Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Future(s) is Now

Some quick odds and ends:

Vegas Futures:

When I was in Vegas over the summer, I placed 5 futures bets at PH:

1.  Cinci Reds NL
2.  Detroit Tigers AL
3.  Saints NFC
4.  Ravens AFC
5.  USC National Champs.

I tried to avoid anything not paying at least 5-1.  That meant no Yankees . . . no Patriots, et cetera.  I believe USC was the only instance where I violated that rule.  But, sometimes, when a wager is such a sure thing, you have to make an exception.  Yes, thank you, Southern Cal.  First, you gave me Mark Sanchez.  Then you blatantly stole my money.  What's next?  Maybe the Jets will trade down to take Matt Barkley next year . . .
Anyway, the Tigers cashed at +550 (I'm still pissed I did not take them in June when I was in town, and before they started heating up).  I was freerolling after that.  And, when Baltimore hit the skids, I figured I'd be happy to just break even.  But, as things tend to go in the NFL, the team from Charm City got [lucky, Mile High . . . and then . . .] hot at the right time.  Sunday's AFC cash at +700 results in a nice profit.  I'll first be back in Vegas in March for conference finals weekend, and it's always nice to roll off the plane with some winning tickets to cash . . .
Harrah's Tier Structure:
If you are reading this blog, then you likely already know this:  Harrah's changed its tier structure for 2013.  Now, Diamond Status will cost you 15,000 tier points (up from 11,000).  However, in effort to encourage more volume play, Harrah's is offering bonus tier credits.  If you hit 500 credits in a "day," generally from 6:00 am to 5:59 am, you get an extra 125 credits.  If you hit 1,000 in a day, you get 1,000 bonus credits.  And, if you somehow hit 2,500 in a 24-hour period, you get an additional 5,000 tier credits.
So, as a sucker for a good challenge, I rolled into AC this past weekend determined to pull 1,000 tier points in a day.  By way of disclosure, my usual combination of poker (which nets a whopping 17 tier credits an hour) and VP and slots donking, usually nets me about 400 to 500 tier credits a day.  Sometimes, less.  In fact, in December, I spent four days at Harrah's AC and only earned a total of 1,000 points.  Also by way of disclosure, last year I somehow actually hit just over 15,000 tier credits for the year . . . and ALSO hit platinum at MGM . . . yes, I was a busy degenerate.
So, Friday night I rolled into AC at about 9:00.  My strategy was to play nothing but Jacks or Better ("JOB") and perhaps some bonus poker (so long as two pair paid 2-1).  I actually stuck to the plan, grinding mainly 10-handed and 100-handed, at $5 a pop.  It took only 6 hours, and cost $175, to hit 1,000 credits.  And, the next morning, I woke up and had 2,083 tier credits banked.  Success.
Showboat Tournament Saturday
Saturday, I spent the day playing tournaments at Showboat.  It sucked.  During the 2:00 pm, I had three playable hands over 4 hours: AK, 66 and 88.  I somehow made it to the third break, but I was never really "in it . . ."  I took down a nice pot with the AK hand.  It was raised preflop, got two callers, and I three bet from the Big Blind.  Original raiser called.  The flop was A Q 3.  I lead the flop, and villain folded.
I also won with the 66 hand.  Again, I three-bet preflop.  An initial raise was followed by two callers.  I had so few decent hands, that I decided to play the 66 a bit agro, as set mining seemed too weak given the circumstances.  I was hoping to take the hand down preflop.  But, if unsuccessful, I could always play it like a big ace, et cetera, depending on the flop.   I actually got one caller, and the flop was A J 2.  It was checked to me, I fired, and dude folded.
The biggest hand of the day was complete thievery.  I had 95 off in the big blind.  A dude 4 seats to my right kept min-raising all fucken day.  So, of course, he min-raised this hand, and got a caller.  Blinds were $1,000 / $2,000 at this point.  So, after the small blind folds, there's $11,000 in the pot (including my big blind) and it costs me another $2,000 to call.   This was the third fucken time this dude's min-raise had put me in this spot over the past 3 hours. 
So, I call, and the flop comes down KK6.  The initial raiser checks, and I decide that I am playing this hand like trip kings.  Caller checks and I check.  Turn is a Q.  Initial raiser checks, caller bets $4,000.  I tank a minute for show, try and obviously "count the pot" in my head, announce a raise . . . and fire $15,500.  Initial raiser insta-mucks, and villain says, "well, I guess you have the king," and folds.  This hand kept me alive for a while longer.  I kept waiting for the rush that never came.
Finally, with my stack dwindling, my friend, Mr. Min-Raise, does his thing again. I look down at 88 and shove.  One other guy calls.  Flop blanks.  Villain and Mr. Min-Raise "collusively" verbally agree to "check it down."  Nice.  Turn was a J, and river was a Ten.  Caller had AK . . . Mr. Min-Raise had KT and rivered the winner.  Donzo.
Harrah's Tier Point Challenge - Take Two:
Sunday, I made a play for 1,000 points again.  The day did not start out as well.  I began with a cup of coffee and a little bit of a game I like to call "Tier Point Roulette."  Basically, I play the video version of the game, and bet $10 on Red, and $10 on Black.  Each spin nets a tier credit, and you get your bet back so long as you avoid the Green.  First spin of the day - Green.  Minus $20.  Um.  OK.  I put in another $20, and six pulls later . . . you guessed it:  Green.  Variance kicking a little ass.
So, I returned to my old friend - JOB.  Now, Harrah's AC only has two hundred hand VP machines.  And they are not both equal.  One of the machines actually has better odds than the other.  Specifically, Bonus Poker on one of the machines pays 2-1 for two pair.  The other pays even money.  So, I head over to the two machines, which sit side-by-side, and find that the "good machine" (ahhh, "dem good machines . . .") is "out of order."  So, I move to a ten-handed game.  A few minutes later, I look back and see dem good machine in action.  An hour later, it's out of order.  An hour later, it's back in action.  What the f*ck?  It turns out, some "Seven Star" was grinding dem good machine.  And, when he wanted to take a break, he called the slot tech over, who put the "machine out of order" for him until he decided to return.  I'd never seen this before.  Seems sort of fucked when, as in this instance, there's really only one playable machine in the entire casino.  But, I guess Harrah's takes care of its Seven Stars.
Anyway, I ended up grinding the requisite 1,000 credits, although variance roared back a bit and it was more costly the second time around.  And, to boot, thus far, the 1,000 bonus tier credits have yet to hit my account.  I'm skeptical that they ever will.
All told, I was able to pull 3,563 tier credits for the weekend.  Only 11,437 more tier credits away from another year of free parking and a continued sense of false superiority over all you mere gold and platinum players . . . 
In short, it was pretty much a wasted weekend . . .

