January 20, 2010

Advanced Poker-Drinking:
Rule III—Drink Better!

Why just get drunk in Vegas, when you can get paid to get drunk in Vegas?

We rejoin the discussion of poker-drinking, already in progress ...

Rule III: The better the booze, the more money you make. Conversely, drinking cheaply is like sending cash to a Nigerian email scam artist.

This rule is already fairly well-understood by most professional poker-drinkers. However, the mathematical impact of drinking top shelf liquor is probably underestimated by the casual poker-drinker. Looking at the expected drinking value (EDV) formula, value of booze consumed (VBC) is not only a positive variable, but it also has a multiplicative effect on the drinking rate (DR) variable. So, not only is one top shelf drink a profitable play by itself, but many top shelf drinks will have an even more profound positive effect on EDV.

How do you increase your VBC in real life? Easy, play at poker rooms that offer top shelf liquor, like the Venetian, Aria, Wynn, or Bellagio. Avoid places that limit you to Schlitz or Zima Gold. Perhaps the most common error casual poker-drinkers make, however, is ordering cheap drinks when expensive booze is available. Always upgrade your drink.

Rule III(a): Coffee is for closers, well drinks are for losers.

Rule III(b): Beer drinkers go broke.


If you have a choice between a $4 beer, a $6 well drink, and a $10-$12 top shelf drink, choosing anything but the top shelf drink is a -EDV play. Similarly, if you can choose between a poker room that offers drinks in the $10-$12 range and a poker room that offers drinks in the $5-$6 range, you not only cost yourself the difference in drink price, but that error is compounded each time you order another drink. You may think that the walk from the MGM to the Venetian is long and hot, and you are out of shape and wearing all black in mid-July, but not taking that walk will have a devastating effect on your drinking bankroll.

Once you have mastered maximizing your DR and VBC, you are ready to take the big step from poker-drinking hobbyist to poker-drinking pro.  But first, time to pour yourself some of the good stuff, while we prepare our next lesson:

Advanced Poker-Drinking:  Rule IV— Seek Fast Booze & Slow Play

Stay tuned true believers!

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