Jones’n For a Blackjack Fix

It’s been over a month since my last casino trip and I’m having withdrawals.  The worst part is my next guaranteed trip isn’t for three months.  I’ve played as many hands on my favorite blackjack app as I can possibly stand and now I really need a fix of live cards at a real casino.

The funny part is that I’m fine playing less than last year since I’ve skipped the rushed day trips which didn’t help my overall winnings.  Even though I’m playing less I’m still pretty happy with my volume of play considering the closest live casino is over 3 hours drive, I’ve got a full-time executive level job, and a wife and 2 kids at home.

I’m on pace for 6 Vegas trips this year, up from 5 last year – add on a couple side trips to Iowa and NC and it makes for a solid foundation for my side gig.  All that being said this potential 4 month window out of a casino might be good for my lungs, but its driving me crazy.

I wish I had some point to this post, but really its just a rant brought on by the giddy social media coverage of folks in Vegas for the first day of WSOP.  They sound so happy and full of high hopes and I want to be a part of the fun.

Thanks for reading my little piece of self-pity and hopefully I’ll be back in action soon!

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Oh The Blackjack Places You’ll Go

Movie depictions of casinos often show the glamour and beauty of opulent Vegas strip palaces or maybe Paris or Monte Carlo (the cities not the Vegas casinos) with black tie gamblers surrounded by women in evening gowns.  Those of us who play often in the U.S. know that these scenes are the exception rather than the rule.  I’ve played more hands in casinos than I can count and never have I played with a tuxedoed man or woman in an evening gown – unless it was worn ironically as a screen print on a sleeveless t-shirt.

I was taking inventory on the places I’ve played blackjack in a casino and it is quite the list.  It includes some of the finest places in Vegas like Wynn and Aria, down to some of the smokiest shoebox riverboats you can find outside of Kansas City.  I’ve never been to a casino outside of the U.S. so that is definitely on the bucket list.

If my memory holds I’ve now played live cards at casinos in 9 different states.  The list includes: CA, CT, FL, IA, KS, MS, NC, NJ, NV.  That is a pretty strong list, but it still leaves a lot of states to visit and a lot of cards to play.

I enjoy seeing the different types of casinos and the people who visit them in various states.  The range is very wide and the clientele is often eccentric.  The thing that seems to be consistent is that people on the whole are enjoying themselves and appear to be happy even when they aren’t winning.

I’ll keep hitting the road and reporting back from my travels as I continue to add to my list of blackjack locales.

Don’t Call It a Comeback

I’ve been on a fairly cold streak in my blackjack odyssey over recent months.  I had three straight losing trips from January through March of 2015 and was getting frustrated with the lack of results.  I could rationalize some of the losses and make excuses for why my 2015 season was in the red, but it’s more productive to learn from my mistakes and start to chip away at the deficit.

My most recent trip to Vegas started much like the first quarter of 2015, I went down over 1500 in the first day of my four day trip.  I felt that I was playing fairly well, but one bad run at the $100 table put me in a deep hole.  After that start I actually went an entire day in Vegas without playing a hand of blackjack – pretty sure that was a first.

The final day of my trip was gut-check time.  I was down big for the trip and the year.  I had to make a choice, was I going to play it safe and try to chip away at the losses in small pieces or press my luck and play my way back at the high-limit tables.

I walked into Planet Hollywood and headed for the $25 party tables to start small, but they all had players so I took a deep breath, dug into my pocket and grabbed a seat at the open $100 table.  Good decision.  I doubled my money in under an hour.

Back to even for the trip and feeling a little momentum I jumped next door to Paris and added another grand to the bankroll.  Now we’re up for the trip and eating into the annual deficit.  Do I press or take the money and run.  Press.  Another short walk down to Ballys and a $50 table which was a nice downshift to lower limit and long session which netted another solid win.

After three straight winning sessions I called it a night and headed to bed much closer to even for the year.  Still not back to black figures, but can see light at the end of the tunnel and feel like a good couple of days on my next trip in Q3 will get me back ahead of the game.

I’m ready to make a second half run in 2015 and put another winning year in the books.