Wednesday, July 27, 2016


  • Company owns a two-room warehouse from which it runs its operations. 
  • Warehouse has a single entrance in the front, which leads directly into a lone hallway which dissects the building. 
  • On the left side of the hallway is the door to Room 1; on the right side, the door to Room 2.
  •  Company employs 8 workers who at any given time are divided equally between the two rooms.  Employees in one room are generally unaware of happenings in the other room.
  • On January 1st, the only people in the building are the 8 workers.
  • Later that day, a man enters the building through the front door.  He never leaves.  He's found strangled in the hallway at 5:00.
  • All eight workers are interviewed by police; none claim ever to have seen the man.
  • Prosecutor rules death a homicide; brings murder charges against all 8 workers.  No other charges are filed.  Each employee is tried separately. 
  •  Man's family brings civil suit against the company.
1.    What result would you anticipate from the criminal trials?
2.     What result would you expect from the civil trial?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sick Days, Jackpots and Double-Ups

Follows is the trip report from the weekend, including my quest to grind 2,500 tier points and some poker content:

I took off for AC Friday at 6:30 am, rolled in to Harrah's by 10:00, and found a spot at one of the four hundred hand VP machines. The quest for 2,500 Tier Credits was afoot.  I started playing the 2 cent game at max pay ($10 a hand).  I was down $400 within 20 minutes.   The variance was pretty insane.   I realized that I could mash 10 hands per minute (the top end of my anticipated range), which meant I could reduce the bet to $5 per hand and still reach 2,500 within a fairly reasonable 8 to 10 hours.  So . . .

I reduced my bet and played a solid 7 hours, running fairly well.  I switched back and forth between Double Double Bonus and Deuces Wild.  I flopped trip deuces 5 times on DW, and trip Aces 3 times on DDB.   I also hit 16 Royals, which paid off $40 each.  By 5:00, when I took a quick break to grab my first beer of the day and to charge my phone, I was down $800 and had earned 1,800 TC's.   After reducing my bet, I had only lost $400 over 6.5 hours.  I'll take it . . .

After the break, I got dealt trip Aces for a 4th time.  It ran out like this:

Whiffed (this was, in fact, one of three times I struck out with monster flops . . . I also missed with trip deuces on DW and four-to-the-royal).

A few minutes later, however, the aces came through:

This was the type of hand I needed to have any hope of actually finishing this grind in the black.  I took a second break shortly thereafter, up $1,000 and with 1,950 TC's

When I returned, I went back to $10 a hand, trying to wrap it up as quickly as possible.   Variance hit again.  It was like the machine knew when I upped my bet and just punished me.   I dropped $450 and took off for dinner with 2,350 TC's and holding a $550 profit.

After dinner and more adult beverages, I finish the job just after 10:00 pm, hitting 2,500 TC's and $650 in the black.  So, had it not been for the Jackpot, the endeavor would have cost $1,100.  
Exhausted; I set out for one last beverage before calling it a night. 
I began Saturday where I had left off.  Mashing.  I earned another 1,000 tier credits, raising my total to just over 14,000 for the year, at a cost of $600.  So, my late afternoon, I was basically even for the trip.  I headed out for the 15 minute walk to Borgata for dinner at Bobby Flay's.  Shockingly, it looked like this:

