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More Tales From 2+2: A Very Controversial $70k prop bet

I enjoyed writing up and seeing positive feedback from this post so I decided to write up about an interesting prop bet that came from the 2+2 poker forums that I feel went under the radar. It's way longer than I thought it would be but this story has it all: large amounts of money being bet, furious grinding, 25 buy in swings, community outrage and Doug Polk.

The Site

The modern cash game grinder may be surprised to hear that there used to be a Sharkscope style tracking website for online cash games, it was called PokerTableRatings or PTR. It tracked hands fairly accurately. Today, it doesn’t exist and has been shut down for years but it was a valuable resource for grinders and having one browser open to check out opponents was useful. PTR showed your graph and win rates at different stakes, it also had an achievement system. Some achievements were serious like ‘1 Million Dollars In Profit’ and some were less serious like ‘Check Raise 3 Times In A Hand’. One coveted achievement given by PTR was the ‘Ultimate Grinder’. This was given to the most profitable player each month at each stake, this was all tracked on the Ultimate Grinder Leaderboard. So for example: if you are the top of the leaderboard for 50NL in December 2008, you will receive the ‘Ultimate Grinder December 50nl 2008’ badge on your PTR profile.

The Bets

The year is 2010. Johnathon Duhamel has won the WSOP Main Event. Poker, especially online poker is still booming. The grinders are plentiful. The fish are more plentiful. Posts flow on 2+2 like wine.
Enter Silent_0ne. He puts out a proposition bet on BBV (Beats, Brags and Variance: a subforum of 2+2 which is the precursor to Poker’s weekly BBV thread). Back in the golden days of online poker and 2+2 it was common for large prop bets to be made on BBV. Silent_0ne’s prop bet is he will be the ultimate grinder for December 2010 at 100nl. No easy feat, the previous months' ultimate grinders had won between $12k-18k and Silent_0ne claimed to have never played more than 10 tables or ever played on Pokerstars. The odds were set at 6:1 odds in Silent’s_0ne’s favour. Jalexand42 was selected to be the escrow and judge of this prop bet, so he will be the middleman for the money and he will arbitrate any disputes. The rules were set down covered many different situations. The judge was confident of this:
Jalexand42: Just a quick note about the judging... I'm optimistic there won't be any controversy in this bet the way the rules have been defined. (#83)
He would turn out to be so wrong.
Many 2+2 posters weighed their opinions in and started to place bets:
Chicago Joey (Joey Ingram): damn that is going to be interesting for a bunch of reasons(#46)
Canoodles: If I was OP, I wouldn't take this for less than 100-1. (#18)
Chinz: Settling for 6-1 and doing it on December when lots of SNE chasers are playing really high volume... You don't seem to like money. (#218)
Nearly all the posters doubted Silent_0ne but he seemed confident and Jalexand42 started collecting money.
By the 28th November, with 3 days to go until the challenge begins the bets were placed and finalized, 14 people put up between $600-$3k. Silent_0ne stood to gain $67,500 or lose $11,250 from the bet alone. In just a few days he would put himself at the mercy of variance and would dedicate himself to destroying 100nl. If he overcomes this challenging month, he stood to win a significant amount of money.

The Play

December the first rolled in and Silent_0ne starting playing. It was a rocky start for him, he finished day two down more than $2k and received comments from 2+2 posters like:
ChicagoJoey [Joey Ingram]: lol trainwreck (#392)
MinSixBet: are you still taking action? (#399)
But some posters really believed in him and were rooting hard:
Eaglesfan1: Forget about the leaderboard and focus on your game and playing ur best. (#406)
However things got worse and Silent_one seemed to be losing hope, on day 4 he posted this:
Silent_0ne: just got owned
bad rly bad "hero call" for big pot
set of 8s < set of As
KK < AK
bad river bluff shove
set of 6s < str
10s < Js
AK < AA
AK on AK6 board < 66
AA < 99 on 974 board
^ all greater than 200 big blind pots
could have prevented half of those if I didnt suck so much (#410)
Day 5 and Silent_0ne was doing better but was down a few buy ins, still far behind his target. Remember, he needs to be number one in profit in the massive 2010 pool of 100nl Pokerstars players. He posted this astonishing hand:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Silent_0ne: $568.55 UTG+1: $444.30 UTG+2: $519.10 MP1: $226.75 Hero (MP2): $257.70 CO: $250.00 BTN: $100.00 SB: $257.70 BB: $120.90
Pre Flop: ($3.30) Silent_0ne is MP2 with 9h9c
Silent_0ne raises to $4.80, UTG+1 raises to $18.60, 1 fold, MP1 calls $18.60, 5 folds, Silent_0ne calls $13.80
Flop: ($59.10) 2h8s5s(3 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 bets $32, MP1 folds, Silent_0ne raises to $92, UTG+1 calls $60
Turn: ($243.10) Kc (2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 checks
River: ($243.10) 4s (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $127, UTG+1 raises to $333.50 all in, Silent_0ne calls $206.50
Final Pot: $910.10
Silent_0ne shows 9h9c (a pair of Nines)
UTG+1 shows 9dJc (high card King)
Silent_0ne wins $907.10
As you can see, 2010 was truly an amazing place for online poker.
Silent_0ne was bringing out his inner grinder and was playing 16 hour sessions and seeing huge swings in the first week. Day 7 and he posted some hands that shocked the community and his growing fan base:
DPred123: wtf at those HHs. (#520)
Transa: LoLolLololooLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL (#521)
Here are two of the hands he posted:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Pre Flop: ($3.30) MP1: $365.20 Hero (CO): $342.35 Silent_0ne is CO with 7s7d
3 folds, MP1 raises to $4, 1 fold, Silent_0ne raises to $15.50, 3 folds, MP1 raises to $41.90, Silent_0ne raises to $342.15 all in, MP1 calls $300.25
Flop: ($687.60) ThKc6s(2 players - 1 is all in)
Turn: ($687.60) Ts (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($687.60) 2h (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $687.60
MP1 shows AcAh (two pair, Aces and Tens)
and:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 3 players
BTN: $656.85 Silent_0ne(SB): $288.00 BB: $345.00
Pre Flop: ($2.10) Silent_0ne is SB with 4d4h
BTN raises to $3, Silent_0ne raises to $12, 1 fold, BTN calls $9
Flop: ($25.60) 3h6d5s(2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BTN bets $18, Silent_0ne raises to $275.80 all in, BTN calls $257.80
Turn: ($577.20) Js (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($577.20) 9c (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $577.20
BTN shows 3d5d (two pair, Fives and Threes)
Hero Silent_0ne 4h4h (a pair of Fours)
BTN wins $576.20
Silent_0ne explained:
Silent_0ne: barely ate anything last few days. i just get up and play, dont prepare anything. im playing right now btw. down around 2700$ for the month. im really dumb for spewing off 3k+ just cause i was tilted/ran bad, and snapped. another problem that people overlook is the extra attention i get at the tables for doing this prop bet. lots of regs can exploit my plays and then all tend to focus on owning me. (#554)
Silent_0ne had started the month on a $3k downswing, then won $2.5k before going on another $3k downswing in just one week. He must have felt desperate as after an hour and a half Silent_0ne had an idea and events took a shocking turn:
Silent_0ne: any interested if i give up 100nl and start tomorrow on day 7 at 50nl to try and get the badge there for 6 to 1. i wanna gamble and break even on the month, so im willing to put up 5k on this if any1 is interested? (#570)
This new bet must have seemed too good to be true. At this point he had been relentlessly grinding 100nl for a week, was losing badly, he was tilting, was likely playing more tables than he can handle and he’s a week behind getting to the top of the 50nl leaderboard. The bets started to pour in and within an hour he had 7 people place action. The community commented:
Absurd: This is adsurd (#601)
jalexand42: Seriously, take a day to cool off. (#599)
King Fish: I'd be interested but highly advise you to reconsider this and maybe take an hour and step back. Edit: will take $1800 to your $300 assuming same judge and escrow. (#574)
loK2thabrain: I call dibs on first bet when he moves down to win the 25nl badge. (#700)
Everyone on the thread couldn’t believe what they reading, However, Silent_0ne seemed to accept that the 100nl bet was dead and he wasn’t getting the $67k prop bet win. He was willing to pay the $11k out and enter a new prop bet. Now, being the Ultimate Grinder at 50nl is his goal. Again, the bets were substantial and he had 8:1 odds in his favour for being the Ultimate Grinder for December at 50nl. The same day he made the new bet, he started at 50nl and was off.

