Wizard Of Odds Weekly Update October 06, 2017
I write this four days after the darkest day in the history of Las Vegas. In this newsletter, I can't help but address what happened.
First, my sympathy goes out to the wounded and everyone close to those who lost their lives in the shooting. Second, I would like to commend the bravery and quick action by the Las Vegas Police Department who likely saved many lives.
As details emerge about the shooter, Stephen Paddock, it turns out he was a high-level video poker player and likely a skilled one. I know many such players and that many members of the Wizard of Vegas forum fit that description. It is possible he was even a member and we are investigating that.
With my knowledge of video poker, I've been interviewed by the media three times already. So far stories quoting me are:
Mandalay Bay comped gambling gunman the $500-a-night suite where he carried out massacre and he exploited hotel worker shifts to slowly smuggle in his thirteen suitcases of weapons
Las Vegas shooter gambled $100,000 an hour in video poker with 'constant stream of booze' and was VIP guest at tournaments with free rooms and shopping sprees
The first article incorrectly quoted me as saying a "premium mass' player (is) one who bets in higher amounts, with a better understanding of the game than the typical player." That is not correct. A "premium mass" player is a term used in the industry for a player at the high end of the "mass market." In other words, not a whale, but the category right under it. The level of skill does not directly matter but just someone the casino views as a player of high value. Thus, if anything, bad players are more likely to make that category, as they are more profitable. I just wanted to make that clear.
I would also like to address the implication that the Mandalay Bay is partially complicit in this for allegedly comping the room to Paddock and not detecting the guns. This is absolutely not the Mandalay's fault in any way! Every major casino in Las Vegas gives away suites like that to high-level players. I personally have stayed either in that suite for free, or one directly above or below it, many times when I was a perceived as a higher roller at the Mandalay Bay. That is just the way every property in the Vegas does business and there is nothing wrong with giving players something back for their business. In fact, it is a very good thing for players.
Regarding the huge cache of weapons in the room, it is my understanding he brought them up gradually in bags. I'm sure he hid the weapons within the bags before the shooting so that the housekeeping staff wouldn't see them. From everything I read and hear, Stephen Paddock was not stupid. No property in Vegas has a policy of checking every bag for weapons that guests bring in. Would you like it if your bags were searched every time you stayed in a hotel? Paddock seemed to know what would set off red flags and did everything he could to avoid setting them off. There is nothing in his behavior to suggest anything remiss by the staff of the Mandalay.
While on the topic of searching for a living person or entity to blame for all this, let me also voice my opposition to those suggesting it was an anti-Republican shooting. I have yet to see a shred of evidence of this. Much like at the gambling tables, it is convenient to have somebody to blame whenever anything doesn't go your way. What gambler hasn't heard hundreds of times "I would have won if it wasn't for that idiot who hit a 12 against a 2." or at the craps table, "I would have won if that jackass didn't make a late bet." People, the world is a random place. Shit happens. Other players are just as likely to help you as hurt you when their actions play a role in what happens to you. Quit trying to point the finger at somebody else every time something doesn't go your way and worry about your own side of the street.
Thank you for letting me vent.