PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

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Robbydog
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PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Robbydog » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:53 am

With the widespread spike in the popularily of Texas Holdem No Limit Poker, came an abundance of Poker Rooms in the Las Vegas area. And now with the U.S. economy taking a hit the last few years... the over-all business has declined a bit... as various Rooms now jockey for their part of the business share.

Poker promotions are evolving presently & this thread may be useful for AVP Members as a sort of Think-Tank & Discovery Ground-Work for understanding basic and complex ideas developing in today's poker promotional world. It may help guide the industry toward tomorrow and provide proper intelligent direction for our use in the future. With all of us working together & sharing ideas, we may proceed onward with the most credible & timely of successes by sharing a space such as this in which to do it.

Sometimes asking the right questions can assist in solving many of life's issues. What is it that we poker players want most? We want to be able to win money. We want games that are possible to beat. Therefore I think some of the BEST promotions may be ones in which Novices and Intermediate Players are able do alright in. If we can make them happy, that may lead to a benefit for all. If somehow we could make the games FUN for THEM... that could be a Key Thought in all of this. I'm going to enter this much tonight & invite others to think about it. I'm going to do the same and arrange some of my thoughts and ideas. But this is our space, and I hope it winds up to be something wonderful for us. Maybe we can jump ahead of our time. :wink: This is an evolution in progress.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Robbydog » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:43 am

One of the 1st Basic Thoughts I have imagined going in... is that one of the 1st things to think about in any given Room, is ... "Where Does Your BASE Originate?"

That is... Where do most of your players naturally come from in your situation (that you're in). If you are at a popular large casino that attracts many tourists, the Room is at a huge advantage. They have a "base" of players & FISH coming in at any given time... More so even at peak times of conventions, etc.

A different Room on the other hand, might be a smaller casino, or a local place where many tourists are not the rule, etc. Maybe we could call this the "Player Base" of the Room.

A casino with a very advantageous Player Base, could get away with a worse promotion, for example. They might make an unwitty mistake in the forming of their promotion, but it doesn't hurt them that much. They don't NOTICE that the promotion could be better because the status quo seems, okay lately (good enough). Conceivably, they might be thinking everything is going great full steam ahead, but in reality it could be going even better if they only knew. So far this is just theorietical.

A Room with a tremendous enough Player Base might be a candidate for "No Promotion at All". Maybe they really don't NEED it.
Even then it would be wise to consider what a promotion might add even in that situation... or is it better still (after consideration) that they leave well enough alone & keep it promotion free. Maybe it's possible for the right Room to give a choice of a promotional table or a table with no promotions. That would have to be a big place.

So we have more FOOD for THOUGHT. Let's take it slow & hope to develope this in the most superior way by doing so. Any feedback? We'll gather our thoughts & ideas once again for an upcoming session. Right now I would say it might be a good idea to alway have a few choices where there is no promotion at all. A great Player Base would be important in a Room like that.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Robbydog » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:12 am

Multiple Promotions...Some can ruin Others !!! I've noticed that a Room can have a certain GREAT Promotion, but it can be "Watered Down" on its Expected Value by another promotion also in place at the same casino. If a certain No-value type promotion is pulling money out of the Jackpot DROP that we probably won't be privy to... that, in turn, makes the Good promotion "not really worth it anymore" in many cases.

A No-value promotion to a certain player could be a promotion that only takes place at a certain "time" that the player won't be playing there. Or maybe when it matures to a "happening"... that player won't be there then... like a free-roll to a tourist for example or a person with a Job.
Even a neutral EV promotion could be considered a No-value by some just because it's such a long-shot happening that a certain player might not have hope of getting it anytime soon, or even in their lifetime. If it's truly perceived that way, it has no real value to that player perceiving it as such.

A famous promotion like that is the Bad-Beat Jackpot. Sometimes people might talk about one if it gets really big. Most don't count on it. I would say if a casino wants a really truly GREAT Promotion, they should not want it "watered down" by a bad beat simply because most players really don't think they're going to get it in the 1st place so that tends to devalue the other promotions for those players.

If a player wanted a thrill of that sort, they could buy a LOTTERY TICET. They could bet on the PICK 6 at the Horse Races.

We haven't really put our finger on the best promotions yet in this ongoing evolution in progress... but whatever it/they may be... We probably don't want to Ruin everything by watering them down with the BAD BEAT Jackpot Promotion.

What feed-back do we have here? I personally think many Rooms would do well to cancel their Bad Beat Jackpot & start saving up the Jackpot DROP that was going toward them so it can FUND other better promotions for the players & themselves. Ones that might be perceived as more valuable by the players, and which might wind up being more profitable for the Rooms in the long run.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby allin67 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:52 am

Here are my opinions and rankings of promotions:

1. None at all. All things being equal, I would probably take this. Sure, I would love that +EV promotion, but I am not sure that really exists in the long run.

