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Bankroll advice: should I go now or later?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by jimboguy, Oct 29, 2012.

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  1. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    Hello everyone,

    Due to an unforeseen expense, my bankroll for my upcoming trip to Vegas over Thanksgiving has gotten 28% smaller. I am pretty much a low roller. I enjoy playing 25 cent JoB at MSS (max credits of course), and $5 and $10 blackjack at ElCo.
    Assuming I spent 4-6 hours gambling per day (1/2 the time at JoB, 1/2 the time at blackjack) for three days, is my risk of ruin pretty high if my budget per day is $500 ? How much better off would I be if I waited until mid-January where I could bump up my bankroll to about $800 per day?

    My flight is already paid for, but it's with Southwest which means it's easy to cancel and apply the funds toward a January flight. The hotel is easy to cancel as well with no penalty.
    I have already bought a show ticket (front row seat for Jim Gaffigan) and a ticket for a Neon Boneyard tour, so if I cancel this Thanksgiving trip I'd be out about $100.

    The last time I was in Vegas was back in March, and it was the least fun I have ever had in Vegas mostly due to my traveling partner. This time it will be a solo trip (January would be too). I'm definitely itching to go back, but I want to have fun so I can wait if necessary.

    I'd appreciate responses from the math experts, as well as the "go with your gut" folks. :beer:

    Thank you.
     
  2. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I don't play enough VP to know the likelihood of your risk of ruin there, but with regards to BJ, you are probably safe. Even if you only play $10 tables, you have funds for 50 units a day. That should sustain you, unless you frequently bet multiple units per hand. If you bet one unit per hand, your expected loss is around $7 an hour. Even if variance bites you in the butt, it would be pretty hard to lose 50 units at BJ in a short period of time if you are only playing one unit per hand. I have played BJ and bac with only 10 units for hours on end. So I say go and take advantage of the show and tour you already bought. Then come back in March too! :evillaugh
     
  3. texdan17

    texdan17 Low-Roller

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    I say have one super low roller day and cut your bankroll down to $200...then add the remaining $300 to the other days for slightly higher bankrolls on those days. Then you get to go NOW and enjoy a bit more fun the majority of your trip. Heck, if you have a show ticket and tour planned and you can do both on one day, I'd say that's a natural match for a lower play day. ...and remember, you can always win or break even and that could always be recycled for a bigger bankroll. Think positively! :)
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I can't answer the VP question for you.

    For blackjack, a $250 daily budget for 2-3 hours of play is rock solid at $5, and respectable but with a tad more risk at $10 (you won't be underfunded, but could certainly get busted).

    This is assuming you don't press your bets.

    Again, I don't know a lot about VP, but if was me, I'd just take the trip, especially with what you already have invested.

    If you are worried about the VP money lasting, you could stick to $5 blackjack, and only budget $150ish per day for blackjack.

    You could also try to set up a 'rolling budget' to cover this. It could put more of your overall trip bankroll in jeopardy, but could also give you the chance to play the way you want each day. I'd only do this if you feel very underfunded at VP, and could still have a fun trip even if you dumped a large chunk of the bankroll, but would not have fun if you didn't get enough gambling time in.

    For example, first day budget $300 for blackjack (for $5 or $10 without pressing that is plenty), and $500 for VP.

    For the second day budget $150 for blackjack ($5 level) and $350 for VP,

    For the third day budget $200 for blackjack.

    After your first day, the first $300 you have left over gets rolled into the day 3 budget to make it identical to day 2. The next $300 gets rolled into day 2 to make it identical to day one. The next $300 gets rolled into day 3 to make it identical to day one, and anything over and above that is your takeaway. Similarly, with day two, you can roll over to day three. Each time you max it so you never roll a day over to more than $800 and any leftovers you keep.

    This way, the most likely outcome is you end up playing each day with at least $500 and up to $800 in budget. To end up playing a day with less than your flat daily bankroll, you'd need to lose more than $1000 in the first two days.
     
  5. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    You've created a pretty tough math problem by trying to figure for two games, half the time at each game. You'd need to define your rules for anyone to come close to doing the math...for example, do you want to play 2 hours of BJ, regardless of your winnings or losings and then switch to VP? Or do you intend to set a loss limit at each game and switch at half your losses?

    Even if you answer that, it's going to be ridiculously hard to calculate.

    To give you an idea, though, if you played $10 BJ and you wanted to play 300 hands (5 hours, 60 hands an hour) starting with a $500 bankroll your risk of ruin is about 1.4%, which means you are very unlikely to go bust. But if you only wanted to risk half your money, and play for say 3 hours at the same rate, your risk of ruin for that half of your bankroll would be about 11 or 12% (I could figure it out exactly, but you get the idea.)

