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Trip Report - Lake Charles, LA 8-8-13


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TRIP REPORT, PART 1

Well, this is my first trip report, and I have to tell you, I hope they all go as well as this one went. Maybe it was just beginners luck, but after totally blowing the first shoe, I got up, moved tables and had success at the next table in all four shoes.

Before I give you the play by play, let me give you a little color on the casino. So I drove over to the closest casino with baccarat, L’Auberge, in Lake Charles, LA. It’s about a two and half hour drive from where I live, which is not too bad, but not convenient enough to just go all the time. Ha, that may be a good thing.

I arrived about 5:30pm last night and after getting a new players card (I couldn’t find my old one, probably left it in a video poker machine at the bar last time I was there, sometimes those free drinks at the bar can get expensive) and cashing out the free $10 on the card at the cage (ahead already, yes!!), I proceeded to do my recon on the baccarat pit.

So, the casino has eleven baccarat tables. There were about six open at the time and most were pretty full. They appeared to be all midi tables I believe, with 10 spots. A few were $25 min and a few were $100 min. I believe the one $200 min table was the only touch table going last night. Two of the tables were the EZ Baccarat tables and only one was open. It so happens that was also the table I first sat down at because it had a spot open, but that turned out to be a mistake and caused me problems, which I will explain later.

I never watched the full touch table so I actually never saw them replace the cards, but I did see the pit bosses with stacks of individual card packs on their table in the middle of the pit, so I’m assuming they didn’t use pre-shuffled cards, but I can’t be certain. The one opportunity I had to see on my table, I missed. I had gone to the restroom after the end of the third shoe at that table and when I returned they were cleaning up a big wet spot in the middle of the table. After they finished we just sat there for a while and I finally asked the dealer what was going on and she said someone spilled their drink while she was cutting the cards and the cards got wet. It was the blue deck. So what we were waiting on was for the shuffle machine to finish the red deck we had just played. The floor had also just dropped off a new blue shoe right before I got back. The dealer put that new shoe in the shuffle machine after the red shoe was finished shuffling. I was bummed because I had killed that old blue shoe last time and was hoping to get another crack at it. It was at that point I decided I’d be done after playing this red shoe one more time, which I had been successful with twice before already. I didn’t want to play that new blue shoe in the blind, plus I was already up pretty good and didn’t want to press my luck.

Another thing I wanted to point out was how slow the games went. The second table was a no touch table and I played and it took just over five hours to play three and half shoes. I couldn’t believe how the dealers took their time and let several older players just talk about their next bets with each other and study the tote board and their scorecards, and the dealers would just wait around on them until they finally bet and then the dealers would deal. It made things move really slow and at first it didn’t bother me, because I was getting the hang of doing my scorecard in a live setting, horizontal instead of vertical (I’ll explain in a minute), but after a couple of shoes, I was ready to move things along, win or lose. I should have moved to a couple of the empty tables that had opened later in the evening, but I really like how things were going score wise at this table, so I didn’t move.

From what I’ve gathered on this forum, most NOR players have made their own scorecards to use. I have done this for practice at home, but in the casino, I just couldn’t see showing up with my own scorecard. I’m a proponent of really trying to fly under the radar and not stand out when I’m playing in casinos. I don’t want to draw any unwanted attention from dealers, the pit, or even other players. I decided even before I got there that I would use the casinos scorecards. Now I did fill it out just as if I were doing it vertically, using three columns marked P,B, & S at the top of each column, but I kept the scorecard horizontal in front of me like all the other players. I was easily able to follow along and nobody seemed to take any notice of it all.

To be continued……….

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Here is a photo of one of my scorecards from last night. I picked this one since it was my best shoe(Hey, why not?). I played it OTB4L, starting M3 with a U1D2 progression. The way you see the photo is how I kept the scorecard in front of me. It was easy to write sideways and keep up with it. I made two main columns that had three columns each for P, B & S. Just thought some might find it interesting to see.

post-6350-14500261520968_thumb.jpg

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... Maybe it was just beginners luck, but after totally blowing the first shoe, I got up, moved tables and had success at the next table in all four shoes.

You're kidding right?

You and I joined around the same time. I work my ass off on this stuff, and you got me beat. Your hard work is coming home to Papa.

Great job Gman.