The New Bet

Enter Fees. Fees is the 2+2 username of Ryan Fee (Currently on Team Upswing), at this point he was known for being a fearsome 2000nl grinder and writing Ryan Fee’s 6 max guide, which he distributed for free. In a world where succinct and good poker strategy was hard to come by, this was a valuable guide for many players. He takes interest in the thread on the 7th of December:
Fees i'll take all the action, PM me (#746)
Fees booked action late and the details of this booking were not listed in the thread. The next day, Fees acts a question about the rules:
Fees: what if kerpowski or jeffmet wins the ugl and he gets second? (#878)
Kerpowski and Jeffmet are players who took action against Silent_0ne. They are also 50/100nl grinders. The case of fellow grinders taking action was covered in the rules. A poster quotes the rules and informs Fees that they have to be existing 50nl/100nl grinders. Fees then asks the following question:
Fees: i think that implies at the same tables as him, but what if they just play completely different games and just win the ugl?
Remember these probing questions, they’ll become relevant later.
By the 10th of December things looked tough for Silent_0ne, the player of the top of the 50nl leaderboard was already at $2.5k profit (50 buy ins). Silent_0ne was up $1.1k and estimated he was only 2-3 days behind pace. By the 12th of December he was still playing brutally long sessions:
Silent_0ne: just finished 11 hour session, too tired to post anything, ill go to bed for a couple hours then post graphs/hands when i wake up. was tilted throughout entire session, played 12k hands...eyes burn...ran bad for once (6 buyins below ev)
He also posted eight hands that looked pretty spewy, here is one of them:
Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em $0.10 Ante - 5 players BB: $50.00 UTG: $103.40 CO: $137.65 BTN: $133.00 Silent_0ne (SB): $144.60
Pre Flop: ($1.25) Hero is SB with AdQh
1 fold, CO raises to $1.50, BTN calls $1.50, Silent_0ne calls $1.25, BB calls $1
Flop: ($6.50) 6c6d6s(4 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BB checks, CO bets $4, BTN folds, Silent_0ne raises to $14.75, BB folds, CO calls $10.75
Turn: ($36.00) 8h (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $25.75, CO calls $25.75
River: ($87.50) 4d (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $102.50 all in, CO calls $95.55 all in
Final Pot: $278.60
CO shows JdJc (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)
Silent_0ne shows AdQh (three of a kind, Sixes)
CO wins $276.60
Even people taking action against him gave him advice:
King Fish: I am speechless … It's NL50. Stop trying to get so fancy. (#1038)
But then, Silent_0ne has an explosive session and is up an incredible $2800 in one day, that’s 56 buy ins! The posters go wild as he moves into 3rd place on the 50nl Ultimate Grinder leaderboard:
  1. vaike $3,142, 19.38 Hands BB/100
  2. zzn1980 $2,833, 2.46 Hands BB/100
  3. Silent_0ne69 $2,634, 5.19 Hands B/100
For the first time people are starting to believe that he can do this.
Fast forward to the next day, December 13th and with another miraculous winning session he reaches number one on the leaderboard. He has $3.4k profit at 50nl and number two is close behind with $3.1k, if he can maintain his win rate of 6b/100 hands then he should have a very real chance of making an incredible comeback.
14th December. Fees posts:
Fees: still taking action, I want 2:1
Despite Silent_0ne being top of the leaderboard when he posted this and Fees already buying action Fees seemed willing to take 2:1 in Silent_0ne’s favour.
Soon after, a poster in the thread reveals that:
tightmaniac: fees is 4th
It is revealed that Fees who is normally a 2000nl player is playing 50nl HU and is 4th on the leaderboard. HU 50nl still counts towards the 50nl leaderboard. With the higher rate of hands of HU, bigger winrates of HU and Fees' skill, it could mean he would soon reach the top of the leaderboard. 10 minutes after TightManic’s post Fees lowers his odds:
Fees: Looking to take action on this at 1:1 (#1180)
The judge weighs in:
Jalexand42: If fees' didn't disclose this to whoever has his action, it's obviously pretty questionable, although that probably should have been asked. As far as the prop bet tho, I specifically asked Silent whether HU players should be included/excluded and he said included. The rules clearly don't exclude some random player from dropping down and playing $50nl (or $100nl for the original bet). They DO clearly state that people who bet against Silent one as part of the prop bet are NOT allowed to interfere with the bet, but I don't have anything to do with whatever side action fees may have on this. I told kerpowski last night that I didn't want him to play HU to try to win the badge, since I felt like it was a gray area in the intent of the rules (since he obviously doesn't normally play those stakes).
Kind of sucks for OP if this is going on, but I can't really change the rules after it's started since that would affect the people that bet against Silent. (#1196)
As of the 15 December Silent_0ne was still top of the board with $4.4k and most posters were expressing their displeasure if Fees were to continue playing 50nl. Silent_0ne drops this bombshell:
Silent_0ne: ‘2. Actions must be in accordance with the intent of having a fair prop bet. No actions (chip dumping, collusion, ghosting/coaching players on Silent_0ne's tables, etc) can be taken with the intent to affect the outcome of the prop bet. Violations will result in the violator's action being forfeited and may result in additional modification/extention to neutralize the interference.’ [Silent_0ne is quoting the rules here.] ‘The spirit of the bet is that OP is competing against players who 'really' play NL100, both ring and heads up.’
I know a friend of Fees and his friend said he was legit and everything. alittle after the bet started and action was full, fees approached me and my friend about taking additional action at 10 to 1. my friend and I took an additional 2.5k to his 25k and escrowed to wcgrider. the bet was under the assumption that the same rules as the 100nl bet were going to be used, and whatever the judge decides would be final.
so given the quotes above, it is against the rules that someone betting against me should also be able to compete against me given that he does not regularly play at 50nl (he plays 6max 2knl and WON the UGL badge last month at that stake) also, im not allowed to play 50nl HU which is really fishy and easy to win the UGL badge at if you put in enough volume.
regardless of if fees action is with Jalex or not, i think the same rules apply, because he is not a regular at the stakes and he accepted the same rules when making the bet with my friend and I going to eat something then start up a grind session, hopefully I continue to crush and run good, though my heart has sunk when I looked at fees in forth, and I feel ill and tilted (#1205)
Silent_0ne posted that he did a deal, off with main thread with 10 to 1 odds (Fees betting $25k to Silent_0ne’s $2.5k that Silent_0ne will win ultimate grinder 50nl) with Fees and that WCGRider (Doug Polk, currently of Upswing Poker and poker Youtube fame) is the escrow, not Jalexand42. Most posters now seem outraged:
King Fish: Wow what an angle shoot by Fees on this. This does help define the measure of what type of person he is that he is even attempting it. (#1207)
Tumaterminator: sickest hustle ever. (#1210)
kp1022: wait, doeboyfre$h is fees?
he sat me in 50nl HU a few days ago FWIW
after PTR'ing him , i asked why was he playing so low? he replied, "busto" (#1234)
Some of the posters were trying to play Fees at the 50nl in attempt to slow down his winning streak and tell Fees that he is breaking the rules. Silent_0ne expressed his displeasure and downed mental state:
Silent_0ne: this is horrible. im going to start my first grind right now. imo what fees is doing is against the rules and is unfair. i really hope i dont lose alot right now, but im in a pretty poor emotional state
please whoever is decent, sit it up with fees and discouarge him to continue what hes doing. 2knl player won badge last month, makes big bet against me and decides to compete for 50nl badge against me... (#1267)
For the first time in a few days Fees posts:
Fees: Hey,
Just to clear a few things up,
  1. I haven't broken any rules, there isn't a rule that explicitly states that I cannot win the UGL.
  2. I'm not trying to scam/do anything shady/etc, when I made the bet I posted in this thread asking if a bettor could win the UGL […] anyway I'm going to try and win the 50nl UGL this month... I haven't done anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with me going for it.
Then, an enflamed debate about the rules erupts, almost every poster is furious at Fees
Silent_0ne: had a conversation with WCGRider over the phone. the assumption was that jalex is the judge of this bet, and his word is final. WCGRider is simply just an escrow. fees and I agreed on the rules of the bet and having jalex of the judge. #1352
Then WCGRider (Doug Polk) posts for the first time:
WCGRider: Wanted to make a quick post here because i talked to colin earlier about this and i want to clear up a few things.
First off, I was never told i was going to be an escrow. I literally woke up with colins [Silent_0ne] money in my account. I was never asked anything, I was never told anything, I just was sent the money and thats it.
So now im being brought into this to make a decision, which i dont think really is fair. I haven't read any of this thread, I haven't read the rules. Also, fees has to be one of my best friends here in las vegas, and I want that to be clear before i give my opinion about this. I think its sort of unfair that i get put into this situation.
jalexand42 then posts his judgment in a lengthy post (#1526) but I believe this excerpt sums it up:
jalexand42: So, while it is not UNFAIR of fees to be playing $50nl, he has CLEARLY taken actions that will influence the outcome of the bet IF he wins the UGL for $50nl for December. Fees would clearly NOT be playing $50nl (and in fact is still playing his normal stakes) if he didn't have action on this bet. Fees also clearly understood this was a questionable area with regard to the rules based on his posts in this thread and he did not clarify it with the judge. He posts also indicate clearly that he felt he was subject to the rules. Therefore, I rule that Fees' standing on the UGL for December WILL BE IGNORED for purposes of determining this bet if he wins.
Many posters praise Jalexand42. But Jalexand42 does not have the money from the sidebet between Silent_0ne and Fees. WCGrider does. Silent_0ne gives his piece of mind and a quick poker update:
Silent_0ne: yes, i agree with this [Jalexand42's judgment].
also, fees can keep the 25k in the bet without any forfiet. im just really happy things worked out okay.
however i probably should have read this before my session I just played. probably wouldnt have spewed as much at the endodays been my worst day since the start of the 50nl bet so far. gonna play 1 more session later tonight and going to be in alot better and focused mood (#1561)
Then, another bombshell drops, a friend of WCRrider’s reveals that Fees didn’t even escrow his money to Doug:
theskillzdatklls: Afaik, Fees did not ship his $25k share to Doug, only Colin [Silent_0ne] sent his part. (#1669)
2+2 reacts:
Handbaggio: LOL wtf, fees hasn't escrowed his bet??? (#1676)
rnb0sprnkles: LOL and when I thought the drama was starting to die down, the thread gets even crazier (#1698)
Jalexand42 has a conversation with WCGRider to reach an agreement and reports:
Jalexand42: Okay, so here's the summary of my conversation with WCGRider:
  1. He is only holding Silent & the_most's action, $2,500.
  2. He did talk to Fees. Fees told him he was going to talk to Colin [Silent_0ne] today and 'hopes to work out something reasonable'.
  3. I asked what that means, he said he didn't feel like he could tell me, because he felt like what Fees told him was as a friend, but that it sounded fair in WCGRider's opinion.
  4. WCGRider said he thought my decision making sounded reasonable.
  5. WCGrider said that noone told him what to do, so he figured he was just holding on to Silent's money.
  6. I told WCGrider I was willing for him to ship me the $2.5k now if he was feeling uncomfortable, he said he'd wait to see what Silent & Fees work out. ( #1703)
Back to actual poker and Silent_0ne reports a bad losing session on the 16th December citing all the ongoing drama:
Silent_0ne: 22 buyin downswing im playing really bad right now, and I really wish I didn't have to think about and deal with all these other problems.
The community are rooting really hard to him at this point and are all telling him to stay strong. Things start to get messy when Jalexand42 speaks with WCGRider and Fees and in a long post ( #1957) said that WCGRider protested his participation was unfair and Jalexand42 accused him of not of not already sending the $25k to Jalexand42. Fees also tried to offer Silent_0ne a $1k buy out saying it was ‘super generous’, it was refused. Silent_0ne states that the reason fees doesn't want his money escrowed by Jalexand42 is that he is afraid that his bet will be forfeited due to breaking the rules. WCGRider chimed in to defend himself (he also spoke about playing 50nl-100nl and having a rough year, which is interesting as he developed into the top HU player for a time and couldn’t get action, even at the highest stakes.) The 2+2 community then debate and lightly harass WCGRider and Fees to concede and send the money to Jalexand42. Fees finally agrees to a 50% buyout.

The Outcome

On the 17th of December and Silent_0ne slips to number 2 on the leaderboards.
  1. vaike $3,835 ,17.44BB/100
  2. Silent_0ne69 $3,523, 4.25BB/100
Silent_0ne then makes a post that changes everything:
Silent_0ne : Hello everyone
firstly, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this bet. i cant stress how much it meant to me to see any post wishing me goodluck, or someone pming me given me some life lessons and more encouragement.
ive been approached by the bettors on numerous occasions regarding a buyout. the original buyout deal offered was 33%. eventually 37% was offered, and then 44%, and finally I agreed on 50% of total wagers from all 6 bettors as their buyout.
I am not really satisfied with a buyout, and I was not the one originally looking for the buyout. the bettors wanted it and I decided to see what they had to offer. what I wanted was time to spend with friends and family throughout the christmas break. With continuing this bet, I do have alot of confidence of accomplishing it, but at the expense of isolation through one of the most special times of each year. My family was mad at me when I tried explaining to them I probably wouldn't be able to particpate in any family events and have much if any celebration of christmas.
my goal the next 14 days was to just grind it out 10 hours each day with breaks inbetween, and sleep. Instead I will be able to go back to my regular, stress free grinding, and shipping 50% of the total wagers after half the month as gone by. In the end, including both the 100nl and 50nl prop bets, I made a net of roughly +20k. The other two options would be risking a net of -20k or a net of +60k. I took the variance free route, and all the bettors did the same thing. None of us wanted to lose the bet obviously, so I think we worked out a fair resolution with this buyout.
I have no hard feelings against fees or wcg rider. Perhaps a different scenerio would have occured if the recent issues did not occur, but thats in the past now and i'm looking forwards to a postive future. (#2511)
So, in the end all the parties involved reached a buyout agreement on the 50nl prop bet. Silent_0ne would stop playing the 50nl prop bet and would be up $20k. The community replies:
Ditch Digger: Silent, nice job. 50% is more than reasonable. (#2516)
kelnel: gg on +20k, u rocked!! (#2520)
shhhnake_eyes: I call this the most anticlimactic finish ever. (#2522)
Link to original thread.
Note: Please note I’ve tried to be impartial in writing this. Please let me know publicly or privately if there are any errors or you feel I misrepresented something or someone. The quotes I’ve included don’t always show the full post made but I’ve included the post number in each quote so you can read it on 2+2 in full context. If you want to be fully informed you should read the whole 2+2 thread.
submitted by GiantHorse to poker [link] [comments]

[Online Poker/Proposition Bets] A Very Controversial $70k Proposition Bet

I wrote this article on poker and I thought it would go down well here, it has some online poker hand histories and some poker lingo but it’s not vital to the story. The post is pretty long but it’s got it all: large amounts of money being bet, degenerate behavior and community outrage in the world of online poker. To give some context, poker was and still is taken very seriously by many people. Some of these poker players are professional players and some are professional players online. Online poker was very popular between ‘The Poker Boom’ of 2003 and ‘Black Friday’ of 2011 and serious money could be made with hard work, careful money management and discipline. It was (and still could be) possible to achieve winrates of $20-300+ an hour. The 2+2 Poker forums were incredibly popular during these times; the following post chronicles a proposition bet on the 2+2 forums. A proposition bet is where someone takes bets on the likelihood of them completing a task.
Here’s a quick glossary:
Buy in: The normal amount of money that you buy in for in a poker cash game
50nl/100nl: The way to describe online stakes. 50nl means the big blind is 50 cents and that the normal buy in is for $50, $100nl means the big blind is $1 and the normal buy in is $100.
HU: Heads up, this means just two players in a hand. It’s considered to be a skillful and difficult form of poker
Escrow: A third party who takes care of cash in a bet or trade. They should only move cash as agreed by both sides or the rules set.
Grinder: Some who plays a large volume of hands. Usually a serious player. If they play online, they may play 4-12 tables of poker at once.
Fish: A weaker poker player

The Site

The modern cash game grinder may be surprised to hear that there used to be a Sharkscope style tracking website for online cash games, it was called PokerTableRatings or PTR. It tracked hands fairly accurately. Today, it doesn’t exist and has been shut down for years but it was a valuable resource for grinders and having one browser open to check out opponents was useful. PTR showed your graph and win rates at different stakes, it also had an achievement system. Some achievements were serious like ‘1 Million Dollars In Profit’ and some were less serious like ‘Check Raise 3 Times In A Hand’. One coveted achievement given by PTR was the ‘Ultimate Grinder’. This was given to the most profitable player each month at each stake, this was all tracked on the Ultimate Grinder Leaderboard. So for example: if you are the top of the leaderboard for 50NL in December 2008, you will receive the ‘Ultimate Grinder December 50nl 2008’ badge on your PTR profile.

The Bets

The year is 2010. Johnathon Duhamel has won the WSOP Main Event. Poker, especially online poker is still booming. The grinders are plentiful. The fish are more plentiful. Posts flow on 2+2 like wine.
Enter Silent_0ne. He puts out a proposition bet on BBV (Beats, Brags and Variance: a subforum of 2+2 which is the precursor to Poker’s weekly BBV thread). Back in the golden days of online poker and 2+2 it was common for large prop bets to be made on BBV. Silent_0ne’s prop bet is he will be the ultimate grinder for December 2010 at 100nl. No easy feat, the previous months' ultimate grinders had won between $12k-18k and Silent_0ne claimed to have never played more than 10 tables or ever played on Pokerstars. The odds were set at 6:1 odds in Silent’s_0ne’s favour. Jalexand42 was selected to be the escrow and judge of this prop bet, so he will be the middleman for the money and he will arbitrate any disputes. The rules were set down covered many different situations. The judge was confident of this:
Jalexand42: Just a quick note about the judging... I'm optimistic there won't be any controversy in this bet the way the rules have been defined. (#83)
He would turn out to be so wrong.
Many 2+2 posters weighed their opinions in and started to place bets:
Chicago Joey (Joey Ingram): damn that is going to be interesting for a bunch of reasons(#46)
Canoodles: If I was OP, I wouldn't take this for less than 100-1. (#18)
Chinz: Settling for 6-1 and doing it on December when lots of SNE chasers are playing really high volume... You don't seem to like money. (#218)
Nearly all the posters doubted Silent_0ne but he seemed confident and Jalexand42 started collecting money.
By the 28th November, with 3 days to go until the challenge begins the bets were placed and finalized, 14 people put up between $600-$3k. Silent_0ne stood to gain $67,500 or lose $11,250 from the bet alone. In just a few days he would put himself at the mercy of variance and would dedicate himself to destroying 100nl. If he overcomes this challenging month, he stood to win a significant amount of money.