    If you played only $5 BJ, your risk of ruin for that portion of your gambling is almost non existent (below a quarter of a percent in the second case, below 100th of 1% if using your full BR)

    For calculating the VP RoR, the paytable and game selection is key. But again, if you're switching between games, figuring your total RoR would be doctorate level math. But if you give me the rules for when you want to change games, I can probably estimate it within a few percent.
     
  6. Tuna

    Tuna High-Roller

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    ok, lets keep this simple. What if you die in December?
     
  7. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    My guess is $500 will be fine, it doesn't give you much opportunity to chase, but for .25 vp and $5/$10 blackjack I'd be comfortable playing that many hours with that budget.
     
  8. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    Thank you for the responses, everyone. It looks like I may not be in as dire straits as I thought.

    mike_m235: I thoroughly appreciate the explanation you provided. I don't think I am a disciplined enough gambler to stop after a certain number of hours or at a specific loss limit, so doing any more math for me might be fruitless. Your BJ RoR explanation was very helpful, thank you.
    The VP I play is 9/6 JoB (99.54% return). I looked at the Wizard of Odds site to get a RoR idea, but I didn't understand the table very well.

    Tuna: Funny stuff. I hope I don't die in December, but ya never know.

    I think I'll keep my countdown timer up. Woo hoo!
     
  9. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    I would keep it up and go...like others have said cut back one day add to the remaining days and your good to go.
     
  10. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Yeah, WOO is great for most things, but his RoR table for video poker is pretty tough to figure out. And I'm pretty sure the table he has for JOB is actually wrong. And I swear by Shackleford, so for me to say that is no small thing.

    If you want to make your money last and you go with the bankroll you're talking about, you're definitely better off playing BJ over VP. Even JoB, which has one of the lowest variances of all the VP options, has a significantly higher variance than blackjack (and risk of ruin is a function of variance.) This is because so much of your expected return in VP comes from premium hands (quads and better) and they are rare enough where you just can't count on them. For example, your full pay JOB returns about 99.54% if played perfectly. Almost 2% of that is the expected value of the royal flush, and almost 6% is from quads. Since you only expect to hit quads or better about every 400 hands, it's not unthinkable to play 4 times that many hands and miss completely.

    So if I could recommend one thing that would help you stretch your gambling budget, it would be to play your blackjack first on each day. There's much less chance of going bust that way, since you're not likely to lose your entire bankroll at BJ. Then you can just play the rest of your day on VP, and if you run bad, at least you still got to play most of what you wanted.
     
  11. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    That's a great explanation, mike_m235. I knew the 4OAK, Straight Flushes, and Royal Flushes were rare, but I had no idea they made up that much of the return percentage. I have no problem playing BJ first each day. Thank you for the sage advice.

    texdan17: As it turns out, the tour and the show are indeed on the same day. If I add watching football and a trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame to that day, I can definitely see cutting my bankroll down for that day feasible.


    Again, thanks to all of you (including those I didn't get an opportunity to respond to directly) for the responses. I owe you one. :beer:
     
  12. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Only one person that knows how this will work. Only one person that knows if the OP tends to play till they die, or could play for 30 minutes and then do something else. Only one person knows how the OP likes to play.

    I would ask him.
     
  13. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    What good is this response?
     
  14. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    We went in May and Sept this year.
    Found a great deal on tickets for January and discussed going again and the room would be free.
    We felt that after these two trips and a lot going on between now and Jan that we needed more time to build the budget. The budget was not going to be where we wanted it and felt it best to delay the trip a month or two and go full throttle without feeling like we needed to downplay the trip.
     
  15. lucky13

    lucky13 Low-Roller

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    go now , enjoy yourself
    i would not let being a little short stop me from going .....
    so you dont gamble quite as much , so what you will still have a great time by yourself ....now get going
     
  16. wroberson

    wroberson Tourist

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    Plan a day trip and Drive to Zion National Park. That will cost you about 50 bucks and kill 8 hours. Just remember one well placed bet can pay for everything. Don't forget to save 100-200 to bet Football. I mean betting on the games right before you leave town.

    You'll have more money than I'll have for March Madness. I'm planning on spending 90% of my money the day I get there on 5-10 team parlays. I do like my chances. Even 3 team parlays can be profitable.

    Whatever you choose. Be happy! Personally, I would set up another trip before you go and then continue with your Thanksgiving plans.

    But that's just me...
     
  17. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    My general rule is to go when I have a surplus of funds. In the past when I have gabled with short funds I did not have a good time because I was too worried about losing. Now I only gamble when I can afford to lose every penny I have with me and I invariably have a much better time. Don't know if this really answers your question but I hope it helps.
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  18. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Amen!!!!:beer:
     
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