Tournaments -- Competition at Its Best Part 2 . June 2001

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Tournaments -- Competition at Its Best

Part 2

by Gayle Mitchell

We continue with our video poker/slots tournament tips.

The one player VP advantage is to play each hand with 'perfect' strategy, and  if you do make a mistake, don't dwell on it, move on quickly to the next hand.  While 100%, or optimum play is difficult, 97% or better should bring in 1000 credits.  Also, don't be discouraged and be cool; my first session was my lowest score. I was afraid I was going to embarrass myself, and the announcer mentioned that Gayle Mitchell, author of Casino Gambling Made Easier   books was attending this tournament -- no pressure there!  Once I relaxed, the third session was my best score.

Another suggestion I would make is to practice at home.  The video poker software I use has a tournament mode that calculates total credits, hands played/ hour, optimum strategy %, a timer, and even two person tournament mode.

Top prize for this tournament was 3430 credits, and how did your reporter do?  Well, I am pleased to report that my first venture into tournaments placed me in 22nd place with 3110 total credits, not a wide gap -- 320 credits difference from first place..if only I had snagged a royal flush.. if only, well next time maybe.  There will be a next time, this was a fun experience, and the $100 prize money covered my entry fee, two nights accommodation, ($12./night, special price), with money left over to play on my own.

Although these tournaments are considered competitions, they are not 'psych the other guy out' sporting events. On the contrary, I found that there is a genuine friendliness among tourney attendees, congratulating and encouraging each other...'great score', or 'this is just the first session, you'll do better next time'.

Many of these same players were also entering the slots tournament later in the week.  Those players also have three 15 minute sessions, and no credits to start.  Now this is where speed counts, you bang that spin button as fast as you can to stay on top in this competition. Stay focused--filter out any distractions.  Entry fee was $79, low room rate, 1st prize $5000, 2nd-$2500, 3rd-1250 down to $25. Top 275 entrants win some money.

Laughlin offers some of the lowest entry fees for slots and video poker tournament packages and inexpensive room rates.

Some Las Vegas slot entry fees are in a higher price bracket, with fewer participants. Rates run $1000 -- $5000 that includes hotel, meals, award dinners; usually 100 entrants with half receiving some prize money, and a top prize of $25,000+.  'Regulars' attend these top-drawer slot competitions, and the prize list names are familiar.  These players put up these higher fees viewing competition as a paid mini-vacation--free room and board, and possible return on their investment equal or better to the original entry fee.

Daily, free, or low entry fee slot tournaments are offered across the US and are an excellent 'training ground' for new tourney entrants, plus the price is right.   Definitely, sign-up for membership at participating casinos because slot club members get invitations, the best tourney rates, and are notified by the casino's monthly mailings of upcoming events.  Slot tournaments are the 'meat' of casino promotions.

Your best bet, other than a slot club mailing, is to call the 800 toll free numbers of your favorite casinos to inquire about tournaments; ask for the Events Manager.  Also, check the web for slot tournament information. 

Start small, gauge your profits, and decide if you will pursue the big prize money.     5,4,3,2,1, and PLAY!

Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.