A ‘little’ can mean a lot!

Nov 6, 2007 2:17 AM

Over the years, I’ve sat with hundreds of players from all around the country and explained my single-play strategy to them, helped them while they played it, and taught them how to keep what they’ve won so that they could go home a winner for a change.

Nonetheless, there are the obligatory Internet trolls who, bedazzled and seemingly irritated at my ongoing success with the machines, post assertions that I’m making "hundreds of thousands" in payments from my "students" as they win while I collect some sort of large fees from them as they get their apparent huge hand pays. In other words, I never play — only collect from other "winners."

Yes, many have offered "rewards" for my tutoring when they win and some even when they don’t. But I have never accepted one dime from anyone in payment for my services and I never will. My professional video poker player policy does not allow me to do so.

Of course, if someone offers me a drink or lunch then I have no problem with that. One happy fellow bought me a bottle of Scotch several years ago after hitting a $32,000 Royal Flush on the top line of $1 Multi-Strike VP using my newly developed MSVP play strategy. A good time was had by all.

Recently in October, I had set an appointment with a lady named Jillian who contacted me earlier in the summer about getting together in late October to see if I could help her have a winning trip for a change. She was coming in from Georgia and made the trip once a year, only this time she wanted different results.

We were meeting at the Palms — where she was staying — and although we’d never met before she told me she would recognize me from my picture in this paper as well as from the videos on my site. I meet with many people all the time, and this method was as welcome as any.

Jillian was adamant about learning and playing my single-play strategy for a profit, only I wasn’t sure how she would do that since she had told me she didn’t have more than a $2000 gaming bankroll. When we met, she said she’d play a "session" from $1 to as far into $5 as her bankroll allowed.

Of course, that was NOT a good idea and I immediately talked her out of it. Generally, when I advise women they never listen. But this one surprised me — first, because she was maybe 30 years old (when most are usually the other side of 60) and next, because her youth seemed to help her make good sense out of the situation.

What I worked out with her was that if she insisted on single-play rather than Romp-Thru-Town or any other of my easier strategies, we’d have to divide everything I do by 100 in order for her to be able have a mirror image of what I do.

So we settled on just that: playing a 1¡/2¡/5¡/10¡/25¡/$1 progression of 2400 credits max. It required a $572 bankroll so she was all set to go.

We went over to Sam’s Town to play because I was more familiar with the machines in that casino, and there was not as large or distracting a crowd there — obviously — as there was at the Palms. We got her signed up for a card, and off we went. She seemed to understand and accept that the pay tables on lower denominations would be lousy.

Being successful at my single-play strategy isn’t only playing and hoping for good fortune. I play 95% of my hands optimally, but just as important are the 5% of the hands that I deviate from expert strategy on. It is also imperative to understand when to change machines because they just aren’t hitting — for whatever reason. To the skeptics here I simply say "It can’t hurt."

As for the seemingly small $25 session win goal (which she balked at) I said it’s a little bankroll, little denominations, so the goal is "little." More importantly, it’s a good way to learn, and she could play as many sessions as she felt she could handle without getting fatigued or disinterested. It does not pay to be greedy by trying to win more than you should when playing video poker.


The two sessions I played with her went by fast. Four Aces with the kicker on 2¡ and four Aces on 5¡ gave her two session wins. At 3 a.m. she was tired but still excited to play, however I was exhausted so we called it quits for the night. Playing is one thing; advising is another. Talking for hours has its limitations.

I haven’t talked to this player since that night, but I expect to hear from her sometime down the line. She was what I call the perfect student. She knew the game, she was sharp enough to see all the cards and rarely missed a hold, and she took my recommendation of playing with a $572 bankroll instead of a $2000 bankroll as important enough to follow.

Some people don’t. They can’t wait to get to the higher limit machines, and as a result, they get frustrated right out of the gate. That’s when they find out that when playing any of the Singer play strategies, discipline and determination are as important as any other trait.

They are also the toughest to teach, and learn.