Masters of Blackjack 2008, Fallsview Niagara Falls!

Discussion in 'Blackjack Events (Canada)' started by BlackJack_Master, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    As it turns out, the tourney was not full and they were actively seeking rebuys. Now there's no excuse for their lack of interest in non-PAC players.

    I made it to the second round (semi-finals) on my rebuy and came within one card of the final table. A bit of a bad beat in my opinion. First of all my 4+ max bet lead with 6 hands to go evaporated despite the fact that I matched the bets of my opponents and actually made money leading up to the final hand. Here's what happened on the final hand ($500 max, $25 min). In order of betting it was

    Me: $6250.00; bet $500
    BR2: $5687.50; bet $500
    BR3: $4900.00; bet $500

    Guess who won?

    I bet $500 to cover a double by BR2 knowing that it exposed me to a double down by BR3, but I thought it more important to cover BR2. Betting the minimum $440 required to cover BR2 would still have exposed me to BR3. Cards came as follows:

    Me: $6250.00; bet $500; hard 15
    BR2: $5687.50; bet $500; hard 14
    BR3: $4900.00; bet $500; hard 17
    Dealer: 10 showing

    I stood in order to try and get the same result as BR2 and BR3 (correct according to Wong), knowing that both had to double down. BR2 busted and I though I was home free until BR3 doubled down and got a 4 for a total of 21. I now needed a dealer 21 or bust, but the dealer had 20. BR3 wins, I lose and BR3 advances. Wish I could have surrendered!!!

    I didn't run into anyone from here. Blackjack Master, how did you do?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  2. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Thanks for the response, it does boggle the mind that they had folks willing to enter but would rather have to pimp for rebuys. They had my phone number, too. Sheesh.

    Sounds like you did the best you could do under the gun like that. And, it's a lot easier to analyze a situation here in front of a computer than it is in the heat of the battle. Think about this, though - what about a $340 bet instead of your $500? Your stated $440 was a good idea although it exposed you to being swung by a DD from BR3, as eventually happened. Betting the $500 didn't change a thing from $440, so you made a great choice. Even though the $340 makes you DD for less to cover BR2's max-bet DD, it would shield you from exactly the scenario that boned you.
  3. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    >> Even though the $340 makes you DD for less to cover BR2's max-bet DD, it would
    >> shield you from exactly the scenario that boned you.

    Thanks, I didn't think of that. It seems that it would be a good idea provided I could act after BR2. But since I had to act before him, I would have had to make the double for less regardless resulting in the same overall bet ($440) and I would have had to take a (face up) card. This I think would have made it slightly less likely that I would match BR2's result and I would still have been exposed to BR3.
  4. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Good solid logic there. I like your thinking.

    IMHO, I'd still like the $340 better, as this gives me options after the initial deal. With surrender removed from my bag of tricks, I'd rather have the ability to stand on the stiff and force BR2 to possibly have to make a bad DD. Once those initial cards are out, I can re-evaluate the situation. In your example, all 3 players were stiff vs. dealer 10, and I'd have a pretty good situation - and would stand. BR3 has to DD, he can't get a swing with a 17 if I don't bust, and his DD wouldn't affect me at all. BR2 would have to win a full double with hard 14 vs. 10. I'd like my chances very much.
  5. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    Why open a window for BR2 and give BR3 an opportunity to volt ahead? Seems to me that BR1's best bet is to go low with a bet not exceeding $50. BR1 is more than a max bet head of BR2. So BR1's bet of 25 means that BR2 must hit a double (approximately 30% chance + about 5% chance of a BJ for a total of 35%) and BR3 would be virtually out because he would need a triple win. That would mean that it doesn't matter what BR1's result is and gives him about a 65% probability of winning the table.

    PS: A added benefit is that this play can be arrived at quickly when in the heat of battle.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  6. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    My initial feeling was that 500 is best. I started to wrestle with the mathematics, in search of a proof, but then it occurred to me to see if Wong covered this scenario in one of his examples.

    Example 9 seems to fit the bill, and confirm that $500 is the best bet. (.86 chance of winning the table)
  7. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    If I am BR2 and you plop in with $50 in this situation, I'm gleefully splitting or (preferably) doubling anything with a clear chance to blow right past you. This is somewhat similar to my St. Ignace situation from last June, previously posted here. With the $50 bet, there is no defense at all against my two bets and the door is wide open. Wong's 86% conclusion from London Colin illustrates the power of the correlation bet.
  8. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    A few points:
    1) I looked up the St. Ignace situation and it's quite different from this scenario. It was 1 on 1 with no BR3. The lead was only $50. And the reason for the large bet was because of the "read" you had on the other player.

