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How Good Is Your Precision Shooting?
Part II

In Part I, we discussed the different Phases of Precision-Shooting.

Today I want to discuss how to break free from that frustrating “Break-Even” phase of Precision-Shooting, and help you make the transition to the “Small Consistent Wins” phase.

I want you to understand just how far that you have come if you are generally breaking-even on your current craps play.  Do you realize how incredibly difficult it is to play dead-even on ANY casino game?  So if you’ve made it this far, I want you to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.  You have accomplished what 95% of all other craps players will never consistently achieve.

So what is the next step, and where do we go from the “break-even” game?  We now have to shift our brains as much as we have to shift our style of play, to get to those small consistent wins.


The first step is to start with a change of how we think about money.  Our money includes our entire bankroll, as well as our session buy-in.  When we convert cash to casino chips (cheques), the casino has perpetrated it’s first of many maneuvers that makes it easier to separate a man from his money. 

By converting our cash into easily manageable chips, they have removed one psychological barrier to our willingness to treat it as though it is of lesser value than real money. 

While we understand that a $25 casino chip is worth $25 in cash; we are more likely to “play” with it, than if it was a twenty-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill.  It’s a subtle, but clearly functional step in the whole casino-process.  Just as some other writers have coined the phrase “chip-remover” to describe free casino-supplied booze; so too is the process of converting cash to chips.

If you were walking along the sidewalk and you saw a couple of $20 bills blowing past you, would you take the time, effort and energy to bend down to pick them up?  Of course you would.  So when your craps-play generates a $40 profit, why the hell do you think that it’s too small to lock up?

If on your next paycheck, your boss paid you an extra, unexpected $40 for a job well done, would you reject it?  Then ask yourself why you are so quick to discard it in the casino-context.   Any profit that you earn is YOURS.  Why give it back?

The casino environment is really an unkind place.  Oh sure, I enjoy myself, but I am under no illusions as to why I am there.  I am there to make money.  While I may enjoy the atmosphere and the camaraderie, I understand that I will get NO sympathy from the casino if I lose my bankroll.  After all, that is what they are there for.  The casinos are there to try to take your money.  

The free booze, the lights, the sounds, the party atmosphere and the free-flowing comps are there to cushion the blow of losing.  Our job as Precision-Shooters is to take as much of the casinos money as possible without raising any flags as to HOW we are doing it.  If you specifically and continually reject their comp offers, you can be sure that your winning ways will be flagged on their computer, because you have made yourself stand out from the rest of the lemmings…er…other casino patrons.   So take the comps that your action generates, but don’t play for the comps.

Today we are talking about how to make the transition from a “break-even” game to that where we are making small, but consistent profits.

At this point, we have to ask ourselves if we REALLY want to win money.

A lot of problem gamblers have the NEED to lose.  It provides a cathartic-type of cleansing for their soul.   Really…I’m not kidding you.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I really got my clock cleaned in the casino last night”, or, “I really got taken to the cleaners at the craps table last week”.  Yes, those are just quaint expressions, but they are rooted deeper in the psyche of certain gambling-types.   So, the question I have to pose to you is, “do you REALLY want to win?” 

Winning money and then losing it back is NOT winning.  It is merely trading dollars with the casino until you lose it all back.  Getting ground into casino-dust is not what winning is all about.  Winning is about the ability to first gain a profit, and then keep it until you leave the casino.

How many times have you been at a craps table and had a $40 profit in your rack?  Then you decided that you wanted to continue playing, to see if that paltry $40 could be turned into something really great?  Okay, how many times has that same session ended with a loss compared to how many times you turned that matchstick of profit into a lumber-yard?  Not very many, huh? 

Don’t let the greed-factor dictate your play.  You need to satisfy yourself with small profits that will build up a winning record.  The confidence that a string of small wins has on your game cannot be underestimated.  It will have a dramatic positive effect, and it will lead you to more and greater profit down the road.

How many times have you looked back on a losing session, and considered the fact that at one point, you were actually ahead by $40 to $150?  Even most losing sessions once had some amount of profit.  Somewhere along the way, that profit dwindled and eroded into a significant loss.  Okay, NOW would you "settle" for that $40 profit instead of that $300 loss?

Again, you should be asking yourself just WHY you are playing this game.  Don’t let small profits erode and deteriorate into losses.

If you are looking for “large scores”, I can tell you that until your Precision-Shooting improves AND your thought-process and discipline improves, then you WILL NOT get enough of those “large scores” to offset all of your losses.

If you are getting the idea that making this important transition is mostly psychological; then you are correct.  It is the defects in our decision-making process that usually keeps our profits down and our losses high. 

We have to make as many improvements to our thought-processes and discipline, as we have to make to our Precision-Shooting and betting methods.   It is only then that we can successfully begin to make the shift to higher profitability.  Once you do that, then you can be sure that the bigger wins will start to appear more often.

Most importantly, once you get to those small consistent wins, they have a tendency to turn into more of those $300 to $1200 profits.

So let’s review a bit:

The first indication that your Precision-Shooting is getting somewhere is when you have a number of break-even sessions. At that point, the small (but "irritating") $40 to $150 wins start to show up.

