Friday, November 30, 2007

Matching Wednesday scaled way back

In my mailbox from this morning:

Starting in December the Match200 bonus will not be awarded every Wednesday of the calendar month. Instead, you’ll be able to register for this promotion and receive 1 bonus per month per account or household.
I figured that Matching Wednesdays was too good to last for long (deposit $200, get $200 more, playthrough $4200, profit!). In the four Wednesdays I played, I was +$100, +$400, +$100, and +$22. Not bad for a few hours work. It's still a good deal at once a month, and it'll help my cash flow to be able to get the payout check before I have to make another deposit. My gambling funds envelope is looking awfully thin with four $200 payments removed.

On top of that, I've started playing in their poker room. They're either really bad players, or my loosening up of starting hands is paying off. I'm inclined to think it's bad play, though, because the first time I did really well at online poker, it was at another casino that had a poker table "on the side." Kind of like my adventure at the bowling alley in Wenatchee a couple of years ago. Or, as my cousin used to tell it, like Tower Lanes in Tacoma (amazing -- link still works!).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vancouver (WA) Cache Machine

The planning for the Vancouver Cache Machine is underway. January 5... yay!

Lakewood gambling forum: a stacked deck

The president of the Tillicum/Woodbrook neighborhood association is on the record in favor of closing all six of Lakewood's casinos. So why, on December 4, are they hosting a forum on gambling at the Clover Park High School PAC? Well, they've invited the six casino managers, and 50 churches. Panelists will include one casino manager (who appears to only have tentatively accepted), the director of the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, and a professor from Whatcom county whose organization has recently sued the Nooksack tribe's casino (and lost).

I may show up to bring a little dissonance to their echo chamber. Their announcement is pasted below.

Following are the final confirmed panelists for the Lakewood citywide forum on gambling to be held Tuesday, December 4, 6:30-8:30 PM at the Performing Arts Center of Clover Park High School located at 11023 Gravelly Lake Drive, SW.

Moderator: Peter Callaghan, columnist and reporter with The (Tacoma) News Tribune.


  • John Arbeeny, Lakewood City Councilman
  • Pad Finnigan, Lakewood City Councilman
  • Mike McKenzie, Lakewood Assistant Attorney
  • Craig Mayberry, Lynden, WA - Professor at Whatcom Community College and at Western Washington University. Craig is spokesperson for the North County Alliance (NCCA) of Whatcom County that has a federal lawsuit against the recently opened Nooksack Tribe's casino. Craig believes "solutions to the social injustices (created by gambling) will only come through a grassroots effort by local communities to hold elected officials and government bureaucrats accountable to upholding the civil rights of all individuals, regardless of the amount of campaign contributions."
  • Marueen Greeley, Executive Director of the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (formerly Washington Council on Problem Gambling).
  • Gary Hess, Manager, Great American Casino (or possibly Greg Bakamis, former manager now in corporate office). One or the other is confirmed.

The format for the evening:

  • 6:30-6:45 Doors open, seats taken and a presentation of the 2nd Annual Rudy 'Rebel' Baker Award for Outstanding Volunteer Community Service in the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood. As this forum is sponsored by the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association (TWNA); and as this forum replaces our regular monthly meeting for December, this is the one item of business we want to conduct the evening of the forum - Dec.4.
  • 6:45-7:00 Introductions of Panelists by Peter Callaghan and two-minute statements by each panelist.
  • 7:00-8:20 Interactions between panelists and audience, moderated by Peter Callaghan.
  • 8:30 Adjourn

There is much at stake at this forum. Lakewood leads the state in card tables that, together with other gambling revenues, are slated to generate $2.36 million in taxes for the city next year. And a ban on gambling, supported by one of the largest churches in Lakewood, could mean the end of 800 jobs, "25 police officers, or requiring each city department to cut its budget by 10 percent" (TNT, 10/3/07).

General audience invitations have been sent to all six mini-casinos in Lakewood and to nearly 50 Lakewood churches. The PAC has a 600 seat capacity.

The Planning Advisory Board, that has been charged with the responsibility to study the impact of gambling in Lakewood with recommendations due in January, has also been invited as they have expressed the need for public input.

Thank you for your willingness to be a part of this citywide event, and for promoting it among those like-minded with your position.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Matching Wednesday

It's been a relatively gambling free few weeks, with one exception.

Three weeks ago a newsletter I subscribe to announced that had a surprisingly good bonus offer. Deposit $200 on Wednesday, bet $200 on Wednesday, and you get a $200 bonus the next day. To collect the bonus, playthrough is 20x, or $4000.

So basically, deposit $200, get $200 more for free, and wager $4200. If you play blackjack, a 0.54% house edge game, you'll have an average loss to the house of $4200 x 0.0054, or $22.68, for an average net profit of $177.32. Even at $5 a hand, it goes fairly quickly.

The first week, I ended up $100; the second, $400 more.

PlayersOnly has the appearance of a fairly solid online casino. They've had glossy multi-page ads in Card Player and Poker News for several months now; they've gotten very little bad press on; and they have the recommendation of OBJ as one of the few sites that still take US players. I goofed on week 1 and deposited in their sister site,, and the withdrawal of a check for those funds arrived fairly quickly.

The only drawback -- any withdrawals after the first one each calendar month are assessed a $40 fee. Essentially, it's one withdrawal per month.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Happy Days match play: it's over!

It's a new month, and Happy Days changed their match play policy again. For November, you get a free match play when you bring in a toy for donation to a local charity. It's very altruistic on the casino's part, but the additional cost an effort of getting toys and bringing them in every day makes it hardly worth it. Essentially, the match play is over.

After going 38-39 in October (+$355), the grand total of my five months of match play: 184-194, +$1,825.

So... back to poker. I may have mentioned it before, but I've figured out what may have been the hole in my game. I've been playing ring games like tournament games, and playing too tight. I played for about an hour yesterday, and ended up $64, a lot of which was playing hands like A6 and then keeping with it after an ace flopped, or playing 32o from the small blind, getting in for cheap, and hitting two pair on the flop.

A lot of the hands I won were when my lone opponent folded on the river. They're on a lot more busted flush draws than I expected.