Saturday, March 19, 2005

NCAA Round 1

Round 1 of the tournament is over.
The biggest upset so far happened to be with the team I needed to win. Syracuse was the heavy favorite against Vermont and they lost by 3 in over-time. Syracuse is a good team with good players, but they had way too many turnovers and had a bad couple of plays at the end.
So that ended two of my bets and overall I was down a few dollars. My big bet paid off when the three teams all won.
Before I left for dinner I decided to bet on the Michigan State/Old Dominion game. Michigan State was the favorite and I picked them to win. I went a bit risky and bet the rest of my money on one site (~$70). I come back from dinner and found out that Michigan State did win and now I'm up to $99 and overall up 20.73%
Some of the Round 2 games start tomorrow, so I will be looking into a few tonight. As of this moment I'm thinking about using $10 for a risky bet, $10 for a semi-risky bet, and the rest for some less risky bets.
The thing I don't like is that my money is with and they have minimum bets of $10. The other site I use has minimum bets of $5 and if you do 11 or 12 team parlays you can bet a minimum of $1

In one of the Comments I replied to I said I would give a poker tip. Now as some of you know there are many types of poker (I mainly play Limit Hold Em). But at casinos they have other types of games. One game that I like to play is 3 Card Poker. The rules are easy: if your three cards beat the dealers, you double your money. If your cards happen to be something good: pairs, flush (ex. three hearts), straights- then you will get a higher payout if you beat the dealer (I've run into some casinos that don't pay more unless you put a bonus bet).
The bonus bet: This is an extra optional bet you put up and it will pay out more if you beat the dealer with a pair or better. So if you have a 7,Jack, Ace and the dealer has a 3,6,9 you will win on your original bets, but will lose your bonus bet.
The bonus bet seems nice, but it actually increases the house edge. Normally the house has an edge of around 2-3% with this game, but if you play the bonus bet the house edge goes up to around 11-12%. This is a huge jump!
But that's not my tip (to not play the bonus).
Here's the tip: most (probably all) casinos are lax in a few rules. One of them is the ability to see other players cards. In three card poker there might be six people plus the dealer and most people are laughing/drinking having a good time. They don't really need to hide their cards.
Technically they are suppose to, but casinos never say anything.
Here's where you can get an edge. Let's say you have some high cards, but no pairs or anything. We'll say 8,10, Queen. This is not too good of a hand, but with more information you can gain a higher edge.
Everyone's practically showing their cards before the dealer shows and before you need to decide to match your bet (you put $5 up, get the cards, if they are good you match the $5, if not- you fold and lose your $5).
If you see lots of Kings and Aces in the other people's hands- this increases your odds because now the chance of the dealer having a higher card than a Queen is minimal. He can still beat you on pairs/straights/flushes, but those have a lower probability outcome.
So you can match your bet with a not-so-good hand.
This can of course be done the other way: if you have a semi-decent hand, but are seeing lots of low cards then the chance of the dealer having high cards go up since you have this added information.
This can save you some money, and hopefully gain some money by using this extra information.

Non-Betting Stuff
I have two future things that will add to my net worth. I should get a tax refund and my bonus is coming up within the next two weeks.
The one event that could decrease my net worth a bit is that on March 28th I'm leaving for a week long cruise! It's already been paid for so the only thing that will change my net worth are misc expenses (oh yeah, and the cruise ship has a casino and card room....)
I'll be going to Mexico from L.A.- first stop Catalina and then Ensenada- it should be fun!