Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Long ways to go to make $15

PlayersOnly still has their monthly $200 deposit bonus: deposit $200, get $200 free, play through $8200, and withdraw whatever you have left. Blackjack's the best game available to do this with, but the variance the last two months has been brutal, and my impatience hasn't helped.

In March, playing a flat $5 per hand, I ended up ahead $389. In April, wanting to do just as well, I increased my bets when I fell behind, which made me end up even further behind, and eventually -- several hands short of meeting the wagering requirements, I ended up at $0.

This weekend, learning from my April mistake, I went too far the other direction and played a flat $2 per hand, grinding through 4100 hands. With a standard deviation of 1.2 and a variance of 1.44, then 66% of the time, I'd end up between +$101 and +305. And 90% of the time, I'll end up between -$150 and +$457. I was in the latter variance this time, ending up -$90.

After weighing the hassle of requesting a $110 check, waiting for it to clear, depositing it, and having it as a reminder of my lost $90, I tilted a bit, decided to take it to the baccarat table and place a bet with the absolute lowest house edge in the casino. $110 on the banker. Fortunately, I won, and withdrew $215.

That site's gonna give me an ulcer if June ends up just as icky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In my fort

I had to stay home from work today to take care of a sick kid, so I grabbed the hardware I needed from the office and set it up at home. I've got three laptops on three sides of a square table, with the power cords trailing off the fourth edge to a power strip. There's also a couple external hard drives and mice in the mix. This worked fine all day, until about 4:30, when my cat slowly saunters across all three keyboards, and noses my hand. I pull him into my lap, but as soon as I stop paying attention to him, he's back on the table. Finally, he lies down to rest.
I hope he's not contaminating the chain of custody form he's lying on.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Poker tournament: no skill required

Tulalip's 10:30 a.m. tournament structure is the worst I've yet to come across. You start with only 1000 chips, and the rounds are 15 minutes long. Blinds start at 25/50 and go up 25 and 50 each round. That's bad enough, but here's the weak kicker: only four rounds, and then two hands, then the four largest chip stacks are paid.

Moreso than any other tournament, in this one it's critical to build your stack fast. I did a mediocre job of this, and am still questioning if I should have called a caller and the blinds with 33 in middle position. I didn't; it would've incresed my stack by about 20%.

After the four rounds, I was in the final 12 (out of 45), and when I proposed a 10-way split, the regulars shrugged me off as if I was a loony. I got dealt K5 under the gun, and folded it. Three players got knocked out, the final 9 went to the final hand, the three biggest stacks folded, and everyone else went all in. The winner of the all-in fest (not me) cashed 4th.

This tournament requires very little skill. Push high pairs. Call with two paint cards. Get a lucky flop. That's about it.