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Gaming Seminars: Can They Help The Video Poker Player?

Feb 11, 2003 2:17 AM

Over the past three years or so I’ve had times where I’d hold seminars explaining my practical approach to winning at the game I’m interested in. The people had a common thread: they studied expert play, understand it thoroughly, but have never been able to reach the promise land as they were led to believe.

Thus they’ve come to me — a player who has taken a common sense visualization of playing for the short term every time out, and who has turned it into a very profitable job. The only problem is, we are not all of the same mold. The same constitution that allows me to simply get up from a machine and walk out after reaching my session goal is lacking in most other players.

The year 2001 saw me hold most of my seminars, and I rarely do so any longer. Since I live outside of Nevada I had to travel for each gathering, and by year’s end I saw my session playing time cut nearly in half. In my case, that translated into decreased income from the only job that I had. But for the seminars I did hold, I like to think the players walked away with a newfound understanding of why they’ve been unable to win when all media reports told them they should.

In short, I presented them with the undeniable truth of what they’ve had pounded into their heads for years. If one is able to clear their mind for only a few moments, even the most hardened long-term strategy enthusiast really has little to come back at me with once I open their door. And in this age of adding and subtracting full-pay games at many of the local casinos, all the pots that I’ve been accused of stirring are starting to boil down into a type of stew that few can resist.

Of course, I haven’t been the only one talking to players out there. While the majority of writers do so through their sales outlets, one of the casinos recently took on a different approach. Mid January saw the “How To Beat The House” seminar held at a very anxious Sunset Station. I was in town that weekend, and I stopped by several times to see what the “experts” had to say. But I couldn’t sit through much of it for long. It was clear that while the experts wanted only to get up in front of a crowd to have the opportunity to say how we can all win “like they do” if we follow their web sites, join their groups, or more specifically buy or read their products, the rookies in the audience were starry-eyed by the presentations.

And well they should be. Everything I saw was served up very professionally, and in such a way that a losing player could very well be helped along his path of learning what’s intelligent and what’s not in the world of professional gambling. I didn’t have a problem with the message — because there’s nothing more important for players than to have an abundance of knowledge of their game of choice. It was even understandable that a group of egos was on-site to build the gaming confidence levels of each other as they so often do. It’s the overall agenda that made me a bit uneasy.

When I started to think about it, I pondered the reason why a casino would hold such a meeting of players led by famous names who supposedly are telling the customers how they can beat the house out of its money.

Then I thought about all this some more. Stations brought this group together for a reason. In my opinion, that reason was to get the speakers to make their sometimes healthy casino bets as well as lure as many other players as possible into being customers. Any fear of these experts by the casino? Ho-ho-ho. Any chance the doors would close and employees sent home because of all the intellect and experience roaming the casino floor throughout the building? Could the casino see a decline in profits in 2003 because of this seminar?

The casino had it all figured out, it now has more players than before, and even more players now have slot club cards. More players feel like they’re doing the things needed to win, the casino has more business, and they likely had more money at the end of each seminar day. It’s nice to learn how to win, isn’t it.