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If You Are SO Good, Why Ain’t You Rich?

  

I received an interesting e-mail from a frequent Message Board poster a little while back.

Essentially, he asked, “Mad Professor, if you are SO good, why aren’t you rich?

He reasoned that if I could use Precision-Shooting to fuel my current lifestyle, why wouldn’t I make some huge bets, so that I could make some “huge scores” and retire!  He also lamented the fact that with my conservative betting-methods, other players would likely make MORE money off of my own rolls than I do.

That’s actually a VERY good question and comment.

In fact, some of the guys that I see regularly at the casinos ask pretty much the same question.  Of course, sometimes it’s in the form of, “Dawg, if I shot them bones like you, I’d be makin’ a killin’, boy!”  I guess that’s pretty much the same question/statement, but in a slightly different language. 

Okay, the answer isn’t really complicated, but it’s multi-part.

I can summarize it pretty simply:

       I DO win consistently, but not all of my session wins are big.

       It is that consistency that let’s me have so many winning (19-out-of-20) sessions.

       If I had higher win-goals, I KNOW that my consistency and win-ratio would actually drop.

The reason for having 19-out-of-20 winning sessions is BECAUSE I bet conservatively. If you've read my Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This Part II article, you know that there is risk every time that you pick up the dice.

If you start out betting high, and then change your bets only when it starts to go bad...you are changing your outlook on the game.  Instead of being concerned about how much money I have at risk on the table, I would rather concentrate on my shooting.

I would rather rack up a small profit, and then build on my shooting success from there.  If you have a lot of money on the table to begin with, and you don't initially regress your Place bets; then your shooting actually has to be even better, so that you can cover the cost of those bets.  Only after they are paid for, can you start collecting profit.

Think of it this way.

Let’s say that my Pass Line Point is 5.  On a 2x-Odds table, I’ll have $5 on the Pass Line with $10 in Odds.  I might also start with “$136-Inside”.  That is $48 each on the 6 & 8, plus $40 on the 9.  Any hit pays $56, and I immediately regress the “Inside” bets to $12 each on the 6 & 8, with $10 on the 9.  At that point, I have a total of $49 still on the layout ($34-Inside and $5 on the Pass Line with $10 in Odds), BUT, I also have a $7 profit locked up in my chip-rail!

Now a $7 profit may not seem like much, but the hand isn’t over yet.  In fact, it has hopefully just begun.  If my shooting is grooved in, this will probably turn out to be a VERY profitable roll.  But even if I 7-Out on my very next roll, I can console myself with the fact that my original bets have been COMPLETELY paid for, AND I have an additional small profit to show for it.  In as few as TWO tosses of the dice, I have paid for all of my initial bets, and locked up a profit.  Even if it is a short hand, I still have something to show for it.  As they say in Canada…that’s not bad, eh!

Okay, let’s look at the same initial bet, but without the regression.

Even if I don’t roll any “non-paying” numbers, it will still take me at least four rolls before everything is paid for.  That is DOUBLE the amount of rolls that I need if I use a regression on my Place bets.

That is how I avoid the pain of a quick 7-Out.

If the hand turns into a good one, I still have plenty of time to press my Place bets as they hit.  At the same time, I’ll ALWAYS be locking up a profit with each paying-hit.  It may not generate mega-profits on every hand, but what it does do, is to almost always lock up a profit every time that I get my hands on the dice.

As to that readers second comment about other people at the table making more off of my rolls than I do...well...that's just the nature of the game.  

There are numerous times per day when other players make MUCH more money off of my rolls than I do.  That’s great for them!  However, I pocket my profit while they usually play all of theirs back.
 
If you have a profit of $250 in your rail, and you almost always lose it back, you might as well go and play the slot machines.  A typical slot player will hit a $250 payout, and then proceed to piss it all back into the machine.  

Most craps players look down on slot-players, yet most veteran craps players have the same lack of discipline.  Go figure!

The reason most Precision-Shooters DON'T make more money is because:

 
(a)        They bet way too much and way too frequently on random-rollers and unqualified dice-setters.

(b)        They pre-load their bets on their own rolls too early, and they press their bets too aggressively.
(c)        They make too many Prop bets that are not consistent enough money-makers.
 
(d)        They don't lock-up an early profit. 
(e)        They play back too much profit before they quit their current session.
 
(f)         They play too long and without a proper attitude.

  
The reason that there are not more Precision-Shooters out there making outstanding amounts of money is not because it can't be done.  It is because the amount of dedication, commitment, determination, maturity, and discipline is just too much effort for most people to make.

Let’s take a look at those six items that I just mentioned: 

(a)        Players bet way too much and too frequently on random-rollers and unqualified dice-setters.  If there is one chief reason for a shortage of Precision-Shooters who can show CONSISTENT profit; it is because of this single problem. 

I have also fallen in this “too much/too frequently” trap countless times. 

