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Old 12-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #51
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Originally Posted by Rosebud22 View Post
cruised on the norwegian star 12/4 - 12/11. they had one table and it was 1/2 nl cash game which played from approx 10pm - 2am each night. rake was 10% capped at $25 and i just couldnt bring myself to play into such robbery. they also ran a $60 rebuy on the two sea days. also robbery. they took 25% of entry fees including all rebuys and add ons. they had a little under 30 players the first tourney and a little over 30 the second. from what i heard the play was weak but with so many other entertainment options onboard didnt seem like it was worth the time unless you never get to play. bottom line is poker is just like anything else on a cruise. overpriced. the only value is your cruise charge but once onboard you overpay for everything. with that said a cruise is an excellent way to relax but if you want to play poker for a few days go to vegas.
I've also played on a Norwegian ship (Epic) in August. Same scenario (1/2 nl, 10pm-2am, 10% up to $25). While I agree that the tournament is not work the vig, the cash game was unbelievably profitable. Most of the players had no idea what they were doing. While it sucked to see that huge $300 pot you won get $25 taken out for rake, the play was so bad that it was still ++EV to play.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #52
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Originally Posted by 72winner View Post
I've heard people talk about running their own "home games" on the cruise. How does that work out? Anyone run into problems with the powers that be?

I'm curious where they are held- if they can be semi public or if they really need to be on the lowdown.

I know the cruise wouldn't like it but I wonder if they really care at all.

Thx
I have played on e-tables on many different cruises over the past several years. I have never encountered enough "serious" players who would have been interested in finding a quiet corner to take the game private. That's not to say that it would be impossible. I just think it would be unlikely. My experience is that people are coming/going from dinner, shows, etc. Their spouse may be elsewhere in the casino while they are playing poker. People aren't there to play poker as a dedicated event. It's just something they do while they're on their vacation. They might throw $40 down on some numbers walking by the roulette wheel on the way to somewhere else, or throw some money in a slot machine to kill time (I've done both on a cruise, but almost never do when I'm in Vegas). Likewise, the poker table is a passing thing for most of the people that I encounter. There's a social aspect to being in/around the casino at night that goes with the overall environment of the cruise. While I have played with (mostly) the same familiar faces from night to night on my cruises, I can't think of a group that I believe would have had enough interest to take it private.

With respect to how accommodating the ship's staff would be: Unless the game was moved to someone's cabin (very few of which could comfortably accommodate a game), I can't imagine that the staff would allow a game to be held in a public area if they saw actual cash changing hands. I see people playing cards all the time in public areas (not poker), but I don't see cash as part of the equation. It's usually 2-4 people playing typical parlor-type card games. I'm sure you could openly run a poker game, but it's the wagering aspect that you would have to work to keep on the DL.

jj
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:38 AM   #53
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

Been on 4 Carnival cruises and made good money on each one. The poker pro tables are the nuts, though on my last cruise the damn thing broke on the 2nd day and the folks at Carnival really didn't give a flying **** about figuring out how to fix it. Their solution seemed to be "we have plenty of other games you can gamble on." LOL. What a joke. Really left a bad taste in my mouth. There were literally a half-table of players sitting there for over 30 minutes at a time waiting for it to unfreeze and nobody ever gave a ****.

Anyway I'm not even a good NL player. Before FTP went crazy I basically played micros and wasn't even that good. But at the 1/2 NL tables my rate over several hours of play is around $40/hour. That's straight up ABC poker. C-bet flops like crazy. Bet strong hands. Bet marginal hands without worry of being raised (esp. since people will identify you as being decent at least). Don't worry about bluffing. You'll take down pots on the flop with enough weak C-bets that it will feel like you're bluffing. It's super obvious when you're beat. Games run to about 2 am and get really juicy as there will be a few really drunk people sitting. Especially if they won big at craps or something and want to go try to triple up by playing poker.