The Play

December the first rolled in and Silent_0ne starting playing. It was a rocky start for him, he finished day two down more than $2k and received comments from 2+2 posters like:
ChicagoJoey [Joey Ingram]: lol trainwreck (#392)
MinSixBet: are you still taking action? (#399)
But some posters really believed in him and were rooting hard:
Eaglesfan1: Forget about the leaderboard and focus on your game and playing ur best. (#406)
However things got worse and Silent_one seemed to be losing hope, on day 4 he posted this:
Silent_0ne: just got owned
bad rly bad "hero call" for big pot
set of 8s < set of As
KK < AK
bad river bluff shove
set of 6s < str
10s < Js
AK < AA
AK on AK6 board < 66
AA < 99 on 974 board
^ all greater than 200 big blind pots
could have prevented half of those if I didnt suck so much (#410)
Day 5 and Silent_0ne was doing better but was down a few buy ins, still far behind his target. Remember, he needs to be number one in profit in the massive 2010 pool of 100nl Pokerstars players. He posted this astonishing hand:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Silent_0ne: $568.55 UTG+1: $444.30 UTG+2: $519.10 MP1: $226.75 Hero (MP2): $257.70 CO: $250.00 BTN: $100.00 SB: $257.70 BB: $120.90
Pre Flop: ($3.30) Silent_0ne is MP2 with 9h9c
Silent_0ne raises to $4.80, UTG+1 raises to $18.60, 1 fold, MP1 calls $18.60, 5 folds, Silent_0ne calls $13.80
Flop: ($59.10) 2h8s5s(3 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 bets $32, MP1 folds, Silent_0ne raises to $92, UTG+1 calls $60
Turn: ($243.10) Kc (2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 checks
River: ($243.10) 4s (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $127, UTG+1 raises to $333.50 all in, Silent_0ne calls $206.50
Final Pot: $910.10
Silent_0ne shows 9h9c (a pair of Nines)
UTG+1 shows 9dJc (high card King)
Silent_0ne wins $907.10
As you can see, 2010 was truly an amazing place for online poker.
Silent_0ne was bringing out his inner grinder and was playing 16 hour sessions and seeing huge swings in the first week. Day 7 and he posted some hands that shocked the community and his growing fan base:
DPred123: wtf at those HHs. (#520)
Transa: LoLolLololooLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL (#521)
Here are two of the hands he posted:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Pre Flop: ($3.30) MP1: $365.20 Hero (CO): $342.35 Silent_0ne is CO with 7s7d
3 folds, MP1 raises to $4, 1 fold, Silent_0ne raises to $15.50, 3 folds, MP1 raises to $41.90, Silent_0ne raises to $342.15 all in, MP1 calls $300.25
Flop: ($687.60) ThKc6s(2 players - 1 is all in)
Turn: ($687.60) Ts
River: ($687.60) 2h (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $687.60
MP1 shows AcAh (two pair, Aces and Tens)
and:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 3 players
BTN: $656.85 Silent_0ne(SB): $288.00 BB: $345.00
Pre Flop: ($2.10) Silent_0ne is SB with 4d4h
BTN raises to $3, Silent_0ne raises to $12, 1 fold, BTN calls $9
Flop: ($25.60) 3h6d5s(2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BTN bets $18, Silent_0ne raises to $275.80 all in, BTN calls $257.80
Turn: ($577.20) Js (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($577.20) 9c (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $577.20
BTN shows 3d5d (two pair, Fives and Threes)
Hero Silent_0ne 4h4h (a pair of Fours)
BTN wins $576.20
Silent_0ne explained:
Silent_0ne: barely ate anything last few days. i just get up and play, dont prepare anything. im playing right now btw. down around 2700$ for the month. im really dumb for spewing off 3k+ just cause i was tilted/ran bad, and snapped. another problem that people overlook is the extra attention i get at the tables for doing this prop bet. lots of regs can exploit my plays and then all tend to focus on owning me. (#554)
Silent_0ne had started the month on a $3k downswing, then won $2.5k before going on another $3k downswing in just one week. He must have felt desperate as after an hour and a half Silent_0ne had an idea and events took a shocking turn:
Silent_0ne: any interested if i give up 100nl and start tomorrow on day 7 at 50nl to try and get the badge there for 6 to 1. i wanna gamble and break even on the month, so im willing to put up 5k on this if any1 is interested? (#570)
This new bet must have seemed too good to be true. At this point he had been relentlessly grinding 100nl for a week, was losing badly, he was tilting, was likely playing more tables than he can handle and he’s a week behind getting to the top of the 50nl leaderboard. The bets started to pour in and within an hour he had 7 people place action. The community commented:
Absurd: This is adsurd (#601)
jalexand42: Seriously, take a day to cool off. (#599)
King Fish: I'd be interested but highly advise you to reconsider this and maybe take an hour and step back. Edit: will take $1800 to your $300 assuming same judge and escrow. (#574)
loK2thabrain: I call dibs on first bet when he moves down to win the 25nl badge. (#700)
Everyone on the thread couldn’t believe what they reading, However, Silent_0ne seemed to accept that the 100nl bet was dead and he wasn’t getting the $67k prop bet win. He was willing to pay the $11k out and enter a new prop bet. Now, being the Ultimate Grinder at 50nl is his goal. Again, the bets were substantial and he had 8:1 odds in his favour for being the Ultimate Grinder for December at 50nl. The same day he made the new bet, he started at 50nl and was off.

The New Bet

Enter Fees. Fees is the 2+2 username of Ryan Fee (Currently on Team Upswing), at this point he was known for being a fearsome 2000nl grinder and writing Ryan Fee’s 6 max guide, which he distributed for free. In a world where succinct and good poker strategy was hard to come by, this was a valuable guide for many players. He takes interest in the thread on the 7th of December:
Fees i'll take all the action, PM me (#746)
Fees booked action late and the details of this booking were not listed in the thread. The next day, Fees acts a question about the rules:
Fees: what if kerpowski or jeffmet wins the ugl and he gets second? (#878)
Kerpowski and Jeffmet are players who took action against Silent_0ne. They are also 50/100nl grinders. The case of fellow grinders taking action was covered in the rules. A poster quotes the rules and informs Fees that they have to be existing 50nl/100nl grinders. Fees then asks the following question:
Fees: i think that implies at the same tables as him, but what if they just play completely different games and just win the ugl?
Remember these probing questions, they’ll become relevant later.
By the 10th of December things looked tough for Silent_0ne, the player of the top of the 50nl leaderboard was already at $2.5k profit (50 buy ins). Silent_0ne was up $1.1k and estimated he was only 2-3 days behind pace. By the 12th of December he was still playing brutally long sessions:
Silent_0ne: just finished 11 hour session, too tired to post anything, ill go to bed for a couple hours then post graphs/hands when i wake up. was tilted throughout entire session, played 12k hands...eyes burn...ran bad for once (6 buyins below ev)
He also posted eight hands that looked pretty spewy, here is one of them:
Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em $0.10 Ante - 5 players BB: $50.00 UTG: $103.40 CO: $137.65 BTN: $133.00 Silent_0ne (SB): $144.60
Pre Flop: ($1.25) Hero is SB with AdQh
1 fold, CO raises to $1.50, BTN calls $1.50, Silent_0ne calls $1.25, BB calls $1
Flop: ($6.50) 6c6d6s(4 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BB checks, CO bets $4, BTN folds, Silent_0ne raises to $14.75, BB folds, CO calls $10.75
Turn: ($36.00) 8h (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $25.75, CO calls $25.75
River: ($87.50) 4d (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $102.50 all in, CO calls $95.55 all in
Final Pot: $278.60
CO shows JdJc (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)
Silent_0ne shows AdQh (three of a kind, Sixes)
CO wins $276.60
Even people taking action against him gave him advice:
King Fish: I am speechless … It's NL50. Stop trying to get so fancy. (#1038)
But then, Silent_0ne has an explosive session and is up an incredible $2800 in one day, that’s 56 buy ins! The posters go wild as he moves into 3rd place on the 50nl Ultimate Grinder leaderboard:
  1. vaike $3,142, 19.38 Hands BB/100
  2. zzn1980 $2,833, 2.46 Hands BB/100
  3. Silent_0ne69 $2,634, 5.19 Hands B/100
For the first time people are starting to believe that he can do this.
Fast forward to the next day, December 13th and with another miraculous winning session he reaches number one on the leaderboard. He has $3.4k profit at 50nl and number two is close behind with $3.1k, if he can maintain his win rate of 6b/100 hands then he should have a very real chance of making incredible comeback.
14th December. Fees posts:
Fees: still taking action, I want 2:1
Despite Silent_0ne being top of the leaderboard when he posted this and Fees already buying action Fees seemed willing to take 2:1 in Silent_0ne’s favour.
Soon after, a poster in the thread reveals that:
tightmaniac: fees is 4th
It is revealed that Fees who is normally a 2000nl player is playing 50nl HU and is 4th on the leaderboard. HU 50nl still counts towards the 50nl leaderboard. With the higher rate of hands of HU, bigger winrates of HU and Fees' skill, it could mean he would soon reach the top of the leaderboard. 10 minutes after TightManic’s post Fees lowers his odds:
Fees: Looking to take action on this at 1:1 (#1180)
The judge weighs in:
Jalexand42: If fees' didn't disclose this to whoever has his action, it's obviously pretty questionable, although that probably should have been asked. As far as the prop bet tho, I specifically asked Silent whether HU players should be included/excluded and he said included. The rules clearly don't exclude some random player from dropping down and playing $50nl (or $100nl for the original bet). They DO clearly state that people who bet against Silent one as part of the prop bet are NOT allowed to interfere with the bet, but I don't have anything to do with whatever side action fees may have on this. I told kerpowski last night that I didn't want him to play HU to try to win the badge, since I felt like it was a gray area in the intent of the rules (since he obviously doesn't normally play those stakes).
Kind of sucks for OP if this is going on, but I can't really change the rules after it's started since that would affect the people that bet against Silent. (#1196)
As of the 15 December Silent_0ne was still top of the board with $4.4k and most posters were expressing their displeasure if Fees were to continue playing 50nl. Silent_0ne drops this bombshell:
Silent_0ne: ‘2. Actions must be in accordance with the intent of having a fair prop bet. No actions (chip dumping, collusion, ghosting/coaching players on Silent_0ne's tables, etc) can be taken with the intent to affect the outcome of the prop bet. Violations will result in the violator's action being forfeited and may result in additional modification/extention to neutralize the interference.’ [Silent_0ne is quoting the rules here.] ‘The spirit of the bet is that OP is competing against players who 'really' play NL100, both ring and heads up.’
I know a friend of Fees and his friend said he was legit and everything. alittle after the bet started and action was full, fees approached me and my friend about taking additional action at 10 to 1. my friend and I took an additional 2.5k to his 25k and escrowed to wcgrider. the bet was under the assumption that the same rules as the 100nl bet were going to be used, and whatever the judge decides would be final.
so given the quotes above, it is against the rules that someone betting against me should also be able to compete against me given that he does not regularly play at 50nl (he plays 6max 2knl and WON the UGL badge last month at that stake) also, im not allowed to play 50nl HU which is really fishy and easy to win the UGL badge at if you put in enough volume.
regardless of if fees action is with Jalex or not, i think the same rules apply, because he is not a regular at the stakes and he accepted the same rules when making the bet with my friend and I going to eat something then start up a grind session, hopefully I continue to crush and run good, though my heart has sunk when I looked at fees in forth, and I feel ill and tilted (#1205)
Silent_0ne posted that he did a deal, off with main thread with 10 to 1 odds (Fees betting $25k to Silent_0ne’s $2.5k that Silent_0ne will win ultimate grinder 50nl) with Fees and that WCGRider (Doug Polk, currently of Upswing Poker and poker Youtube fame) is the escrow, not Jalexand42. Most posters now seem outraged:
King Fish: Wow what an angle shoot by Fees on this. This does help define the measure of what type of person he is that he is even attempting it. (#1207)
Tumaterminator: sickest hustle ever. (#1210)
kp1022: wait, doeboyfre$h is fees?
he sat me in 50nl HU a few days ago FWIW
after PTR'ing him , i asked why was he playing so low? he replied, "busto" (#1234)
Some of the posters were trying to play Fees at the 50nl in attempt to slow down his winning streak and tell Fees that he is breaking the rules. Silent_0ne expressed his displeasure and downed mental state:
Silent_0ne: this is horrible. im going to start my first grind right now. imo what fees is doing is against the rules and is unfair. i really hope i dont lose alot right now, but im in a pretty poor emotional state
please whoever is decent, sit it up with fees and discouarge him to continue what hes doing. 2knl player won badge last month, makes big bet against me and decides to compete for 50nl badge against me... (#1267)
For the first time in a few days Fees posts:
Fees: Hey,
Just to clear a few things up,
  1. I haven't broken any rules, there isn't a rule that explicitly states that I cannot win the UGL.
  2. I'm not trying to scam/do anything shady/etc, when I made the bet I posted in this thread asking if a bettor could win the UGL […] anyway I'm going to try and win the 50nl UGL this month... I haven't done anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with me going for it.
Then, an enflamed debate about the rules erupts, almost every poster is furious at Fees
Silent_0ne: had a conversation with WCGRider over the phone. the assumption was that jalex is the judge of this bet, and his word is final. WCGRider is simply just an escrow. fees and I agreed on the rules of the bet and having jalex of the judge. #1352
Then WCGRider (Doug Polk) posts for the first time:
WCGRider: Wanted to make a quick post here because i talked to colin earlier about this and i want to clear up a few things.
First off, I was never told i was going to be an escrow. I literally woke up with colins [Silent_0ne] money in my account. I was never asked anything, I was never told anything, I just was sent the money and thats it.
So now im being brought into this to make a decision, which i dont think really is fair. I haven't read any of this thread, I haven't read the rules. Also, fees has to be one of my best friends here in las vegas, and I want that to be clear before i give my opinion about this. I think its sort of unfair that i get put into this situation.
jalexand42 then posts his judgment in a lengthy post (#1526) but I believe this excerpt sums it up:
jalexand42: So, while it is not UNFAIR of fees to be playing $50nl, he has CLEARLY taken actions that will influence the outcome of the bet IF he wins the UGL for $50nl for December. Fees would clearly NOT be playing $50nl (and in fact is still playing his normal stakes) if he didn't have action on this bet. Fees also clearly understood this was a questionable area with regard to the rules based on his posts in this thread and he did not clarify it with the judge. He posts also indicate clearly that he felt he was subject to the rules. Therefore, I rule that Fees' standing on the UGL for December WILL BE IGNORED for purposes of determining this bet if he wins.
Many posters praise Jalexand42. But Jalexand42 does not have the money from the sidebet between Silent_0ne and Fees. WCGrider does. Silent_0ne gives his piece of mind and a quick poker update:
Silent_0ne: yes, i agree with this [Jalexand42's judgment].
also, fees can keep the 25k in the bet without any forfiet. im just really happy things worked out okay.
however i probably should have read this before my session I just played. probably wouldnt have spewed as much at the endodays been my worst day since the start of the 50nl bet so far. gonna play 1 more session later tonight and going to be in alot better and focused mood (#1561)
Then, another bombshell drops, a friend of WCRrider’s reveals that Fees didn’t even escrow his money to Doug:
theskillzdatklls: Afaik, Fees did not ship his $25k share to Doug, only Colin [Silent_0ne] sent his part. (#1669)
2+2 reacts:
Handbaggio: LOL wtf, fees hasn't escrowed his bet??? (#1676)
rnb0sprnkles: LOL and when I thought the drama was starting to die down, the thread gets even crazier (#1698)
Jalexand42 has a conversation with WCGRider to reach an agreement and reports:
Jalexand42: Okay, so here's the summary of my conversation with WCGRider:
  1. He is only holding Silent & the_most's action, $2,500.
  2. He did talk to Fees. Fees told him he was going to talk to Colin [Silent_0ne] today and 'hopes to work out something reasonable'.
  3. I asked what that means, he said he didn't feel like he could tell me, because he felt like what Fees told him was as a friend, but that it sounded fair in WCGRider's opinion.
  4. WCGRider said he thought my decision making sounded reasonable.
  5. WCGrider said that noone told him what to do, so he figured he was just holding on to Silent's money.
  6. I told WCGrider I was willing for him to ship me the $2.5k now if he was feeling uncomfortable, he said he'd wait to see what Silent & Fees work out. ( #1703)
Back to actual poker and Silent_0ne reports a bad losing session on the 16th December citing all the ongoing drama:
Silent_0ne: 22 buyin downswing im playing really bad right now, and I really wish I didn't have to think about and deal with all these other problems.
The community are rooting really hard to him at this point and are all telling him to stay strong. Things start to get messy when Jalexand42 speaks with WCGRider and Fees and in a long post ( #1957) said that WCGRider protested his participation was unfair and Jalexand42 accused him of not of not already sending the $25k to Jalexand42. Fees also tried to offer Silent_0ne a $1k buy out saying it was ‘super generous’, it was refused. Silent_0ne states that the reason fees doesn't want his money escrowed by Jalexand42 is that he is afraid that his bet will be forfeited due to breaking the rules. WCGRider chimed in to defend himself (he also spoke about playing 50nl-100nl and having a rough year, which is interesting as he developed into the top HU player for a time and couldn’t get action, even at the highest stakes.) The 2+2 community then debate and lightly harass WCGRider and Fees to concede and send the money to Jalexand42. Fees finally agrees to a 50% buyout.