After dinner, I walked back to Harrah's and finally got into a poker game.  It was 8:00.  It took a short time to assess the table - two nitty Harrah's regulars, two maniacs, and a couple of "club kids."  The maniacs had the game playing somewhat beyond my comfort level, raising and betting nearly every hand with any hand.  I hate these types of game because of the variance.  When it comes to poker, I don't like to gamble.  I leave that to the sweet, sweet VP. Anyway, it became apparent that the main offender was the "gentlemen" in seat 1.  When I sat down, he had an $800 to $1000 stack.  He wore a "wife beater" and was drinking both a Heineken and a shot.  He quickly busted a kid's KK with 84, having called a $20 pre-flop raise.  Based on the kid's angry comments while he was rebuying, this was not the first such hand Seat 1 had played to similar results.
Anyway, the second maniac (who was a Seven Star) who was seated to my immediate right in the three seat left the game after about 20 minutes, leaving only the 1 Seat to pump up the game.  Shortly thereafter, "Frank," one of the degenerate regulars, opened to $22.  It folded to me, and I looked down at AA.  I re-raised to $60, and Frank folded his JJ face up.  I was in the game . . .
A little while later, I got into a hand with seat 2, an older, semi-reg (a diamond member, from out of town, but who I had seen before).  There were several limpers, including Seat 2.  I had AJ in position and raised to $12.  Only Seat 2 called.  The flop was A(s) A(x) 6(s).  I bet $15; seat two flat called.  The turn was the 8(s).  I bet $40. Seat two shoved approximately $180 on top.  At this point, I had seen Seat 2 play one big prior hand.  He had turned Queens-full against Seat 1 and shoved.  I noticed how heavily he was breathing during the hand.  I suspected he had a monster.  Seat 1 called, and was shown the bad news.  Fast forward to my hand.  66 or 88 is possible; but not sure he's shoving his boat when I'm doing all the work on the hand.  Spades or a bluff too.  I look him over and notice the breathing . . .  Same as last time.  Yeah; I've got trip aces and a decent kicker.  I know he does not have a bigger ace.  I don't see what I'm beating given Seat 2's tight play.  His breathing makes this a fairly easy fold.  I actually flashed the ace while mucking.  He showed KJ spades.  I live to look for a better spot.
Shortly thereafter, I find it.  I'm on the button.  Seat 1 does what seat 1 does, and opens to $10 (still sitting on a monster stack0.  It folds to me.  I looked down at AA.  I have approximately $230 behind.  Normally, I'd three bet here.  But, to the extent Seat 1 has been inclined to give up on a hand, it's been when he faces aggression.  With only the blinds behind me (both of whom were tight), I opt to flat and try and trap.  But, surprisingly, the young woman in the BB (sitting on approximately $100) comes along.  Flop is Q(c) K(c) 4(x).  Surprisingly, the girl leads to $23.  Maniac calls and I just call.  My gut tells me the girl flopped top two.  However, I figure if I can get all in against Seat 1, I can still take the side pot to minimize the losses if my read is correct and I'm beat.  The turn blanks and the girl shoved.  Seat one again just calls.  Given stack sizes, I decide to shove, figuring Seat one will have to come along.  I do; and he does.  River is an A giving me trips.  I didn't need it.  Girl had Q6; maniac just mucked; I double my starting stack.
I was able to take a few more hundred off Seat 1 over the course of the evening.  One hand, I had JT and maniac and I saw the board run out A 9 T J K.  I had check called the flop; and check called the turn which gave me two pair (even though I hated it).  I checked the river and Maniac checks his hole cards.  Then he bets $150.  I had played the hand very passive.  I figure he figures he can bluff me off the hand.  Also, his peak at his hole cards was interesting.  I usually don't engage in table talk during hands.  But here I made an exception: "Sir, did you really need to look to see if you had the Queen?"  He smiled awkwardly.  I called.  He mucked.
An hour or so later, I got into a decent sized pot with a tight Asian regular (yes, tight Asians do, apparently, exist)  and Maniac (shocking).  By this point, Maniac had lost his entire $800 to $1000 and had rebought for $200 two more times.  He had his stack back up to $400 or so at this point.  I limp in early position with 77, maniac calls and tight Asian raised to $10.  Call.  Call.  Flop is 7 9 T (rainbow).  I check. Maniac checks.  Asian bets out.  He has about $150 behind.  I opt to flat.  Maniac comes along.  Turn is a 2.  Check. Check.  Asian  checks.  River is a 6.  I check.  Maniac checks. Asian shoves.  I feel like my set is good here.  I don't think Asian raised a hand with an 8 in his range.  And, while Maniac plays any two cards, his line does not have an 8 in it either.  So, I make a pretty easy call.  And Asian flips A(c) 8(c) for the win.  Clearly, I could have played my set differently.  But, under the circumstances, and particularly given Asian's starting stack size, I decided to play it slow with my finger on the fold button. However, as mentioned, based on the way the hand played out, I really did not put an 8 in anyone's hand, so I called down.  Shit happens.
I later took another $100+ off Maniac with KK.  Again, I flatted his open raise.  He started the hand with $200 or so and I figured I could get it all.  He bet the flop, and I just called.  He bet the turn, and had about $130-$140 left.  I figured if I shoved he would not get away from his hand.  So, I did.  Sadly, he actually found the fold button.  I think by this point he had maxed out his ATM limit (when he later busted again, he never came back . . .).  I should have flatted once more . . .
By midnight, my stack was close to $800.  I was getting tired.  And the table composition had changed over.  I had no real reads on anybody.  Also, the Corona Light's were starting to catch up to me.  I looked down at AJ diamonds and raised to $12.  The table showed the utmost respect for my bet, and I was called by only 5 players.  The flop was 885.  Out of position, I could have given up.  I should have given up.  But, that flop looked about as good as it gets for a decent Ace.  So, I fired $50.  Fold.  Fold.  Fold.  Fold.  RE-RAISE ALL IN.  FUCK!!!  There's one in every crowd . . .
I packed it in shortly thereafter, booking a $425 profit:  

I thought about gambooooling a bit more Sunday morning when I woke up.  Ultimately, however, I decided to finish the trip on the winning side for once, and just took off for home. All-in-all, a successful weekend.  Diamond status is all but wrapped up for 2017.  And hopefully my $35,000+ coin in raised my ADP enough to earn comped weekends during fall football season.  My next trip is tentatively booked for Wednesday through Monday or Labor Day Weekend; although I'm hopeful I'll be able to get a few more sessions of $1/2 in before then.
And now . . . back to the real grind.
P.S.  I'm curious what people's thoughts are on an appropriate tip for the hand pay?  I've only hit a couple, and am never sure what is customary under the circumstance.  Thanks.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plans. (which i never do)

Tomorrow is the day I attempt to grind 2,500 Caesars tier credits. Why?  Because I want to . . .