Haven't yet paid for an entire cruise for my wife and I but can usually pay for about half the trip (excursions included) with like 15 total hours of play, which is easy to log over a 5 day cruise. There is plenty of down time on the ship. But I don't want to just play poker the entire time, I still go to the formal dinner every night, the shows, etc. All the fun stuff, but use poker during down time.

Most people on the ship are not poker players. They are drunk tourists who think it's cool to be a "riverboat gambler" or whatever. To be sure, you will see 1 or 2 other players at a time at the table who you will identify as non-morons. And everyone else will, too. As the poker pro table shows the digital number of their stack size. They'll sit with $50 and leave with $400 after a session and everyone will oooh and ahhh at them like they're Phil Ivey. But it's easy to stay away from these guys. Even if I thought I was better than them, it just wasn't worth it to get involved with them when I can just wait and rape the fish. Got in a hand with 1 guy both big stacked and we both basically checked down 2 streets obviously not wanting to tangle when there's no need.

I remember one drunk lady who was married to a doctor was in a hand with me after 1am and I flopped a set and mid-hand she got up to the bar to get a drink and I bet out like $50 and it was about to count her out and I called her and said "it's about to fold your hand!" and she trots over and with like 2 seconds left just hits call. LOL. I left after that hand as I started feeling kind of ashamed. It was late anyway. She was still way up for the day as she had ran her stack up to like $800 basically by hitting everything under the sun.

Sorry for the long post but poker on cruise ships is awesome. It's also cool that on the 1 or 2 tables they offer, the player pool is only about 20-40 players deep, so you get to know everyone by the end. By the 2nd day it's basically a home game. And people buy you drinks and **** with their drink card. Nice people. Much better than fat smelly casino folks with horrible attitudes.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:28 PM   #54
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Originally Posted by 72winner View Post
I've heard people talk about running their own "home games" on the cruise. How does that work out? Anyone run into problems with the powers that be?

I'm curious where they are held- if they can be semi public or if they really need to be on the lowdown.

I know the cruise wouldn't like it but I wonder if they really care at all.

Thx
It is not an issue at all. I've been on 5 cruises this year (75 days total) on three different cruise lines (Celebrity, RCL, HAL) and have run "private" poker games in the public card rooms on all of the cruises without issue. On the first two we just used cash on the table; on the third and fourth, everyone got chips from the casino and then brought them to the card room for our game; on this last cruise, I bought a poker chip set in one of our ports of call early in the cruise and then we just used those and I functioned as the bank/cashier each night.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:44 PM   #55
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

small hijack-

this thread reminds me of the time I stayed at the Crystal Palace in the Bahamas-they had a nice 6 table poker room there and every night the same people played $1-2 together. I won over $ 700 every night I played and I am not that good. It was pretty awesome. Couple of rich people on vacation (who I believe was actually staying at the Atlantis) throwing money in every pot. Went back the next year only to find out they removed their poker room (and replaced it with a high stakes slot area (that was always empty)..I was very sad and I guess should have checked before making those reservations. Nothing better than playing poker while on vacation (if you can tolerate the nobody knows the rules sort of thing) though in this case the floor people and dealers were very good.

ok just wanted to stroll down memory lane..
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #56
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

I too have played on my last 3 cruises dating back to 2007. The Carnival Legend has been 2 of those as others have mentioned.

I will be going on the Cranival Valor in february and of course will be playing some poker.

In 2007 the Legend had 2 tables however when i went last year they only had one. It is a Poker Pro table. In my experience, 1/2 is usally run, with the casino host able to change it to 2/5 or a tourney. I actually won a small one table tourney once for like a 130 payday. Of course as previously mentioned there are touristswho just want to play poker.....

Also, since the rake is so horrible, i talked to the casino host a couple times and talked him into graciously buying rounds for the table.