The Outcome

On the 17th of December and Silent_0ne slips to number 2 on the leaderboards.
  1. vaike $3,835 ,17.44BB/100
  2. Silent_0ne69 $3,523, 4.25BB/100
Silent_0ne then makes a post that changes everything:
Silent_0ne : Hello everyone
firstly, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this bet. i cant stress how much it meant to me to see any post wishing me goodluck, or someone pming me given me some life lessons and more encouragement.
ive been approached by the bettors on numerous occasions regarding a buyout. the original buyout deal offered was 33%. eventually 37% was offered, and then 44%, and finally I agreed on 50% of total wagers from all 6 bettors as their buyout.
I am not really satisfied with a buyout, and I was not the one originally looking for the buyout. the bettors wanted it and I decided to see what they had to offer. what I wanted was time to spend with friends and family throughout the christmas break. With continuing this bet, I do have alot of confidence of accomplishing it, but at the expense of isolation through one of the most special times of each year. My family was mad at me when I tried explaining to them I probably wouldn't be able to particpate in any family events and have much if any celebration of christmas.
my goal the next 14 days was to just grind it out 10 hours each day with breaks inbetween, and sleep. Instead I will be able to go back to my regular, stress free grinding, and shipping 50% of the total wagers after half the month as gone by. In the end, including both the 100nl and 50nl prop bets, I made a net of roughly +20k. The other two options would be risking a net of -20k or a net of +60k. I took the variance free route, and all the bettors did the same thing. None of us wanted to lose the bet obviously, so I think we worked out a fair resolution with this buyout.
I have no hard feelings against fees or wcg rider. Perhaps a different scenerio would have occured if the recent issues did not occur, but thats in the past now and i'm looking forwards to a postive future. (#2511)
So, in the end all the parties involved reached a buyout agreement on the 50nl prop bet. Silent_0ne would stop playing the 50nl prop bet and would be up $20k. The community replies:
Ditch Digger: Silent, nice job. 50% is more than reasonable. (#2516)
kelnel: gg on +20k, u rocked!! (#2520)
shhhnake_eyes: I call this the most anticlimactic finish ever. (#2522)
Link to original thread.
submitted by GiantHorse to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]

Log Input: Lancer ID: #008726481

_____________________________
My friend wrote this almost a full year ago, around the time the game first came out. He has passed away since then and I wanted to share this now in hopes some of you guys will enjoy the story. This is a middle segment of a story about a team of lancers. There is also a parts that come before and after this. If you guys enjoy it, I'll be sure to share more!
Link to Part 2 Post
______________________________

->Log Input: Lancer ID: #008726481
Lancer: Drake Raineer Sumners
- Ops ID: Striker
-- Date:UNKNOWN // Time: 23:16:34
----------------------------------------------------
->Pilot Log Protocol… Log Ready to Record…
Message Outgoing… Starting Message…
It’s been a long time since the last time I’ve seen you. Far longer than I’d like to admit… even to myself. Though now would be a good time to come visit you seeing as I just got done saving the skin of our old friend Ace. You know him, always finding some way to cause trouble. Even as a kid he was a troublemaker, but he always had a heart of solid gold. Everyday he reminds me more and more of you. It remember the one time we all went down to the bar and you both drank so much you ended up challenging each other to a dance off! Truth be told you both were quite horrible. Yarrow would of been so ashamed of it all! Anyways, the kid ended up finding himself in a lump sum of trouble. A full day of crashing, face planting, Ursix, and we actually found a relic, although half of that just seems like a normal day at this point. It’s the relic part that is getting to me. I keep flashing back to that one mission we did… Our last mission. I’ve tried so hard to forget that day, but I simply can’t. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I secretly don’t want to, or if it’s because that’s the day I truly learned what it means to be a freelancer, but it’s also the day I learned the cost of what we do. Our last mission together… the day we flew as a team into that beast of a storm. The four of us and the other freelancers against the cataclysm that swallowed Freemark… Our last mission as a team, and a bittersweet memory...
----------------------------------------------------
->Loading Internal Audio Log Files…
Logs Found…
-File Names: Cataclysm…
->Playing Files...
----------------------------------------------------
->Friendly Lancers Detected…
Linking Squad: Sky Hunters…
->Lancer ID: #832094850
Lancer: Alexander “Oddball” Thaine… Linked…
->Lancer ID: #008726481
Lancer: Drake “Striker” Sumners… Linked…
->Lancer ID: #000938472
Lancer: Danielle “Ayao” Lee… Linked…
->Lancer ID: #000084721
Lancer: Evalynn “Iris” Hope
->Fire Squad Linked…
Communications Active
----------------------------------------------------
Oddball: “Alright! Listen up you goons! We’re starting our approach on Freemark where we not only have a lovely storm brewin’... but we’ve got a lot of Dominion troops acting like we’ve done wizzed in their breakfast oats. I won't lie to you… None of them will make it past us alive… But that’s their problem! Won’t be easy so gear up everyone! We’re almost to our drop zone!
Danielle: “Yea’! Let’s squash some bugs boss!”
Iris: “That’s the spirit “Ayao”! So, commander, I’ve meant to ask you something… Why do they call you “Oddball” and what’s with your armor?”
Sumners: “Oh? You’ve never heard the stories about “Oddball”? Ol’ Oddball here has one of the highest kill counts among us freelancers! Scar and Dominion alike know him as the “Scarred Lancer”. You’d know that if you ever listened instead of chasin’ those dreams in your head Eva.”
Iris: “Oh you hush up! Haha. Don’t make you eat those words! You might be a colossus but I’ll still fly circles around you!”
Sumners: “Oh really? Ha! Let’s-”
Oddball: “That’s enough you two love birds. As for your question Iris. See this mark here? This marks my 324nd Dominion kill. Bugger was trying to steal a relic from a innocent researcher. Had the gun pointed right to the poor saps head… that’s until I put a bullet to his from seventy-five yards. This mark? Family of five was traveling across Bastion when a group of Scar showed up and wanted them dead… Let’s just say I bet the Scar wish they would of brought back-up.”
Danielle: “In other words, boss marks his armor with ever kill he makes. Reminds him of why he does what he does. All freelancers should strive to do what he does. Lives every moment with one purpose… To protect those who can’t protect themselves.”
Iris: “I can understand why they call you Oddball… But you’re an Oddball with a purpose! On a side note, let’s rewind to that first comment… Who are you calling a love bird?!”
Sumners: “Oh no need to be shy Iris, we can all see you blushing under that armor!”
Iris: “Huh? Uh… Wait, no! That’s not blushing… That’s just my rage showing through!”
Danielle: “Calm down Iris. There will be time to flirt and play once the mission is done. Right now we need to focus on shutting down that cataclysm and crushing any Dominion that might try to stop us.”
Sumners: “It’s fine Ayao. We’re ju-”
Oddball: “No, Danielle is right one this one. We’re walking up to the very gates of Hell and we will need full focus… All right? Com’ on squad. Gear up. I expect boots in the air within fifteen minutes. We’ve got a whole lot of world that needs saving… Taking out Dominion is just a bonus.”
Danielle: “This storm has your back, boss!”
Iris: “We’ve got this!”
Sumners: “Stronger together right?”
Oddball: “That’s the spirit. Together we will be the javelins that pierce the dawn, same as those heroes who came befor’ us. Fight hard, live free!”
Sumners, Iris, Danielle: “For the legion!”
Oddball: “I’ll meet you saps on the top deck. Come ready for a fight… Like I said, boots in the air in fifteen!”
Sumners: “Hey Ayao, what gear are you packing? You going to give us some snowmen to crack open? Or were you thinking more along the lines of the “electric slide”?”
Danielle: “I see you’re going to take this just as serious as every other mission… but I will admit… It’s very entertaining to watch you slip on your back side as you go on your smashing spree.”
Iris: “Ha! You gonna take that big boy? I think she’s calling you out!”
Sumners: “You slip one time! One time! Never going to live that down am I?”
Danielle: “Not a single chance hot shot… Don’t worry though, there will be plenty of “snowmen” for you to redeem yourself with. Iris, are you ready? I know you’re new to the squad… So just follow Oddball and he will keep you safe.”
Iris: “Don’t worry about me Ayao! Most interceptors like to get close up… I’m better with my trusty sniper, Larkspur! You guys line ‘em up, and I’ll knock ‘em down!”
Sumers: “Did you really just finger gun us? Sometimes you make it to easy to mess with you!”
Iris: “Oh really and what are you going to do? Just look big and menacing?”
Sumners: “Well, actually yes. If that plan doesn’t work…”
----------------------------------------------------
->Expanding Shield….
Shield Fully Expanded…
-Shield Status: 100% Functional…
----------------------------------------------------
Sumners: “I always have this to smack them around with! Every fight starts with a good arrival… and when that doesn’t work a good beating stick will!”
----------------------------------------------------
->Shield Retracted…
Running Javelin Combat Check-Up…
-Systems: Ready…
----------------------------------------------------
Danielle: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick… A tactic that will only get you so far when you’re trying to stare down a fifty foot titan, I ensure you.”
Iris: “Ha! I couldn’t imagine Sumners carrying a big stick without picturing a big-browed Urgoth! You’ve got the hei-”
Danielle: “Urgoth are no laughing matter! In the city were I was born we had a nursery rhyme that was meant to spook children into behaving and going to bed when we were told… Urgoth hiding behind the wall. Urgoth climbing, it will never fall. Urgoth into darkness fled… With children stolen, who weren’t in bed… It might seem silly, but to a child it’s something you will never forget…”
Sumners: “That’s… a little dark for a children’s rhyme… I thought you grew up in Antium? I’ve never heard of that-”
Oddball: “Hurry up and get y’ur rear ends up here! Time’s almost up! If you don’t get y’ur lazy bums in gear we’re going to miss all the fun!”
Iris: “On our way, sir! Com’ on guys! Party’s starting without us!”
----------------------------------------------------
->Loading Javelin to Docking Area…
Docking Platform Raising…
-Strider Level: Roof…
----------------------------------------------------
Sumners: “Woah… That’s what’s left of Freemark? What have the Dominion done?”
Danielle: “The closer you look the worse it gets. Look! The energy being off put from the cataclysm is calling out and attracting relics through space.”
Iris: “What?! Relics can do that? How can something move through space?”
Danielle: “Some can. Certain relics are too large and others are small and made for smaller jobs. Then you have the relics that harvest the Anthem to warp not only the space around them, but also the time. A singular relic can exist in several spaces in time as they search for the energy of the Anthem… This alone shows the sheer scale of what we're up against.”
Sumners: “Just what we're those idiots looking for? Something like this doesn't just happen!”
Oddball: “Welcome to the world the Dominion think is best, and that right there is what the Dominion call “doing things for the greater good”. A whole bunch of crock. To them your life doesn’t mean anything unless you spend it serving the conquest for knowledge… Bunch o’ blow-hards who think they can pick on anyone and get away with it… But I must say at least they brought the fireworks this time! Wouldn’t be the same without the sky being set on fire and the air heavy with smoke.”
Iris: “Wha… I can’t even begin to comprehend what kind of monsters would do this! All those families… Their homes… gone.”
Sumners: “Hey, you’re not wimping out on us are you Eva? Just look at this as fuel. The Dominion did this… so what are you going to do about it?”
Iris: “Well. First thing I'm going to do is take out more Dominion that you and the boss put together. After that, I'm going to enjoy some nice ale on your tab!”
Sumners: “Tough talk. Let's see if you can keep up!”
Oddball: “Keep that fire! Com’ on team! Let's do this not only for Freemark… Not only for our fellow lancers… but also for the Legends of Dawn who came before us! Together we will take back Freemark and we will do so side-by-side. Boots up, everyone! Fight hard, live free!”
----------------------------------------------------
->System Thrusters: Online…
Flight Path: Established…
-Good Luck Lancer.
----------------------------------------------------
submitted by DrunkenMage195 to AnthemTheGame [link] [comments]

