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Originally posted on Green chip

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PostPosted: Jan Sun 01, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject: Originally posted on Green chip Reply with quote

(Originally posted on Green Chip)

I recently spent another few days in my favorite gaming location, Reno. Conditions were generally good, with uncrowded tables. No backoffs, and easy comps as usual. I was able to play blackjack everywhere $25 - $200; $25 - $250 in some stores, in short sessions. Only minor heat at one Sparks store, and blatant pref shuffling at Circus Circus when I bet only $100 on the second round of a heads-up game. I had bet $25 off the top, doubled down and won, and stacked up the winnings. The dealer told me Circus now has the stupid “triple your bet and we shuffle” rule sometimes invoked by the Riverside in Laughlin. The casino manager has succeeded in slowing down the games, and lowering the casino’s win rate. I wonder if the dealers will shuffle when a ploppy goes from one red chip to three red chips.

I had comped concert tickets to Kelly Clarkson at the Reno Events Center. My son, a Kelly fan, flew up especially for the concert, arriving about two hours before the scheduled starting time. We were disappointed when the concert was postponed at the last minute due to Kelly’s bronchitis. I don’t really know why it mattered, since she can’t sing anyway. To me, she is all looks, no talent, though my son insists she can sing. Of course, her looks make going to her concert worthwhile whether or not she can sing. Wearing earplugs during her performance would’ve been just fine with me. I wonder if my comp account will be credited for the unused tickets, which had a face value of $42 each.

As is normal, Reno had its share of interesting and/or annoying ploppies. At one store, I was sitting watching two plopsters playing. They blamed me for their losses, and insisted I had to play if I was sitting there. The count happened to be +7, so I said, “Fine, I’ll play,” and shoved out all the chips I had in front of me, about $400. The two ploppies and I each got 20’s, but the dealer got a ten-up blackjack. As my stack of greens hit the dealer’s rack, along with the ploppies’ one green chip each, one said, “Well, I guess you weren’t the problem after all.” LOL!

Siena and Atlantis continue to share the award for slowest valet service. The bad valet service is my only complaint about the Atlantis, a classy organization that should give lessons to other casino managers on how to run a casino. I had dinner with a couple of Green Chip friends at the wonderful Atlantis steakhouse/seafood restaurant. One of my friends had a comp for the meal, but the food and service were so good I would have gladly paid for it, which I wouldn’t say about too many places.

Siena seems to be doing better. One employee told me that it’s rumored that the place is finally making a small profit in its fourth year of operation. I was glad to hear this, and hope it survives. The Siena seems to be doing things right. It’s a victim of its terrible location and difficult entry. Contrast Siena to the Golden Phoenix, which was completely empty when I walked through it several times at different hours. Siena is offering good games and pleasant surroundings, and deserves to succeed. Though management is quick to back off skilled players, they have done it politely in every case I’ve heard about. Golden Buzzard is offering bad games in dingy surroundings, with employees who seem to have the attitude that customers are bothering them. The Buzzard looks like it’s hanging on by a threadbare thread. It is selling the top three floors of the hotel for condo conversion, and hopes the sale will result in a cash infusion to keep the casino going. I wonder who will want to live in a condo atop a casino in downtown Reno? I guess we’ll see. It’s a shame that Buzzard management hasn’t thought to try the Siena model of offering decent value and cleaning up its facility. While the Siena slowly progresses, the Buzzard gets emptier and emptier. On a Sunday afternoon there were three table games and one craps game open. Among the four games, there were ZERO customers.

At JA Nugget, the blackjack tables near the Horseshoe bar have been eliminated. The carnival games pit has been reconfigured, with craps tables now occupying the space next to the bar.

A young man was trying to impress his girlfriend with his “big” bets. He bet $50 and got 11 vs. 6, but was scared to double down. I offered to “help” him and won my share of the winning double down. Later, he let me do the same with a $75 bet, which also won. I was happy to pocket the extra chips, though his girlfriend did not seem to be impressed with his play. She kept asking him, “Are you sure you want to bet that much? I wish you’d just play $5.” He thought he was impressing her, but he definitely was not.

