Another Winning Vegas Blackjack Trip March 2014

Even with the strong February trip I was in the hole for the year and needed to keep the good mojo rolling to get into the black for 2014.  This was a short two night trip for another speaking session at a small conference.  The timing worked well with a Tuesday arrival, event on Weds and late afternoon flight out on Thursday there was plenty of down time for the blackjack tables.

Since I had a solid run on my last trip I decided to stick with the same formula, stay at Elara, move between Ballys, Paris and Planet Hollywood.  The evening I arrived PH was fairly crowded so I headed to Paris where they had several wide open $25 tables.  I started off strong for once with the very first shoes netting a $500 head start.  I decided to call it an early night since I had to speak the next day and +$500/day isn’t bad for a hobby.

Day 2 work was good, but the blackjack wasn’t so hot – never try to impress people by playing cards – I took a few guys down to the tables during lunch and sure enough they did great while I dropped $200 in the blink of an eye.  After that depressing lunch and a few more hours of conference sessions I slipped out after the networking happy hour to hit my new favorite high-roller room at Ballys.  Ballys is a funny place – friendly dealers and a fairly nice lower end Vegas strip atmosphere, but their DJ wanders off from time to time and the high-energy music stops for 30 minutes or so and it feels like you are playing cards in a morgue.  I played for a long stretch at my high-limit table, had a nice solid run with ebbs and flows that generated a couple hundred on the plus side.  I decided to play my way back towards my hotel for an early night in order to wake up early for some extra play time on my final day.  My stop at Paris sucked $200 almost instantly from the bankroll which put me almost back to even for the trip and sent me to bed on a low note.

Day 3 was judgement day, I have a strategy, I had plenty of sleep and I’m playing in the morning which should give me plenty of alone time with the dealers.  8am on a weekday is an interesting time at a casino – at PH they actually keep the limits pretty high and tables were all busy since only the hard core are playing that early which forced me to walk to Paris – at Paris there were 2 $100 tables wide open, only 2 $25 tables which had players and when I aksed them to open another $25 they said no – they said it politely, but still a little frustrating so I headed to Ballys – best rejection of the week.  At Ballys I sat at my choice of wide open $25 tables  – plenty free there of course – and went on a super-heater.  On the first shoe I turned $300 into $1000 – couldn’t lose, turned 16s into 20s, dealer turned K’s into 15s and splits and doubles all hit.  It was a thing of beauty.  I quit while I was ahead – took my win and headed back to Paris where I thanked the pit boss who turned me away – she was very apologetic and thrilled that I won so it was all good in the end.

Since I was on a roll I skipped Paris and headed to the PH high-limit room to try to parlay the win.  I bought in for $700 figuring it was low enough to bail in case things went wrong.  The first shoe was a wash, up a touch down a touch.  Shoe 2 was a winner where I doubled my money and more – unfortunately I didn’t walk away with the more since I played out the entire shoe even after the heat died down and I gave back some of the winnings.  Now I had a problem – I won too fast – everyone knows that time is the biggest enemy of winning gamblers – the longer you play the better the chance of losing.  I had to kill several hours before my flight so I tried to fill some time playing craps – it was a fools errand, but it did at least cut some of the down time before my flight – I gave back a couple hundred of the winnings which may have been better than my results at blackjack over the same stretch, but we’ll never know for sure.

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