Wednesday March 5, 2014
Did you ever forget a really good question before a speaker got to you? Used to happen to me in class a lot. Maybe that's why I went to so many colleges. Aside from the school of Hard Knocks, I went to a total of six colleges in California, Nevada and Arizona. Plus I went through Notre Dame, but that was in a police car, so that probably doesn't count. Anyway, I finally managed to get a four-year degree, but I still have trouble getting the answers I want, like how does the one drunk guy always find my blackjack game when I'm in the middle of a juicy shoe? And just how is it that when I find a really consistent dealer that just pushed into a roulette game and I can clock their spins perfectly, they suddenly get a sneezing attack or have to go to the restroom and someone else comes in and wipes me out? These are important questions!
Ask Your Questions - I'll Answer
If you also have questions about roulette, or any other gaming-related things, I'll try to answer them. Right now I've got lists for roulette, craps and blackjack, so those things are hot - but if you have other questions, send me an email at: casinogambling@Aboutguide.com and I'll try to set you right.
In other news, a reader commented on my discussion of continuation bets at poker, saying the advice is antiquated and standard practice for many players. Well, you're right, doesn't make it wrong. So is raising with pocket jacks to narrow the field, but if you didn't know that, would you raise with them? The point is, we only know what we know, and sometimes we need some advice to improve our game. I'll try to help you improve your game, but I can't if you don't ask. And for those of you who already know a lot, congratulations. Please stay at your own table.
Friday February 28, 2014
I'm already booked for the beginning of the 2014 WSOP. If you haven't made plans yet, the WSOP starts Tuesday May 27th with the two-day casino employee event, and while it starts at noon, not all of the tournaments do! The first normal, average Joe no-limit Texas Hold'em event is Thursday, a $1,000 tournament, but action is heavy and it's planned as a three-day jam-fest. Wait, almost all the tournaments are! That's so they can get multiple events going along with plenty of cash games at the same time. What's that mean? It means you need a room for several days. What to do?
Well, other than staying at Aunt Flo's house in Henderson, if you need inexpensive accommodations, you better hop to it. The Rio is a Harrah's property (alright, Caesars, whatever) and their rates are reasonable right now, as are the rooms at Bally's, Flamingo and Quad. Surprisingly, the rooms at the Rio, where the WSOP is held, are still really low, although the weekends are $200+, and please note they charge a $20 per day resort fee. Bummer. If you want to stay close but not at the Rio, the Gold Coast is almost next door and the weekend rates are about half the Rio's. The Orleans, which has a pretty nice low-limit poker room of their own, is around the corner.
If you haven't been to the WSOP, the huge events hall isn't quite the same since online poker moved away from the US, but you can still buy plenty of logo items like $30 tee shirts, $10 shot glasses, and $5 tins of mints - the size of a poker chip. And, the action in the poker area is still unbelievable. There is plenty of parking in the back (way back) of the property, or you can come down from your room and walk approximately 7.2 miles to the convention center (yes, I exaggerated, a little). I usually see several well-known poker players at the craps tables. They have no questions about craps, but I always wonder why they play during the few 1/2 hour breaks from the tournament.
If you are hungry, like I always am, you can grab a sandwich, burger or other choices right outside the poker rooms. If you are on break, you won't have time to get to one of the regular Rio restaurants, so don't bother. Are there any slack-times during the WSOP? No. It's always busy. Enjoy.
Thursday February 27, 2014
Nevada, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey (specifically Atlantic City) have been basking in the glow of legalized online gaming. Only Nevada has actually gotten their poker games up and running for players within the state (intra-state, Nevada-only players), but the other states aren't too far behind. It's obvious that there is a huge market for Internet poker in the US, it's just those pesky guys in Washington DC that keep getting access shut down to US players.
However, using a clue from the David Sklansky book of poker Gap Theory, the states above parred back their quest of the entire US market and took their fight to individual states. Until now.
In the next logical (and highly anticipated) step toward getting Internet poker back online for US players, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware signed an agreement to establish a legal framework for interstate Internet gambling. Of course that doesn't guarantee anything at the national level, but it does mean the two states are now working together, with Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings, to design a system for players in both Nevada and Delaware to compete over virtual green-felt tables.
If all goes well, players in Nevada will soon be able to play against those in Delaware, and the obvious domino effect comes very quickly after that to include more and more states (because most states won't want to be left out of the taxation party, I hope, I hope) until many of us will be able to play poker online again. Against crazy players, for real money.
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Roulette has been around for at least a couple hundred years, mostly in the same form: a spinning wheel with 37 numbered pockets, 1-36 and a 0. Occasionally the game had a 0 and 00, and when it was introduced to miners in the United States, it always had two house spots, although they were more patriotic, sometimes with an eagle instead of zero. When gambling when coin-op in the late 1800's there were plenty of choices for those who liked roulette. Although the games weren't exactly like roulette, they still had the feel of the game - and the gamble. The story of penny machines as gaming devices is an intriguing one, and the machines were as popular in the UK as they were in the US.
Photo Courtesy (Nic Costa)
You could bet on one or more colors on this old Commercial wheel, the odds were never real good for the player (about a 75% return to the player), but coin-op roulette has continued to improve, and several manufacturers offer very nice games that don't require a dealer, and therefore are considered slot machines in many jurisdictions. Roulette Evolution, the IGT entry to this market, is very sophisticated. For the player, the video screen even allows you to drag your chips across the screen to wherever you want to bet, and in addition to traditional US bets, you can make Series bets (Called, or Racetrack bets) on some games.
Photo Courtesy (IGT)
While most US casinos opt for the double zero wheels, even on their coin-op roulette, the betting options vary depending on jurisdiction. For those of you lucky enough to find a single zero Roulette Evolution in your local casino, all you have to do for pre-selected series bets is press More Bets and choose TIERS, ORPHELINS, GRAND SERIES, 0-SERIES, FINALES, or pick a number on the racetrack for the NEIGHBORS Series bet. It doesn't get any better than that, especially since the games pay the same odds as the live wheels do. I guess coin-op roulette really has gone through an evolution!