through 2008. Sure, the gurus and their followers continue to blast the place because they haven’t any theoretically >100% pay tables, but that’s only because they’re obviously having a hard time winning anything anywhere.

I’m not a slave to pay tables, so I sat at a 7/5 Bonus Poker machine and by the time I finished it gave me $610 more than when I started. Thus, I’m 3-0 so far in 2007 and I was just getting started. After that I got a little rest and then went out to Summerlin to play another RTT session for $500 at the Suncoast — one of my favorites in town because of its location, machines, friendliness and overall cleanliness.

But this visit wasn’t as accommodating as many I’ve had there in the past. When I reached a negative $1,300 I decided it was time to scramble next door to the Rampart casino at the Marriott to try to win my goal there. It turned out to be the right choice. As soon as I sat down to play $5 Bonus Poker it dealt me quad 2s for $1,000. Ten minutes later I held two 3s and drew two more for another $1,000. Session profit: plus $700.

OK, so I’m now 4-0 in RTT strategies, but my big play is yet to come. I chose to go to the Aquarius in Laughlin to play a single-play session to win at least $2,500. They have some nice new machines in the place, and I especially like their 5-level $1/$2/$5/$10/$25 multi-game machines that are perfect for how I play. Yes I had a card this time, and yes I was going to use it.

As is typical of single-play strategy where I do not hit a royal flush so I can go, it went up and down before my last of four taxables hit (W2G tax forms for $1,200 or greater jackpot winners) giving me an overall profit of $3,100. Although there were no huge winners, I was happy to see a normal session where I was never down more than $2,900 before the hits started coming.

So I’m off and running with a 5-0 start to the new year. To those who can’t let go of the "positive machines mean positive results/negative machines mean negative results" theories and math models, listen up: Any machine can be beaten at any time because you have no idea what it’s going to do. If you approach playing every machine as if it’s in some sort of long-term anecdotal behavior pattern, you will not win.

Instead, learn from my mistakes of the past and my understanding and success of today. No machine knows or cares whether you’ve been playing for 100,000 hours or you just started from scratch. It’s gonna do what it’s gonna do, and if you’re prepared for the good luck that nearly all machines eventually produce, then you have a good chance of seeing the cash come your way much more often than not. Quite a difference”¦.wouldn’t you say?