Martin- I have a project for you if you can find time during your busy week.
We have all talked at length about the beatability of 1-2 NL games in Vegas. I remain confident that good players can show a consistent profit at these games. (and the bet is still on for whenever the 4 of us can get down there) But while reading Martin's recap post, he put up some interesting numbers regarding rake and cost per orbit. Also, I was just listening to a podcast about cash games called Cash Plays, hosted by Bart Hansen, formerly of Live at the Bike, and PokerRoad Radio. The show is a little dry perhaps, but very good. Bart was talking about the low limit (1-2 and 2-5) games in the LA area, and if he thought they were beatable. His contention was that you could show a profit in the games, but that it would be really hard to actually make livable or good money at the games due to the rake. The casino he used as an example took 5.00 flat fee out of every pot, plus a 1.00 jackpot rake. If you tipped one dollar per hand, that would be 7.00 per pot, every pot. The maximum buy in is 200.00. If we are getting in the average 30 hands per hour, we are talking about taking one persons stack per hour in rake.. Ouch.
I know that on the Strip the rake is generally percentage based and not flat fee, and downtown the rake is even less. Marty, I was wondering if you could do similar breakdowns in hourly cost or how much rake money leaves the table from the players each hour (assuming 30 hands per hour).
I want to see the viewpoint here not of one player vs. the other players at the table like we normally think of poker, but instead of all 9-10 players at the table vs. the house. Maybe just of the top few casinos we play at down there (MGM, Caesars etc), maybe one downtown casino like Binions, and maybe even throw in Full Tilt and even Cake just for perspectives sake.
I think that this topic speaks to Jason's point about the games being unbeatable more than his assessment of the play at these tables. I still think that one can turn a profit, but seeing these numbers laid out in front of you regarding rake and tips, as Martin said, can be quite sobering.