    2) Yes, a $50 bet leaves no defense against a DD by BR2 but his chances of succeeding are only about 30%.

    3) "the power of the correlation bet"? This is not a correlation bet since BR1 is betting first.

    4) Wong's Example 9 does indeed say 86% probability of winning the table with a large bet. However, when I first studied his book several years ago I could not understand how he arrived at that 86% number. So I marked that page with a large "?" (in red) with an arrow pointing to that 86%. So can someone explain how that 86% was arrived. Without seeing the calculation, I just can't buy it.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  9. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    My bad - that thread was about a tiebreaker playoff. I thought it also included the last hand of regulation which created the tie. I was down $900, $50 min / $500 max bet. Don't remember who bet first, but my opponent only bet $50, opening the door to my eventually successful double. He had realized his mistake and also doubled, creating the tie when the dealer busted.
  10. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    I think Wong got all his numbers by simulation, rather than by calculation. (Can anyone confirm that?)

    Example 8 gives the two-player version of this scenario: Cover a BR2 double down and he says you are an 88% favourite against a BR2 who will double down on anything. Interestingly, this implies a 12% chance of a swing, which is the same as the BS figure, although it must derive from very different playing of the hands - rather than both hands independently playing BS, we have BR1 more inclined to stand, and BR2 more inclined to hit, since BR1 wants the same result as BR2, while BR2 wants a different result.

    In any event, so long as the chance of a swing is less than 33%, it is better to bet big, and cover the double down.

    In example 9, therefore, BR3 apparently only accounts for an additional 2% of losing probability for BR1. What is the additional outcome that this corresponds to? All of the following must happen -
    • BR1 loses
    • BR2 loses or pushes (otherwise this outcome is already covered by example 8, regardless of what happens to BR3.)
    • BR3 wins a forced double.
    I can't come up with a precise figure for that, but for a guesstimate -

    Prob BR1 loses and BR2 loses : .31
    Prob BR1 loses and BR2 pushes : .05
    Prob BR3 gets a swing against both BR1 and BR2, while only taking one card (or splitting a pair) : Who knows!? [It must be less than .12, and I'd guess the true figure is more like .05]

    If you assume the worst case of .12, that would give an overall probability of :-
    .36 *.12 = .04

    If you go with my .05 guess, that gives :-
    .36 *.05 = .02

    So that's a 4% upper limit on the additional losing probability due to BR3's influence, and a 2% likely actual value, in line with Wong's result.

    If I've made any errors in the above, the bottom line is that BR3 would have to account for an additional 88%-67%=21% probability of BR1 losing the table, in order to change the 'bet big' recommendation.
  11. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    After doing a few more calculations, and although I can't arrive at an exact probability of winning, I agree that a large bet by BR1 is better than a small bet in this scenario. The question now is how much better is a large bet as opposed to a small bet. Just because "86%" is printed as the probability of winning does not make it so. I'm still looking for the method used to arrive at that percentage.
  12. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    I think I goofed slightly there. The upper limit certainly must be less than .33, since that is the simple forced-double winning probability. If the probability of BR1 losing is .48, and the probability of a swing is .12, then I think we can also say it must be less than .12/.48 = .25 (which is what I should have put, at the point where I put .12 last time. .25 would be the probability that player B wins, player A having lost; but it doesn't include the additional restriction of only taking only one card or splitting.)

    The maximum additional probability of BR1 losing the table would then be -
    .36 * .25 = .09

    As I said, I believe the method used was a simulation. The two scenarios will have been played out several million times -
    • Bet big and have BR2 play optimally for a swing, while BR3 doubles down.
    • Bet small and have BR2 double down, while BR3 is locked out.
    There's no calculation, just a collation of the results.

    I don't think there is any easy way to arrive at a figure by calculation; certainly not without the aid of a computer. If you accept the 88% figure from example 8, however (not that there is any reason to accept that one any more than example 9, or any other), then calculating the change in probability for example 9 might be feasible. i.e. calculate the unknown that I've been attempting to set an upper limit for [.09, at the time of writing :)], as well as stab a guess at the true value of [ 0.02 ???] -

    i.e. BR3 wins a forced double down, while BR1 loses and BR2 loses or pushes.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  13. DanMayo

    DanMayo New Member

    For Next Time

    Sorry I've been out of the loop on this one, but LeftNut for the next one you might want to consider signing up for PAC membership online now, and then when it is time to register for the next one ask them to look up your number. As Ken said, I also initially got the can't sign up without the number routine, but when I called back they looked it up for me and registered me.