Ultimate Gambling Guide for GTA Online - odds, probabilities, and optimal strategies

This is not mine, the creator of this is u/enderpiet

Since the Diamond Casino update, I have seen a large number of 12-year-olds posting Blackjack memes on this sub. As a parent, this has me very worried.
On top of that, I have seen some of the most trustworthy GTA Youtubers giving flawed gambling advice, which can have damaging impact on their gullible audiences.
So that's why I decided to write this up, to educate everyone on the subject, so there will be no more misunderstandings.
(2020 Update down at the bottom.)
If you're one of those Youtubers that wants to use this information in a video, feel free to do so. The more people (especially kids) that become educated about gambling, the better.
But then also please go back and review your own work, and delete or edit the videos that are giving out the wrong advice, like where you're saying you have "a good strategy for making money with roulette", or some other nonsense that I've heard this week. Delete that please.
Before I get into the individual games, I need to discuss a few concepts first, that will make understanding the rest a lot easier.
Expected return and variance
A game like Roulette or Slots has a fixed expected return on your bets. This is a percentage that you have no way of influencing. Say you are flipping a coin against a friend, and you both put up $1. The winner gets the pot. Since the odds are even at 50%, in the long run, you will expect to break even. Your expected return is 100% of your bet.
But imagine if you would play this coin flipping game in a casino against the house. On the "house rules" listed at the table they would probably say that you would only get 95 cents back for every win, while you are forfeiting a dollar on every loss. Would you still play?
Sounds stupid to do so, but still, everybody does it. Every bet they place on Roulette, every coin they put into a Slot machine, is based on the same concept.
Those few cents they take on every bet are their profit margin, and has paid for all the Vegas lights, the Mirage volcanoes, and the Bellagio fountains. Make no mistake - casino gambling games are not designed to make you lose, because sure, you can get lucky on a single night, but they are designed to make them win. That's the beauty of it. They can both exist at the same time.
Too many people that don't see how this works, are just destined for disaster. Just because you went on a lucky streak and won 8 games out of 10, does not mean that flipping coins is a profitable game, or that choosing tails is a winning strategy. Always be aware of the house edge, your true chances of winning, and just realize that you got lucky. There is no such thing as a strategy in flipping a coin that will give you a higher expected return, so it's just pure gambling, just like Slots and Roulette.
Most casino games are made in such a way, that your expected return is a little under 100%. This means that from every dollar bet at the tables, the casino expects to keep a few cents. For individual players, results may vary. Some will win, most will lose. But for the house, it doesn't matter. They take millions of bets each day, so for them, the expected average works out a lot sooner. In short: the house always wins.
When looking at the house edge, we're talking about the expected long-term result, based on the game's house rules. But for a player, it can take literally tens of thousands of hands or spins before you also reach this average number. Until that time, you can experience huge upswings and downswings, that are the result of nothing but short-term luck, which is called variance.
Some games and some bets have a much higher variance than others, which means your actual results will differ enormously from what you're expected to be at.
Take for example betting on red/black at the Roulette table. This is a low-variance proposition, because it has a high percentage chance of occurring, and a low payout.
Contrast this with betting single numbers in Roulette, which only win once every 38 spins on average. This bet has a much higher variance, meaning you can easily hit a dry spell, and not hit anything for 200 bets in a row, or you can see a single number hit three times in five consecutive spins. This is not a freak occurrence in high-variance bets.
Even though the expected return in both these bets is exactly the same, there's a huge difference in variance, causing massive differences in short-term results, which can go both ways. You need to be aware of this, before you decide what types of bets you are comfortable with placing.
Gamblers' Fallacy
Another thing to realize, is that each individual game, hand, or spin, is completely independent from the one(s) before it, and after it.
Gamblers tend to believe, that the chance of a certain outcome is increased, based on previous results.
The most famous example comes from the Casino de Monte Carlo, where the Roulette wheel managed to land on black 26 times in a row. Gamblers lost many millions during that streak, all frantically betting on red, believing that the odds were in favor of the wheel coming out on red, after producing so many blacks. This is not true. Each round is completely independent, and the odds are exactly the same.
You will hear people say things like a Blackjack table being "hot" or "cold", which is completely superstitious, and should be ignored. The exception was when Blackjack was being dealt from a shoe. It made card counting possible. But with the introduction of shuffle machines, and continuous shuffling like is being used in GTA, this no longer exists.
This is also why "chasing your losses" is a very bad idea. After being on a losing streak for some time, many gamblers believe that now it's their turn to start winning. So they will often increase their bet size, believing that when their predicted winning streak comes around, they will win back their losses, and more.
The reality of it, more often than not, is that people will indeed start playing higher and higher limits, until they are completely broke. Nobody is ever "due for a win". There is never a guarantee that you're about to start winning. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. You are, after all, in a casino.
Betting systems
Some people like to think that they have a fool-proof betting system, like the Martingale system. Simply increase or even double your bet when you lose, and keep doing that until you win. In theory, this system will always win. So that's why table limits were introduced, and where the system fails.
If you start at the Roulette table, playing red/black, with a small 750 chip wager, and just double your bet every time you lose, you only have to lose 6 times in a row, before you will be betting the table limit of 48,000, just to get that 750 chip profit.
Sure, you can go on all evening without this happening, winning 750 chips each time, but this losing streak only has to happen once, and you're bust. Any betting system like this is ill-advised, because you are hugely increasing your so-called "risk of ruin", and that's what we were trying to avoid.
And even if your starting bet is only 100 chips, after only nine straight losses, and nine doubled bets, you are betting the table limit at 50,000 chips. If you lose that bet, you're 100,000 chips in the hole, with no way to recover that with your 100 chip base wager.
So don't believe anyone that says this is the perfect system to always win in the casino. Sooner or later they will understand why they were wrong, when they're asking you for a loan.
Set your limits BEFORE you start playing
One final point before we get into the games, a general tip for people that head out to play: money management.
Just like in real life, before you go to the casino, decide on a maximum amount that you are WILLING TO LOSE.
Bet small enough, so that amount can last you through the entire evening, and you will not be tempted to run to the ATM to continue playing.
Considering GTA money, some people will be comfortable losing 1% of their GTA bank balance, some people will be comfortable with gambling away 5% of their total GTA savings. It's up to you what you can handle. Decide for yourself where it will start to hurt, and don't cross that line.
But whatever number you decide on, as soon as you lost that amount, get up and walk away. Don't chase your losses, stick to your limits, and accept that this has not been your day. There is always another game tomorrow. Always agree with yourself on a simple stop-loss rule, how much you would want to lose at most, and simply stop playing when you get there.
Same goes for winning. You can decide on a number, how much profit you would like to take away from the casino. You can go on a hot streak and be up half a million in a short period of time, but if you would continue to play longer, looking for more, chances are that you're going to lose it all back.
Most people are happy with doubling their daily casino budget, for example. Others are looking for 10 bets profit in Blackjack. Whatever you choose, when you hit that number, you can stop playing and bank your profits, or you can continue playing if you're still enjoying the games, but then only just play minimum bet sizes. Then you're just playing for fun, not for money. You've already made your profit, so simply keep it in your pocket, and don't risk losing it again.
Either way, decide on what your money management strategy will be, and STICK TO IT.
Casino games in GTA Online
Now, I'm going to dive into the games that you can find at the Diamond casino, ordered from worst to best.
6) Slots
Generally the rule is this: the less strategy a game has, the worse it is for the player. And with slots, this is definitely the case.
The only influence you have, is choosing what type of machine you're going to play. Basically, there are two types of slot machines:
-high frequency, low payout slots
-low frequency, high payout slots
In the first type, there is no huge (progressive) jackpot on offer, just your average selection of prizes that don't go up to crazy amounts.
This will result in a player having many more spins resulting in a win. The amounts that you win on the bigger prizes, will be smaller, but they do come around more often. This type of slot machine has a lower variance, which means that your money should last you longer, winning many smaller prizes along the way to keep you going.
The second type of slot machine lures you in with the temptation of a huge jackpot prize. Even though the long-term expected return on these machines is the same as the previous type, the prize distribution is hugely different. The large jackpot prize weighs heavily on the scale of expected return, but the chance of it hitting is extremely small. This results in a much higher variance on this type of machine. Usually your money will go down very fast, because the smaller prizes are less rewarding than on the other type of machine.
At the Diamond, the info screen says the player return at slots is set at 98.7%. This means that, on average, for every maximum bet of 2,500 chips, you expect to lose 32.5 chips.
This might not seem like a lot, but the danger of slots is that the game is extremely fast. You can spin about once every 6 seconds, which would result in an expected LOSS of about 20,000 chips per hour of playing.
But again, in this long-term expected number, the large jackpot awards are also factored in, and as long as you don't hit those big prizes, you'll see your money go down a lot faster.
In any case, thank heavens the max bet is only set at 2,500, or else we would see more players go bankrupt at alarming rates.
Optimal strategy for slots:
There is none. Because after betting, you have no more influence over the outcome. The only choices you have, is what type of machine you want to play at, and how much money you are going to risk. And those are all personal preference. As long as you stick to your loss limits, as discussed above, there's no harm in having a go every once in a while, hoping to get a lucky hit. Just realize that you don't have a high chance of scoring a big win, so as soon as you do, get up and walk away.
5) Roulette
Roulette is also a game where you have no influence over the outcome. There is zero skill involved. You place your bet, and that's it.
In traditional French roulette, a table has only the single-zero, but of course, for American casinos that wasn't enough of a house edge, so they simply doubled their profits by adding a second zero. The house edge was increased from 1/37 to 1/19, which is huge.
This makes playing on a double-zero roulette table by definition a sucker's play.
The payouts scale evenly, which means that a bet on a single number, and a bet on half of the numbers, and everything in between, yields the same expected return. The only difference, again, being the variance that you are willing to subject yourself to.
The player return for double-zero Roulette for all bets is 94.74%.
Except for the 5-number bet, which can only be made by placing a bet on the two top rows that contain 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The expected return on this bet is lower: 92.1%. This is because it only pays out 6-1. Why? Well, the number 36 isn't divisible by 5, so the greedy people that came up with double-zero Roulette had to round it off someway, and as expected, it wasn't going to be in the players' favor.Just remember that that 5-number bet is the worst bet at the table, and should be avoided. All other possible bets have the same expected return.
So it really doesn't matter how you spread your bets, if you bet only one chip, or if you litter the entire table with a bucketload of chips. Each chip you put out there, has the same expected return, so there is no strategy that will improve your long-term results.
Assuming that you're betting the maximum table amount of 50,000 chips, you will be looking at an expected loss of about 2,630 chips per spin. Considering that a round takes about 45 seconds to complete, your expected LOSS at the GTA Roulette tables will be around 200,000 chips per hour of playing.
Optimal strategy for double-zero roulette:
Stay away. Stay far away.
4) Three Card Poker
With Three Card Poker, we come across the first game where there is actually some strategy involved. You get to look at your cards, and then decide if you want to fold, and surrender your ante, or double your bet.
Additionally, you can choose to place a side bet on "Pair Plus", which offers progressive payouts.
There are some websites out there that ran all the numbers with computer simulations, and even though I would like to quote the source here, these websites are understandably littered to the max with online casino ads, so that's why I have decided against doing that.
Optimal strategy for Three Card Poker:
For this game you only have to remember one strategy rule: Always bet on any high card queen-six-four or better, and fold any high card queen-six-three or lower. That's it. Just don't forget to double check if you're not folding a straight or a flush, and you'll be fine.
This strategy will result in an expected return of 96.63%.
The Pair Plus sidebet, with the payout table that is used at the Diamond casino, gives you an expected return of 97.68%, which is actually a bit better than the main ante bet.
So by playing both wagers, you're reducing your expected losses per bet, but since you're betting more, you're also increasing your expected loss per hour.
My advice would obviously be to not play this game at all, but if you do, put as much of your bet as possible on the Pair Plus, while making our Ante bet as small as you can.
To be able to compare it to the other games at the Diamond, let's stay on that 50,000 maximum wager, meaning making your ante bet 35,000, and your pair plus bet 15,000, if the table would allow it.
This results in an expected loss of about 1,525 chips per hand, and with a round taking about 45 seconds, this adds up to an expected LOSS of around 120,000 chips per hour of playing. In comparison, if you would only play the ante bet for 50,000 per hand, you expect to lose 1,685 chips per hand, which means an expected LOSS of about 135,000 chips per hour. So the more out of that 50,000 wager you can put on the "Pair Plus" sidebet, the better.
Even though it may be fun to try out this game for a bit, since there's only one simple strategy rule to follow, you'll soon find yourself robotically grinding down your bankroll until it has vaporized. You're not missing out on anything if you skip these tables, there is no real challenge.
Just like with Roulette and Slots, if you want to try it out nonetheless, you can just bet the minimum amounts and only play for fun, so it won't matter if you win or lose.
3) Blackjack
Blackjack is the most complicated game by far. Simply because the player has to make a series of decisions, which will largely decide the outcome. Luckily, there is such a thing as an optimal strategy, which will be outlined below.
However, the strategy is also dependent on the house rules. These not only affect your expected return, but in some places also your decisions.
Here are the house rules at the Diamond casino:
-The game uses 4 standard decks, and a continuous shuffle.
-Blackjack pays 3 to 2, dealer checks for early blackjack.
-No insurance offered, no surrender.
-Dealer stands on soft 17.
-Double down on any two cards.
-Player can split only once, but doubling after split is allowed.
-Seven-Card Charlie.
Under these rules, and following the "basic strategy" chart, your expected return at Blackjack is a shade under 99.6%, which is extremely good for a casino game, that's why Blackjack should be your table game of choice.
But it comes at a price: you are going to have to memorize the relatively complicated strategy chart, or at least stick it to your monitor until you have it in your head. But in case you ever stumble into a real-life casino, you won't regret having this table memorized, so I would definitely advise you to work on that.
The strategy chart might look complicated at first, but you will be able to notice certain patterns. Your decisions are mainly based on the dealer's upcard, which is basically divided into a weak card (2 to 6), and a strong card (7 to ace).
When a dealer shows a strong card, you will be hitting more often with the risk of going bust, but when a dealer shows a weak card, you're not taking that risk, and you will be standing more, but also doubling and splitting more. You want to increase your bets when the odds are in your favor, and get out cheap when they're not.
But it also helps to take some time to think about why a certain advice is given. For example, why does it say that you always have to split two eights, even against an ace. Well, that's because two eights equals 16, which is the worst total you can have. It's better to split them up, and give yourself a chance of finding a 17, 18 or 19 with the next card. Once you see the logic in that, you'll have one less thing to memorize.
The playing advice in the basic strategy chart is a result of computer simulations that ran all possible outcomes against each other, and produced the most profitable decision for each situation. So you can't go wrong following it.
Optimal strategy for Blackjack with Seven-Card Charlie
The added house rule of Seven-Card Charlie, adds a small advantage for the player, and it does influence a few strategy decisions. For example, you might have a 14 with 6 cards, against the dealer's 5 upcard.
Normally this would be an automatic stand, but if you're only one card away from the Seven-Card Charlie, meaning an instant win for the player, regardless of the dealer's hand, it turns it into a hit.
Here's the most optimal strategy chart to follow for the Diamond Casino house rules:https://prnt.sc/olct6g
You'll see that two fives are missing from the chart, and that's because you never split them. You treat them as a regular 10. You also never split tens. Just stand on 20.
If you follow this strategy religiously, even with a maximum wager of 50,000 chips, you only expect to lose about 215 chips per hand, and with rounds taking about 30 seconds, that amounts to an expected LOSS of 26,000 chips per hour, which is only half a bet. A small price to pay for an hour of entertainment.
But since the expected return is so extremely close to 100%, you will see more positive short-term results than with other games. But obviously it can also swing the other way. Again, this is supposed to be the game where your money lasts you the longest, but always set your loss and win limits before you sit down. That rule simply always applies.
Still, even with optimal strategies applied, all these games are expected to lose you money in the long run. So betting any kind of large amounts is not advised. If you simply want to enjoy playing these games, there's nothing wrong with betting a minimal amount. Playing these games for a longer period of time will already cost you money anyway, since your daily property fees will still be charged while you're playing in the GTA casino. As long as you can play for fun, there's nothing wrong, but when you see yourself betting insane chunks of your entire bank balance to try to recoup some unfortunate losses, you're doing it wrong.
As the commercials in Britain all correctly say: when the fun stops, stop.
2) Virtual Horse Racing
Now onto the good stuff. I ran some numbers, and I believe Rockstar has made a mistake with the horse racing game. Because as it stands, and if I read the numbers correctly, this game is actually profitable for the player. You can actually make money with this, at least, until Rockstar figures out their mistake and patches it.
If anyone wants to jump into the math and double check this to make sure, please do so. I will add any corrections to this post. This is one of those "to good to be true" things, so I keep thinking that I might have overlooked something. So please verify it if you can.
The setup is this. There is a pool of 100 horses, each with their own attached payout. These are divided into 3 groups, ranked by their odds. From each group, 2 horses are randomly selected to provide a pool of six runners for you to bet on.
Now it's not an actual race you're looking at. You are looking at a raffle. This is important to realize.
Each horse gets awarded a certain number of raffle tickets. The favorites get awarded more tickets than the underdogs, and therefore, have a higher chance of winning.
If this distribution works like it does in the real-life casinos, then the raffle tickets are awarded according to the betting odds.
Example 1: imagine a race with 3 runners, all have 2/1 odds, representing a 33.3% chance of winning. (Because 2/1 means 2 AGAINST 1, so 3 total.) In this case, each horse gets one third of the raffle tickets, giving them an equal chance to win.
Example 2: imagine a race with 3 runners, one has 1/1 odds (or EVENS), representing a 50% chance of winning, and the other two horses are marked up as 3/1, with a 25% chance of winning. The favorite gets half the tickets, the other two get a quarter of the tickets each.
A ticket is drawn, and you'll have a winner.
It doesn't matter in this game which horse you bet on, because the expected return is always the same: 100% or break-even, for the above examples.
Now, what happens if the percentages don't exactly add up to 100%?
They must add up to 100%, because there will always be a winner. And only one winner.
So when this is the case, the actual winning chances of the horses are adjusted to meet the 100% requirement, using their payout odds to determine the scale.
So, if the represented percentages add up to more than 100%, the actual winning chances of the runners will be DECREASED, resulting in all bets becoming losing propositions for the players.
Example: In a 6-horse race, all runners are listed at 4/1, representing a 20% chance. Only with six runners that amounts to 120%. So all chances are scaled down by 1/6th, to end up at 100%.
This means your horse's chances are reduced from 20% to 16.67%, turning it into a losing bet: 5 times you will lose your bet, and 1 time you will win, but only get 4 bets back in this instance, instead of 5. A losing bet in the long run.
This is the type of odds that you find in regular casinos, with fields as large as 15 runners to bet on, where the assumed winning chances always add up to more than 100%, therefore are decreased for all runners, resulting in a house edge.
But in GTA Online's Inside Track, there are other scenarios, because of the small field, and the way that they are put together.
In some cases, the represented percentages when added up, are LESS than 100%, meaning that the actual winning chances of all runners, are INCREASED.
This creates profitable bets for the players, because in the long run, you're expecting to win more money than you lose. This is a gambler's dream, pure and simple.
So, according to the in-game information, the three groups of horses are divided as follows:
-Favorites: EVENS to 5-1
-Outsiders: 6-1 to 15-1
-Underdogs: 16-1 to 30-1
Let's take the two most extreme examples to show what's happening.
The worst possible field to bet on: two runners at EVENS, two runners at 6-1, and two runners at 16-1.
EVENS represents a 50% chance, 6-1 is 14.29%, and 16-1 is 5.88%. Add those up and you land on a total of 140.34%.
This means that the actual winning chances of the horses are decreased by 28.75% (to get that 140% down to 100%), which makes betting on this field extremely unwise.
A horse at EVENS will only come in as a winner 35.63% of the time, instead of 50%,
a horse at 6-1 will only win 10.18% of the time,
and an underdog at 16-1 will only win 4.19% of the time.
The expected return on a bet on any of the horses in this field is only 71.26%, so a maximum bet of 10,000 chips on any of these horses holds an expected LOSS of 2,875 chips.
These returns are the same, because the winning chances are scaled equally, according to the payout numbers. So it really doesn't matter which horse you bet on, in the long run, you expect the same results.
But as explained before, it does influence variance, and therefore your short-term result, which can swing both ways.
But now, the best possible field to bet on: two runners at 5-1, two runners at 15-1, and two runners at 30-1.
Odds at 5-1 represents a winning chance of 16.67%, 15-1 odds means 6.25% chance, and 30-1 odds means a 3.23% chance of winning. Add these six horses together, and you only get 52.285%.
This means that, to get from 52% to 100%, the actual winning chances of these horses will be almost doubled! Multiplied by 1.91 to be exact.
So the 5-1 favorites will now win 31.88% of the time, instead of 16.67%,
the 15-1 runners will win 11.95% of the time,
and the underdogs at 30-1 odds will still win 6.17% of the time.
When betting on this field, the expected return on your bet is 191.25%!
This means that a max bet of 10,000 chips will result in an expected PROFIT of 9,125 chips.
This is printing money, if there ever was such a thing.
Optimal strategy for Virtual Horse racing
So all you have to do, is only bet high on the games where you have an expected positive return, and bet the absolute minimum on the games where your expected return is negative. Or back out of the racing game to refresh the field.
If you don't have a way to quickly add up all the percentages, and until somebody shows up here with a neatly formatted table, just use a few general rules of thumb:
-Always bet the maximum on a race with favorites at 2/1 and 3/1 or higher in it.
-Simply skip all races with two favorites at EVENS in it, and at EVENS and 2/1. Or bet the minimum, if you can't skip or refresh the field.
-To decide if you should play races with other favorite combinations EVENS and 3/1, EVENS and 4/1, EVENS and 5/1, or two favorites at 2/1, the payouts on the other four runners determine whether or not it's profitable to play them. The results of betting on these fields vary from an expected 1,330 chip loss (worst-case) to an expected 1,680 chip win (best-case), with a max bet of 10,000 chips.
But if you're not looking for another strategy chart, you might just want to skip these borderline cases, and just cherry pick the best ones, which are easy to recognize, and with which you can never go wrong.
It's difficult to put a number on an expected win-rate, because it all depends on which fields you get presented with, but it's not unreasonable to state that you can maintain a steady win-rate of around 200,000 chips per hour, with about 50 seconds per race.
Remember, you're not trying to win every race. You're trying to win the most money per hour. So don't sweat it when you bet on a 4/1 favorite, and lose a couple of races in a row. It will still be more profitable in the long run. You have the math on your side.
To reduce negative variance, always bet on the favorite, when betting on profitable fields. We're not gambling anymore, we're grinding out a steady profit. We want to keep the swings to a minimum.
I contacted Rockstar support to verify if this is indeed how it works, but the only reply I got after 6 weeks is that they were "looking into it".
User u/Garsant made a useful Excel-worksheet, available for you to download, where you can quickly type in the payouts on the horses, to see if it produces a profitable bet or not. You can find it in his post here: https://www.reddit.com/gtaonline/comments/ekp8na/gta_online_inside_track_odd_calculato
1) Wheel of Fortune
The number one profitable casino game in GTA Online is obviously the Wheel of Fortune, because it costs you nothing to play.
Unfortunately, you only get one free spin per day, but it holds great value, so make sure you do it.
With a chance to win a super car, vehicle discounts, expensive mystery prizes (which also can be vehicles), and a lot of cash and chips, the expected return on a single spin is around $100,000 in value.
So don't forget your daily spin, it's definitely worth your time.
2020 Update:
As of the Diamond Casino Heist update, the Inside Track horse racing is confirmed to still be as profitable as outlined above.The only thing that seems to be changed, is that you can't refresh the field anymore by backing out of the screen. This does affect your hourly rate in a negative way, but does not change the fact that this game has a huge positive expected return, and should be your go-to when you're trying to take money from the house, without having Lester's nagging voice in your ear. That should also be worth something.
And with that, I conclude my 5,000 word essay on gambling in GTA. Questions, comments, feel free to add your input to this guide.
Cliffs:
-Gambling games should only be played for fun, not for big money. You should expect to lose in the long run. The house always wins.
-A casino game doesn't have a memory, and betting systems don't work.
-Set your limits before you start, how much you are willing to lose or win, and then walk away when you get there.
-Don't play slots, roulette, or three card poker.
-Only play blackjack following a basic strategy chart (https://prnt.sc/olct6g).
-Inside Track betting can be played profitably, if you only bet on fields WITHOUT a heavy favorite.
-Wheel of Fortune is always your best bet, because it's a free bet.
submitted by sircore to gtaonline [link] [comments]

