Some people think of gambling as something fun to do while in Vegas, but to me it’s a way of life. I spend more of my time each week in Chumash Casino than anywhere else. While I have a great love for gambling, I have to question the Daily Nexus for its recent publications of the articles written by lecturer Eliot Jacobson. The articles amount to little more than Jacobson stroking his own ego about how good of a gambler he is and offer little to the student body in terms of advice. If anything, these columns are detrimental as they offer the illusion that casinos are beatable, given the time and effort. The simple fact is that nowadays it is next to impossible to beat the casinos, even with years of training. Jacobson, instead of praising yourself and your great accomplishments over the decades, offer some actual substance with your column that’s relevant to gambling nowadays. I have only been playing for about a year, but feel I can offer better advice than has appeared in your articles. For example:

Rule #1: Be prepared to lose money. The casinos obviously operate for a profit. The games offered are games of luck, but the house has an advantage over everyone. Learn ways to extend your playtime and get the most for your money. An example would be playing at a full blackjack table. You play fewer hands per hour, but the experience will still be the same. The result is that you will still lose money on average, but it takes longer.

Rule #2: Take advantage of all the free stuff casinos offer you. Every casino offers some form of freebies; usually drinks, discounted food, cheap rooms and lots of promotional giveaways. All you have to do is sign up to join the casino’s player club. This is always free and the rewards can help you deal with losses. Once you know, abuse the free stuff as much as you can.

Rule #3: Avoid slot machines like the plague. A state commission does not regulate slot paybacks. Chumash has slots that pay back as little as 30 percent. In Vegas, many slots advertise that they have a 97 percent or higher payback. Play these and your money will last longer. You just have to do a little research, but overall, slots are a sucker’s bet.

These are just a few things I have picked up in my short life as a professional gambler, but I stick mainly to the poker room – it’s the only game where the house doesn’t have an advantage over you. I’m sure that a man who has been a card counter and all over the casino world could offer even better advice than this. The question, though, is why haven’t you, Jacobson? I understand you’re good, but seriously, throw us a bone in your next article. I don’t care how many times you have been banned. That doesn’t help the students. You talk about exploits but don’t reveal them even though they don’t exist anymore. You even mentioned you had some “insider secrets” but you don’t share them. What the hell? Help us out here. Why mention it if you aren’t going to talk about it? Every other adult columnist tries to offer the students something. Take Mark Signa and Henry Sarria for example. They write from the perspectives of a police officer and a longtime I.V. resident, respectively. These are beneficial to the student community. Anyone who reads these can get information to benefit their college experience.

Don’t quit your day job, Jacobson. I know you want to help the students with their gambling, but so far you have failed. Shed some of your wisdom on us, and stop writing these articles where you do nothing but brag about your greatness. The best advice I can give students is stay away from casinos unless you have done a lot of research and are still prepared to lose a lot of money.

Torrin Brooks is a fourth-year political science major.