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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by rhinoman7, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Member

    Hello! Just came across this forum recently and decided to join in!!!

    Played in my first ever BJ tournament in 2015 at the Paris, and had a great time! Have played in a couple more at Harrah's since then, but couldn't get past the second round on any of them.

    In 2017, the Horseshoe Hammond in Indiana held a weekly BJ tournament for a couple of months in the summer, and I was able to play in 6 of them, but never made it past the first table.

    I also played in a tournament at Harrah's Joliet in Illinois a few years ago, with the same results.

    Despite studying both Ken Einiger and Standford Wong's tournament strategy books, either the cards were terrible to make any strategies null and void, or I would be at a table with a couple of newbies that were just giving it a try because it was free, and they would somehow get really lucky and take the table!!!!

    After re-assessing all of the tournaments I had played in, I found two mistakes that I was making rather regularly:

    1. Paying more attention to the cards and not the chips
    2. Allowing that one person sitting next to me that just can't seem to shut up get to me and allow me to lose my focus.

    With that in mind, I went into my latest tournament at the Cromwell in December, 2018, determined to focus on the chips and NOT the cards, and not allow any "talkers" to distract me. The results? Out of 633 players, I made it to the semi-final round (the top 24)!!! Unfortunately, a "lucky" dealt blackjack to the chip leader who had went all-in on the last hand wiped the whole table out! However, I did walk away with $750 in casino play, which I was able to almost double! So, after 10 tournaments with nothing, I finally walked away with something!!!!

    I had planned on attending the BJ tournament at the Paris in March, but the ridicuous airfares during that time are making me change my mind. Maybe there will be some more later this year!
    LeftNut, george, johnr and 2 others like this.
  2. Dakota

    Dakota Top Member

    Congratulations on your semi-final finish at the Cromwell. You will find that many accomplished tournament blackjack players discuss strategies on this site which will improve your tournament play even more. And, while Wong is a good start, you should study Ken Smith's numerous tournament blackjack articles and on-line e-books. Good luck in the future!
    george, johnr, KenSmith and 1 other person like this.
  3. PitchMan

    PitchMan Top Member

    Welcome Rhinoman7. Those losses at the last hand of the semi finals happen all too often, but something I learned from my grandfather when he was teaching me about Bass fishing as a kid has allowed me to have a few successes at Blackjack (and every day life, actually). He said that fish don't generally jump in the boat and if I want to catch more of them I would have to keep my hook in the water as much as possible. If you continue to play as many tournaments as feasible, learning a bit more about how to improve your game in each of them, I predict you'll have more successes. I got involved long after many of the excellent players that I have gotten to know since and I've found the Blackjack tournament community is very accepting and supportive of fellow players, ....on this site as well as the many others I've met at the tournament events. Most are very forthcoming with information that has allowed me to improve my game. As Dakota mentioned above, Ken Smith has written much on Blackjack. I consider his two e-books to be "must reads" for all who play Blackjack tournaments.

    Thank you for signing up here. Please tell other players about . Increased participation will only make this site a better resource for us all. Good luck!
    george, johnr and KenSmith like this.
  4. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    From one old (old in my case) bass fisherman to another, that was a good analogy my friend. I wish Dr. Bass could have seen it.
    I’m hoping Tami is doing well. Does anyone know?
    george, johnr and KenSmith like this.
  5. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Welcome Rhinoman7,

    This discussion forum is the gold standard for information and discussion of blackjack tournaments. Study the material you find here and in Ken Smith's books. Stanford Wong's book has lots of good information but the game and player pool have evolved quite a bit since his book was published.

    Another good source of information is They stopped publishing new material a couple years ago, but you can get an archive of excellent material for the nominal subscription fee.

    Good luck to you!
    george and johnr like this.
  6. PitchMan

    PitchMan Top Member

    Hey Billy. I think we determined that we are within a few months of the same age, and..... We are both youngsters where it counts :). I saw Dale Brunson interviewed once as he was leaving the table after losing to some 20 years olds and he said: "You don't quit playing because you get old, you get old because you quit playing".

    I couldn't help but think of Dr. Bass when I was writing the above post. I think it was the last time I saw him, at Buffalo Run, that I told him the story about what my grandfather said about bass fishing, and we agreed that approach makes a difference in success at everything we attempt. I checked with Lucky Linda and she said that Tammi is doing well, and they will both be at the Buffalo Run $30K event in April.
    george, KenSmith and johnr like this.
  7. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    Thanks much for that info. I look forward to seeing them, you, and all of the friends that will be there.
    Til then, all the best to you.

    Billy C
    george and johnr like this.
  8. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Member

    I would definitely love to play in more tournaments, but the opportunities have been few and far between. The few "local" casinos that are in a reasonable driving distance don't hold BJ tournaments much, if even at all. Thanks to this site I now see that Caesar's has more tournaments than I thought during the year, but unfortunately, I am not invited to all of them. My first was a $150K tournament at Paris in 2015, but all my invites since have only been for the $75K tournaments.