2. High Hands. It's nice to get paid extra every once in a while for a big hand. Since these actually happen every so often, I like these. However, at $50 or $100 a piece (at Caesar's properties, for example) these are as much an insult as they are a reward. Sure, something is better than nothing, but I probably paid two to three times the amount in jackpot rake for each jackpot I win. I also like that many of the High Hand Jackpot rooms seem to attract a lot of fish. I have a soft spot for the prize wheels, but they generally seem major -EV when you consider the horde of $20 prizes or other pathetic offering for the rare high hand.

3. Freerolls. This is tough to rank. I really won't play the Station Casino rooms much. Stations may offer the "best" freeroll, but it is very tourist-unfriendly and I am (I hate to admit this) a tourist. That stated, in the past I remember playing in a Flamingo-O'Shea's freeroll. It took ten hours to qualify and the freeroll ran on Sunday mornings. This rewarded a tourist for loyalty to a room AND was held at a time that most tourists could still make. Also, the ten hour minimum was not too hard for a weekend warrior to qualify for. Finally, what I did like about this was that the quality of play in the freeroll was definately fishy. There were quite a few limit players who had qualified and were playing predictably (and way too) tight. As the bubble approached, I went on a tear stealing blinds while everyone else was trying to fold into the money. I went from marginal stack to big stack and cashed easily (there was a chop that I took despite a big stack due to the fact that all stacks were extremely small in relation to the blinds and I didn't want to be that schmuck who was the only one who wanted to play on). Bottom line, however, is that this may have been close to a +EV given how many people played in the tourney (roughly 40 on the weekend I played), how many people were feeding the pot, the other high hand promotions I also got to take advantage of, and how poor the freeroll players were. Don't get me wrong - in thinking about this, I still suspect the side jackpot is mildly -EV for me - but not enough to be a major deterrent if the room is otherwise a good room. Plus, the Freeroll was fairly fun. I am a solid tournament player, but focus my efforts on cash game. Having the chance to play a tourney for free - and to cash - did feel like icing on the cake.

4. Rakeback - I love the concept and am a marathon poker player at times. However, to me, the bottom line on where I play is NOT the promotions. It is the quality of the opposition. From what I have read, the rakeback rooms attract a tougher, tighter crowd. As such, this is not my promotion.

5. Aces Cracked. I have never figured out how, if at all, to adjust my game to this rule. I don't like the idea of people playing differently just because of this promotion. I do like that I have seen people play stupidly because of it (or even tip off what they have). Also, I don't like rooms that offer it at certain hours, because it makes me feel penalized when I play there "off hours". I am getting jackpot raked (or "raped") at this point, with no chance to benefit.

6. Bad Beat Jackpot. I hate these with a fire passion. In my home state of Colorado, these have severely harmed the games here by raking all pots an extra $2 for the BBJ. This adds up. When the pots regularly grow to several hundred thousand dollars before being hit, it clues you in to how hard it is to qualify. I have played many, many hours of poker in the last ten years, and have never hit the BBJ or even been in a room when one was hit. This takes money from 99.99% of the poker players and redistributes it to the luckiest 0.001%. In a game of extreme variance, this is just a plain stupid idea and I will go out of my way to avoid BBJ rooms if there is a choice. In Colorado, there generally is NOT a choice and these games are very popular. If the qualifier is at least lower (say Aces full losing), that is somewhat better but still something to be avoided if possible.

7. Splash Pots - This also completely destroys the integrity of the game by turning pot odds on their head and potentially turning poker into bingo. Again, in a game of extreme variance, I don't like creating the incentive for everyone to see a flop, if not shove all their chips in the middle pre-flop. That's just dumb. I even disliked this promotion in limit Hold Em, where at least there was a modicum of sanity in the promotion. But in limit hold em, I typically saw the pot capped pre-flop with 8-10 players in. I remember chasing a hand to the river, with pocket 8's, spiking an 8 on the river, and winning a multiple hundred dollar pot in a low limit game. I truly (and correctly) believed that I had odds to chase my two outs to the river. I did. It was barely fun and completely lucky. Let the game be played the way it was meant to be played.

Again, to reiterate an important point, I don't choose my room based on promotions (at least as my primary reason to choose a room). I want rooms that have reliably bad players in them. Thankfully, there are a number of them to choose from in the Las Vegas area. I do find that Harrah's properties treat me well in terms of room rates. I reward those rates by playing roughly 75% of my time in Harrah's properties. I hear that may change and, if it does, I will play the Harrah's rooms less. However, I would still likely tolerate Harrah's extra dollar of rake because, at the end of the day, rooms like the IP, O'Shea's, and P-Ho have some of the consistently easiest games to beat. However, without the discounted room rates, I would certainly shift my play more towards a number of other rooms, including several MGM-Mirage properties. I have been lured by promotions in the past and must admit that I really like the Christmas promotion at the Luxor. That seemed +EV for a short 24 hour period AND the play in the room was plenty fishy.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Robbydog » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Something FUN for the Loose Fun-Loving Players... The more I thought about it recently, the more it sank in true to my thoughts. When it comes to promotions, the best ones would tend to be popular with the more active players. After all, they are the ones always in there keeping the game going & having the most fun.