I played several sessions against Eldorado MindPlay with no problems. I once split and resplit 10’s with my max bet out, and once doubled on A-9. The dealers and pit hate MindPlay. I got consistent penetration from several dealers with no pref shuffling. MindPlay is not an impediment to skilled play if you don’t camp at the table. Eldorado appears to be complying with the Gaming Control Board's directive not to use MindPlay's cheating capabilities as it formerly did.

Elsewhere, I asked a ploppy why he sat down at my empty table when there was another empty table right next to it. He told me that he didn’t see a “reserved” sign on the table. I agreed that there was no such sign, but wondered why he would interfere with another person’s game when there an empty table next to it with the same rules. He said, “I don’t know, I didn’t even think about it.” I suppose he wouldn’t have thought about sitting down at a 6 to 5 table either.

At one store, a dealer who was present when I had been kicked out of her previous employer’s premises saw me playing. Hopefully she won’t rat me out to her new employer.

I stopped in at Diamond’s, “the Western of Reno” just for the fun of it. I haven’t played there in a long time, since the table max is only $100 and it is usually overrun with $2 derelicts. But it was around 2 am, and I thought it might be fun. Amazingly, I got a table with only one other player. However, the dealer dealt only three rounds to the two hands. I played through three decks to be sure it wasn’t a mistake. But Rule of 5 it was. I tried to color up my chips, but Diamond’s has no black chips at the tables, so off I went to the cage with a stack of greens. Goodbye, Diamond’s. While many patrons looked drunk and/or otherwise menacing, no one bothered me.

At a downtown store, I sat down at a table with one young man playing at first base, and a pretty girl wearing a miniskirt sitting at third base but not playing. Incredibly, I won or pushed my first fifteen hands. We were getting five rounds to the two hands, and I didn’t lose a single bet in the first three decks, and won a couple of max bets. My pile of chips was getting embarrassingly big, but as the only one playing green there was no point in immediately ratholing them. Suddenly a soft, feminine voice to my left said, “Can I have some money?” Instinctively, I tried to cover my chips with my arms and growled, “NO.” I felt like an idiot when the young lady politely said, “Oh, no sir, I wasn’t asking you for money. I was asking my husband.” I had no idea the two even knew each other, as they had not spoken. The husband handed her four red chips, and she walked away.

I ran across two other counters in my travels. One was a young fellow who played perfectly, including some negative index numbers, spreading $25 to $125. Since he was there first, I left him to his heads-up game. The other counter ran me off a game by spreading from one hand of $25 to two hands of $50 every time the count was positive, and wonging out on negative counts, leaving me to take the rags. He must have read a book that suggested only a 1-4 spread on single deck. He was absurdly mechanical and obvious. I left, and wonder how long it took him to get backed off.

A female ploppy complained when the dealer was changed after she had won a few hands. She claimed the casino changed the dealer just to stop her winning streak, which must have netted her a whopping $40 or $50. I looked at my watch and saw that it was a normal dealer-change time. I asked her why the dealer change mattered, and she said, “If I’m winning and they change dealers, I always end up losing.” Sure enough, she lost the first two or three hands, and said, “See what I mean?” I asked her why she didn’t leave the table when the dealers changed if she really believed the nonsense she was spouting. She had no good answer. I asked her what happens if she is losing when the dealer changes. She said, “Then I usually start winning.” The amazing thing about this stupidity is that she actually seemed to believe what she was saying.

The Polish students who work in Reno during the summer will be leaving next week. Several people were unhappy about their departure. Most of the young Polish ladies are gorgeous, and enhance the level of tips received at stores where tips are pooled. One of the older American female dealers called the Polish girls “our little moneymakers.” One male dealer told me when he broke in at “go for your own” Cal-Neva two years ago, he averaged only about $20 a day in tips, while the Polish girls averaged about $200 a day.

I actually tipped one of them $5 (I usually do not tip at all) at a go-for-your-own store (not Cal-Neva, where I am temporarily not welcome) since she was consistently dealing eight rounds!!

The weather was absolutely beautiful. I'm looking forward to my next visit, which will be in a few weeks

Is there a glitch, John? Or is it true that there are no new entries on the board for several days?
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