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BlackjackInfo News: Issue 21D - February 12, 2004

This Issue includes:

Dinner with the winner, and a trip to the Palms

After sending out yesterday's update, I sat down at the blackjack tables at the Stardust and picked up a couple of hundred dollars. After that, I joined two other friends invited to dinner by the winner of the Stardust tournament. I still wanted to visit the Palms for the first time, so after dinner that's where I headed. After a couple of days of non-stop socializing, I wanted to sit down at a blackjack table alone and relax.

I spent three and a half hours at a table at the Palms, but my results left a lot to be desired. My loss at the Palms wiped out the Stardust profit from before dinner, and then a few hundred extra. I headed back to the room after a long night.

A long day of preliminary rounds

Staying out late and getting only 4 hours of sleep before the Frontier tournament was not a smart move. The Frontier is a format ideal for skilled play. It's a $300 bankroll, but betting limits are $5 to $100. They also offer surrender during the tournament. The field at the Frontier is the toughest of any tournament I play. At many of the other events, the field will be composed of many excellent tournament players, but also lots of relatively inexperienced players as well. That's not the case at the Frontier. If a player shows up for the Frontier event, they're a serious tournament fan.

This event is always extremely well run, and I consider it one of the most fun events I play. But today I could tell I wasn't playing my best. I found it very hard to remember the bankrolls of my competition, unlike my round at the Stardust yesterday. That round was an example of me at the top of my game, keeping 4 or 5 bankrolls in consideration. Today I struggled to keep 3. But, although I made a few plays I'm unhappy with, I'm not sure they actually cost me anything. I didn't get the cards I needed in most cases.

The entry fee at the Frontier is $300, and each buy-in is also $300. Re-entries are available for $150, and there are usually plenty available. I played three rounds today, my initial round and two re-entries. I finally managed to advance from the third table, so I'm still alive in this event after anteing up $600 in entry fees. The buy-in damage was limited, as I have a net loss of only $90 of my $900 in buy-ins. I'm just glad I finally made it. I'll make sure I'm well rested before tomorrow's rounds begin.

Tomorrow will be another marathon day if I have any success. There are four tournament rounds left. Two advance every time in this tournament, so it has an extra round compared to the Stardust.

My rounds today weren't really all that interesting, and my memory of the details is fading fast anyway. One hand on which I'm now convinced that I played badly saw me hit a hard 14 against a ten on the next to last hand. I had half my bankroll working, which was a $87.50 bet. When I lost the hand (I busted), the $87.50 I had left gave me only a longshot chance at a victory. The bankrolls were $205, $200, $87.50. I drew a 21 on the last hand, but the other players had realized that they could lock me out with small bets. My error was not doubling the hard 14. Winning the $87.50 wouldn't really help that much, and losing it was devastating. I should have doubled, going all-in. I still would have busted of course, but it would have been a better play.

The round I won had almost nothing to do with skillful play on my part. With a few hands left I managed a couple of wins while the dealer wiped out everyone else's bets. On the next to last hand, it was down to just two players, so we didn't even play the final hand as we both advanced. I'd rather be lucky than skilled any day of the week.

Not much to say today. I hope I have an exciting tale tomorrow night. See ya, -Ken-