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Trip Report - Part 2

Okay, so I walked around checking out the tote boards and finally saw a good looking board that was about half way through. The table had a seat open, so I sat down. I realized after I sat down that it was a no commission table. One of those EZ baccarat tables that have the Dragon7 and Panda8 bets. It wasn't what I had planned on, but what the heck, I figured that was not a big deal. I bought in for twenty units and got my scorecard all set up and proceeded to bet.

Things never really started off well and I was down and up, mostly down. It wasn’t but a few hands in when my 3 bet banker bet won(I thought anyway), but it was a Dragon7 win so apparently I don’t get paid on my banker bet in that situation. This is where the no commission comes in I suppose. Well this is where my problem really started. I was flustered on what my next bet should be. I was playing OTBLM3 so the repeat banker win should have put me on a 1 bet player the next hand. But I treated the no pay like a tie and left my 3bet banker up and of course it came up player. I figured I should have moved my bet, but still not sure what the right play is in those situations. I’ll have to bring that up in the forum here and see what others have to say about it. Anyway, the long and short of it is I lost 9 units on that shoe and got up and left the table. Needless to say I was a little discouraged after that, but I wasn’t giving up just yet.

I wandered around a little bit watching some other tables and finally found a promising spot on another table. I settled into the ten seat just under the tote board and bought in for another twenty units. Sitting under the tote board was a little weird, because it felt like everyone was staring at me the whole time as they were looking at the board.

I started play at hand #33 in what looked like a good S40 M2 shoe and off I went. I had one 5 bet and two 4 bets and ended the shoe +10. It should have been +13 but I screwed up a bet late in the shoe, which would have meant I only had one 4 bet instead of two, but it worked out ok only costing me 3 units I calculated afterwards. I made a mental note to pay better attention. I still made a few mistakes later in other shoes, but they again did not hurt my score too bad.

The next shoe(blue), I jumped in at play #2 OTBLM3 and moved right through the shoe and ended up +22 units, with only one 5 bet and one 4 bet.

The next shoe(red), I started OTBLM3, even though I played it S40 last go around, and made it through this time with +12 units with only one 5 bet and one 4 bet.

The last shoe, which should have been the blue shoe, was the red shoe again as I explained in part 1. Since I had played it with success OTBLM3 I went at it again with that system starting at play #2. But after play #10 I was just +1 units and the shoe had gone 2 Bankers to 8 Players, so I jumped to F2 at play #11, which worked great because by play #45 I was at +19 units. But then the wheels fell off and I ended and I quit at play #60 up only +5 units because I was facing a 5 bet. In between plays #45 and #60 I had gone down to +7 up to +15 and back down to the finish at +5. I really should have stopped at +15 coming back up from +7, but I had been doing so well I really felt I was going to come back in that shoe, but it ultimately just didn’t work out.

Like I said in part 1, I finished after that shoe, because the next shoe was a brand new shoe and I didn’t want to play it and it was getting late and I had the drive home ahead of me. All in all it was a great first NOR outing. I played 5 shoes, bet U1D2 the whole time and got to try out all three systems, switching between modes 2 and 3, and even switching systems mid shoe. I was pleased with the overall outcome of +40 units and happy I have paid for my NOR purchase in my first trip.

P.S. I couldn't help myself after such a good first trip, so I went back this past Saturday. Another trip report coming soon, and let me just say, it's another good one.

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Trip Report 8-10-13 (Second trip to Lauberge) – Part 1

Ok, so my first trip two days prior had gone pretty good and I didn’t have any plans on Saturday, so I decided to drive back to the casino and give NOR another run. These trip reports are time consuming to write, but I always enjoy reading about other’s trips and how they did, so I definitely want to contribute a little back to the forum.

Arrived about 1:00pm and didn’t settle on a table until about thirty minutes later. I just couldn’t find one that looked good, and when I did finally sit down at a table, I managed to finish that shoe only up +1 unit. Started the second shoe at the table at play #2 OTBLM3 and after play #9 it was 1 banker to eight players, so on play #10 I went F2 on the strong side and by play #52 I was +17 for the second time and should have quit, but oh no, I pressed it, and didn’t follow the half decade management rules and ended the shoe -2. Talk about being really mad, not mad at the way the game went, just mad at myself for not being smarter. I mean I didn’t even quit when I was +1 facing the 3 bet, to at least preserve a win. Just stupid! Unfortunately that’s not the last stupid thing I do on this trip as you’ll read later.