Again, consistency is the key.  Once you start getting those small wins, you will be surprised at how the "major" wins have a tendency to start appearing.  What is important is that you lock in a profit at EVERY opportunity.

Making $40 per session does not put you in Fat City by any means.  However, there is a natural progression to learning Precision-Shooting.

If you liken it to golf, you go from hacker to hustler to club pro to the Nike Tour, to Q-School, and finally to the PGA circuit.  How long you stay at each level is determined by all the other factors that I mentioned earlier.

It took a couple years of Precision-Shooting before I finally broke though the $100,000/year barrier.  My first $100k year was about ten years ago, but the sweetness of that accomplishment is still with me even though my profits since then have easily eclipsed that century mark. 

You have to understand that making “big” money doesn't happen overnight.  Most importantly, making “big” money CANNOT happen without proper money-management, dedication, determination, correct betting methods, passion, commitment, maturity, and iron-willed DISCIPLINE.

That brings us to the next step in the shift from “break-even” status to small, but consistent wins.

The chief thing that you probably have come to realize by now, is that Precision-Shooting without DISCIPLINE, can be more costly than random-rolling.

When you combine CONSISTENT Precision-Shooting, with proper betting methods, discipline and money-management; you can have the world by the ass!  When even one of those elements slip, you and your bankroll are exposed.

Most players who have made it this far pay lip-service to discipline, but they don’t realize that discipline is a skill that has to be continually worked on and improved, just like your Precision-Shooting.  My own game-discipline is evolving even to this day.


What we are trying to do; is to reduce and then eliminate house-edge.  In fact, turning the house-edge into the players favor, while producing substantial profit is the objective.  Even mediocre success at dice-setting usually accomplishes that.   
 
Real success comes when we can do that with a consistency and discipline to lock-up a sizeable portion of our profit for each session.

Remember, it is only a profit if we leave the table with it! Otherwise, we are like slot-player who win a $250 jackpot; then proceed to play it all back until it is gone.  If you are going to do that; then there are row-upon-row-upon-row of those machines just begging to take your money.

Clearly, you want to play for profit.

I'll bet that if you took a survey, almost every player usually has some profit during most of their playing sessions.  At least 80% of the time, most of them end up giving back their entire profit, plus a good portion of their session buy-in.

Why?  
 
It’s due to
lack of discipline.

In craps, with Precision-Shooting, it's not difficult to make a profit, but it seems IMPOSSIBLY difficult for most people to keep it!  

You have to make difficult decisions that include how to bet, when to bet, who to bet on, and when to stop betting and start leaving. 

Having the experience to make the right decisions and then to sticking with them, is what separates most “break-even” players from those who lock up small, but consistent profits.

If you don’t have the discipline to leave when you have a profit in your rail; then you have defeated yourself, and the house-edge had nothing to do with it.

Okay, we have flogged the whole “discipline” thing to death AGAIN.  But I’ve got to tell you, it’s even MORE important than your actual Precision-Shooting abilities will ever be.

Let’s move on to the next step in this “craps-profiteering” process.

Fatigue is another problem that is underestimated and misunderstood. Fatigue is like dehydration.  Once you realize you have it, it is usually too late to do anything about it for the time being.  For dehydration in the desert, we "pre-load" our bodies with water; then provide constant "re-filling" along the way.  In the desert, you should NEVER feel thirsty, because that is a sign that you are slipping below the threshold.

In the casino, we have to constantly monitor our level of energy.  

If we feel it slipping AT ALL; then it is time to end that session. If you suddenly find that your energy level is low; you have probably reached the point where you have already given way too much money back to the casino.  The only GOOD decision that we can make at that point is to end the session.

Remember that Precision-Shooting is more of a journey than an actual destination.  Each of us can use a different map, and take a different route.   It is the progress that we make along the way that is a true measure of our advancement.

So to summarize this transition from the “Break-Even” to the “Small Consistent Wins” phase, we have to do the following:

        Shift our brains as well as our style of play.

        Change how we think about money.

        Any profit you earn is yours.  Why give it back?

        Casinos are there to take your money.

        Take the comps that your action generates, but don’t play for them.

        Decide if are you really there to win.

        Winning money, then losing it back is NOT winning.

        Don’t let the greed-factor dictate your play.

        Don’t let small profits erode and deteriorate into losses.

        Your thought-process and discipline has to improve at the same pace as your Precision-Shooting.

        Large scores will not offset all of your losses.

        Defects in your decision-making keeps your profits down and your losses high.

        Success CANNOT happen without proper money-management, dedication, determination, correct betting methods, passion, commitment, maturity, and iron-willed discipline.

        Precision-Shooting without discipline, can be more costly than random-rolling.

        Discipline has to be continually worked on and improved.

        It's not difficult to make a profit, but it seems impossible to keep.

        Having the experience to make and keep the right decision, is what separates most players.

        Fatigue is a problem that is underestimated and misunderstood.

        We have to constantly monitor our level of energy.

The transition that we talked about today is not an easy one to make.  There are some steps that are down-right difficult, but let me tell you that they are definitely worth taking.  Your bankroll will thank you.  

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

Sincerely,

The Mad Professor

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