Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Going Native in Las Vegas

I arrived in Las Vegas in April of last year with the intent of working here for a couple of months and then moving on with my adventure. I had a job lined up and worked four hour a day. There is another saying that comes up from time to time that is appropriate here. “What can go wrong, will go wrong”. I had left my previous home with a deal in place that two friends would sell certain inventory that I left with them. They were to get on half of the money generated. I figured that I would get income for a numbers of months and I would net 4 to 5 thousand dollars. It didn’t take but six week for the deal to go completely bust. I got about $750 and have not heard from them since. I need to do a better job of picking friends. The job ended and now I had no income. So, on to plan B.

The problem is that there was no plan B. Anthropologists have this saying, “going native.” That is when they go to study a far away culture; they live in the culture for a while and begin to adopt the local habit and customs. They call it “Going Native”. Well, I have sort of gone Native in Las Vegas.

Prior to living in Vegas I rarely gambled. Once every couple of years I would go to a gambling Mecca and lose my pre-determined amount and then go home. I played mostly blackjack and always looked for a $2 table. I only knew one person in Vegas, and he was married with kids. No hang out opportunities. So I spent a lot of time on my own.

Vegas is the perfect place for a gambling Mecca. During the summer it is too hot to be outside. The only real place that you can go is into a casino. The only thing to do in a casino is gamble. So I gambled. I discovered on-line poker just before I began my trip. I play mostly on PokerStars and was definitely into low limit. Never more than a 3 dollar buy in for a tournament. But Now I was in Vegas

I lived on Fremont Street a few blocks from down town. There is an RV park there called the Western RV park. During the summer it is cheap. Just $10 a day. I swear that it cost that much to run my air conditioner. I had it on 24 hours a day. Fremont Street used to be famous for the hookers and drug dealers that prowled the streets. They have cleaned it up a lot. There are still some very odd people that populate the area. If you keep to your self, no one bothers you.

Just down the street from the RV Park is the El Cortez Hotel and Casino. This Casino has been around since the 1940’s. It was once owned by the reputed mobster Buggies Segal. They play Texas Hold’em there. This is where I began the going native process. The game they play is call spread limit, with a single one dollar blind. That is every ten hands the blind comes to you and it is your turn to put up a buck before any cards are dealt. This is cheap. You can literally sit at the poker table and see 100 hands for $10. If you decide to bet, it can be any amount as long as it is between 1 and 3 dollars. Except on the last card, then it is any amount between 1 and 6 dollars. Now you can be raised and have to put more money into the pot to stay in, but even still this is cheap.

This is where I began my live poker experience. I quickly discovered that I was a lousy poker player. I played too many hands; over valued the hands I played and I lost money. So I began to study. I bought and read numerous books on poker and watched as much poker on TV and I could. I got to the point where I was breaking even with poker. I wasn’t making money but I wasn’t losing it either. Now there were valleys and peaks. The most I ever won in a single sitting was $600.00 and the most I ever lost was $250.00. But for the most part after averaging it out I broke even. I began to wonder if I could make a living playing poker. Breaking even is not making money. Now I have returned to online poker. If I can get good enough I will be able to make money anywhere I am. I can just pull over to the side of the road, play for a while and put money in the bank. Easy.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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