The third shoe at that table started OTBLM3 at play #2, switched to S40M3 at play #17 and cruised through the shoe without much drama and finished up +13 units. I was feeling a little better after that shoe. The fourth shoe went smooth as well. Started OTBLM3 at play #2 again and it was an easy ride to +20 units finishing up at play #56 because I needed to hit the restroom and stretch a little. These games just move at a snail’s pace it seems like. They are no touch, but the tables are full, the dealers are slow with the payouts and commission tracking and then wait for what seems like forever to then deal the next hand. I’m not sure why they move so slow, you’d think the casinos would want them to pick up the pace.

In another thread in the NOR forum, titled Rivers Casino, the poster writes about how there are nine spots on the tables there, but the casino lets people play from behind, effectively making up to 18 spots on the table. This is exactly the same scenario here at Lauberge. There are players who just float around all the tables. They swoop in and make bets right on top of the seated player’s bets, or put tie bets or Dragon bonus bets up next to the player or banker bets. It’s crazy. Now it doesn’t really bother me if they do that with people they know, or even if they politely ask me, it’s when they just did it without asking that really annoyed me. That only happened to me twice. The first time someone added a green to my player bet, we lost, no big deal. The second was when someone added $10 to my banker bet at the last second before I could object. The hand won and this guy scooped up his $20 and rolled. At first I didn’t think anything of it other than to be annoyed, but then I realized I got stuck with his portion of the commission. Now I was pissed, granted it was only $0.50, but it’s the principal of the matter that got me mad. The dealer didn’t even see a problem with it, so I guess it happens all the time there. Fortunately after that, no one else tried to bet over me on my hand so I didn’t have to say no.

I finally get back to the table just as that last shoe was finishing up that I had left a little earlier and I waited for the new shoe to start. Now please take it easy on me after I tell you about this shoe. I’m really embarrassed to post this one, but I’ve got to be honest about my play to myself, so I might as well be honest about it here. Maybe my mistakes will help others learn not to make the same. What can I say about this shoe, other than I blew it big time and there is no excuse for it. Here it is: I started as usual at play #2 OTBLM3 and by play #8 I was at -5 units facing a 4 bet, I made it, so now I’m down -9 facing a 5 bet. Dumb me actually makes the 5 bet and loses so I’m down -14 after only play #10. But I don’t quit there, oh no, I keep going. I draw a line and at play #11 I switch to F2 (its 3B/7P at this point) and start my progression over with a 1 bet. Then I switch to S40 at play #18 and I get all the way back to -2 by play #36. Then I switch again to OTBL and wind up ending the shoe losing my 2, 3, 4 & 5 bets and managing to finish -20 units all by play #47. WOW!! It’s really ugly I know. I got up from the table and walked around for a bit in a daze, trying to decide if I should just leave or find a new table and keep playing. I was still up +12 units despite the disaster of my own making, so I decided to stay. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time, other than I must have figured I had done so well on the previous two shoes that I thought I couldn’t lose. Big mistake and it cost me.

To be continued……

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Thanks Gman. Reading your sojourns into the field, really helps. Particularly with your candour with your mistakes. We've all been hooked by our determination to not let the casino win, and it's beaten us. Like else says, "it's not you vs the casino. It's you vs you."

I have a friend who has played for years and has a particular bias when he plays (regularly chases Player for some reason). He was behind, and staked his entire bankroll ($20K) on a bet. Do you know what the bet was? There were 16 B's iar. He thought it surely must come in P. So he slammed it down. You can guess the rest... We've been friends for years, and I love him dearly... and how could he be so STUPID?! The hook had him.

And after years, he still was not able to beat himself.

One thing that might help. I've been following your scorecards. You've used the system Ellis has designed, and your scorecards are really clean and easy to follow. I used to work in finance with exposure to options trading. I heeded the advice of way2fast & Ellis with the half-decade cash management, so on my scorecards when I hit a profit I engage the -5 stoploss by drawing a line and then writing in the new exit point (kind of like an options straddle). That is, once I hit +6 (the first exit point that a -5 stoploss will allow an exit with a profit of +1), I draw a slash under the current score and, like the base of a fraction write in +1. e.g. +6/+1. It trails up but only the top trails back.

