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PROGRESSIVE VIDEO POKER-PART 1

HAVE YOU THUMPED YOUR PUMPER TODAY?

by Frank Kneeland

 

I guess introductions are in order; I'm Frank Kneeland, and you are? If you donít know about my background, or me let me begin with this: I managed the largest progressive slot team in Las Vegas back in the 90's, and just published a book about my adventures entitled, "The Secret World of Video Poker Progressives." My book is part history and part "how to" and should be perfect for out-and-out beginners and veterans alike. You can read more about the book, and some extra info about me, on my website www.progressivevp.com.

Welcome to the first installment in a series of articles I plan to write for the Blackjack Insider newsletter about playing progressive video poker. My goal in these articles is to give you some quick-and-dirty techniques that you can use to make money playing progressive video poker (many of the techniques that I will cover in my articles are alternatives to the clean and lengthy versions found in my book).

Reading my book will not be a requirement for reading the articles (though if you do read my book, I'll try not to complain too much). Quite a bit was cut in the final editing of my book, and much of that will find its way in my upcoming articles.

I am going to be presupposing that you have some general knowledge about video poker because if you are reading this, you subscribe to a gambling newsletter and have likely seen the inside of a casino at least once. If you don't know anything about video poker or what a progressive jackpot is, then perhaps you should read the book. It starts more from ground up than what I will be writing about in my articles.

Iíll bet the first thing you are wondering is, "Why do I need to know this information?" Hereís why.

Back in the day, there were six major progressive slot teams in Las Vegas with rosters ranging from 10 to 100 players. I estimate that progressive play supported about 600 players for the better part of 30 years. It is one of the safest and largest edges you can find in a casino, with overlays occasionally reaching double-digit percentages. It is also far less frowned upon than "21," because casinos don't lose money on progressives even if pros are playing them. Last time I checked, the number of professional gamblers in America was somewhere around 4,000, meaning that roughly 15% of the pro community out there were in my field, yet I'm the only one to write about it. Hmm...

It seems every branch of pro gambling has its quirks and idiosyncrasies. Card counters are mostly math nerds. Live poker players wear poker glasses. Sports bettors wear baseball caps. The first two are up for debate, but all sports bettors definitely wear caps. Well it seems the defining trait of the progressive pro is "hoarding knowledge." Perhaps this is enlightened self-interest (euphemism for "greed"). I believe it has more to do with the nature of the business than the people in it.

In professional progressive play, you only have two categories to pick from, the pumpers, and the thumpers. The pumpers pump meters up while the thumpers take them down. For a thumper, the logic is fairly simple; more pumpers GOOD, more thumpers BAD.

There are very few situations in gambling, or even life, where others doing the exact same thing you do hurts you as much or as obviously; creating the environment we see where progressive knowledge is guarded with all the diligence of an emperor penguin guarding its only egg.

If you are wondering why I have come out of the shadows and decided to do the unthinkable (specifically, share information), this is a story I'll be recounting in a future article. For now, know that you can make money playing progressives and that some people don't want you to know this. That should be incentive enough, because the quickest way to encourage a behavior is to discourage it.

Before we run out of time, let me give you a quick preview of some of what Iíll be covering in this series of articles:

  • How to find and evaluate progressives
  • What games to play
  • How to calculate the return of progressives (including the meter-rise)
  • How to scout
  • Creating strategies for progressives
  • Some pre-made strategies
  • Untold stories from the secret world of teams
    • What happened to the teams
    • Why I'm a writer now

Optional articles:

  • Quick but good recipes for the pro on the move
  • 10 ways a pro can please their mate (Cosmo-style)
  • Answers to most common questions (P.S. You have to ask them first)

That's it for now, see you soon. Same bat time, same bat channel...that's baseball bat of course.

WARNING: The surgeon general has determined that printing and smoking this series of articles could be bad for your health.

Frank Kneeland

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