    This was a few years ago and I assume that they still have the ability to sign up for PAC membership online. At the time they did also tell me I would have to stop in and show ID to get my PAC card too before I could play. Worth a try?

  14. deltaduke

    deltaduke Active Member

    online PAC membership

    For 2 years I tried to register for the big Masters of Blackjack tournament with no success. When I was told I must be a member, I immediately joined on line. When I called back, they said it must be activated in person before you were actually a member. Argueing did no good. I must have talked to everyone except the prime minister of Canada, but it did me no good. I finally got a good priced plane ticket to Buffalo, NY and went up and registered for one of the monthly satallites. Had no trouble as they were not sold out and even had rebuys to the third round. Have had no further trouble registering in advance since I activated my membership. They normally do not sell out the satellites in advance, and you should have no problem getting in one of them. However the big one in March is always sold out so you must be an activated member to get in this one.
  15. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Thanks for the suggestion, Dan, but I'm way ahead of you there. Problem is, that part of their website is down due to an upgrade (or so it says) and doesn't work. :flame:

    I just don't understand why they make it so hard to enter. Here they had someone who was ready and willing to pay them "retail" for an entry, yet they'd rather have to run through the casino pimping for discounted rebuys. I just don't get it. It does cause me to differ with the "open" designation for this tournament, since it obviously isn't the case.
    Stories like this are why I like Winstar's attitude. Perhaps some of their tournament playing rules take away from an experienced BJT player's bag of tricks, but they'll take on all comers. No hoops to jump through, no secret handshakes or other nonsense required. Bring your $$$, have a seat, and good luck to you.
  16. BlackJack_Master

    BlackJack_Master New Member


    For my first tournament, not so bad.

    Round 1: I won my table of 7 and advanced to The Semi-Finals.
    Round 2 (Semis): Was the first eliminated from my table.

    Round 1, I was on top of things, making mostly all the right hits, splits and doubles... with so/so cards being dealt to me.

    In Round 1, there was a senior citizen at my table, he looked about 75 years old, I think it was his first tournament also. He was in first the for the first 15 of 21 hands... wow I have never seen such "luck" at a BJ table... man was splitting 10/10 against Aces and 10 showing for the dealer... pulling 7 card 21's... everything you could possibly hit, he hit. The last 5 hands he screwed the pooch big time though... He was ahead by atleast 2k of everyone else... he still betting table max of $500.... He bets $500 and gets dealt a hard 19, he then doubles down... it was kinda funny... obviously he busted... but he thought you could split ANY 2 cards... He was eliminated before the last hand!

    Round 2, I was way too aggressive and busted early, as I did not see a 10 or Ace in the first 8 hands.... The 2 hours between round 1 and the semies probably didnt help me.. I was bored waiting around.

    I think I'll play in the Nov 26 Tournament though!

    P.S. There were still spots availblae in the Oct tourny... A few people from Round 1, re-bought into the third session of Round 1.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  17. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I know that this is an old thread, however, this discussion was the inspiration for the creation of the tournament analysis portion of my simulator. I found myself re-reading this thread while browsing randomly and I realized that I never came back to this particular scenario.

    It is stated in Wong's book that the conclusions were arrived at by running his tournament simulation software. The trick is to find the correct conditions and assumptions. The situation I originally described does indeed correspond to Wong's Example 9.

    Leftnut suggested a bet of 340 to me with the goal of protecting myself from BR3 while still allowing a double for less to cover BR2's max bet double. With the rules in place at the Fallsview (8 decks, s17) and all 3 players playing optimally, the simulated result is a 73.6% chance of my advancing.

    toolman1 then suggested a bet of 50 in order to virtually lock out BR3 and force BR2 to double/split. With all 3 players playing optimally, my chances of advancing would have been 73.2%.

    The other bet considered was the 500 bet that I actually made. The simulated result for this bet with all players playing optimally is 80.31%. This supports he notion that the bigger bet is superior, but still doesn't agree with Wong's 86%.

    In an attempt to reproduce Wong's result, I tried two further scenarios:

    - bet 500 with me playing optimally and BR2 and BR3 playing basic strategy. The result: 86.9%
    - bet 500 with all playing basic strategy: The result: 85.2%

    These are both more in line with Wong's result. The differences could lie in different playing conditions or in the number of simulated iterations. It has been reported that Wong's software is quite slow and that large numbers of iterations are not always practical. My results used 2 billion iterations each.

    toolman1, I hope this helps to lend some credibility to Wong's results.
    KenSmith likes this.

Share This Page