Barred From Barona: A Win-Win Outcome
Well, I finally got barred from table games at my local Barona Casino. Some of you may have seen this coming, and I probably should have too, especially after the multiple private warnings from their director of table games. When they first came by to talk to me, I didn’t think they’d worry about a $5 player like me. I mean I don’t even take my $5 action seriously. So when they talked to me, I thought they were just stopping by to talk shop (they work in a casino, I live in a casino). But I eventually got the vibe that they were kind of watching me. Well, they were certainly reading this blog, and the day I posted the Mississippi Stud calculator (all 6 hands seen), they came by and nicely told me I couldn’t play tables games anymore.
I figured they wouldn’t like that post. The calculator showed all the players hands face-up, like it’s played at Barona, and showed you the exact value of your hand, and the best decision (3x, 1x, or fold). I guess if the regulars saw it, and all started playing optimally, it’d be a problem. But that will never happen; I’ll bet any amount of money on it. People don’t play optimal strategy, that’s not why they’re there. People play the way they want to, and that’s the way it should be. I pretty much just wrote the calculator for myself, and one or two guys who wanted to see it.
At any rate, someone at Barona thought it best to bar me, and I can’t argue with their decision. I doubt I influenced any players about the game, but everyone got the idea that I played tight. (People also thought I played too aggressively at Ultimate Texas Hold’Em.) Worse-case, I took up a weekend seat playing tight $5 Antes, and locked out a bigger player when the game was full. Best-case, I “prop’ed” up the game on weekday nights, when an additional player helps build up critical mass in the game. (Everyone agrees it’s better to have more players and see more cards per hand.)
Like I said, being barred is a “win-win” situation. They’re happy, and don’t have to worry about me meddling with their Mississippi Stud game. I’m happy, since getting barred was the only way I’d stop playing 60 hrs/week there. So instead of coming back from the casino every night until 3am, I go downstairs and take hour-long walks through Little Italy and Balboa Park. Although it was pointless, it was easy playing a game with a 1.5% tailwind. It’s like being the house, but without all the expenses, and with comp’ed food. But it was just an attractive nuisance, something that draws you in, but ends up harming you.