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Thread: Winter 2023 Trip

  1. #1
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    Default Winter 2023 Trip

    This will be a quick one a week or so. Tournaments promotions gift cards probably not much if any actual play. Just here to collect!

  2. #2
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    I am in a couple of very large Baccarat tournaments shortly (am in Vegas now).

    I have been in both Blackjack and Baccarat tournaments.

    All have been free entry (complimentary based on prior sufficient action at the real dollar tables). Based on my level of prior play at the real dollar tables, in some of the tournaments I am advanced automatically to the second round, sometimes even to the quarter or semi finals such as advancing simply ONE MORE ROUND puts me in the guaranteed money.

    In some of the tournaments, there are Wild Card drawings that advance you to anywhere from somewhere in the quarter or semi finals, to directly to the final winner's (big money) table. In some tournaments, entry into the Wild Card drawing is complimentary simply for being in the tournament. In others, to get a Wild Card drawing entry, you must put in some actual play at the real dollar tables during the time period that the tournament is going on - the more real dollar play at the regular tables during the tournament, the more Wild Card entries. At some, the Wild Card drawing is a sort of hybrid, with say, 1 entry complimentary simply for being in the tournament, but additional entries in the Wild Card drawing based on real dollar play.

    The actual tournaments work like this:

    Most involve 5 or 6 prizes (almost always paid in promo chips, so not a reportable event - winnings are not reported to the government) given to the final participants who make it to the final table. Along the way, with an average of 5 or 6 players per table, anywhere from 1 to 4 of the players advance. Generally, the closer you get to the final "money" table, the less persons per table move on. The one(s) who move on per table move on based on having the highest chip total after the final hand.

    There are a couple "winner take all" tournaments per year in Vegas, where the final prize is a cool million - just one winner. There are generally at least several hundred participants in such a tournament, but even so, a say 1/450 chance of winning a million is not bad at all.

    As far as the tournaments where 5 or 6 final players win something, I've been in such tournaments where there are as few as forty entrants, or as many as a hundred or so. Still not bad odds. These are all high end tournaments only for bigger players.

    For each round of the tournament, the order of play is determined by a single die roll before play is commenced, and the final hand is sometimes secret (you write down your final hand choice and amount on a slip of paper that is revealed only after everyone has turned in his slip), sometimes last hand is not blind. The secret bet aspect eliminates the advantage of betting last on the final round. Typically there are anywhere from 9 to 14 hands dealt per round of a tournament.

    When I play a blackjack tournament, obviously I am counting the deck as best possible given that we will never get past a dozen or so hands (which depending on how many players are at or remain at the table, might burn through a full deck or more, but also might not), but also tournament strategy is different from regular play, and you will see people, especially on the final hand, doing crazy things like splitting tens, doubling down on a hard hand even on a hard 16, doubling on a blackjack, and so on - it depends a lot on how aggressive they are, and how behind they might be, especially on that last hand.

    In a Baccarat tournament sometimes I will employ a strategy of simply betting against everyone if all or most of the players are on one side, and other times I will just go with the direction the shoe (and everyone else) has been taking and not try to be tournament clever.

    While the general strategy for all tournaments is to bet low until the final 5 or so hands, this doesn't always work, and sometimes leaves you so far behind some more early aggressive player that you can't catch up no matter what at the end. The other general strategy of mirror your opponent's bet placement and amount if you are ahead, bet opposite your opponent's bet placement and amount if behind, do work in general, but of course, not always.

    Obviously no matter what betting or other skill you might bring to the table, you also need some luck in order to win.

    The four tournaments I have won have all been Baccarat. Have not won a Blackjack tournament yet.


    I have had some crazy Blackjack tournament hands where I was the chip leader and would have advanced either to the semi finals or all the way to the final table, where the only reasons I didn't advance are that my opponent got a blackjack, or doubled down on a hard hand, got a low card and didn't bust but still didn't make any kind of hand where, I had hit to say, 21, and then the dealer busted, just blind luck absurd bad odds bets that somehow paid off for my opponents when everything was in my favor. You know - like those poker hands where you're holding two aces and the flop includes another ace, and some clown called your huge pre-flop raise with a crappy pair of nothing non suited non connected cards, hung in there as you kept raising, but somehow ended up with a straight and beat you.

  3. #3
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    The die roll is done on the Blackjack tournaments. If there are less than 6 participants, and a 6 comes up, the die is rolled again. With the Baccarat tournaments your spot on the table based on picking randomly your entry slip sometimes is all they use to assign the order, with the order going 1 - X on the table for the first hand.

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    Day 1 play.

    Baccarat.

    Two sessions. First one I played pretty big - up to 15K on one advantage hand - but over all walked just maybe 500 ahead. Second session bet much smaller won with ease.

    +6500

  5. #5
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    Day 2 play.

    Baccarat.

    Long Bank run - got it all!

    +15500

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