Poker Cats

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The $182 blackjack bet and other things not good for the game

So today I was cruising along on autopilot, working off a William Hill casino bonus through 2 GBP ($3.65) bets at blackjack and when I looked up, an odd brown chip was in the center of play, instead of the two white chips that I'm used to.

I looked closer. It was a 100 GBP chip! Or $182.55!!!

I had accidentally clicked it insteead of "re-bet," which is above the betting chips and hit "Deal."

I've always wondered what it would be like to bet $100 a hand at the Bellagio's blackjack tables. Now I know.

At the very least, when the deal came I was relieved that I was dealt 18. Of course I hit "stand."

But the dealer drew to 19, and away the brown chip went.

I'd made mistakes before with 25 GBP chips ($45.63) but never like this.

What did I do? Go on tilt? Keep hitting 100 GBP chips until I was even?

No. I calmly selected 2 GBP chips and then kept playing out my bonus until the end.

In the end, I was down $100, which is fine for a category that I'm up $1,400 for the year in.

But I saw it as a test. If you choose to gamble, do so selectively and analytically. Don't succumb to your emotions to try to get even. You'll win the money back eventually. If you don't think about what you're doing, you're no better than a toaster.

Scurvy today mentions the plight of John Daly the golfer who is stuck at least $50 million over a decade of $5,000 slots in Las Vegas.

It's a terrible thing to learn. For one, are the casinos any better than toasters? Sure it's one thing to help the profit margin.

But news like this is terrible for the industry. The sheep they are skinning (you know, like Amarillo Slim's comment on toasters -- "You can shear a sheep many times, you can only skin him once") are future customers.

This kind of thing only adds to people's perceptions that gambling is a degenerate activity that leads to personal ruin. I bet the money they will lose by scaring away future business more than overwhelms the paltry millions they made off a pro golfer.

Casinos should be grateful for the poker boom. It's really one of the few things recently that has given the industry any legitimacy. If they can't manage their high-profile customers in the brick and mortars, then they in no way are ready to take the helm of online gaming here in the United States.


  • You are one sick puppy, I mean kitty.

    By Blogger cc, at 8:59 PM  

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