It’s been a couple weeks since I posted about my resurgence into live poker by playing at the casino. Be sure to read the post if you haven’t already, as it gives a good look into the average day at the poker table at the casino.
I was going to the casino nearly every night, after working for a few hours on my blog, answering e-mails, and tending to advertisers during the day. I’d usually arrive at the casino around 7:30-7:45pm and be the first one there. The tables were not very active. In fact, it was rare to actually get a game going on any day other than Friday and Saturday.
Sometimes I’d get a game going and have 4-6 players, but there were many times where I showed up and waited for an hour or two, only to leave without playing a single hand. Basically, you could only count on Friday and Saturday to have a bit of activity and fill up the table.
So, while I was going to the casino nearly every day the last two weeks, I actually only played about 8 or 9 of those days, sometimes only for a couple hours shorthanded.
I did very well playing at the casino. I never went to the casino and felt I couldn’t completely run over each of the players. In fact, as dumb as this may seem, I almost wished there were some better players so that I had at least a bit of a challenge.
When I play poker, I never say a single word about strategy or hands. I never frown after a bad beat, or join in the conversation that others are discussing, whether it be about professionals, books, or strategy. Because, what’s the point? 99% of them are all losers. I see them come to the casino everyday, reload several times, and leave a couple hundred dollars down.
I’m not trying to sound like I’m pro or anything, because obviously I’m not anywhere close to being pro, but my biggest challenge at the casino was having to sit down for hours and listen to everyone talk about strategy like they make a living from it.
End of an Era
A few days ago, I decided to quit playing at the casino. It just stopped being worth it to me.
My casino only has $1/2 NL tables, with a $200 max buy-in. While this doesn’t sound too bad, you need to understand that the average person sits down with around $60-80, sometimes with only $40.
The other day I was playing and looked around at the stacks: $12, $34, $42, $60, $82, $125, and $204. I had around $400. When the majority of stacks are that low, it’s a waste of a time to play.
I calculated my average daily earnings at the casino to be around $200, which sounds good, but don’t forget that I was playing from about 8:00pm to 2am, roughly 6 hours. This equates to roughly $33/hour.
After around 9-10 days of playing poker at the casino, I made $1650 in profit. While this amount is not a whole lot (I’ve certainly made more in that time frame online), it’s important to note that this was made from a $1/2 limit. I wasn’t playing $5/10 or anything… just $1/2. So in that regard, I think that is pretty successful.
While poker is fun, and $33/hour nothing to laugh at, it’s not as much as I make online which is closer to around $50/hour. And since I was completely dominating the $1/2 tables, I wanted to move up a limit, but there was nothing to move up to.
Because of this, I decided to stop playing at the casino and cash out. There’s not much point playing poker for money when you have no option to move up limits.
I decided to try my hand at the home and private game circuit instead, and if that didn’t work out, then return to online poker.
I’d like to cash out please…
Last Saturday, I headed over to the casino to cash out. I went to the cashier and told her I’d like to cash out from my account. I gave her my Driver’s License for ID, and entered my PIN number on their machine, when I heard a: “Wow! You did good….” and she looked at me, shockingly.
Before I post the conversation and actions that proceeded, I should make a note as to their hyperbolic concern. I only cashed out a bit over $2,000, but you need to understand that the average person only RELOADS their poker card. They’ll reload it 1-3 times per night, and so the cashiers are used to putting money onto the cards, but not taking it off.
Sure, people will occasionally make money, and withdraw $100-$200, but that is on a good day. And people rarely leave cash on their cards… they always withdraw it everyday since they probably shouldn’t be playing poker at the casino in the first place since they need that cash left over for groceries. I don’t understand, for example, why people will withdraw their remnant $40-$150 cash every day, then come back the next day and put it back on their card.
So, the cashier was naturally not used to giving out this much money for the poker tables at the casino here, since they are only $1/2 limit, and people always cash out. Here is what occurred:
Tyler: I’d like to cash out from the poker tables, please.
Cashier Lady: Sure. May I please see some ID and have you enter your PIN?
Tyler: Sure, of course.
Cashier Lady: Wow… you did well…
Cashier Lady: How did you do this?
Tyler: What do you mean? I won it…
Cashier Lady: Wow.
Tyler: You guys need some bigger cash tables here *smile*
Cashier Lady: *nervous laugh*
Cashier Lady: How much would you like to cash out?
Tyler: All of it.
Cashier Lady: ALL of it? Okay…
Cashier Lady: Please hold on. There appears to be an error. Apparently, you have made too much money… there’s a warning that says “Account Limit Exceeded!”. I’ve never cashed out anything close to this much before. Please hold on and let me talk to my supervisor.
For the next 10-minutes or so (which is a long time when you’re just standing there trying to cash out) they tried to figure out what was wrong, and the supervisor started asking her own supervisors, going up the chain.
They gave me suspicious looks, and kept looking at my photo ID and then back at me. I even saw the first supervisor whisper to some people who took my ID and made a copy of it for their own records.
I noticed some security guards slowly move in as well.
After a very… interesting 10-minutes, I finally received my money. The cashier lady counted out the bills to me, and I never saw so many bills being paid out to me before. I mean, yes, duh, it’s only $2,000. I’ve received a PayPal payments of $10,000 and $14,000 before, and received a cheque last year for $23,000, but I’ve never held $2,000 in actual bills before. And my God, it’s a beautiful sight.
It was a rather comical sight when I took the money and tried to shuffle it into a pile; she had counted out the bills in a fan style on the table as casinos do so that you can keep track and count easier, and so when I received them, they were in a huge pile. It took me about 25-30 seconds just to get them into my wallet.
Here’s a short video of the all the cash. (If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, you will have to visit my blog TylerCruz.com to view the video since RSS won’t display them):
Again, it’s not a lot, but not bad for 8-9 days of playing $1/2 NL poker at the casino
Starting the Private Game Circuit
The purpose of this post was supposed to tell about my trek into the home game/underground circuit, but since it is already so long I will have to save it for a future post.
The post should be worth waiting for, as it will be dedicated to explaining my transition from casino poker on electronic tables to playing with real chips and cards for the first time ever. Here’s a sneak peak of the upcoming post:
“As each new player arrived to the basement which was renovated for the sole purpose of holding poker games, they noticed the difference in chip stacks and asked why the new player to the game had so many. Their questions were not without purpose, as I had bought in at the maximum of $500, while everyone bought in between $150-$200….”