looking for investors

My first poker game was five card draw in fourth period spare. We played in the hallway, outside of the lockers, until eventually a teacher shut us down. But we got in a few sessions. The second game I remember was on top of an internet cafe. Again we played five card draw. It was like a $5 or $10 buy in game. I remember once making a wheel and taking down the pot with a substantial bet; I showed my hand and there was debate over whether the ace even played as a one. Luckily no one had called me. At one point I dealt myself from the bottom of the deck. I wasn't cheating, I had literally no idea what the card was, I just dealt it to myself from the bottom. Stu, this big obese guy demanded to see my cards when I folded post draw. I had like jack high or whatever. Anyway, later on in that night we switched to inbeteween. You get two cards and have to bet on whether the card is going to be inbetween or not. If you post (hit a card on the outside, so if your two cards are K2 then you hit a K that is called posting and you have to pay double). It is pot limit. Anyway, the pot grew to be over a hundred dollars and I eventually did win it.
From there it was $5 and $10 SNGs with my buddies, a regular $25 and then $50 cash game that I was a reg at for a couple of years, and online poker. This was all 16-17 years ago now, but that is when I started playing poker. Eventually I graduated to casino trips. I remember my first trip to Windsor Ontario, I put together a couple thousand dollars and spewed it all $100 at a time playing 1/2 NLHE. The guys there called me Frodo. I went bust a lot of times in those early days, usually with the meager couple hundred dollar bankroll I could scratch together. Then I had some success. This was during the poker boom, and I was able to build myself some six figure bankrolls from scratch, then bust them and start over again. Maybe a decade ago I switched to plo, although I still play NLHE cash.
All of my adult life, I have been a professional poker player. This game is my life. The highs have been amazing. Battling against Isildur at 25/50 plo on Pokerstars, travelling across Canada, living in hotels for months on end, becoming a professional blackjack player (card counter), blowing crazy amounts of money, winning and losing fortunes, then starting over with a hundred dollars and a dream.
Today my life is a lot different. I've got a wife and two kids. I've stopped partying, don't travel very much. I grind to support my family.

