I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Random thoughts on random posts

A couple posts on the blackjack forums caught my eye this week. The first was from a player who asked, "What is the best casinos for APs to play?" I had to laugh. First of all, the answer to the question is going to be completely different for every player depending on his circumstance. A $5 players is going to have better conditions in one casino than a $500 player. A shuffle tracker is going to like a different casino, and a hole card player somewhere else. The other thing that struck me is how incredibly rude this question is. Imagine you owned a business, and I said to you, "I'm thinking of getting into this same business. Can you give me the names and numbers of your best customers?" You really are asking me to just give you money. With newer players I think they don't realize they are being rude. It is just ignorance on their part. But I get emails occasionally from players who should know better - "Hey, I heard there are bags of money laying around. Can you tell me where?" I call these players the "all take and no give" players.

I am a pretty open guy. I give people information if I think it can help them, or if it is the type of game I know they play that I don't. But I expect that they will do the same for me. I had one friend, Joe, who I literally gave 6 figures worth of info to over a period of years. I mean, I know he won 6 figures off the info. What I would get in return was, "Oh there was a really great game in X, but it's dead now." Or I would hear from mutual friends about an opportunity, and they would say, "Oh yeah. Joe has been pounding that for months."
Needless to say I don't talk to Joe much anymore.

The other post that caught my eye asked (paraphrasing), "What ratio of expenses to ev is acceptable for a blackjack trip?" Many responders answered that this is really a personal choice, but it brought to mind another question I was asked. After one of our radio shows Bob and I went out with friends. One of them asked us "What is your favorite game to play?" Bob's answer was simple. "Whichever game has the highest ev." My answer is a bit more complicated. When I consider what trip to make, or what game to play, the expenses really don't enter into it much. These are the factors I consider:

What do I think the game is worth in dollars per hour? Obvious right? But just because a game is worth the most money doesn't mean that is the one I would choose.

Where is it? If the game is in Minnesota in the middle of winter, or in a country I consider dangerous, well there better be extra reasons for going. By the way - I am not one of those people that thinks other countries are scary places. I like traveling to new places, but I have done a lot of it. I like living out of a suitcase less, and less. Russia = scary. Columbia = scary. Korea = not at all. Is it a place I want to visit anyway? This summer I plan to hit Singapore, and Philippines. I have family in both places, so if I don't find a game to play that is okay.

Who is going? This is actually a really important factor for me. Some people just make a trip more fun. I know I am going to do more laughing if Max Rubin is on the trip. Even though he snores, bursts out laughing in his sleep for no known reason, and somehow leaves chips under the dresser or in the shower. With a certain other person I know we will all make more money. He may work you 18 hours a day with no breaks for food, but the bottom line will be much higher.

What is the heat situation? Some places are really steamy, some are very cool. Obviously I like the cool places even if they are not the highest dollar-per-hour.

What game are we going to play? I have played many different table games in casinos. I like to play games that involve 2 or more team members at the same table. Bonus points if we can all act like we know each other. Counting something by myself, even if it is a new game or side-bet - this is misery for me.

Throw all those factors in the blender, add some secret sauce, (usually having something to do with what my wife says) and you get my formula. Want me to go count some new game in upstate NY in the middle of winter? It better be worth $1,000 an hour with little chance of getting backed off. They opened a casino in Bali, and a bunch of friends are going. It might be worth $100 an hour? Deal me in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article. I'm in my late 30's but still hope to be like you when I grow up.