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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Sept. 2003, #44


LV Pro is a serious recreational player who started with basic strategy in 1996 and learned the Silver Fox count by the end of 1998. He has been counting since early 1999, starting with a $2K bankroll and slowly trying to build it to $10K. His trip reports to Las Vegas appear regularly in the Blackjack Insider newsletter.

I had been counting down the days like cards in a six-deck shoe. Finally the evening arrived to start a week’s summer vacation with another driving trip to Las Vegas. As my car cruised through the desert night, I thought about how lucky I was when I recently received two mailers from Palace Station, each good for three free room nights. The six nights ran consecutively, and I’d arranged with a host to pay a $29 casino rate for the seventh night. Better still, I didn't have to change rooms, re-register with the desk or move to another hotel, like I had been doing on recent trips. The mailers also included comped entry fees to one slot and one blackjack tournament (my first ever) including buffet-type receptions. What was fortunate was that the mail offers were for the exact dates I’d already planned for the trip, therefore I cancelled my prior reservations at two other hotels.

It had been awhile since I was able to significantly increase my bankroll. I had reached the $9,500 mark last September, 2002. In two subsequent trips this year, I won $1,960 and lost $1,660, virtually canceling each other out and leaving me with a present bankroll of $9,800. My plan was to keep spreading $10 - $100 in good pitch games, thus keeping the win rate at $34.20 per 100 hands and the risk of ruin at a relatively low 2.41%. Thanks once again to John Auston’s excellent BlackJack Risk Manager 2000 software for allowing me to calculate these numbers.

After settling in, my first session was at a Palace Station double-decker. Only three DD tables were open at 2:30 am this early Thursday morning, and they were all full. I had to walk around the pit a few times before I saw two players vacate their seats at a $10 table. I joined the one remaining player and lost my initial $200 buy-in quickly. The dealer pushed or beat every twenty I sat on, plus made some incredible draws. No wonder those other players left this ice-cold table. A third gal joined the table but the beatings continued for another few shuffles. But then finally, things turned around.

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