Key to winning is
following your own rules

Sep 14, 2004 4:08 AM

Time and again I say this, and time and again people ask me why: If you go into a casino on anyone else’s schedule other than your own, you have a far better chance of losing. Why? Because the only way to win at video poker consistently is to set goals, play at your own very comfortable pace, and never, ever do anything other than what you said you were going to do.

One thing’s for sure — nobody who does anything other than what I just said is either a serious, intelligent, or successful player. After all folks, doesn’t it stand to reason that all those big and beautiful casinos were built on the casino’s terms?

Do you think for one moment that they would be there if those who run out and play as often as possible were withdrawing casino money at will? Maybe now you understand the true reason every casino in every town runs promotion after promotion after promotion. They simply want to rope players in to play on their terms and on their schedule, and they always get their way. They say there’s a sucker born every minute. But when we talk about video poker/slot club addicts, we’re easily talking in terms of seconds.

One way to overcome all that nonsense is to understand my Advanced Romp-Thru-Town Play Strategy (ARTT) as best as possible. Even then, if you have it mastered as well as I do, you must be very careful not to get caught up in all the other things going on along the way. It’s not only the casinos that work against you, my friends, but anything and everything that make up your visit must remain under only your control if you expect to win.

A recent trip of mine to Las Vegas can be a case study in both what to do and what not to do. Usually, and for obvious reasons, my trips to Nevada average around 36 hours. I win and I leave, because I go there for no other reason. But this time I had planned on staying what for me was a very long time — four nights. Meetings with people, shooting videos, getting my daughter and her friends set up for a fun weekend, and 4 ARTT sessions were all in the plans. Right from the start I really wasn’t comfortable with mixing play with all that other stuff, but I know I usually win so I went at it with no fear — which by the way is the only way to gamble for profit.

The first night I won my $500 goal at Sam’s Town ($760). It wasn’t much of a struggle, and a set of four aces on $2 Bonus Poker stopped my play. The next day at the Westin I stopped in and won $105 in minutes, so I went over to Tuscany. Because they not too long ago installed two of my favorite 25c/50c/$1/$2/$5 machines at the center bar — and even though their Bonus Poker pay table pays five credits less than similar machines at Sam’s Town — yes, I also hit four aces there. But this time it was on the $5 double bonus game for an overall win of $1,800. Day 2 was a success as well, but on an extended trip such as this, tomorrow can always make success seem so long ago.

The next day had its ups and downs. The only place I played was at the Rio. As is common with ARTT, I hit a bad streak — only to be rewarded at the end of the session with four more aces. This time, however, it was on the $10 Triple Bonus Poker Plus game, and I instantly had a $5,600 profit for all my effort. Once again, the progression, bankroll, and determination told a story of success. Certainly I was a bit nervous on the high limit machines. But quitters are generally losers, and in more than just gambling. Remember that.

Day four seemed to come in a flash. I was kept busy by all the extra-curricular activities that I committed to, and I was tiring. My profit thus far was much more than the $500/day I was seeking, but then again my play strategy always has the chance to hit big winners that I keep because I know how to stop playing. Everything I was involved in this trip was well planned and had no problems. But then again, I had one more session to play back at Sam’s Town — one place I used to win at all the time”¦ until the past year or so.

I don’t know why and no one ever does, but this is the place that makes me feel like a loser even though I win on almost every trip. I feel that if I didn’t romp around town to play, I’d probably always lose playing only at Sam’s Town. I don’t really know if that will ever change, and I don’t really care. Sure, the math gurus always say "I lost today, but I know I’ll be OK in the ”˜long-run’ because I know how to play the game". And that’s nothing but baloney. No one knows anything about tomorrow. I could forever lose at this place, and when a math player runs into a losing streak it may never end (as has happened to several).

True to form, I dropped $3500 on the last session of my trip. But am I crying? Well, tell me who cries when they go home with an extra $4500! Was it worth $3500 to stay one extra day? To help my daughter get the most out of her stay, after taking her and her 6 girlfriends out for a great dinner at Buzio’s, and upon getting a flat tire repaired on my rental car for a safe ride home — it was worth every penny.

Would I mix for-profit play with all these other type of personal obligations in the future? Not a good idea, but now I understand when people tell me they haven’t much of a choice when it comes time to leave with their winnings. Schedules are usually taboo for me, and they should be for you too. Keep that in mind the next time someone in your family or your significant other says "I’m hungry ”¦ let’s go eat!"