For example... +6/+1; +7/+2; +6/+2; +4/+2; +7/+2; +8/+3; +7/+3; +5/+3; +8/+3; etc

If the shoe unleashes a bundle of goodness on you, you climb that stairway to heaven, if it goes to crap, it's in black and white in front of you. One of the rules of management is 'what can be measured, can be managed." I kinda see it as adding one extra layer of management in our pursuit of making it like a business. Hopefully it might prove helpful. Not that you need my help, you are blazing a trail man!

I understand your frustration with the 'overhanging' players. In my casino, the manners are so bad, that while I'm standing respectfully behind the table to get the 'lay of the land', other players will purposefully walk in between me and the players chairs, bumping me backwards at the same time, when there is a thousand square foot behind me to walk around. Some people...grrrr.

Outstanding work Gman!

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Thanks Chief.

I really like your "options straddle" approach. That's a very easy way to approach cash management in the game and a good visual right on the scorecard to follow. I can always use some help and your idea looks to be a really good tool I think I could incorporate into my play. Obviously I still have to follow the plan and not deviate once I implement it, which is turning out to be the harder part.

I've tried to figure out why I'm having trouble with that and I think I have an idea. Here's my theory. I don't make it to the casino very often, maybe once a month if I'm lucky. But when I do find the time to go, it's not just a drive down the street. It's over a two hour drive and it's usually on a weekend. I know I'm only going to have a short amount of time while there, so I want to play as much as I can. There in lies the problem. I'm usually forced to find the first seat open and when I do find a seat, I don't want to get up, because again, the tables are usually full and it's hard to get a seat at another table. So if I get down early at the first table or hit a stop-loss, I hate having to get up and start all over finding another table and then waiting for a seat. I know this causes a real problem with table selection and it's something I'll have to figure out.

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Yeah I know what you mean. At the moment, my schedule is doing the same to me. It's discouraging when you've looked forward to some live casino time, and the first couple of table choices are not all wine & roses. Lately, I've been seeing a perfect table and it's been chockablock with tyrekickers and rude timewasters. OR, I sit down at a table that looks good, but I've misjudged it. That all eats into my available time. Frustrating, but it is what it is.

Funny enough in my casino the management seems to have tried to 'massage' the treasure they extract from the sheeple by removing all $100 bet tables and changing them to $150, $200, $300s. They've shot themselves in the foot because in order to not lose the 'dawdler' traffic they've opened a heap of $20 tables in the other part of the casino. Patience usually yields a spot in that area.

Also, this is a little bit 'out there' but working on the mental side of the game, I've been reading some quotes from Dr John Lilly. I don't know if you can make something out of this...

"In the province of the mind, what is believed to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the province of the mind, there are no limits."

Also, I was thinking of another idea for cash management, and maybe Ellis might like to weigh in with his superior expertise (I'm very good with strategy, VERY BAD with maths!!!), for when the shoe starts looking like it might head stratospherically. I've looked at Ellis' posts about +30 or even +40 shoes, and thought that there possibly should be a progression that broadens the 'straddle'. I tried on some practice shoes last night, and thought maybe something like when the score hits +11, the stop loss should remain at either half the gain point, or at a fixed point (say -5 until you hit +15, then it becomes a -10 stop loss).

There certainly seems a need to adapt your play to the shoes that prostrate themselves in front of your wealth accrual plans! Maybe it's best engaged if you switch to U1D1...

Anyway, sorry this is not more cogent.

For now I'm going back to my notes. I'm still misjudging when I should be M2 as opposed to M3.:mad:

Good luck mate. Good luck all.

Chief

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Trip Report 8-10-13 (Second trip to Lauberge) – Part 2

Ok, so after a little while of my dazed and confused wandering around the tables I found a table that looked promising. I sized it up as an OTBL table, and jumped in at play #34, by play #50 I lost my 3 bet to put me down -6. I was super mad at myself for making the next 4 bet, which lost, and just like that I was down -10. Thank goodness I got up and walked away. I was steaming now, starting to doubt everything about my play, but the more I thought about it, I just didn’t think I was playing the systems that bad, I was just hitting some bad spots in the shoes, but more importantly, I wasn’t following the stop loss rules and it was costing me.

After walking around a little more, believe it or not I went back to the first table I had been playing at and my same seat was open. I looked at the board and liked what I saw so I sat back down and started at play #24 with OTBLM3 and ended up finishing out the shoe at +8 units.