I haven't come out way ahead like others have mentioned, but again i plan too this upcoming cruise....i'll buckle down to the ABC poker and c-bet and see where that takes me.....take care all and as usual....BON VOYAGE!
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #57
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

Oh one more thing....if anyone is going on Carnival, check out a special drink menu of about 7 drinks for like $8.75 each. when you buy one, Keep your receipt and go to the casino cage to get a $5 match play. I am not a big liquor drinker however i won 3 outta 4 on my match play bets last cruise.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:07 PM   #58
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

I know this is a silly question but are there any actual "cruise line pros"? If all the games are super soft, can someone do the cruise tour and still profit big after the rake and expenses?

It would seem like a great gig if you could pull it off. Hell it sounds like even I could crush these games! Well if I managed to stay sober that is.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:14 AM   #59
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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I know this is a silly question but are there any actual "cruise line pros"? If all the games are super soft, can someone do the cruise tour and still profit big after the rake and expenses?

It would seem like a great gig if you could pull it off. Hell it sounds like even I could crush these games! Well if I managed to stay sober that is.
That's an interesting question. I think it would be hard to profit after you account for the cost of the cruise, which is usually going to be at least $1,000/week. Also you won't be able to get a lot of hours in. On some ships you'll be lucky to get 4 hours per day. Also, 1/2 NL probably won't cut it, you'll need 2/5 NL+.

I think it's probably better to think of it as a vacation where you got to see some sights in warm weather and play some poker. If you won some money, then you just got a discounted vacation.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:44 AM   #60
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

I sincerely considered doing exactly this (cruise ship professional). They feed you and put a roof over your head for a pretty low rate considering the quality of players they feed you. My bread and butter was going to be their $100 buy in tournaments on 4-day cruises (as they provide up to 3 of those tournaments, and typically one only needs one big score to make the trip +EV).

Never sacked up and did it though. And that was with my wife feeding me emails with discounted packages to various cruises. /shame
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:21 PM   #61
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

I concur that cruise games are soft. But on my last cruise, on the Adventure of the Seas, out of San Juan, the game didn't run regularly. Contrast that to sailing on a sister ship out of Barcelona, we had plenty of action every night until the shut the casino down.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:11 PM   #62
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

Seriously...if anyone thinks it would be good to cruise and earn aliving playing poker........a cheap 7 day cruise, inside cabin.....1000 for it......divided by 7 nights....is about what 150 a night....if it so so soft as you all think......it would be a no brainer to make at least that much to pay for your cruise....one week eastern....1 week western caribbean.......it is way to easy the way you all explain it.

150 a night would be easy at 1/2 NL right????
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:56 PM   #63
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Seriously...if anyone thinks it would be good to cruise and earn aliving playing poker........a cheap 7 day cruise, inside cabin.....1000 for it......divided by 7 nights....is about what 150 a night....if it so so soft as you all think......it would be a no brainer to make at least that much to pay for your cruise....one week eastern....1 week western caribbean.......it is way to easy the way you all explain it.

150 a night would be easy at 1/2 NL right????
In theory it would work, and in application the right person would probably be able to break even long run. However if you are trying to pay for the weekly expenses AND make a profit, I don't think it would be possible long term.

The other problem with this is that all cruise prices are based on double occupancy. So your choices are:
A) Pay double occupancy prices for a single room, thus nearly doubling your expenses.
B) Room with a non poker player, your odds of finding someone to room with you long term is about zero and it would be a pain trying to find a different person each week.
c) Room with another poker player, with the already small pool of players; dividing this pool between two players will lower your weekly earnings.

So in summary I agree with the above posters, it's a discount or a stimulus to a nice vacation, nothing more nothing less.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:07 AM   #64
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Originally Posted by gogetter76 View Post
Seriously...if anyone thinks it would be good to cruise and earn aliving playing poker........a cheap 7 day cruise, inside cabin.....1000 for it......divided by 7 nights....is about what 150 a night....if it so so soft as you all think......it would be a no brainer to make at least that much to pay for your cruise....one week eastern....1 week western caribbean.......it is way to easy the way you all explain it.

