I just transferred 15 years of gambling records (from 1997 to 2011) from a stack of yearly hard-copy DayMinders to an Excel spreadsheet. I’ve been aiming to do that for years, but getting a new computer – and learning how to use Excel – finally gave me the extra motivation I needed. (I have records clear back to our first Vegas vacation in 1984 but they aren’t as comprehensive before 1997, when I switched to a more detailed record-keeping format that I still use.
I thought it might be interesting to show our real-life example of how advantage VP has run for us in the long term. Our totals are made up of two elements. The first is actual gambling wins/losses, mostly video poker play but some table games and slots, almost always with a coupon or a special promotion. It also includes some occasional sports betting, about the only gambling we have done without an advantage over the house.
The second element in the totals – and the biggest one by far – is the “extras” we get from casinos. We count only actual cash and cash-equivalents, i.e., free play, gift cards, tournament and drawing wins. Although comps add immensely to the value of our play and give us a lifestyle beyond what we ever could have imagined, we do not count them in these totals.
So that this report might be meaningful to a wide range of players, I have given all our numbers, not in dollars but in “matchsticks,” Brad’s favorite way of keeping track, especially when we are losing! :) For a quarter player, count each “matchstick” as a quarter unit. If you are a dollar player, take each unit figure times 4. If you are a $5 player, multiply by 20. If you play at various denominations, you’ll have to do some averaging.
Here is our 15-year report:
14 years – we showed an end-of-year win
1 year – we showed an end-of-year loss of 4,073 units (2002)
4 years -we ended up with an over-25,000-unit win (surprisingly the last one in 2011)
Best year – 69,085-unit win (thank you, Caesars, for that monster tournament win)
Total win for 15 years – 298,095 units
Average win per year over 15 years – 19,873 units
We are in a particularly long and dry losing spell so far in 2012. It helps us to look back at the long term. And then continue with the same strict guidelines we have followed in the past, choosing plays where we have an advantage, and the bigger that advantage the better!