Had a conference in Miami and there was some weak dinner event planned so I quietly bowed out and took my rental car up the road 20 minutes to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in beautiful Hollwood Florida. My tongue is firmly in my cheek with that description, the actual casino was fine, but the neighborhood was sketch at best. If you win money here I’d highly suggest getting back on the highway as quickly as possible to keep you and your winnings safe. The casino felt like a Hardrock Cafe with a very 90s rock n roll in a mall vibe – nothing really wrong with it and the crowd was decent both in size and demographics for a weeknight.
I was still working on my system at this time and only using surrender sparingly. A humbling night was the catalyst for me to realize how valuable surrender is as a strategy. I started at the $25 tables, playing where I could find a seat which was tough due to fairly low number of open tables, it is a pretty standard regional casino set-up – no surrender, handful of $25 tables, more $10 or 15s and rarely could I find a table to sit solo. First rounds turned out badly for a couple of shoes so I slowed down and tried a $15 and stayed basically level, but my initial hole was big so I made the classic error of thinking it has to get better and jumped back in on a $25 table where I got crushed further.
This is where you cut losses and walk away, but I compounded my errors and after leaving the casino went to McDonalds drive through, saw an ATM, reloaded and went back for more. Stupid. All told the damage was $1K – ugh. My lesson from this beat down was first and foremost listen to Kenny Rogers and know when to walk away, second surrender is a huge benefit for my system – it felt like I was on 15-16 half the night and had no chance to change momentum, and third is a variation of the first – only bet what you carry into the casino – if you need to reload you’ve gone too far.