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The New Comp-Yourself System

Discussion in 'Comps' started by BeeeJay, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    Over the past 5 years since I've been posting on this board, I have slowly seen comps go from a generous and fun marketing tool of the casinos to a frustrating and chincy anti-marketing liability.

    They used to be a reason TO play, now more often they are a reason NOT to play.

    In a way I have broken the golden rule, not to chase comps, because as comps have declined, my play has "chased them down" by decreasing in lockstep with the decreased incentives.

    Like a lot of people on the board, I gamble for entertainment, and would have always gambled even in the absence of comps. By that theory, I SHOULD continue to gamble the same amount as the comps decrease. I am by no means a cheap or frugal person. It shouldn't make a difference.

    But it does.

    What is happening here for me, and I believe a lot of people, is that it isn't so much about the money, it is about being treated with respect, about feeling like we are getting a good deal, and most of all, not feeling like we are getting ripped off.

    The reason the casinos gave comps in the first place is to fool the suckers into thinking they were big shots so they would have some positive self-esteem in the face of the inevitable loss, and they would return.

    Now the lack of comps just further reminds the player of what a sucker they are. It is a subtle change in perception, and one I don't think the bean counters or decision makers really get.

    I understand they are still trying to pull the wool over our eyes with the multiple tiers and lists of worthless tier benefits. But when you start to read about the biggest players getting nickel & dimed on big losing trips and $300/hand players who cant get a limo or a buffet, I think we can all see what is happening here.

    For all of the aforementioned reasons, I am upping my game on the slide down the play scale. I really want to play big and get treated like a VIP on my next trip in April, but I've decided the only way I'm going to get that treatment is if I hire "myself" as my own host.

    I will be rolling with an approx $5,000 budget next trip and had been planning to carve off $1,000 for my "self-comping". Now I've decided maybe I really want to go VIP style. I think I want comped limo, golf, shows, and RFB. For a week-long stay that'll probably cost $2,500. (my rooms at Cosmo/Wynn are actually comped).

    I'll have to drop down to quarter video poker from dollars, play minimum bets on BJ/Craps/Roulette, and spend more time at the pool and maybe go sightseeing or for a hike. But by PLAYING LESS I am actually going to be enjoying a luxurious VIP fully "self comped" vacation.

    Nice! At least I know the host won't be a dick now. :evillaugh :beer::evillaugh
     
  2. Naturaleight

    Naturaleight High-Roller

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    LOL...classic Beejay post.

    Just curious, I have seen a lot of people complain they play "$300 a hand and cannot even get a buffet or limo", like you said above. Does this really happen or are you over-exaggerating?
     
  3. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Tourist

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    I like your thinking.

    Just to play devils advocate what happens when you are playing .25 VP, 10 drinks in and you are winning. Do you stay at that amout or does your inner Ichikawa view that as losing because you aren't betting your normal amount.
     
  4. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    BeeeJay,
    Im more concerned about, what happens when you under comp yourself for your play.
    Lets say you get on a winning streak get up $2k, and have a bad run of luck, then follow that up by chasing those losses in some drunken foolish bender, making wild bets on 17 and 20. You burn thru $2K in winnings.

    You may feel after that [email protected] punch you deserve to treat yourself to a little nicer steak dinner or show, but because you front ended yourself only a $1000, you used up all your "self comps". All you have left is the .99 cent AGC coupon book shrimp cocktail which combined with the alcohol causes some nauseating over the balcony projectile vomit session which clogs up the fountain jets, and costs 10 million to repair.

    Do you then practice self hate for not rat holing away $200 out of the winnings for a nice dinner at Holsteins and those tasty alcohol infused milkshakes, or do you put it on the CC, and take it out of next trips front end self comps? :evillaugh
     
  5. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    indeed, classic post. well done.
     
  6. JDinTN

    JDinTN MIA

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    I'll still be taking advantage of comps and directing my play to the places that give me the best comps for my gambling but you hit the nail on the head right here! A+ :thumbsup:
     
  7. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Good approach.

    Far too often, people rant and rave, and then quietly pay up anyway.
     
  8. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I really like this approach!
     
  9. Gambler1

    Gambler1 Tourist

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    I like this idea too. This also leaves you a lot more flexibility and allows you to eat and play wherever you want to, instead of being stuck in specific casinos due to comps.
     
  10. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I don't get it Beeejay. You're basically just saying you're going to become a lower roller and pay out of pocket for stuff. So at the end you're just using/losing the same amount of cash but getting less play and probably worse odds for it. The only upside seems to be not being tied to one property. Though I think your typical play is enough where you're not all that tied down.
     
  11. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    I've always kind of taken this approach. Don't get me wrong...I take the free suite. But I've never got much F&B anyway. For my upcoming trip, I already booked Elton John for one night and Zarkana for the next, and I paid for the tickets out of pocket. I've always gone to vegas with a thought that my gambling budget is limited, but my non-gambling budget is pretty much unlimited. I keep the two pots of money separate.

    In our circumstances, my wife and I can only do two nights, and only do it twice a year. So we're going to do it the way we want. I charge meals to my room, and I mostly eat at restaurants affiliated with MGM. That way, if they get comped off after the trip, it's a little bonus.