By Gosh, the others including me... we don't even need to win the promotions. We just want to be there with the active players and poke our head in once in a while if we get brave enough. Of course that doesn't keep us from winning some of the promotions once in a while. But the actives are going to be winning more often just because of the sheer number of extra hands they play to begin with.

I thought of the LIVING ON JACKS & QUEENS Promotion recently. And it's for 1 - 2 No Limit Games.

On any hand that's Not a Pocket Pair... In which the high card is a JACK or a QUEEN... If you can show down a winning pot with a FULL HOUSE or STRAIGHT or FLUSH... you win a $25 Payout.

Also, here's the MIDDLE GAPPER Big Hand Promotion !!! It's for 1 - 2 No Limit as well...

On any middle gap hand, T8 , 97 , 86 ... If you can show down a winning pot with a Full House or Straight or Flush... you win a $50 Payout.

Could you imaging how much FUN that would be? A lot of loose active players play hands like this anyway, right? Why not give them the advantage of the Promotional Layouts and let them win some once in a while.

The Rooms might Blossom into fun active games with more Tables going "they can get some extra promotional money in their stack every once in a while"... and the rest of us might stumble on a winner on occassion, but most importantly we will all enjoy the company of the FUN-LOVING Active players being along side of us !!!

I don't see why promotions like this couldn't be funded. Look at all the money that goes into free-rolls, bad beat jackpot, flopping royal flushes, rakeback endeavors, and the like. Save that up & put in some of these activity promotions for the active players for a change. We all love them so why not do something for them. I would LOVE to join the party.

If they don't hit often enough to engulf all the DROP... add in some others.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Zin » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:45 pm

Promotions just cost the players money, the only winner is the Casino.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby meekamouse » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:21 pm

The best promotion would be none at all.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby missingflops » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:20 pm

Zin wrote:Promotions just cost the players money, the only winner is the Casino.


Not true (at least not directly) in Nevada. Nevada gaming regs require all jackpot funds to be paid out, so the house doesn't keep any portion of the jackpot drop.
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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby axb001 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:58 am

In terms of simple expectation of net return from a promotion, no type can be universally good or universally bad for all players. There must be some winners and some losers, depending on how you play and are able to take advantage of its various components.

However, a promotion can be universally good for everyone if it tends to attract weaker players. For this reason I favor rooms with high hands/wheel spins etc. that are more likely to appeal to novice players.

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Re: PROMOTIONAL Theory... Important Principals & Ideas !!!

Postby Robbydog » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:10 am

What is The BEST WAY to Win Them? The answer is in letting the...

axb001 wrote: There must be some winners and some losers, depending on how you play and are able to take advantage of its various components.

However, a promotion can be universally good for everyone if it tends to attract weaker players. For this reason I favor rooms with high hands/wheel spins etc. that are more likely to appeal to novice players.


Yes, the answer is in letting the...
...Expected Value come to you by letting the crazy players pay TOO MUCH of the DROP. If they are paying too much of the DROP, then the other players are NOT PAYING enough... which makes the other players the winners in the promotion. It's that simple. Plus if the promotion draws in some weak players... you also make more money from THEM. It's a win-win situation.

See, take pocket pairs & suited connectors or one gappers... which are holdings that can possibly make High Hands...

Now that favors the players who are better after the flop, and I'll tell you why. BECAUSE you can't get a high hand without seeing the flop... OR Farther. It's very simple.

THEREFORE, a calmer player who limps or makes smaller rather than large raises... does much better in the promotions because he is more inclined to be able to see a flop and let the hand develope after the flop as well.

A crazy player will raise too high for proper promotional hand developement. They will win more hands by people folding before the flop. And they will win more hands by people folding before the high hands are able to be made/finished.

They will also win more hands with beginning holdings that cannot even possibly make high hands. Right there, that guarantees they lose the promotions in the long run. In turn, that guarantees that the more controlled players turn out to be the long-run promotional winners. Promotions are nuetral EV by Gaming Rules... so losing players guarantee other players must be winners. So a break even player who is conducive to winning in the promotions will wind up a long term winner because of that. He should be the one playing in the promotional Rooms.

With Bad Beats and free roll promotions, the crazy players also come out on the short end because they pay way too many promotional DROPS. It's a no brainer if you think about it.

THEREFORE, the crazy players would do themselves a HUGE Favor by always playing in places which offer absolutely NO PROMOTION !!! If you are a crazy player... Just think how much more money you could make by not having to stick it in to the DROP every single time you win a pot. I would say that well over half of ALL the promotional money that you ever PAY is lost on your behalf because of ALL the extra Pots you Win... and are therefore DROPPING from. You are MAKING MONEY for the other more senseable players by making the promotions plus +EV expected value for them.

Therefore, those players in turn MUST play in the promotional Rooms to take advantage of the extra money they will take in by doing so. Its a simple FACT. The only way it's not true is if you find yourself playing in a Room where you never see any crazy players playing. Food for thought... :wink:

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