I'm going to apply to Master's programs in statistics, applied math, or biostatistics, planning to start in Fall 2012. I'm not sure what to do in the meantime, but I do have one better-than-expected option. Hollywood Casino in West Virginia, less than an hour away, is much nicer than I expected. I was imagining something akin to Hollywood Park Casino, due to the fact that it's on a racetrack and in West Virginia (which I unfairly imagined as being rather run-down). Also, it's similar name encouraged the comparison. The fact that their HR department was unfamiliar with the term "poker prop" did not seem to bode well, either.
In actuality, the casino seems new and the casino floor has the feel of an upscale Vegas casino, a la the Wynn. One drawback is that it feels even more packed with loud slot machines, but it's not too hard to get past those and to the poker room as long as I use the East entrance in the future. (Unaware of this, I used the West entrance on my visit.) When I finally made it to the poker room, it was packed. This was an overcast Saturday afternoon, so that was to be expected. I chatted with a floorman, who told me they have thirty tables, and there were usually wait lists on the weekends. They had discussed expanding downstairs, but that would have displaced some valuable slot machines. That's probably okay, though, because I am more likely to go during the week, when he said they usually only have about 20 tables running. The poker room shares an entrance with the stands for the racetrack, which could cause some unexpected disturbances. Their biggest game is a 5-10 NLH $300 minimum buy-in game, which is very similar to the game I got very used to at the Bike last year. Occasionally they have a 10-20 NLH game, too. They also had some PLO games running, which is also supposedly becoming more popular in Los Angeles.
I asked the floor man about props, and I was surprised to find that he had never heard of them. When I explained them, he assured me that they have none of them and that employees are not even allowed to play at the casino. Oh well.
In other news, friend and occasional commenter Rick Schoenberg has an awesome-looking textbook coming out in December called Introduction to Probability with Texas Holdem Examples. Reading the blurb makes me want to go back and review some of those concept analyses I wrote two years ago. That will have to wait until several other projects are finished, I'm afraid.