Always, walk away a winner

Mar 4, 2003 3:56 AM

Have you ever heard anyone say that they really don’t care if they win or lose today? Does it make sense? There’s real money involved in this thing, right? So how in the world could it be even remotely possible to have any player say they couldn’t care less about whether they win or not?

Well, there ARE such players in this game, but if you read between the lines of what they say or write you’ll easily spot their tell-tale contradictions. And it then becomes a credibility issue.

If I go into a casino to gamble, I want to win some money. After all, isn’t that what this activity is all about? And if I go back tomorrow and the next day and the next day, I want to win again, and again, and again. Is that such a stunning surprise?

But some people take a certain bankroll in order to build it up to buy something they couldn’t have previously afforded. Not a real bad idea, until they win their pre-set amount and get sucked into staying by one or more of the promotions being offered.

So if they were ahead at one point and left a loser, what does that mean to you? To me, they’re incompetent gamblers and have never been serious about the game.

The first and most obvious element here is that we all know a large percentage of gamblers are ahead at one point during their gambling sessions, yet most of them leave in the hole. While this scenario bothers most people who play and cannot seem to get and stay ahead, there is a group who thinks it’s perfectly normal to lose seven or eight out of every 10 sessions. They are of the very odd belief that losing a thousand today is no big deal, because one of these days they’re going to catch up. I’m always arguing with these folks, and I have yet to hear a convincing explanation to rationalize this confusing behavior.

I’ve always had a problem with anyone who claimed to not be worried about today’s results, since they were trying to be a lifetime winner. What does that mean? Was that trip in from California, Texas, or Ohio worth it?

And since most video poker players are not of the well-to-do crowd, I’ve always liked to hear the reasoning behind how they feel when they otherwise could have spent that $2,200 on their children’s education, car repairs, or something for the home. But wait a minute! That loss was meaningless! Why, by the time the player reaches the long-run he’ll be ahead anyway! Who cares about losing a few thousand here or there 75 percent of the time along the way?

This kind of nonsense and entangled, twisted logic preached by few of the optimal play crowd has never made less sense. Picture yourself leaving the house with $850 and coming home with nothing but smoker’s cough, a stiff neck, worn out fingers, lower back pain, and the pleasure of having sat for hours in an attempt to widen your girth.

If only they would teach players to play short sessions while having a good time, quitting when ahead by a pre-set amount ”” and not more than once a week ”” the disconnect between playing to win and playing to lose would not be so profound.

And if you come in from out of town for a few days, what’s the point in sitting at a machine 12 or more hours a day? Oh, I forgot: the POINTS! (Let’s go down that road.)

At the end of the day, I want to go home with all of my money in my pocket along with some of the casino’s ”” and I usually do. Although the ride is usually bumpy, I’m right there for all the ups and downs. I take the ride and enjoy every minute of it, because I’m playing the way I want to and not the way the casino expects me to. That’s one of the secrets behind consistent winning. If you go into a casino with the firm expectation that you are going to leave a winner, with the proper plan and bankroll ”” you will. And guess what? Everybody wants to win every time they play. If they say differently then they are not being truthful.