    Back in late December, I saw that there was a $150K tournament at Paris in late February, so I sent an e-mail to Caesar's asking about a possible invitation. I got a long response talking about many of the different criteria that are used in determining offers, and that "Unfortunately, you did not meet the criteria for the months analyzed for the February Vegas Black Jack tournament." I now see that there is another $150K tournament at Paris in late April, but have not recevied an invite. :(

    The thing I am noticing with the $75K tournaments is that they are held on a Monday-Wednesday, which means I need to take off work to attend, but the $150K tournaments are Friday-Sunday, which would be much more convenient!!!!

    From 2011-2015, I was visiting Vegas 3-4 times per year, but due to job circumstances, I was only able to visit once in 2016, and not at all in 2017, so I am sure that hasn't helped. I was able to visit 4 times in 2018, and hope to get back to visiting 3-4 times per year going forward.
    johnr likes this.
  9. PitchMan

    PitchMan Top Member

    Hi Rhinoman7. In re-reading your original post above it appears you may be in the Illinois area. If so, you may want to try the Buffalo Run event on April 27-28 in Miami, OK. It's in extreme NE OK, near Joplin, MO. We have quite a few from the MN, WI, IL area that are regulars at the three Buffalo Run $30K events through the year. In addition to the April event there are others on July 13-14 & October 12-13. This is one of the best open tournaments you'll find anywhere. The 30K is all cash, guaranteed, great rules, multiple buy in opportunities (6 total, I think), low $130 buy ins. It's a very friendly place so you'll have no problem being comfortable on your first visit. Several of us on here are familiar with it and we are always glad to help if you want to attend and need more information, and we'd be glad to meet you there. Good luck to you where ever you play.
    Doc, johnr, KenSmith and 1 other person like this.
  10. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    I totally agree with Pitchman's assessment of the Buffalo Run tournaments. Try it next month and see for yourself.

    Billy C
    PitchMan likes this.
  11. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Howdy, Rhinoman -

    I would have to echo the Buffalo Run sentiments recently posted. While I have been unable to attend them myself, they have been ranked as extremely well-run BJT's by the best and most respected players in the game. Once I get some extremely onerous family matters settled, I have every intention of attending them. You certainly should as well.

    Your post mentioned a long email from Caesar's outlining some of the criteria to obtain access to their invitationals. Please consider sharing that information here. Almost every casino who runs decent by-invitation-only BJT's has severe "don't ask - won't tell" policies regarding the play requirements, there are a few of us who would be willing and able to give the required action, and more.

    gronbog, PitchMan and johnr like this.
  12. johnr

    johnr Top Member

    Thank you Rhinoman7 for starting this interesting thread.
    I played in the Cromwell tournament also got $750, maybe we played same tables.
    I originally went to Paris played 4 hours $100-$500 for purpose of getting invites from Caesars. Dakota had made a post telling about these good invite tournaments. Have done a $150000, $75000, going this month to Paris $75000.
    Buffalo Run is my home casino, it is a great place, the staff is so friendly and Cindy, the table games supervisor, makes the best BJ tournaments. I have booked The April tournament at Stubwire . Will be there this weekend for invite slot tournament and VIP party. The BJT friends will have a table or 2 in tournament area in April, See you all there.
    Doc and PitchMan like this.
  13. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Member

    Pitchman...thanks for the info! I will definitely look into the Buffalo Run tournaments, and will let you know if I plan to attend. Would be great to meet some others from this forum!
    PitchMan likes this.
  14. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Member

    Unfortunately, they were vague on the specifics regarding the criteria, but here is exactly what they wrote:

    "Your email has reached Relationship Marketing for Caesars Entertainment Nevada properties.

    Marketing is different. We market to the area you play. Las Vegas has nine properties and is one marketing area. The coordinators are evaluating 12 months of data captured on your account in Vegas for the Vegas offers. They are using a complex set of algorithms which include offer availability, level of play, comp usage, trips, and kinds of play (just to name a few). They are not looking at Tier or Reward Credit. Tier offers are different.
    Every month they are analyzing a different set of months. The oldest month is dropped, and a younger month is added.
    Unfortunately, you did not meet the criteria for the months analyzed for the February Vegas Black Jack tournament.
    Please remember that every month Relationship Marketing is creating new offers. Every offer and event is based on a different set of criteria. Each event is different. Each month and quarter is different. It is always possible that you will qualify for the next Black Jack Tournament. It all depends on the evens criteria and the data captured on your account."

    Hope this helps.
  15. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    At least you now know it's a twelve-month rolling period.

    If you are only an occasional visitor, you may want to look back at your history, wait until your weakest plays are over 12 months old, and then visit the property and play at a higher level for one trip.

    Generally, in this scenario, repeat business does not matter. It's far better to have one big play trip in a 12 month period than 3 or 4 smaller plays.
    rhinoman7, gronbog, PitchMan and 2 others like this.
  16. johnr

    johnr Top Member

    That is good info, we will give good action this month at Paris , these are great value tournaments. Would like to keep getting invitations.
    PitchMan likes this.

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