Friday, October 13, 2006

Black Friday or BJ with BB?

Today, October 13th, 2006 may go down in history as "Black Friday". Bush signed the bill, and real money games are no longer accessible on PartyPoker or Titan with others to follow. But, I am over the gloom and doom posts. So I thought I would finally take the time to discuss a great opportunity I had a few months ago. To play the game of choice with no one other then the infamous Bobby Blackjack.

The setting would be the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Northern San Diego County. Pechanga is the largest Indian casino in California, and could give some of the Vegas Strip casinos a run for their money. I had not been there in a while, and when I got there, it had about tripled in size from my previous visit. Massive! I would be meeting Mr. Speaker, and BB, somewhere in this sea of slot machines and table games.

I got there a little early, so I played some Indian Craps while waiting. It's a silly game. It is set up around a regulation Craps table, but they deal out cards for the dice instead of letting people roll. Its not nearly as fun, but I was able to win about $20, killing a few minutes. I then cashed out and began my search for the Bracelet.

It did not take long. I found Speaker and BB at a $15 Blackjack Table. Now for me, that's a lot to bet on a single hand of BlackJack. I went to UNLV, and learned to count cards. I played BJ mainly for entertainment, but am probably close to break even long term with the card counting edge. I like to play low stakes and just have fun while getting tons free drinks. After I started getting serious about poker, it is pretty hard to play BlackJack anymore. I see a $15 hand of BlackJack as 5 free orbits in a 1/2 NL cash game, and lean towards the latter.

I would not pass up the opportunity though, so I dropped down a C-Note and bought into the game. The dealer was dealing from a 6 deck shoe, which I thought was a little strange for a $15 game. Right behind us was a $10 game. I asked why we were not playing there. They said it was because of the continual shuffling machine. To me 6 deck shoe, and continuous shuffling machines are not very different EV wise, but I am no expert.

So I sat down and played. Bobby was betting two spots at a time, and I was finding the courage to bet a single $15 each time. We were getting some great cards, but the dealer kept sucking out 20s and 21s on the river (last card), and my $100 buy in was dwindled down quickly. I was mixing up my play a little from what most people think is ABC BlackJack. For example, sometimes I stand on 16 with a Ten showing. I am giving a little bit up here, but I like to give the dealer an opportunity to bust. Bobby thought I was retarded. I have several rules for BlackJack, and I have seen Bobby list similar rules. They typically go something like this.

1) Avoid Asian Dealers
2) Lose four hands in a row, and walk.
3) Set a stop loss for the night and stick with it.

Now lets me expain the first one. I don't go around avoiding Asian people, but Asian BlackJack Dealers should be avoided like the plague. In general, they do not talk much so are not much fun top play with, and they are luckboxes for the house. These rules work out great in Vegas, because most of the dealers are Asian. So you search for a non Asian dealer, then give it a shot, but walk if you lose four in a row. So you end up walking and searching for most of the night which is higher EV than playing BlackJack. The rules are Gold and must be followed!

So the dealer is kicking our collective ass, and I look up to see that the dealer is Asian. Now this is an Indian reservation, so you would expect a lot of Indian dealers, and few Asians. In fact, this was the only Asian dealer in sight. The other dealers were all white. This is a little unusual, but Pechanga is a small tribe, and they make so much money off the casino, none of them really need to work. I turned to Bobby, and said "Are we breaking one of the golden rules of BlackJack here?". He said "you mean continuing to play after losing a bunch of hands in a row?". I said "No, take a look at the dealer". It was enough said. Bobby packed it up and headed to another near by table. Joe stuck around, so I reloaded with the intent of trying to win some back. I did win a little back, and Joe as well so that was nice, but we were breaking the golden rule.


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