My last visit to Tahoe...

My last visit to Tahoe was a rollercoaster ride, here are some highlights -
(October 2000)

While staying at Harrah's Tahoe, playing decent single deckers, I got stuck over $15k at the 'nadir' - playing an average of 3hrs/day for 4 days at the 1D high-limit tables, I brought my loss down to $10k when I was informed that club would not tolerate any further 21 play by me.

Prior to the above barring and several more hours of play at Harrahs I lost $2k at Caesars nextdoor playing heads-up 1D in the high-limit salon - My betting was 3hands of $100 in neg-counts and 1hand of $500 in posi-counts - despite the uniqueness of my betting gambit, I was approached by the shift-mgr as I departed through the casino - he asked not to play any more bJ there (my consolidation-betting style wasn't what tagged me, it was the speed of my play - using that method I can play 300+hands/hr and played over 100hands in that 20min session) - I told him that I knew the surveillance departments in Tahoe cooperated and I made him an offer - I told him that I had a team in town and that if he instructed his surveillance NOT to forward my photo to the other clubs I would, in turn, keep my teammates out of Caesars for the remaining visit - apparently my ploy worked because I had no sense that Caesars had alerted the others - notwithstanding, I LIED to him, as my mates continued to pound Caesars for 2days.

Across the street at the Horizon I was also stuck $6k in my first 4 hrs of play - I turned it into a $4k win, playing a total of 8 hours at 1D and 2D - my single biggest round consisted of 3 hands of $250, with dealer showing a 3 - I split three 9s, doubled on 10, and spit As, with a total of $1,750 on the table I called the shift manager over to watch as the dealer busted - I am still a welcome player at that club and the pit manager shook my hand and told me "well done!" as I walked having swung back $10k.

Entering the small Lakeside (best rules in Tahoe - double any 2 cards and double after split 1D), I sat down at a $3 table (the only table open) with three other nickle players and bet 1-4 quarters in a non-count related progression for about 10 minutes, then I asked the dealer if he thought the house would give me a quarter game - he called the pit mgr 'Augie' over who warmly invited me to wait 10 minutes and they'd give me a game - on my first hand at my $25 table I spread to 3hands of $25, the dealer informed me that "3hands require 5x the minimum ($125) each - I looked at the Augie and he shrugged and said "3x ($75) each, for him," at which I mock hesitated then increased to 3x $75 and proceeded to lose all 3hands and including a doubledown - the count being slightly negative, I frowned at Augie and put out 3hands of $75 again and won all 3 - the count went further south and I increased my bets to 3X $100, and I won again. Now I was 'in like Flynn' - when the count was negative I would bet 3x $75-$100, when the count was positive I would bet 1hand of $300-$500 (house limit). A woman approached and bet a single quarter - I frowned at the mgr and reduced my bet to 2hands of $50 - she played a couple more hands and wandered off as Augie put a 'reserved' sign at my table and glowingly invited me to place "any size bet per 3hands, you now have a private game!" Now my bets ranged from 3x $25 to 1x $500 or 2x $350 or 3x $250. In 45 minutes I was ahead $6000, at which point Augie came behind me and said, "I have bad news" - I'm thinking he's going to bar me, but instead he says that "upstairs has decided that you must bet $125 each at 3hands" - oh well "sucking me in" I replied playfully, he says "sorry." So now I shift my betting to 3x $125 in negative counts and 1hand of $500 in posi-counts - winning three rounds of 3x $125 in amazing succession, I happily call out to Augie, "its working, thanks!" Exactly 60 minutes into the play I am up $10k when Augie taps my shoulder and informs me that "they decline your further play" - smiling I wave half my winnings in the form of 10 $500 chips and taunt, "do you guys want to try to win half of it back?" "No!" The romance was over. I managed to get a comped lunch from Augie before cashing out, the two remaining tables had a total 5 nickle players as I departed.