The second edition of Volume 2 covers Double Bonus--including 10/7, 9/7, and 10/7 returning 80 for a straight flush--with standardized notation affording greater clarity and precision. A couple of strategy errors discovered in the first edition have also been corrected.
One of the nice things about a regular teaching gig is the people Shirley and I get to meet. In every series of classes we see some of the same people every week and several sets of friendships haveBob Dancer is one of the world's foremost video poker experts. He is a regular columnist for Casino Player, Strictly Slots, and the Las Vegas Review-Journa land has written an autobiography and a novel about gambling. He provides advice for tens of thousands of casino enthusiasts looking to play video poker. Bob's website is www.bobdancer.com blossomed starting from these classes. We are in the middle of a series of classes at the Fiesta Rancho, Wednesdays at 10 a.m., and are recognizing many of the same faces week to week. Some of these people will become friends of ours.
A few months ago, Pedro and Maria asked if they could join Shirley and me for lunch after class because they had something on their mind that might take a little time to explain. "Sure," we said, "why not?"
Pedro and Maria have been successful quarter full-pay Deuces Wild players for a while. They play at a very strong level. (That is, they can distinguish between Jh Th 7h Kc 4d and Jh Th 7h Qc 4 where in the first case it's correct to hold JT and in the second JT7. Maybe one player in 20 makes this distinction.) But not perfectly. (That is, they make the same play from 2 Ac Kc 3h 8s as they do from 2 Ac Kc 3h 8h -- as do about 999 out 1,000 players.) They have built their gambling account from its starting point of $1,000 so that it's now at about $6,500. They are considering learning 10/7 Double Bonus and moving up to dollars, but they believe (correctly) that $6,500 isn't nearly enough to tackle dollar 10/7 full time.
"Is it okay to sell stocks so that we have enough bankroll?" Maria asked. "We don't think it is a good time to sell right now." I found the question interesting. "Bankroll" is a measure of wealth (and they clearly have enough wealth to justify the change in stakes), but whether it is in a specific bank account set aside for gambling or not is largely irrelevant. We talked about them getting a line of credit and using markers. I told them that if things went bad they had to be WILLING to sell the stocks, but they certainly didn't need to sell the stocks before they started. For many people in this position, $6,500 is more than enough "seed money" and they'll go up, up, up from there (with many bumps in the road, of course.)
Pedro's concern was different. "If I play 600 hands per hour, I can earn $5.70 per hour playing quarter deuces and only $5.10 playing dollar 10/7. Although I'll get some more slot club points playing for dollars, there doesn't seem to be any advantage to increasing my risk by moving up in stakes."
Slot club points are important. They play at Sunset Station and the Boarding Pass is probably worth 0.4 percent in "checks in the mail" (if they play around $75,000 coin in per month), and if they play during 3x points, they'll earn another 0.3 percent if they spend their points for travel bucks. Playing for dollars, this adds $21 of comps per hour. Playing for quarters, this adds $5.25 per hour. Big difference.
$75,000 a month takes about 15 hours. That's a major amount of play, but hardly "full time." Pedro and Maria are people for whom "video poker is their life," so they probably play between 40 and 80 hours a month at various casinos. Splitting them among several casinos makes sense for them, as they can get into the top category of players at each of several local casinos with this much play.
At the end of the lunch, I told them that it sounded to me that they were addressing the right questions, but they had to be the ones who came up with the final answer. I could offer some guidance, but the final decision was theirs alone. I told them it seemed to be more a matter of "when" than "if," so starting the 10/7 studying process definitely made sense. If they never go to dollars, some promotions make 10/7 a better game than Deuces, even for quarters.
I don't know when they'll finally make the move, but it's nice to see some of our students doing well.
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