    So what I'm saying is that I think Beejay's approach is pretty healthy, but it still pays to take advantage of what you can get. I'm not tossing out something that's free just out of spite.

    I picked my hotel for my upcoming trip because they offered me more than anyone else. I just think that's good business on my part. Let's see, I can have a suite at the Mirage for free or I can pay for a suite somewhere else. The way I see it, that's $600 in my pocket for gambling.

    If next trip nobody offers me something, then I'll pay for it and gamble less. So I guess I'm willing to do what Beejay is doing. I'm just not tying myself to it as a rule.
     
  12. coolpacific

    coolpacific Low-Roller

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    I like this philospohy. Personally, I will play to the point where I think the free rooms will keep coming but not much more. The real value for me is the comp rooms.
     
  13. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Great post, Beeejay.

    I agree it's better not to bother chasing comps.

    Since we began going to Vegas, budgeting our entertainment/gaming trips has worked for us.
    Whatever comes in the form of future offers is frosting on the cake of a good time we were planning on having anyway.
     
  14. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Same amount of cash and less play.

    But nicer transportation/meals/shows/etc.

    His point is they used to give him that treatment for free and now they won't. So he can play the same and take the crappier comps for worse rooms/transport/food than he is used to; or he can play the same and spend more on stuff; or he can play higher to chase comps; or he can do what he's doing, and say "this is the stuff I'm getting ... every dollar you make me pay for it is a dollar you can't win off me gambling".
     
  15. bbbbcccc

    bbbbcccc Tourist

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    So is this basically a vote in favor of the good sense of Vegas corporate governance? If you are spending the same amount of money, they have basically weaned you off of a game you could possibly win into paying for something, which always has a 100% house edge.

    Seems like this is exactly the type of behavior the house is trying to encourage.
     
  16. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Well, no, they'd rather he gamble the same amount AND pay for this stuff.

    Plus, if hes paying for the limo, the casino doesn't see the money.

    If he's paying for the restaurant/bar/golf, it isn't necessary affiliated with THAT casino.
     
  17. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    I was just about to say great point bbbccc but this is a good point too.


    However, I think this is more an expectation of the Vegas visitor who is not in-the-know about comps. Otherwise, normally they would expect an in-the-know player like himself to spend the load on gambling and they will try to cover a good portion of his other needs (at least back then).
     
  18. JDinTN

    JDinTN MIA

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    You're right sco5123. Many if not most of the casual visitors to Vegas do this already. Next time you go just look at how many people are playing slots but not using rating cards. My wife plays slots and we've often met other couples when I sit with her at the machines and I've schooled them -- for lack of a better term -- on what comps were because they weren't even getting rated. What Beeejay is describing is nothing new its normal. He's gambling with a smaller budget in exchange for buying things outright at whatever property he wants instead of instead of using that same budget to gamble under one company's banner and letting them pick up the tab for his charges at their property.

    In strict $$$ terms he is coming out behind using this approach but in exchange for that he is getting.....

    FREEDOM
     
  19. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    as a gambler, I hate losing. this method has just lost you 20% of your bankroll before you step off the plane and you didn't even get any fun at the tables out of it. that's as much my idea of a good time as stabbing myself in the leg repeatedly with a sharp knife.
     
  20. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    I don't think you guys are properly analyzing my system. I am not going from 100% comps to 0% comps.

    I am still gambling 80% of my normal bankroll and getting 80% of my normal comps. I'm just shaving off the marginal 20% because in my judgement it is more of a fight than it is worth to get those extra comps.

    The casinos are trying to cut back on comps, not eliminate them entirely. They still realize they are going to have to give SOMETHING, but more often than not of late it is only a room, when the play has likely earned some food, bev, limo, show etc. The hosts are improving their numbers by shorting us on those back-end extras.

    I'm saying I will still roll in on my room comp, and still play 80% of my bankroll, but not put any effort into focusing it. I'll do what I want because the freedom is valuable to me.

    At some point I expect to fall below the comp room radar. At that point I'll just use the comp points for food and pay casino rate for the room.

    Also please keep in mind that playing any marginal extra amount for comps is a losing game at best. Best case you are giving $1,000 theo for $400 comps. And honestly if this were the rate of return, I would have no problem continuing to give the play rather than pay myself. It is when things approach $200 in comps for $1,000 in theo as they are now that the rate of return becomes untenable.

    This is further exacerbated by the reduced PLAY enjoyed for said theo as strip gaming conditions deteriorate.

    Now I do see the other side of the coin where that 20% of bankroll is so key to some people that it degrades their experience. I am admitedly less in love with the gambling itself as some. For me that 20% cut is barely relevant and worth having that extra money to spend on things I value more highly.

    To each their own, some people are big room people like me, most people aren't. Ive happily eaten at e @ Jaleo with Alexanbo for $400 and been equally as happy to suck down Panda Express with Gaggles. To me having the extra money to do some really nice golf, spa, or whatever within my overall $5,000 budget is easily worth giving up one gambling session in a 3 day trip.
     
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