Unlike most prospective horses, I'm far from broke. I've got a bankroll, and play every day, to earn enough money to support my family and to put a little away for a rainy day. That being said, there is a lot of potential in networking, and I like playing staked especially if my backer brings something else to table as well, like access to new games on pppoker or other apps. I also have references from previous satisfied backers.
Here are a range of investment proposals, starting small and working our way up. Some of the larger plans would probably need to involve multiple backers, or one really rich dude. For some of these I could come on as an investor as well.
So the smallest scale would be "rent a session". Essentially this is like backing someone to play a tournament, except I don't play tournaments I play cash games. The advantage here is that we can get started with minimal capital investment on your behalf. For example we could do something like 8 stacks of PLO $100 ($800) and you would get 75% of any upside from the session. No makeup. Just a one time deal and we're done, any losses are on you. I'm just spit-balling numbers here feel free to suggest alternate terms. Depending if I was to play say 6 tables for the session we'd want to have more capital on hand probably. Also it might be good to play PLO $50 AND PLO $100, so I can game select the best tables from either limit. Actually this rent a session approach would work best for live poker, where playing only one table and the slow pace of the game makes a > 300 bb swing unlikely (especially with my nitty style). But we could do live or online.
So after that would be a longer term relationship. Backer puts up the bankroll (here you would be essentially called upon to have 30-40 buyins available to me, although I don't necessarily need them all at once) and gets a straight 50% split of profits with full makeup. So any time the bankroll is stuck, than any future winnings go clearing the makeup first. Minimum here would be something like PLO $50 or PLO $100, assuming you have access to some soft games, Indian sites, Chinese sites, pppoker clubs something like that.
Another investment idea is to start a blackjack team. Actually this is quite a solid investment, if you can manage costs. Basically you get several card counters to play the same bankroll. Investors get a high ROI investment with a low time horizon and minimal ROR, and the players get a good chance to make bank with no or limited risk on their behalf. If you look at a typical counting simulation, taking a conservative approach of half kelly with resizing, the chance of busting before doubling is substantially less than 1%. So investors will be looking at a 50% return, obviously the amount of time it will take is unknown. Of course it is crucial to keep expenses in line here, so ideally you have a large enough bankroll that they don't matter because they are a small enough fraction, or work out some sort of team van situation. The absolute minimum here would be like 30k (but that could be 6x5k, not really that hard to find some people who might want to invest, I could invest as well), and the bigger the bankroll the better. Investors could be players as well, keeping a close on the money, it is super easy to train someone to count especially if they are winning poker players and knowledgeable gamblers in the first place. In addition to card counting there are other vulnerabilities, like hole carding, next card knowledge that can be capitalized on as well.
submitted by ValueCheckMyNuts to pokerstakinghere [link] [comments]

Ultimate Gambling Guide for GTA Online - odds, probabilities, and optimal strategies

Since the Diamond Casino update, I have seen a large number of 12-year-olds posting Blackjack memes on this sub. As a parent, this has me very worried.
On top of that, I have seen some of the most trustworthy GTA Youtubers giving flawed gambling advice, which can have damaging impact on their gullible audiences.
So that's why I decided to write this up, to educate everyone on the subject, so there will be no more misunderstandings.
(2020 Update down at the bottom.)
If you're one of those Youtubers that wants to use this information in a video, feel free to do so. The more people (especially kids) that become educated about gambling, the better.
But then also please go back and review your own work, and delete or edit the videos that are giving out the wrong advice, like where you're saying you have "a good strategy for making money with roulette", or some other nonsense that I've heard this week. Delete that please.
Before I get into the individual games, I need to discuss a few concepts first, that will make understanding the rest a lot easier.

Expected return and variance
A game like Roulette or Slots has a fixed expected return on your bets. This is a percentage that you have no way of influencing. Say you are flipping a coin against a friend, and you both put up $1. The winner gets the pot. Since the odds are even at 50%, in the long run, you will expect to break even. Your expected return is 100% of your bet.
But imagine if you would play this coin flipping game in a casino against the house. On the "house rules" listed at the table they would probably say that you would only get 95 cents back for every win, while you are forfeiting a dollar on every loss. Would you still play?
Sounds stupid to do so, but still, everybody does it. Every bet they place on Roulette, every coin they put into a Slot machine, is based on the same concept.
Those few cents they take on every bet are their profit margin, and has paid for all the Vegas lights, the Mirage volcanoes, and the Bellagio fountains. Make no mistake - casino gambling games are not designed to make you lose, because sure, you can get lucky on a single night, but they are designed to make them win. That's the beauty of it. They can both exist at the same time.
Too many people that don't see how this works, are just destined for disaster. Just because you went on a lucky streak and won 8 games out of 10, does not mean that flipping coins is a profitable game, or that choosing tails is a winning strategy. Always be aware of the house edge, your true chances of winning, and just realize that you got lucky. There is no such thing as a strategy in flipping a coin that will give you a higher expected return, so it's just pure gambling, just like Slots and Roulette.
Most casino games are made in such a way, that your expected return is a little under 100%. This means that from every dollar bet at the tables, the casino expects to keep a few cents. For individual players, results may vary. Some will win, most will lose. But for the house, it doesn't matter. They take millions of bets each day, so for them, the expected average works out a lot sooner. In short: the house always wins.
When looking at the house edge, we're talking about the expected long-term result, based on the game's house rules. But for a player, it can take literally tens of thousands of hands or spins before you also reach this average number. Until that time, you can experience huge upswings and downswings, that are the result of nothing but short-term luck, which is called variance.
Some games and some bets have a much higher variance than others, which means your actual results will differ enormously from what you're expected to be at.
Take for example betting on red/black at the Roulette table. This is a low-variance proposition, because it has a high percentage chance of occurring, and a low payout.
Contrast this with betting single numbers in Roulette, which only win once every 38 spins on average. This bet has a much higher variance, meaning you can easily hit a dry spell, and not hit anything for 200 bets in a row, or you can see a single number hit three times in five consecutive spins. This is not a freak occurrence in high-variance bets.
Even though the expected return in both these bets is exactly the same, there's a huge difference in variance, causing massive differences in short-term results, which can go both ways. You need to be aware of this, before you decide what types of bets you are comfortable with placing.

Gamblers' Fallacy
Another thing to realize, is that each individual game, hand, or spin, is completely independent from the one(s) before it, and after it.
Gamblers tend to believe, that the chance of a certain outcome is increased, based on previous results.
The most famous example comes from the Casino de Monte Carlo, where the Roulette wheel managed to land on black 26 times in a row. Gamblers lost many millions during that streak, all frantically betting on red, believing that the odds were in favor of the wheel coming out on red, after producing so many blacks. This is not true. Each round is completely independent, and the odds are exactly the same.
You will hear people say things like a Blackjack table being "hot" or "cold", which is completely superstitious, and should be ignored. The exception was when Blackjack was being dealt from a shoe. It made card counting possible. But with the introduction of shuffle machines, and continuous shuffling like is being used in GTA, this no longer exists.
This is also why "chasing your losses" is a very bad idea. After being on a losing streak for some time, many gamblers believe that now it's their turn to start winning. So they will often increase their bet size, believing that when their predicted winning streak comes around, they will win back their losses, and more.
The reality of it, more often than not, is that people will indeed start playing higher and higher limits, until they are completely broke. Nobody is ever "due for a win". There is never a guarantee that you're about to start winning. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. You are, after all, in a casino.

Betting systems
Some people like to think that they have a fool-proof betting system, like the Martingale system. Simply increase or even double your bet when you lose, and keep doing that until you win. In theory, this system will always win. So that's why table limits were introduced, and where the system fails.
If you start at the Roulette table, playing red/black, with a small 750 chip wager, and just double your bet every time you lose, you only have to lose 6 times in a row, before you will be betting the table limit of 48,000, just to get that 750 chip profit.
Sure, you can go on all evening without this happening, winning 750 chips each time, but this losing streak only has to happen once, and you're bust. Any betting system like this is ill-advised, because you are hugely increasing your so-called "risk of ruin", and that's what we were trying to avoid.
And even if your starting bet is only 100 chips, after only nine straight losses, and nine doubled bets, you are betting the table limit at 50,000 chips. If you lose that bet, you're 100,000 chips in the hole, with no way to recover that with your 100 chip base wager.
So don't believe anyone that says this is the perfect system to always win in the casino. Sooner or later they will understand why they were wrong, when they're asking you for a loan.

Set your limits BEFORE you start playing
One final point before we get into the games, a general tip for people that head out to play: money management.
Just like in real life, before you go to the casino, decide on a maximum amount that you are WILLING TO LOSE.
Bet small enough, so that amount can last you through the entire evening, and you will not be tempted to run to the ATM to continue playing.
Considering GTA money, some people will be comfortable losing 1% of their GTA bank balance, some people will be comfortable with gambling away 5% of their total GTA savings. It's up to you what you can handle. Decide for yourself where it will start to hurt, and don't cross that line.
But whatever number you decide on, as soon as you lost that amount, get up and walk away. Don't chase your losses, stick to your limits, and accept that this has not been your day. There is always another game tomorrow. Always agree with yourself on a simple stop-loss rule, how much you would want to lose at most, and simply stop playing when you get there.
Same goes for winning. You can decide on a number, how much profit you would like to take away from the casino. You can go on a hot streak and be up half a million in a short period of time, but if you would continue to play longer, looking for more, chances are that you're going to lose it all back.
Most people are happy with doubling their daily casino budget, for example. Others are looking for 10 bets profit in Blackjack. Whatever you choose, when you hit that number, you can stop playing and bank your profits, or you can continue playing if you're still enjoying the games, but then only just play minimum bet sizes. Then you're just playing for fun, not for money. You've already made your profit, so simply keep it in your pocket, and don't risk losing it again.
Either way, decide on what your money management strategy will be, and STICK TO IT.

Casino games in GTA Online
Now, I'm going to dive into the games that you can find at the Diamond casino, ordered from worst to best.

6) Slots
Generally the rule is this: the less strategy a game has, the worse it is for the player. And with slots, this is definitely the case.
The only influence you have, is choosing what type of machine you're going to play. Basically, there are two types of slot machines:
-high frequency, low payout slots
-low frequency, high payout slots
In the first type, there is no huge (progressive) jackpot on offer, just your average selection of prizes that don't go up to crazy amounts.
This will result in a player having many more spins resulting in a win. The amounts that you win on the bigger prizes, will be smaller, but they do come around more often. This type of slot machine has a lower variance, which means that your money should last you longer, winning many smaller prizes along the way to keep you going.
The second type of slot machine lures you in with the temptation of a huge jackpot prize. Even though the long-term expected return on these machines is the same as the previous type, the prize distribution is hugely different. The large jackpot prize weighs heavily on the scale of expected return, but the chance of it hitting is extremely small. This results in a much higher variance on this type of machine. Usually your money will go down very fast, because the smaller prizes are less rewarding than on the other type of machine.
At the Diamond, the info screen says the player return at slots is set at 98.7%. This means that, on average, for every maximum bet of 2,500 chips, you expect to lose 32.5 chips.
This might not seem like a lot, but the danger of slots is that the game is extremely fast. You can spin about once every 6 seconds, which would result in an expected LOSS of about 20,000 chips per hour of playing.
But again, in this long-term expected number, the large jackpot awards are also factored in, and as long as you don't hit those big prizes, you'll see your money go down a lot faster.
In any case, thank heavens the max bet is only set at 2,500, or else we would see more players go bankrupt at alarming rates.
Optimal strategy for slots:
There is none. Because after betting, you have no more influence over the outcome. The only choices you have, is what type of machine you want to play at, and how much money you are going to risk. And those are all personal preference. As long as you stick to your loss limits, as discussed above, there's no harm in having a go every once in a while, hoping to get a lucky hit. Just realize that you don't have a high chance of scoring a big win, so as soon as you do, get up and walk away.

5) Roulette
Roulette is also a game where you have no influence over the outcome. There is zero skill involved. You place your bet, and that's it.
In traditional French roulette, a table has only the single-zero, but of course, for American casinos that wasn't enough of a house edge, so they simply doubled their profits by adding a second zero. The house edge was increased from 1/37 to 1/19, which is huge.
This makes playing on a double-zero roulette table by definition a sucker's play.
The payouts scale evenly, which means that a bet on a single number, and a bet on half of the numbers, and everything in between, yields the same expected return. The only difference, again, being the variance that you are willing to subject yourself to.
The player return for double-zero Roulette for all bets is 94.74%.
Except for the 5-number bet, which can only be made by placing a bet on the two top rows that contain 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The expected return on this bet is lower: 92.1%. This is because it only pays out 6-1. Why? Well, the number 36 isn't divisible by 5, so the greedy people that came up with double-zero Roulette had to round it off someway, and as expected, it wasn't going to be in the players' favor.Just remember that that 5-number bet is the worst bet at the table, and should be avoided. All other possible bets have the same expected return.
So it really doesn't matter how you spread your bets, if you bet only one chip, or if you litter the entire table with a bucketload of chips. Each chip you put out there, has the same expected return, so there is no strategy that will improve your long-term results.
Assuming that you're betting the maximum table amount of 50,000 chips, you will be looking at an expected loss of about 2,630 chips per spin. Considering that a round takes about 45 seconds to complete, your expected LOSS at the GTA Roulette tables will be around 200,000 chips per hour of playing.
Optimal strategy for double-zero roulette:
Stay away. Stay far away.

