Recently in Las Vegas, there was a local pub offering a nice promotion between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. several days a week. Not a great promo and not likely to be repeated, but I’m not interested in providing more details about it than I already have. Suffice it to say it was close enough to where I live and juicy enough that I arranged my sleep schedule so that I was there during the requisite hours most of the days it was offered.
A friend, “George,” told me about a different play somewhere else. In exchange, I told him about the graveyard shift promo. A lot of players share information on a quid pro quo basis, where we each share information useful to the other, and that was the case here.
George told me that yes, it was a nice promotion, but that he was seldom out of bed during those hours. His sleep schedule is his business, but that got me to thinking.
Over the decades I’ve been in Vegas, I’ve adjusted my sleep schedule thousands of times to take advantage of a play with profit potential. (They didn’t always turn out to be profitable, of course, but that’s the way gambling goes.) The idea of a “regular sleep schedule” is anathema to me. I can nap any time and be ready to go at any hour, provided I’ve had sufficient warning. I indeed need my sleep like anybody else, but whether it’s at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. is of little consequence to me. Occasionally I can go 24 hours if need be. Not as often as I used to be able to do it, but it’s still possible.
There’s always location, location, location, of course. I live in Vegas, where there are more than one hundred places to gamble — including small bars — and they all have promotions some of the time. Most of these promotions aren’t interesting to me, but sometimes . . . While it does take a considerable amount of scouting and networking to stay on top of which place is having which promotion when, many of my readers don’t live in or near a casino city — or perhaps only have a few places within easy driving distance.
Showing up somewhere at an odd hour is not so easy for people with regular full-time jobs or other responsibilities. If they have to be present and alert from nine to five (or any other set time), that eliminates the possibility of many plays. Sometimes because they are working at the time a promotion is going on. Sometimes because they need to prepare for later things.
There is also interaction with the regular world. Doctors, manicurists, restaurants, and other establishments are not typically open at 4 a.m. I know of the local markets that are open 24/7. Bonnie doesn’t drive anymore, and I take her places when I can. (She knows how to use Uber and Lyft.) This eliminates some plays, but not others. We also try to schedule our stops efficiently, so we go to places near each other back-to-back.
I think my time flexibility is one of my “secrets to success.” It’s not one of the usual secrets I mention (being able to learn and execute strategies well, obtaining and keeping a bankroll, keeping my welcome in as many places as possible, etc.), but it’s an important one nonetheless.
Longtime readers and listeners to the former GWAE podcast know that I regularly study health-related information. Some of the doctors I’ve read say a regular sleep schedule is an important part of good health. It’s possible they’re correct. It’s possible that’s just something they do, and they think it’s part of the secret to good health. I’m not sure. But I’m willing to sacrifice that particular technique. The alternative is simply too valuable to pass up.
The fact that my friend George isn’t interested in having a flexible sleep schedule (which is cutting his bankroll short) is up to him. As is his comment, “I don’t like to eat vegetables,” which I think is cutting his life short. I’ll make sure he knows about this article (I’ll send him a “I wrote a blog about you” email) and he can do with it what he wishes.