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!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gambling With an edge - guest Kevin Lewis

The guest this week is Kevin Lewis, on to talk about video poker in the Reno/Tahoe area. We also discuss the upcoming loss rebate promotion at Revel in Atlantic City.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Don't Revel in your loss rebate

The internet is all aflutter with the announcement by Revel Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City, that for the month of July they are offering a 100% loss rebate up to $100,000. That's right, 100% on 100k. The offer applies to action on slots, video poker, and electronic table games. There are threads on Wizard of Odds, VPfree, and several blackjack sites. I am sure that casino consultants will weigh in very shortly.

Before you get too excited you should know that to collect this rebate you receive 5% of your loss back each week for 20 weeks. You may be able to do this in 10 trips if say the new week begins on Monday you can schedule your trips so that on Sunday you collect for week 1, and then after midnight collect for week 2. But this would still mean making 10 trips to AC.

But there is a bigger problem. Casinos often have promotions that give away money. They often cost themselves more than they realize, and many players take advantage of these promotions. Usually when they stick their foot in it they lose 6 figures, maybe into 7 on a really bad one. This promo has the potential to cost them tens of millions of dollars. There is a long history of casinos changing the rules in the middle of a promo, or even after the fact. Every player faces the danger of the casino suddenly saying, "We changed our mind, Video Poker doesn't count," or "Sorry, we didn't mean those slot machines that you played, it was only for these that you didn't." On the flyer I read it said, "See the Revel card desk for details." I haven't been able to find any additional details online. So if you live fairly close to AC and want to give it a shot, by all means. Just don't expect this to be a walk in the park.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bill Zender

The guest on the show this week is Bill Zender, head of Bill Zender and Associates Consulting. Bill is a former gaming control agent, and has worked in many aspects of the casino business, from dealer to casino manager. He is the author of, How To Detect Casino Cheating at Blackjack, and Advantage Play for the Casino Executive as well as his two Casino-ology books.
click to listen - alt click to download

Monday, June 17, 2013

Forming a team - part 1

There has been a lot of chatter on the blackjack boards recently about new teams forming. I wanted to take this opportunity to pass on some of my thoughts on teams. I have played on 5 or 6 teams over my career, and what I mean by a team is a group of players who have a shared bankroll, and a target they must hit before they break that bank. The target can be either a monetary win, or it can be a fixed number of hours, weeks, or months. When the target is hit the bank breaks, money is distributed, and a new bank is formed.

Before I get into it I want to say that it has been over 20 years since I played on a large team, and 15 since I played on a small one. Now I have partnerships. The difference is that I now have a handful of partners. 2 or 3 of us will get together for a short trip, maybe 2-7 days. We play together for that trip and split the money equally. No commitment, no muss, no fuss. We are all together so we know exactly what games we are playing, and how much we are betting. On my last large team, when we finished we had money on 4 continents in 6 currencies. It was like working for a large corporation. In other words, it was like a job. Teams are great for guys with short bankrolls. It is a chance to grow your BR, see the world, and meet other professional players. But I much prefer the way I do it now.

I am going to lay out some of the problems that I have encountered

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mark Anduss

The guest on the show this week is Mark Anduss. Mark is a poker player that runs the website Mark's Las Vegas.  Mark is on to talk about the difference between the Total Rewards program at Caesar's properties, and the MLife program at the MGM properties
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Andy Bloch

The guest on the show this week is Andy Bloch. Andy is a very well known professional poker player, and a former member of the MIT blackjack team.
click to listen - alt click to download

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Name That Casino - Pit Boss edition

If you are singing "Viva Las Vegas," don't get "All Shook Up" if you see Hawaiian Elvis sweating your blackjack game.
Hawaiian Elvis
Hawaiian Elvis used to wear Elvis glasses like this...

but now he is trying to tone down his look. Tell him you want, "A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action," but don't "Step on his 6 Deck Shoes."

Seriously, what pit boss carries his own microphone? Name that casino!

Send me your own photos of funny looking pit bosses for future episodes. I know one of you readers just played with a pit boss that looks like female Al Pacino. Snap away!