I started the next shoe the same way at play #2 and after play #32 I didn’t like the way the shoe was going and thought it was turning really choppy, so I switched to S40 at the next play and managed to finish up that shoe +13 units.

Things were looking a little better at this point. I was starving by now, since I hadn’t had a bite to eat in five or six hours, so I got up and went to grab a quick snack after that last shoe. By the time I got back the next shoe had already started and was finishing up play #9. The board looked OTBL so I stayed with what was working on that color shoe last time around and I finished up at play #65 with +10 units.

I decided to start the next shoe S40M2, since that is what it seemed to favor the last go around and sure enough that proved a good call. It was pretty smooth sailing all the way through the shoe and I decided to quit at play #54 while I was up +21 units.

At this point I calculated I was up pretty good and it was already really late. I had a long drive home ahead of me and was glad I was going to be leaving on a more positive note than what I thought it might be earlier. All in all, another good trip despite the way I ignored the stop-loss rules several times. This second trip ended +1 -2 +13 +20 -20 -10 +8 +13 +10 +21 = +54 units.

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Trip Report 8-10-13 (Second trip to Lauberge) – Part 2

Things were looking a little better at this point. I was starving by now, since I hadn’t had a bite to eat in five or six hours, so I got up and went to grab a quick snack after that last shoe. By the time I got back the next shoe had already started and was finishing up play #9. The board looked OTBL so I stayed with what was working on that color shoe last time around and I finished up at play #65 with +10 units.

.

Hi Gman,

It sounds like you are driving to the casino in the afternoon after work ?

it occurred to me that you might consider a light snack before you start playing. perhaps do a quick scout of the casino and then get something to eat. You may be less likely to make poor decisions if your brain is fed.

On the other hand , the snack may be detrimental, because you seem to be doing well enough as it is .

May be some other members may have an opinion on this .

good hunting,

Wendel

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I used to always take gensing before playing BJ but I was after more of a hyper sensation in order to play head to head very fast. The faster you play the more card values you retain. The photograph of the last cards lingers on your brain. This helps greatly in BJ.

But for Bac, I prefer a more relaxed but very aware mood.

I did notice our players marking their cards correctly but then puting their bet up on the wrong side quite often. We ALL make that mistake now and then. It is good to make a final check to insure you have the right bet up on the right side.

Also when playing with friends it is good to get in the habit of checking your friends bets as well and allowing them to check yours.

I recall in MGM's high stakes room I happened to look up and all 5 of our other players had their $50 bet up on the wrong side. I quickly put my finger on my bet so the dealer couldn't deal and yelled HEY, OTB4L! They all quickly changed their bets just in time - a $500 swing. Then, a little later, I had put my own bet up on the wrong side. They quickly corrected me just in time.

One mistake - I wake myself up!

Two Mistakes - is a warning!

Three mistakes - I quit because I'm no longer in condition to play.

Hi Gman,

It sounds like you are driving to the casino in the afternoon after work ?

it occurred to me that you might consider a light snack before you start playing. perhaps do a quick scout of the casino and then get something to eat. You may be less likely to make poor decisions if your brain is fed.

On the other hand , the snack may be detrimental, because you seem to be doing well enough as it is .

May be some other members may have an opinion on this .

good hunting,

Wendel

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Trip Report 8-10-13 (Second trip to Lauberge) – Part 2

Ok, so after a little while of my dazed and confused wandering around the tables I found a table that looked promising....

gman, table selection is the most important thing you do all day long. You need to be in your BEST condition. If you get that function right, your whole day goes better.

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gman, table selection is the most important thing you do all day long.

I understand that table selection is critical, but my problem is the times I am able to get to the casino are usually weekends when it is most crowded and table selection is made very difficult when the good tables I spot are all full. I guess I could be one of those over the shoulder players, but I think that would make it very difficult to keep a score card and hold my chips. I don't want to play that way. I guess I need to work on finding better times to get to the casino, and that is going to be tough with my current life schedule.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Guys,

Many of you talk about having problems finding an open seat. I facedi the same issiues, where I was forced to play a difficult or marginal

shoe simply because all other tables were full. I would think that that would not be a problem in Atlantic City, as you could just walk over to a neighboring casino for a better game. What's your opinion? Also, which AC casinos have the most Baccarat tables? Thank you for sharing. Sakana

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