A few weeks ago, I wrote about a drawing at the ROW in Reno (a Caesars property where the Eldorado, Silver Legacy, and Circus Circus are all connected indoors), where Bonnie and I had each accumulated more than a half-million tickets during our stay. While that is a lot of tickets, everybody gets free tickets and daily multipliers, depending on their tier level.
I mentioned in that article that probably we won’t attend the three nights of drawings because the combination of prizes and probability of winning them wasn’t all that high. I said that would be my decision, “depending” on other factors.
Some of those other factors came in and so it now looks like we’re going. These factors are relatively unique to us and do not apply widely to readers of this blog, so I’ll leave them unstated. (Even though “inquiring minds want to know.”)
When the previous blog was posted, there were several comments. One wag who has read that I play at Dotty’s suggested my EV calculation was between the ROW and Dotty’s. Well, yes, except that if this wag read my most recent column about Dotty’s, he’ll know that I won’t be playing there until the end of March at the earliest. And even then, it doesn’t matter whether you play at Dotty’s mid-week, on weekends, or on which shift you play (although graveyard is considerably less smoky), if you want to participate in must-be-present-to-win drawing, you must be there when it’s taking place. So even if I were playing at Dotty’s these days, which I’m not it wouldn’t conflict with a trip to Reno.
Other readers mentioned how they prefer drawings with certain characteristics. Well, I do too. I’d prefer no free tickets. I don’t mind the size of your ticket multiplier based on your tier level because Bonnie and I are both at the highest tier level. (I wouldn’t feel that way if we were not at the highest tier level.) I prefer drawings where I’ll be around for all of the days you can earn tickets. While I can play a lot when I’m there, if I’m gone for more than a month others can catch up to me by playing smaller amounts more often.
But those preferences are largely irrelevant for this particular drawing. I’m not going to be able to change the rules. The only question is: does this series of drawings, under the existing rules and conditions, present a good enough opportunity for us that we’re willing to go through the expense of getting there and staying there a few days? If the answer to that is yes (and it is — including things unrelated to the drawing), then we’ll be there. If the answer to that is no, we won’t be.
Another reader spoke of how large the ROW is, how temperamental the microphone is, and noted that you only have so many minutes to make it to the drawing area once you’re called. It might not be possible to reach the drawing area if you’re at one of the far ends of the place. While this is true, this will not be a factor. By the time of the drawing, we’ll have upwards of two million tickets between us. We are NOT going that far to miss out because we weren’t in the right place at the right time.
A full 15 minutes before each drawing, Bonnie and I will be in the vicinity of where the drawing will take place. We will know we’re close enough because we will hear the preliminary announcements of “make sure you swipe your card at the kiosk to make sure your entries are activated.” If we can hear that announcement, we’re plenty close enough. Even though Bonnie uses a walker and might be shy about pushing her way through, if she’s called I’ll be ahead of her loudly asking people to make way for an 80-year-old winner using a walker. People generally will make way under such a circumstance, and if for some reason they don’t, casino employees will hear me (I’ll be loud if necessary) and they’ll help us.
As I write this, I remember what nights the drawings are on but not the exact times or location. I suspect it will be in the Silver Legacy, but right now I’m not positive. You can bet I’ll know for certain before the drawings take place, and exactly the hours for activating our entries. Any other salient points in the rules will be mastered as well because I’ll be sure to re-read the rules several times at least.
These drawings won’t be a problem. I’ve won large or small prizes in several hundred drawings over the years at several dozen different casinos. While each one is a little different from the others, I’m confident in my abilities to get us entered into these drawings and collect if we get called. It’s not rocket science — and experience matters.
And if we’re totally skunked and not called at all? Well, that happens too. You need to make your best calculation before you know the results, and then you live with whatever results arise. This has a whole lot in common with other successful gambling. Or living life intelligently.