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Trip Report Part 3 [long]
Posted by Barfarkel on 18 July 1999, at 11:27 a.m., in response to Trip Report Part 1 [long], posted by Barfarkel on 17 July 1999, at 2:04 a.m.
REMOTE_HOST: 188.8.131.52; REMOTE_ADDR: 184.108.40.206
Realizing that I was down over $1000 and needing a change, I finally gave in to Grifter's sales pitch and joined his team, buying in for 10% of the bank. I joined at the same time as another vacationer, Pittsburgh Phil, who put up $4500 to match the other 3 team members stake. So now the 5 of us had a bankroll of $10,000.
We set out with each of us carrying our own money as part of the 2 session stakes we were always supposed to carry with us. 30 green units = $750 per each session stake. Instructions were to double it or lose it or quit after 1 hour whichever came first. One of our teammates, Allan calculated our spreads and betting schemes on his BJRM. Mine was bet the True Count plus one on single deck [1-4 spread] and bet just the True on double deck [1-6]. The team would meet each night to redistribute the winnings and losses and eat comped dinners together.
Ok, so far so good. I had doubts that I was good enough to contribute to a team of experienced, high-spreading counters.
I figured I wouldn't lose nor win too much, the experience would be educational and I'd have an advantage by using the prowess of the better players to offset my inexperience and slowly build back my bankroll. Besides, there was always the chance that we'd double the bankroll in the 3 days I had left in LV before I pulled my stake out, thereby regaining my $1000 [10% of the net win]. Like I said, I wasn't doing too good with my solo red play, so why not go for it and be able to play green?
We finalized each players casino assignments, had dinner and then I left for Treasure Island to see Mystere. This is a great show and well worth the $70. I think it's the best show I've seen in LV up to now. Some of the things the acrobats and gymnasts do are incredible, and the proceedings are kept light and funny throughout. Be sure and get there 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin because there is a "pre show". That's all I'll say about this little appetizer, but don't miss it; it's hilarious.
As I came out of the show, I realized this is it. I'm supposed to play the TI's double deck game, spreading green. Found a $10 DD table and got my feet wet for 1/2 hour spreading $10-$50, breaking even. Moved to another pit where the DD tables were all $25 minimums. Plunging in, I bought in for $200 and just concentrated on keeping the count and betting the correct amount while stifling my emotions. As it happened, the count never got too high, so my spread was only $25-$75. Played for just under an hour and got good cards and won most of my doubledowns, resulting in a $450 win.
Many of you are familiar with the wonderful feeling that came over me as I floated to the cashier, but it had been awhile since I felt this good. First time out of the box playing a green spread and I'd booked a win. Where was that blonde that had been at the table with me, now that I felt like celebrating? Too bad she had to run off to take care of her kids. We had exchanged names and some personal info and were getting on pretty good before she'd left. Oh well...
I must admit a most unworthy thought crossed my mind at this point. If I was to tell the team that I had lost $550 instead of winning $450, I could pocket the $1000 and be even for the trip. Ok, I'm no saint and the thought occured to me but, being a fairly honest sort, I didn't do it. My feeling was that I'd bought in, for good or ill, and I'd take my chances and play it straight and see what happened.
Next morning found me at Slots-A-Fun, at the $10 single deck table. I played for 90 minutes, buying in with hundred after hundred until the cards turned in my favor. Used a $10-$75 spread [amazing what a little extra confidence can do]. I got pref shuffled on a few times when I raised my bet on the 2nd round, so I just kept doing it again and again until the dealer got used to it and stopped that nonsense. After all, you are nearly even off the top in that sd game with good rules. Once or twice I got only 3 rounds to one and was actually glad when another player joined the table, resulting in a "generous" 3 rounds to two. Won $465 and cashed out.
Stepping a little more lively now, I crossed the strip and played the Riv's DD game for 25-30 minutes, trying to score a lunch comp to Kady's, the coffee shop I like there. Spread $5-$30 with 65% pen, winning $80, but failing to get the comp, I paid for lunch. Aside from my share of the Rat Pack lunch, this was one of only 2 or 3 meals I paid for in 8 full days in LV. [chicken fried steak and eggs and an iced tea].
Went over to the LV Hilton, using the hotel room magazine's coupon for admission to the Star Trek Experience. This was a fun show, well worth the $11 or so it cost. The beginning is slow; you have to read the whole history of Star Trek on board displays. When you finally get to the "shuttle" and have to escape from the Klingons is where the fun begins. This is one of the best motion simulator rides I've seen, as our craft careens thru outer space, dodging enemy ships and explosions, only to emerge to safety above the Las Vegas strip with the familiar comforting spires of Excalibur and MGM lion now visible. Quite a ride. Glad I didn't lose my lunch:-].
Well, it seems like I learned a few things in the last 24 hours. Like how to get money out of a casino, and still be welcomed back again. Like how to spread bigger to have a better chance to win. Like how to not give up on a good game right away because you are not getting the cards, but to stick with it longer, keep buying in with your more than adequate bankroll and the confidence that BR gives you, until the cards turn in your favor, then make your move. However I was still a bit skeptical as I knew my turn of good fortune could swing around at any moment. I tried to remain focused and not start thinking I was the greatest counter alive. I knew I had experienced a statistical swing which could reverse itself at any time, so I tried to stay quietly confident but not cocky.
Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of this saga as our hero [that's me folks] continues his winning ways...
Same Bat time. Same Bat channel.
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