Split Double Destroy - Comped Against My Will - Blackjack Apprenticeship

Split Double Destroy – Comped Against My Will


Here’s a first: I just got comped–against my will.

I arrived at the large tribal casino knowing I had been backed off here before. If I had any chance for earning EV, I would have to fly under the radar. I would hit the graveyard shift in “Disguise #1.” The following morning (different shift) I would play in “Disguise #2.” Complication: only when I arrived did I realize that the nearest motel was half an hour away, equivalent to an hour of lost playing time for each round trip, so I ended up just booking a room at the casino. More pricey and risky, but I deemed it worth the trade-off in a very tightly scheduled weekend of play.

I played that night as Full-Bearded Leather Harley Dude. I made sure I entered from the overflow parking lot so that surveillance could never tie me to the hotel. When the dealer passed over me and my hard 17 against a dealer ace, I complained to the pit.

Pit Boss: “What did you want to do with that 17?”

Me: “Surrender it.”

Pit Boss (with a wry smile): “That IS the right move.”

I ended the session on my biggest bet. This is a great way to get max EV and still exit a casino without a backoff. Stand up. Declare you are going to bed, and move all in. The pit is less likely to worry about you, because you are headed out the door. If the count goes down, you make good on your promise. If the count goes up, there is always a good excuse to stay for “one more hand.”

“You staying here tonight?” asked the dealer.

“Nope.” I replied loud enough for the pit to hear.

The next morning I suited up as Respectable Clean-Shaven Tucked Khaki Golfer Guy and swung by the lobby for my hotel receipt.

Desk Lady: “I’m sorry, I can’t give you a receipt.”

Me: “Say what?”

Desk Lady: “The casino comped you the room based on last night’s play.”

I had not given a player’s card or ID at the casino. And if they figured me out, they would have to know that I had been backed off before. So they NOT ONLY positively ID’d me and DIDN’T back me off, but they tracked me down as an ACTUAL hotel guest. And how did they stick it to me for catching me in the act? THEY COMPED MY ROOM AGAINST MY WILL. The kicker–four more hours of no-backoff play after this debacle. Can someone make sense of all this?

–Loudon Ofton

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