Yesterday, I did some rough calculations to try to estimate how long this will take.  Running $25,000 coin-in doesn't sound too difficult.  But, apparently, it's a lot of play.  The key will be how many hands of 100-hand VP I can play in a minute.  Typically, I draw and, unless I'm dealt a particularly "interesting hand," e.g., trips or 4 to a straight flush/royal, I'll zip through the 100 hands on turbo, which does not take long.  I'm estimating I can get through between 5 and 10 hands a minute.  That's a wide range.  At $5 a hand, which is my normal comfort level, I'd need to play 5,000 hands to hit the number.  Assuming the number is more like 6 hands a minute (10 seconds a hand), it would take 14 hours to reach 2,500 credits.  But that's 14 hours of non-stop, focused, grinding.  In reality, and factoring in the impact of delicious beer, the number would likely be more like 18 hours. And, that assumes I have non-stop access to one of the four hundred hand machines at Harrah's
So, I think I'm adjusting the plan and will attempt to play $10 a hand.  This, of course, will increase the variance.  If I run bad, I could dig a deep hole . . . quickly.  Failure is an option. 
I also have to decide what game to play.  Given I'll be increasing my sweet, sweet unit, I think I'll start with Jacks or Better and take the 2-1 return on two-pair, while sacrificing the potential for a big score with quads.  Depending how it goes, perhaps I'll switch over to DDB, which is normally my game of choice.  Maybe mix in some DW . . .
Frankly, if I start out terribly and am running far below expected EV by the 1,000 TC mark, I may shut it down (and collect the 1,000 bonus) and head to the $1/2 tables.  In my head, I'm targeting $2,000 to $2,500 as max pain to reach $25,000 coin in.  Of course, I'd like to lose far less.  Hell, I'd like to WIN; but we all know that's not going to happen unless I hit some stupid good hands.  I'm confident I could grind at $5 a hand and keep the losses within this range; but I'm not sure what impact raising the bet to $10 will have.
To be continued . . .     

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Diamonds Forever

In January, with MGM National Harbor opening, I made the decision to switch my play from Caesars to MGM.  I made Platinum with MLIFE last year; and, as a general matter, I like the MGM casinos in Vegas much better than the CET options.   This year, in two trips to Vegas, I accumulated 168,000 MLIFE points - enough for gold; and just short of platinum.  I was committed to returning just to rack up another 32,000 points.  Then, I started reading about how MLIFE devalues play at non-Vegas properties.  Gamblers at MGM Detroit, for instance, get about 1/5 tier credits for VP play compared to Vegas.  So, there's a bit of uncertainly how MGM will deal with MLIFE at National Harbor.  So, I decided to just stick with Gold.  Plus, I'm pretty much sick of Vegas at this point and am in no rush to head back.
Over the past few months, I've walked inside the confines of the Horseshoe Baltimore and played a few hands of VP before first-pitch at the Yard on Sundays.  To date, I've only got approximately 4,000 Total Rewards Credits.  11,000 shy of re-upping Diamond, which I've had for as long as I can remember.  For whatever reason, I got the itch to go for Diamond again.  And I came up with the following, absurd and admittedly stupid idea: get 2,500 tier credits in a day to earn the 5,000 bonus.  So . . .
. . . this weekend, I'm banging in sick to work Friday.  I plan on taking off for AC at 6:00 am, arriving around 9:30.  And then I'm gonna grind . . .  mainly the 100 hand VP machine at $5 a rip, which earns a tier credit every 2 hands ($10 coin in on VP).  And I ain't stopping until I reach 2,500.  I have no idea how long it will take.  I'm prepared for the variance.  I've read a bunch of the message boards, where people factor the -EV for this endeavor to be between $300 and $750.  In my experience, this woefully underestimates the loss unless you run really, really well.  I think you need to be prepared to spend $100 for each 100 tier credits on the 100 hand machine.  The losses can be even greater on a single line machine (I've run through $100 and only earned 35 tier credits or so on many occasions).  I'll be funded to get the job done no matter how I run.  At some point, you have to be committed to finishing the job because it doesn't make sense not to.  I mean, if you rack up 2,000 credits, you can't not get the remaining 500 because the additional bonus is 4,000....
Anyway . . . why am I doing this?  Pretty much just because.  The upside?  Another year of diamond benefits, which really is not worth much.  Beyond this, I'm hoping a day of 25,000 coin-in will boost by average daily theo and at least get free rooms for football season so I can stay comped on Fridays/Saturdays on my way up to J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS games this fall.
I'm hoping I can pound out the 2,500 reasonably early in the evening and then play some poker, as I love the room at Harrah's and miss playing.   Depending how it goes Friday, I may try for another 1,000 credits Saturday before playing poker.
I'll update the results of this stupid endeavor on Sunday.