Monday, August 25, 2008

Riverboat Gambling

That was a fantastic weekend vacation. I saw the Braves and Cardinals win one game each on Friday and Saturday, and then I drove to Kansas City to witness the home team beat the Tigers.

And I played in live casinos every day.

I met up with Kuro at Harrahs in St. Louis immediately after I arrived. It was cool to see signs at Harrahs supporting Dennis Phillips, who started his journey toward the World Series of Poker November Nine there in a $200 satellite.

I only had a little money on me, and I was looking to sit at a $1/2 NL table, but my name came up for a $2/5 table first. When I found my seat, it didn't take long to remember how juicy live poker can be: five players saw most flops, reraises were rare and people missed many obvious value bets on later streets.

I feel like it takes a little investment to beat these games sometimes. That's because you should be seeing many flops in position, and if you miss all the time, your stack is going to bleed away. The rake and jackpot fee don't help either. But I'm certain this kind of live game is overwhelmingly profitable over time. (I wish I could be dealt more than 30 hands an hour!)

Eventually, my stack dwindled to about $150, and I limp-raised all-in from under the gun with 77 after an MP player raised to $50 and four people called, putting more than $200 in the pot. I got called by the raiser, who wouldn't reveal his pocket 8s until after the river was dealt even after I turned over my hand immediately. Jackass grayhair.

I ended up losing more money at blackjack, but the real story of the trip is my roulette winnings at Casino Queen in Illinois and Isle of Capri in Kansas City.

I played a Martingale strategy, in which I placed near-break-even wagers on the outside, pocketing my winnings on small bets and doubling my bets when I lost.

In four sessions of roulette over four days this weekend, I walked away a solid winner every time.

The Martingale system isn't profitable over the long run, but it gives you the opportunity to book small wins and have fun at the table for several hours at a time. I'll play roulette this way all the time.

1 comment:

kurokitty said...

It was excellent catching up with you in St. Louis. I'm glad I made the trip.