Writings from Truckin'


Poker Blogs

Thursday, November 12, 2009

UltimateBet paid for my car

I rented a car for Halloween so I wouldn't have to wear my costume on public transit. Apparently I went as Lenny Kravitz if Lenny were a Rastafarian New Zealander.

The Halloween party was a good time, with my costume significantly covering enough of me that I could lose my inhibitions and approach strange women with lighted breasts (who may have crashed our private party) and comically hump them like a dog with reckless abandon.

I also somehow sneaked a set of silverware into my oversized pocket. When drinking, I seem to develop kleptomania. Three more trips to that bar and I'll be ready to host a dinner party.

The next day, I drove to Four Winds and Blue Chip, a Boyd Gaming property in Michigan City, Indiana, that has one of the worst buffets I've ever had (yes, worse than Imperial Palace in Vegas). Though that didn't prevent me from using my buffet comps to stuff myself silly on a bad dinner and a bad breakfast.

Used up $150 in freeplay but the night ended up costing me much more.

Still, the room was nice and comfortable, and on the big screen TV I got to watch a behind-the-scenes look at the D.C. snipers (one of whose death I celebrated yesterday by going to Five Guys for lunch) and what George Washington really looked like.

On the way out was a line of senior citizens awaiting a lunch buffet for Bud Ruby's 90th. Hopefully we weren't sharing the same food, or Bud may not see 91.

Happy birthday, Bud.

Cooped up without a car for 3 years, the drive to the casinos was an excuse to find a nice long peaceful road to drive on. And of course, at the destination I could take out my frustrations and stress and anger on gambling. There's such satisfaction to slapping that slot machine button, risking H1N1, and ogling girls dressed up as Wonder Woman -- all under one roof.

Laziness ensued after the rental week was up, so I extended it for one more week and have been going to Target every day. The Toyota Aztec is really growing on me, I may never give it up.

* * *

My bulk email folder showed me that UltimateBet spammed me with a free $25.

I haven't played UB since losing a ton in blackjack 3 years ago with no bonuses or points (I constantly wrote to them about that and they'd say "soon"), and I removed their software before the superaccount scandal.

But hey, a free $25 is worth re-installing for another peek at ol' Annie Duke.

Although I haven't played there in ages, they kept me at Contender level (I last played before they had any tiered status), and their new (?) RAISE program offers a way to trade my points for cash instead of some trifling in their store.

I had two options: trade 3572 points for $25 or 7144 for $50. I had more points, but it was capped at the odd 7144 number. Perhaps next month I'll be able to convert more.

I went with the $50, bringing my free loot to a total of $75.

To cash out, UB now charges a fee. A check by mail costs $8, a check by courier costs $25, and a wire transfer costs $50.

A 10 percent surcharge? No thanks. Maybe I could win 8 bucks to offset.

Wandering around their revamped site, I saw that the bad beat jackpot recently hit for a whopping $273k. They split $89k to the bad beat winner (quad Jacks), $44k to the winning hand (straight flush), $1351 to the 3 players in the hand, and $351 to 80 players at the same stakes.

They also removed multiplayer blackjack, which is what I lost big on a few years back. I'm guilty of flooding that chat box with creative curse words, expressing how rigged I thought blackjack was to fellow players. A few months later, players were found to be using poker accounts that saw every player's hole card. So the idea of rigged blackjack isn't that far off.

They also now have Step tourneys, which I hope Full Tilt adds soon. SnGs on Tilt are much more difficult now than they were 5 years ago, mostly because players are aware of the correct ICM pushes and calls, which to me makes the game more about luck.

But satellites and step tourneys -- those contain more recreational players.

Played a $10 step SnG, where I came in 9th. Then played an Elimination Blackjack game for $2, which I won.

Then returned to the beast and played regular blackjack.

Playing online blackjack for so long, you get a feel for hands and streaks. That's all fallacy, I'm sure (nothing about gambling is logical), but playing at UB was such a difference from playing at Bodog, where my flawed tracking shows the dealer consistently getting 4 times as many blackjacks as the player, over 5000 hands. And playing into my rigged conspiracy theory, Bodog is taking over 2 weeks now to send me my blackjack play history.

UB's blackjack seemed like regular table blackjack: in other words, non-rigged.

Played small to win the $8 shipping fee, then kept going and ended up running the $75 to $450 before cashing out.

$442 will cover the rental car for 2 weeks, and I like the idea of gambling paying for at least something before I inevitably lose it all.

Now to see if I can turn some other freeplay into my Vegas rental car payment next week.