A few recent questions:
Do you or Brad ever vary from playing perfect strategy on purpose? For instance would you ever throw away an inside straight draw and just get 5 new cards? There are so many small % errors that come up that sometimes I’m tempted to go for a better outcome than play the correct strategy. I know this flies in the face of everything I’ve read in your books but just wonder if you two ever just deviate on a hunch or just for fun?
No, Brad and I aren’t deviates. Oh, that is not what you are asking? :) Seriously, we almost never purposely stray from the correct strategy. In fact, after 25 years of playing VP, our fingers are so trained to do the right thing that if we were playing a high progressive, for example, they would have to be strongly “forced” to hold an Ace-Ten when that is the right adjusted play. You are right that the difference between a “right” and “wrong” hold is often a tiny percentage drop. However, once you start “cheating” it is a slippery slope, and those tiny drops in EV can accumulate quickly. It is hard enough to pull out a long-term win as it is, without deliberately making it harder.
I know that you guys say you don’t play video poker every day. But do you have a certain budget that you adhere to each day you do play?
We have a dedicated gambling bankroll, separate from our other money. We are careful to play well below the ROR (risk of ruin) for that bankroll. Therefore, we could never lose so much in one day that it would threaten this bankroll. That being said, we have stopped playing on some days because we were tired of losing and it wasn’t fun anymore, not because we were over budget. But most days we run out of energy way before we run out of money in our pockets!
Our way of gambling is not for most people. First, it won’t work if you are just playing recreationally and aren’t always playing with an advantage. Second, it won’t work, even if you are always doing positive plays, if you don’t have a large enough bankroll. So many gamblers – even smart ones – go broke because they overplay their bankroll.
Do you put your players card on a bungee cord?
No. We have so many and we play in so many different casinos. I have a Ziploc bag for each casino, which contains our players cards, coupons, and mailers for that casino. And we store these bags in a traveling file that always accompanies us when we go from our condo to the car.
A reminder: If you are in Atlantic City in the upcoming weekend – and would like to meet with Brad and me and other frugalites, check out my Web site, where there are details about a couple of get-togethers.