Sep 9
by Don

Just getting back from Vegas over the holiday weekend and we have a ton to talk about. There will be reviews, observations, stories and the like, but I had to start with what I can only describe as, “The Run”. If you have been reading our blog for any length of time you know that I am a big believer of Hedge Economics. I have talked about the basic principles here, how they help you get rated and free stuff from casinos here, and have even given some real world examples of some outcomes to give you an idea of what to expect here. All of that is well and good, but when it goes right it’s a sight to behold. Well Lori had one of those runs that exemplify the pure beauty of the theory. When applied properly, under the right circumstances, and with the fortitude to remain true to the escalating betting patterns, the outcome can really be nice. 

So to set the scene it’s around 9:30 am on Saturday and we are up and ready to roll. Destination; the main pit at Caesar’s. We love this place because of the chill atmosphere, older dealers, and great player payouts in that you can split A’s up to 4 times, BJ pays 3 to 2, and you can surrender as well. But really, we mainly love this place because we win, and Lori normally wins big. There was nothing really spectacular happening. Lori survived a couple of shoes with little to write home for, but the third shoe was the magical one. About half way through that 3rd shoe (one that Lori cut, which is crazy because that normally isn’t a good thing) Lori starts her run. She wins the first 4 hands and now has her bet up to $125. So that’s a nice start, but nothing out of the ordinary. At this point she ups her hedge amount to $50 per hand. This is nice as she wins the next 5 hands and her bet is now up to $350. Excellent. Especially since the next hand is a BJ! Yes!

Even Julius is pointing the way for Lori's seige at Ceasar'sLori continues to hedge and now is up the $400 and gets a double down opportunity. Now it’s not your normal 11 versus dealer 6. That could be something that is easy to pull the trigger on. However it’s a soft Ace (A4 vs.4) and this was something that Lori would not have done in the past, but this trip we talked about playing all of angles. This means you are playing it by the book, the whole book and that includes doubling on the right soft Aces, splitting small pairs versus dealer 2-6 (or 7), and just believing in doing the right thing. So there is a moment where the dealer pauses before he pulls out the cards, but eventually he busts and boom, winner $800. Now what’s great about that is that she pulls back $1200 and then puts another $50 up on her bet and wins the next hand as well. She wins two more hands and I am just praying for the shoe to end.

Well it finally came to the end after 13 straight wins. She played out the remainder of the shoe, which was only another 2 hands left, and then takes an inventory of the rampage and decides to go to the cage. Lori bought into the table with $300 and left with $2775. I would say that qualifies as “The Run”.

Jun 30
by Don

So during one of our Vegas romps; myself, Lori, and 44 were at the Mirage playing blackjack at around 2 pm.  There weren’t a lot of people there and basically we were just going to kill some time before we had to go somewhere to do something else.  44 has an incredible ability to plan for things, but not over plan.  He always comes correct with a dinner reservation that is on point with whomever we are running with at the time.  A fancy affair is normally the case at least once a trip, however this was not going to be one of those evenings.

Nevertheless, we are all playing blackjack at one of the handicap tables that are always sprinkled throughout a casino on a few blackjack pits.  You can recognize them because they are always low (like the old school sit down table top video games) and there is always a seat missing for someone in a wheel chair to roll up in.  Cool.

Our dealer had to be, no lie, 80+.  He was funny, but kind of crotchety.  Like, “I have survived WWII for this shit?” kind of crotchety.  It was glorious.  We laughed at him and each other while we were playing and 44even tried to get a picture on his first generation camera phone, FAIL.  However we were happy just playing and killing time.  This was mainly due to the fact that our dealer was slow.  I mean like mind numbingly slow.  But that was cool because we are all having a good time and he was telling jokes and just generally being old and ornery.

It could have been great, but really Paul you are too damn slow!Now contrast this with the experience that Lori and I just had at Caesars. Lori was playing in the main pit off of the entrance (which has some of the best players odds in all of Vegas) and I was watching her and the roulette table next to her.  There were some crazy drunk people who claimed to have a “system” for roulette.  Of course it didn’t work, but I digress.

So Paul (the dealer) is a young man by comparison.  Seemingly in control of all of his motor skills, married, and even had a friend meet up with him during his break.  What he didn’t have was any semblance of speed by which to deal the damn game.  He was so deliberately slow that several players left out of disgust.  It was just so choppy and purposefully slow that it made it hard to even enjoy the “action”.  Now from a player rating standpoint this is a good thing because you are rated on the length of time you play versus your avg. bet size.  However there comes a point where it’s just too slow.  This was that point.

Eventually Lori made a little money and we had to bounce.  Paul was killing the Mojo, and we just had to find a new spot to start punishing Vegas.  That spot as it turned out, was Harrah’s. Thanks Paul for umm, nothing.