150 a night would be easy at 1/2 NL right????
REALLY what you want is to find a way to prop. Get a free cabin in exchange for helping games get going and be sustained.

At $15/pot, 30 hands/hour they're looking at $450/hour if all pots big enough to cap rake. Assuming 9 handed average you're contributing over $50/hour yourself. If you can keep a table alive for a few hours/day you've earned your keep.

Someone should approach a cruise line with this. You'd want to not vacuum the table when it's short handed and focus on building up a viable table. (including recruiting other guests to try their hand at it, making the experience fun, etc.).

That's where it becomes viable- if the ship is giving you free lodging (or rakeback...)
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:09 AM   #65
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

Pretty sick to think the games are soft enough to sustain any profit with $200/hour of rake coming off the table. (or $450/hour if every pot is capped).

Folks have to be opening their wallets A LOT to sustain that...
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #66
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

Carnival only rakes 10% up to $6.00 so it's closer to $180/hr if all hands are capped. That's still a ton of money but nearly as much as some of the other lines.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #67
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Carnival only rakes 10% up to $6.00 so it's closer to $180/hr if all hands are capped. That's still a ton of money but nearly as much as some of the other lines.
Wow, good to know! That's less than some land based casinos...
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:05 PM   #68
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

I just got back from the carnival pride sailing out of Baltimore.

They had one table, 1/2, and the floor told me it was 15% to $6, with no rake if less than 4 people were playing. The game hardly ran - my first session, after waiting 30 minutes to get 4 people (because no one would play with less,) the game ran for 40 minutes before breaking. Most folks bought in for 20-50 bucks, although we once had 8 people with most stacks near 100. All in all I wasn't too concerned with playing, but put in maybe 7 hours over 3 days and left +$269. Paid for the $8 drinks for me and the woman, anyways. Really, it's a game where you literally play ABC, with no/very few bluffs or creative plays. You will get called by third pair on wet boards.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:38 PM   #69
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Cruise Line: Holland America
Ship's Name: Noordam
Date of Cruise: Apr 28 - May 14, 2011
Number of tables: 1
Live or e-table: PokerPro
Blinds: 1/2
Buy-in structure: 50min/200max
Rake structure:15%, $6 max, no rake if fewer than 4 players
How often did the game run: Nightly. We'd start at about 9:30 and play until early morning. A couple of the games lasted until 5 or 6am.

There was also a daily tourny at 2:00pm on all sea days. Buyins alternated between $30 and $60, with $25 & $50 respectively going to the prize pool. Top two places were paid: 75% & 25%.

****************
I've been on that ship two years ago. No action at all. In ten days i saw two sng taking place.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #70
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

So is Carnival a lower-end cruise line?

Seems like a deal like this would be great...


5 Night Key West & Bahamas
Departs from Port Canaveral, Florida
Carnival Cruise Lines — Carnival Ecstasy
Customer Reviews:
Brochure price $1,019. Save up to 78 % off brochure price!
$229 $299

$300 for 5 nights? $60/night winnings?
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:32 PM   #71
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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So is Carnival a lower-end cruise line?

Seems like a deal like this would be great...


5 Night Key West & Bahamas
Departs from Port Canaveral, Florida
Carnival Cruise Lines — Carnival Ecstasy
Customer Reviews:
Brochure price $1,019. Save up to 78 % off brochure price!
$229 $299

$300 for 5 nights? $60/night winnings?
Yes, it is. Especially on an older ship such as Ecstacy. CCL runs their older, out-of-date ships on the shorter 3,4, & 5 day Caribbean cruises. A couple of other things to keep in mind: prices are quoted per person based on double occupancy; IOW, you can't sail solo in a cabin for $300. Secondly, taxes & fees are normally added to the quoted fare. Thirdly, there are additional costs when you cruise, not the least of which is $11 or so per person per day charge for tips to your cabin and dining stewards.

