Warning: I started writing this post and it got way too long. Unless you've got lots of time on your hands or are already interested, you might want to move down to the next post.
Jordan, on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007, 7:29 AM, said:
I'm kinda curious...I mean, if losing your roll wouldn't have taught you this, what did?Seriously, I'm interested...and I hope you do well out there and get your roll back.- Jordan
Well, I obviously learned some good lessons there too, but last night was from a different perspective. It was this degenerate friend of mine. He already owed me a few hundred bucks which I knew I wasn't getting for a while, and then we went golfing and he lost a few hundred more, mainly taking the worst of it in order to double the stakes when he impatiently wanted to gamble. Anyway, we went to dinner afterward and he kept trying to tell me how no one could count cards and the whole thing was made up and so I agreed to go to his house and let him deal me some double-deck BJ with good penetration, figuring that it would be good practice for Vegas and that I wouldn't be risking any of my actual "available cash" stash.Anyway, he's constantly trying to give me better penetration/rules to get me to raise the minimum bet (even though if he really has an edge, he shouldn't want that). Finally, after about 4 hours, I'm ready to quit and go home up another $1250 or so. He talks me into playing out another 3 shoes with him (we switched to 4 decks at some point), and while doing that, I've completely lost the urge to gamble, but I get the idea that I can at least start counting the shoe down afterwards to see how good my count is. That entertains me a little while longer, but the more I play, the more I realize that my count's really not good at all, even putting in 100% focus, going as slow as I want, and not making any effort to act like a friendly BJ donk at the table. I get it on the nose a couple times, but more often than not, it's off, sometimes by as much as 5. Finally, on a shoe that I was pretty much ready to quit on anyway, I go on a bad run and actually get down a little bit, but somehow it seems like the count is really favorable and I keep hammering it for max bets and go on a huge run getting like 10 out of 11 hands to get back up to where I was before. Then, I count the shoe down afterwards and it turns out, I was off by ten
on my count. So basically as soon as I had a little emotional investment to the money, and I wanted the count to be favorable, my counting got completely unreliable to the point of being worthless. Anyway, after that I tell my friend that I'm absolutely, absolutely done now and I don't want to play any more. Furthermore, I don't have any desire to play BJ at all any more, as I'm now positive I don't have an edge. He sits and argues with me for 15 minutes about how unfair is to quit like that and refuses to give me a ride back to my car unless I'll give him some more action and play one more shoe. Finally, I agree, making no effort to count and pretty much just flat-betting the minimum the whole shoe until it's done. I win a little more, and then he complains again that it wasn't enough action and he thought I was going to bet more and blah blah blah. He wants me to cut the deck with him for $500. I finally agree to that too and he wins, so I say "OK, now can you just give me a ride to my car so I can go home". He argues more and says "just cut it again" and how it wasn't fair that I didn't give him enough action, and that if he were winning he'd just let me keep getting credit up to $10,000 (WTF!). Finally, after a ridiculous amount of time (about an hour from when I first said I absolutely wanted to quit), I just say "if you don't give me a ride in the next 2 minutes, I'm walking the 2 miles back to my car" and then he finally did.The whole time though, he's trying to get me to play with him later so he can get even, and then when I wake up, I have like 5 different text messages about how it wasn't fair that I quit and we should play more BJ later. It was honestly a little scary to see someone that addicted that he just could not accept a loss
under any circumstances. It was like watching a hardcore drug addict trying to get a fix or something. It's not even like he's worried about the consequences. He knows he doesn't have to pay me right away and he hadn't given me any cash or anything. Also, he's blown multiple 5-figure rolls before so it's not like it's a huge loss that he's never encountered before. He's been gambling for years, has made no effort to learn how to manage his money, and is still at the point where he'll never ever accept a loss.So the lessons were:1. Don't let someone's persistence get you to do anything
. It's one thing if someone has a good argument, but going along with them just because they won't shut up is almost always a terrible idea.2. Gambling is extremely addictive and if you're not constantly working on trying not to be degenerate and trying to manage your money better until you get to a point where you have pretty much no risk at all, it will end up just eating you up. 3. I'm a long
way from being a profitable card-counter. As simple as it seems, I don't even have the basics down and am at best shaving a tiny little smidgeon off of the house edge in a casino environment.