4) Three Card Poker
With Three Card Poker, we come across the first game where there is actually some strategy involved. You get to look at your cards, and then decide if you want to fold, and surrender your ante, or double your bet.
Additionally, you can choose to place a side bet on "Pair Plus", which offers progressive payouts.
There are some websites out there that ran all the numbers with computer simulations, and even though I would like to quote the source here, these websites are understandably littered to the max with online casino ads, so that's why I have decided against doing that.
Optimal strategy for Three Card Poker:
For this game you only have to remember one strategy rule: Always bet on any high card queen-six-four or better, and fold any high card queen-six-three or lower. That's it. Just don't forget to double check if you're not folding a straight or a flush, and you'll be fine.
This strategy will result in an expected return of 96.63%.
The Pair Plus sidebet, with the payout table that is used at the Diamond casino, gives you an expected return of 97.68%, which is actually a bit better than the main ante bet.
So by playing both wagers, you're reducing your expected losses per bet, but since you're betting more, you're also increasing your expected loss per hour.
My advice would obviously be to not play this game at all, but if you do, put as much of your bet as possible on the Pair Plus, while making our Ante bet as small as you can.
To be able to compare it to the other games at the Diamond, let's stay on that 50,000 maximum wager, meaning making your ante bet 35,000, and your pair plus bet 15,000, if the table would allow it.
This results in an expected loss of about 1,525 chips per hand, and with a round taking about 45 seconds, this adds up to an expected LOSS of around 120,000 chips per hour of playing. In comparison, if you would only play the ante bet for 50,000 per hand, you expect to lose 1,685 chips per hand, which means an expected LOSS of about 135,000 chips per hour. So the more out of that 50,000 wager you can put on the "Pair Plus" sidebet, the better.
Even though it may be fun to try out this game for a bit, since there's only one simple strategy rule to follow, you'll soon find yourself robotically grinding down your bankroll until it has vaporized. You're not missing out on anything if you skip these tables, there is no real challenge.
Just like with Roulette and Slots, if you want to try it out nonetheless, you can just bet the minimum amounts and only play for fun, so it won't matter if you win or lose.

3) Blackjack
Blackjack is the most complicated game by far. Simply because the player has to make a series of decisions, which will largely decide the outcome. Luckily, there is such a thing as an optimal strategy, which will be outlined below.
However, the strategy is also dependent on the house rules. These not only affect your expected return, but in some places also your decisions.
Here are the house rules at the Diamond casino:
-The game uses 4 standard decks, and a continuous shuffle.
-Blackjack pays 3 to 2, dealer checks for early blackjack.
-No insurance offered, no surrender.
-Dealer stands on soft 17.
-Double down on any two cards.
-Player can split only once, but doubling after split is allowed.
-Seven-Card Charlie.
Under these rules, and following the "basic strategy" chart, your expected return at Blackjack is a shade under 99.6%, which is extremely good for a casino game, that's why Blackjack should be your table game of choice.
But it comes at a price: you are going to have to memorize the relatively complicated strategy chart, or at least stick it to your monitor until you have it in your head. But in case you ever stumble into a real-life casino, you won't regret having this table memorized, so I would definitely advise you to work on that.
The strategy chart might look complicated at first, but you will be able to notice certain patterns. Your decisions are mainly based on the dealer's upcard, which is basically divided into a weak card (2 to 6), and a strong card (7 to ace).
When a dealer shows a strong card, you will be hitting more often with the risk of going bust, but when a dealer shows a weak card, you're not taking that risk, and you will be standing more, but also doubling and splitting more. You want to increase your bets when the odds are in your favor, and get out cheap when they're not.
But it also helps to take some time to think about why a certain advice is given. For example, why does it say that you always have to split two eights, even against an ace. Well, that's because two eights equals 16, which is the worst total you can have. It's better to split them up, and give yourself a chance of finding a 17, 18 or 19 with the next card. Once you see the logic in that, you'll have one less thing to memorize.
The playing advice in the basic strategy chart is a result of computer simulations that ran all possible outcomes against each other, and produced the most profitable decision for each situation. So you can't go wrong following it.
Optimal strategy for Blackjack with Seven-Card Charlie
The added house rule of Seven-Card Charlie, adds a small advantage for the player, and it does influence a few strategy decisions. For example, you might have a 14 with 6 cards, against the dealer's 5 upcard.
Normally this would be an automatic stand, but if you're only one card away from the Seven-Card Charlie, meaning an instant win for the player, regardless of the dealer's hand, it turns it into a hit.
Here's the most optimal strategy chart to follow for the Diamond Casino house rules: https://prnt.sc/olct6g
You'll see that two fives are missing from the chart, and that's because you never split them. You treat them as a regular 10. You also never split tens. Just stand on 20.
If you follow this strategy religiously, even with a maximum wager of 50,000 chips, you only expect to lose about 215 chips per hand, and with rounds taking about 30 seconds, that amounts to an expected LOSS of 26,000 chips per hour, which is only half a bet. A small price to pay for an hour of entertainment.
But since the expected return is so extremely close to 100%, you will see more positive short-term results than with other games. But obviously it can also swing the other way. Again, this is supposed to be the game where your money lasts you the longest, but always set your loss and win limits before you sit down. That rule simply always applies.

Still, even with optimal strategies applied, all these games are expected to lose you money in the long run. So betting any kind of large amounts is not advised. If you simply want to enjoy playing these games, there's nothing wrong with betting a minimal amount. Playing these games for a longer period of time will already cost you money anyway, since your daily property fees will still be charged while you're playing in the GTA casino. As long as you can play for fun, there's nothing wrong, but when you see yourself betting insane chunks of your entire bank balance to try to recoup some unfortunate losses, you're doing it wrong.
As the commercials in Britain all correctly say: when the fun stops, stop.

2) Virtual Horse Racing
Now onto the good stuff. I ran some numbers, and I believe Rockstar has made a mistake with the horse racing game. Because as it stands, and if I read the numbers correctly, this game is actually profitable for the player. You can actually make money with this, at least, until Rockstar figures out their mistake and patches it.
If anyone wants to jump into the math and double check this to make sure, please do so. I will add any corrections to this post. This is one of those "to good to be true" things, so I keep thinking that I might have overlooked something. So please verify it if you can.
The setup is this. There is a pool of 100 horses, each with their own attached payout. These are divided into 3 groups, ranked by their odds. From each group, 2 horses are randomly selected to provide a pool of six runners for you to bet on.
Now it's not an actual race you're looking at. You are looking at a raffle. This is important to realize.
Each horse gets awarded a certain number of raffle tickets. The favorites get awarded more tickets than the underdogs, and therefore, have a higher chance of winning.
If this distribution works like it does in the real-life casinos, then the raffle tickets are awarded according to the betting odds.
Example 1: imagine a race with 3 runners, all have 2/1 odds, representing a 33.3% chance of winning. (Because 2/1 means 2 AGAINST 1, so 3 total.) In this case, each horse gets one third of the raffle tickets, giving them an equal chance to win.
Example 2: imagine a race with 3 runners, one has 1/1 odds (or EVENS), representing a 50% chance of winning, and the other two horses are marked up as 3/1, with a 25% chance of winning. The favorite gets half the tickets, the other two get a quarter of the tickets each.
A ticket is drawn, and you'll have a winner.
It doesn't matter in this game which horse you bet on, because the expected return is always the same: 100% or break-even, for the above examples.
Now, what happens if the percentages don't exactly add up to 100%?
They must add up to 100%, because there will always be a winner. And only one winner.
So when this is the case, the actual winning chances of the horses are adjusted to meet the 100% requirement, using their payout odds to determine the scale.
So, if the represented percentages add up to more than 100%, the actual winning chances of the runners will be DECREASED, resulting in all bets becoming losing propositions for the players.
Example: In a 6-horse race, all runners are listed at 4/1, representing a 20% chance. Only with six runners that amounts to 120%. So all chances are scaled down by 1/6th, to end up at 100%.
This means your horse's chances are reduced from 20% to 16.67%, turning it into a losing bet: 5 times you will lose your bet, and 1 time you will win, but only get 4 bets back in this instance, instead of 5. A losing bet in the long run.
This is the type of odds that you find in regular casinos, with fields as large as 15 runners to bet on, where the assumed winning chances always add up to more than 100%, therefore are decreased for all runners, resulting in a house edge.

But in GTA Online's Inside Track, there are other scenarios, because of the small field, and the way that they are put together.
In some cases, the represented percentages when added up, are LESS than 100%, meaning that the actual winning chances of all runners, are INCREASED.
This creates profitable bets for the players, because in the long run, you're expecting to win more money than you lose. This is a gambler's dream, pure and simple.
So, according to the in-game information, the three groups of horses are divided as follows:
-Favorites: EVENS to 5-1
-Outsiders: 6-1 to 15-1
-Underdogs: 16-1 to 30-1

Let's take the two most extreme examples to show what's happening.
The worst possible field to bet on: two runners at EVENS, two runners at 6-1, and two runners at 16-1.
EVENS represents a 50% chance, 6-1 is 14.29%, and 16-1 is 5.88%. Add those up and you land on a total of 140.34%.
This means that the actual winning chances of the horses are decreased by 28.75% (to get that 140% down to 100%), which makes betting on this field extremely unwise.
A horse at EVENS will only come in as a winner 35.63% of the time, instead of 50%,
a horse at 6-1 will only win 10.18% of the time,
and an underdog at 16-1 will only win 4.19% of the time.

The expected return on a bet on any of the horses in this field is only 71.26%, so a maximum bet of 10,000 chips on any of these horses holds an expected LOSS of 2,875 chips.
These returns are the same, because the winning chances are scaled equally, according to the payout numbers. So it really doesn't matter which horse you bet on, in the long run, you expect the same results.
But as explained before, it does influence variance, and therefore your short-term result, which can swing both ways.

But now, the best possible field to bet on: two runners at 5-1, two runners at 15-1, and two runners at 30-1.
Odds at 5-1 represents a winning chance of 16.67%, 15-1 odds means 6.25% chance, and 30-1 odds means a 3.23% chance of winning. Add these six horses together, and you only get 52.285%.
This means that, to get from 52% to 100%, the actual winning chances of these horses will be almost doubled! Multiplied by 1.91 to be exact.
So the 5-1 favorites will now win 31.88% of the time, instead of 16.67%,
the 15-1 runners will win 11.95% of the time,
and the underdogs at 30-1 odds will still win 6.17% of the time.
When betting on this field, the expected return on your bet is 191.25%!
This means that a max bet of 10,000 chips will result in an expected PROFIT of 9,125 chips.
This is printing money, if there ever was such a thing.
Optimal strategy for Virtual Horse racing
So all you have to do, is only bet high on the games where you have an expected positive return, and bet the absolute minimum on the games where your expected return is negative. Or back out of the racing game to refresh the field.
If you don't have a way to quickly add up all the percentages, and until somebody shows up here with a neatly formatted table, just use a few general rules of thumb:
-Always bet the maximum on a race with favorites at 2/1 and 3/1 or higher in it.
-Simply skip all races with two favorites at EVENS in it, and at EVENS and 2/1. Or bet the minimum, if you can't skip or refresh the field.
-To decide if you should play races with other favorite combinations EVENS and 3/1, EVENS and 4/1, EVENS and 5/1, or two favorites at 2/1, the payouts on the other four runners determine whether or not it's profitable to play them. The results of betting on these fields vary from an expected 1,330 chip loss (worst-case) to an expected 1,680 chip win (best-case), with a max bet of 10,000 chips.
But if you're not looking for another strategy chart, you might just want to skip these borderline cases, and just cherry pick the best ones, which are easy to recognize, and with which you can never go wrong.
It's difficult to put a number on an expected win-rate, because it all depends on which fields you get presented with, but it's not unreasonable to state that you can maintain a steady win-rate of around 200,000 chips per hour, with about 50 seconds per race.
Remember, you're not trying to win every race. You're trying to win the most money per hour. So don't sweat it when you bet on a 4/1 favorite, and lose a couple of races in a row. It will still be more profitable in the long run. You have the math on your side.
To reduce negative variance, always bet on the favorite, when betting on profitable fields. We're not gambling anymore, we're grinding out a steady profit. We want to keep the swings to a minimum.
I contacted Rockstar support to verify if this is indeed how it works, but the only reply I got after 6 weeks is that they were "looking into it".
User u/Garsant made a useful Excel-worksheet, available for you to download, where you can quickly type in the payouts on the horses, to see if it produces a profitable bet or not. You can find it in his post here: https://www.reddit.com/gtaonline/comments/ekp8na/gta_online_inside_track_odd_calculato

1) Wheel of Fortune
The number one profitable casino game in GTA Online is obviously the Wheel of Fortune, because it costs you nothing to play.
Unfortunately, you only get one free spin per day, but it holds great value, so make sure you do it.
With a chance to win a super car, vehicle discounts, expensive mystery prizes (which also can be vehicles), and a lot of cash and chips, the expected return on a single spin is around $100,000 in value.
So don't forget your daily spin, it's definitely worth your time.

2020 Update:
As of the Diamond Casino Heist update, the Inside Track horse racing is confirmed to still be as profitable as outlined above.The only thing that seems to be changed, is that you can't refresh the field anymore by backing out of the screen. This does affect your hourly rate in a negative way, but does not change the fact that this game has a huge positive expected return, and should be your go-to when you're trying to take money from the house, without having Lester's nagging voice in your ear. That should also be worth something.

And with that, I conclude my 5,000 word essay on gambling in GTA. Questions, comments, feel free to add your input to this guide.

Cliffs:
-Gambling games should only be played for fun, not for big money. You should expect to lose in the long run. The house always wins.
-A casino game doesn't have a memory, and betting systems don't work.
-Set your limits before you start, how much you are willing to lose or win, and then walk away when you get there.
-Don't play slots, roulette, or three card poker.
-Only play blackjack following a basic strategy chart (https://prnt.sc/olct6g).
-Inside Track betting can be played profitably, if you only bet on fields WITHOUT a heavy favorite.
-Wheel of Fortune is always your best bet, because it's a free bet.
submitted by enderpiet to gtaonline [link] [comments]

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