Every time it happens, it causes me to raise my “shooter- qualification bar” higher and higher.  Why should I waste my hard-earned money on unqualified shooters?  If I do that, it is simply…GAMBLING. 

Do not be fooled.  As Precision-Shooters, we are not in a casino to gamble.  We are there to make money. 

The only way to CONSISTENTLY do that is to engineer as much risk as possible out of our bets.  To accomplish that, we have to be ultra-selective on how we bet, and on whom we bet.  It’s difficult enough to make money with Precision-Shooting.   Why should we piss and fritter it away by gambling it on random-rollers and unqualified dice-setters?  That’s like buying lottery tickets. 

Sure, there is a thrill with the possibility of occasional wins, but there is the more likely downside of probable losses.  On random-rollers and unqualified dice-setters, we will usually lose much more frequently than we win. 

Hey, if you like the thrill of betting…then go for it.   For me, I like the thrill of consistent winning PROFIT, a lot more than the thrill of frequent betting and even more frequent losing.  How about you?  If you agree; then reduce your betting on random-rollers and unqualified dice-setters.

 
(b)        Players pre-load their bets on their own rolls too early, and they press their bets too aggressively.  This is where experience and the cost-of-learning can be costly.  So how much education do you want?  You have to build-up your Precision-Shooting skills BEFORE you build up your bets!  Just because other players are betting aggressively on your throws, does not mean that you have to.  Slow and steady wins, ALWAYS beat a shooting-star that shines momentarily; then crashes and burns shortly thereafter.  I’ll say it again, build-up your Precision-Shooting skills BEFORE you build up your bets!
 

 
(c)        Players make too many Prop bets that are not consistent enough money-makers.  First let me say that Prop bets can be VERY profitable for the Precision-Shooter.  I make a ton of money from them, and they can be a powerful weapon if you use it properly.  However, a lot of players who are currently in the “break-even” phase with their shooting-skills, are actually eroding their profit by making too many Prop bets.
 

It’s easy to deceive yourself about the profitability of Prop bets.  This is where accurate session-notes come into play.  You have to make note of all the prop action that you make, how many times they hit, how much they pay, and most importantly how much profit or loss you were able to bank.  You have to do that for every session.  If it isn’t a consistent money-maker; then reduce them to the level where they are profitable.  For some players, that will mean eliminating their Prop bets entirely.  If that is the case, then so be it.  Again, I have to ask you whether you are there for the thrill of the bet, or the profit of the game?  It’s your choice and it’s your bankroll.  Just don’t huff and puff when others make more consistent profit than you do.

 
(d)        Players don't lock-up an early profit.  I spoke enough on this subject at the beginning of this article.  Enough said!

 
(e)        Players play back too much profit before they quit their current session.  Ah, this is a touchy subject.  How do you know when you’ve reached the peak of your session profit?  Simply, you don’t know in advance.  This is one of those hindsight things.  However, through experience, you already should know that you usually are ahead at some point during your session.  Do you stay and see if you can turn that meager profit into something more substantial?  Or do you walk away with a small profit and a nagging-doubt that this could have been the mega-session that you’ve dreamed about?
 

Here’s one method on how to figure out when to end a session.   You’ll have to look back on your accurate session-notes that you have religiously maintained over the last twenty craps-sessions.   From there you should be able to determine what your average high-point of profit usually is.  When you are approaching that average high-point during your current session; that is when you finish out the hand that you are playing…and you get the hell out of Dodge City.

There are many other methods for quitting while you are ahead.   Some use a set-percentage of your session bankroll, while others use a profit-splitting method in which to continue play while locking up a profit.  Any of these are useful.  The only thing that I want to stress is that you want to be able to walk with as much profit as possible, without losing back too much of what you’ve already learned. 

For better or for worse, my method lets you quit at your average session-high.  And if you haven’t started making DETAILED session notes; then please don’t delude and deceive yourself into thinking that you are really SERIOUS about making consistent profit from this game…you are only fooling yourself.

 
(f)         Players play too long and without a proper attitude.  Yes, I know that you may have the stamina of a plow-horse, but save that for other pursuits, like in the bedroom or for carrying your wife’s shopping bags.  I’m not saying that every craps session has to be one of those hit-and-run, lightning-strike maneuvers, but you have to put reasonable limits on your table-exposure.  If you are at the craps table, and you start to get tired or hungry; then you have gone beyond the point where you should have already ended your session.  I’m not kidding.  Your playing will not be up to par, and your decision-making ability will have already been compromised.  Do NOT stick around and PROVE that your decision-making is not where it should be.  End the session, and head for the exit.

If you follow all of this advice, you won’t necessarily get rich, but I can guarantee that your skill level and your profit-retention will be improved.  When you can do all of these things seamlessly; then your chances of consistent profit increases exponentially.

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

Sincerely,

The Mad Professor

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