If you're looking for a bargain and have the time, repositioning cruises (e.g., transatlantic) will cost less on a daily basis then a standard r/t caribbean cruise out of Florida. For example, in May I took a 16-day transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on Holland America for $749pp ($47 day). In October, my wife and I paid $499pp for a 14-day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans on Royal Caribbean ($35pp/day). In November, we took a 15-day transatlantic from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale in a balcony cabin on Celebrity for $949pp ($63pp/day).
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #72
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Yes, it is. Especially on an older ship such as Ecstacy. CCL runs their older, out-of-date ships on the shorter 3,4, & 5 day Caribbean cruises. A couple of other things to keep in mind: prices are quoted per person based on double occupancy; IOW, you can't sail solo in a cabin for $300. Secondly, taxes & fees are normally added to the quoted fare. Thirdly, there are additional costs when you cruise, not the least of which is $11 or so per person per day charge for tips to your cabin and dining stewards.

If you're looking for a bargain and have the time, repositioning cruises (e.g., transatlantic) will cost less on a daily basis then a standard r/t caribbean cruise out of Florida. For example, in May I took a 16-day transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on Holland America for $749pp ($47 day). In October, my wife and I paid $499pp for a 14-day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans on Royal Caribbean ($35pp/day). In November, we took a 15-day transatlantic from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale in a balcony cabin on Celebrity for $949pp ($63pp/day).
So for $60/day quoted price you're looking at maybe $90/day bare bones with fees and tips? (per person D/O). So for my wife and I it's $180/day to win... Not feasible.

Where do you find the repositioning cruise deals?

How are the games on those? I assume richer clientele?
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:17 PM   #73
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Where do you find the repositioning cruise deals?
Pretty much any travel agency or even the cruiseline websites themselves. It's not really a secret. In the spring (March/April) the cruise lines need to reposition some of their ships from the Caribbean to Europe for the summer season. Then in the fall (Oct/Nov) they send them back. So they discount the cabins to get as many passengers as possible to take the trip in order to get some revenue while repositioning the ships. Similar deals can be found when ships are moved to and from Alaska for the summer cruise season there.

Quote:
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How are the games on those? I assume richer clientele?
Not necessarily richer, but definitely older. In fact, a general rule of thumb is that the longer the cruise, the older the clientele. What's nice about the longer cruises is that you get to study the players longer thereby getting good reads on everyone. Secondly, since you'll see the same players over and over, its easy to put together a "private" game outside of the casino thereby eliminating the rake.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:01 PM   #74
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

While most rates are for double occupancy, there are a few single rooms on many ships would would be cheaper. As for Carnival, it may not be the top of the line cruise outlet, but their product is excellent for the price.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:08 AM   #75
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Re: Cruise Ship Poker Thread

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Originally Posted by MMOB View Post
Pretty much any travel agency or even the cruiseline websites themselves. It's not really a secret. In the spring (March/April) the cruise lines need to reposition some of their ships from the Caribbean to Europe for the summer season. Then in the fall (Oct/Nov) they send them back. So they discount the cabins to get as many passengers as possible to take the trip in order to get some revenue while repositioning the ships. Similar deals can be found when ships are moved to and from Alaska for the summer cruise season there.



Not necessarily richer, but definitely older. In fact, a general rule of thumb is that the longer the cruise, the older the clientele. What's nice about the longer cruises is that you get to study the players longer thereby getting good reads on everyone. Secondly, since you'll see the same players over and over, its easy to put together a "private" game outside of the casino thereby eliminating the rake.
That explains the "I just start a home game" vs. "not enough interest for a home game". If you have 15 days to cultivate it, it seems much easier!

Seems like rake is a huge issue in game duration too. If you have to vacuum the table just to keep up with rake, folks will get frustrated (and see you as a ringer). If you can play a bit softer in the home game and still pocket as much money, that could make it more comfortable for the fish.
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