ETA:  I just checked Total Rewards again . . . it took two days, by the 1,000 bonus tier credits from Suday were added to the account.  Sorry for ever doubting you, Harrah's . . .


  1. A friend was visiting me from out of town. I give my gold Harrahs card to the dealer. My friend: "Wow, what did you have to do to earn gold?" Me: "Uh, give my name."

    The moral is that sometimes even we lowly golds can feel superior.

  2. Come on Nerve . . . My Diamond card is all I have in life. Don't take that away!

  3. LOL - you're such a degen, grinding VP & video roulette to get status. Dude. Play the pokers and make profits. Don't bother with the -EV shit... you're effectively paying $$$ for status; buy a timeshare or join a fraternity instead.

  4. A frat sounds good. I'm picturing myself like Luke Wilson in Old School...

  5. You hit on exactly what I envisioned when I wrote the comment... I call Vince Vaughn.

  6. Hmm,
    It appears as though when I lost my Platinum status this past year from not playing poker, I might never be able to regain it with the way they keep raising their points every year.

    Oh, it was fun while it lasted.

    Congrats on knocking out over 4k worth of points though!!!

  7. Anybody who has played tournament poker knows the old "check it down unless you have the nuts" routine when there is a player all-in, but you can't verbalize it. It's collusion either way, but if you announce you're doing it, then it's blatant collusion. I doubt it does any good, but if I'm all-in and players at my table call and agree out loud to check it down I'm making the dealer call the floor for a ruling on collusion.

  8. @JT . . . yeah, we all know the deal. And, while it did piss me off a bit to actually hear them say it, by that point, I was so done with the damn tournament, I didn't care. 4 hours of frustration was enough for one day!

    FYI - interesting blog post yesterday. I definately could not handle situations like that. I'm glad some people can!

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