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I Never Met Benjamin Franklin Either…

While I never met Ben Franklin, he sure had an effect on me.   His inventiveness, insight, ingenuity, and intuitiveness has inspired me over a lifetime, and some of the outstanding success in my life can be attributed to the character traits that he endorsed and encouraged.

Old Ben said:

“If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten; then either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”

I Never Met “Mickey_D” Either

I read recently that fellow Precision-Shooter, Mike (Mickey_D, Yoelevenman) Mokoid had passed away.  I never had the privilege or pleasure of meeting Mike, but he sure had an effect on a lot of people’s lives…including mine.

Shortly after Irishsetter started the original geocities-based dicesetter website, I started receiving e-mails from Mike asking questions about my dicesetting methods as he tried to fine-tune his own Precision-Shooting.

His Questions, His Approach…My Gain

His pursuit of perfection was energetic, vociferous and quite commendable.  I admired his systematic approach to the game because it enabled him to focus in and concentrate on the most important elements of success. 

Mikes questions and inquisitive nature required me to focus on each element of my Precision-Shooting as I explained my approach in an analytical way that I hadn’t done previously. 

By asking the right questions and making insightful comment, he made me look at my routine from a more technical angle.  It especially sharpened the way that I looked at each individual component that went into my own in-casino success.  It was even more gratifying as he reported steady progress in his Precision-Shooting development.

His questions gave me a new perspective on my own game.

Mike’s Writing

As most of you know, he posted frequently on Irish's Message Board as well as a couple of others.  His ideas were always well thought out and compelling, but the one thing that stands out about all of his writing was his PASSION. 

He knew that the pursuit of excellence was indeed a journey and not just a destination.  His writing spoke of that passionate journey, and it transcended mere words. 

Mike inspired me and many others to even higher goals and subsequent accomplishments.  He spoke with commitment and genuine passion in all of his articles, Trip Reports, Roundtable Discussions and Message Board posts.

He Said It Best

Mike set out a clear Precision-Shooting path with his words.   It was clear because Mike had walked every step of it, and he knew each inch of that path intimately.

I want to share a few of his words:

The Toss

“I don’t care what anybody tells you, you won’t make money on a consistent basis if you don’t make the toss of the dice your primary concern within this discipline.  The toss is the delivery mechanism to get the dice to the end of the table and come to rest in a favorable manner.  This may sound overly simple but without a repeatable, reliable method to get the dice on the felt, your time would be better spent scrounging the streets for deposit bottles!”

Taking Notes

“I put the date and time on the sheet, I record all my Passes and all my seven-outs, hardways, bets and payoffs, and SRR.  Really bad seven-outs get special attention! “Short throw”, “Flat arc”, “Wobbled”.   Nothing is too unimportant to note.

The really good stuff is scrawled in and around that 1” margin!   What position was I throwing from, what was my stance, how did I hold the dice, where were my fingers touching them.  Was I leaning forward or straight up?  What was the release point and follow-thru? How was the spin?   Any mirror images?  What was the pre-shot routine, where was the target, how high did the dice get during the toss. 

Why be so meticulous?  The notes are for those days when the touch leaves town, when feel goes on vacation, when I can’t get past four throws before the devil shows, when the dice feel like some foreign matter in my hand. This is why I take all these notes.  Especially important is when I have a good series of throws in the 30’s 40’s or 50’s without the devil.  When that happens, I can’t write enough. I want to know everything that could have possibly taken place that allowed me to make all those numbers.  I’m just like the chemists; I want to make sure the formula can be duplicated again and again.” 

Attitude

“Woe is the person that stops at the word “NEVER”. How many experiences has that person been cheated out of?  And look at all the lost opportunities.  When I hear the word “never”, it signals a challenge, a new door to be opened and new things to be learned, opportunities for enrichment, and advancement of skills.

If you want to be the best you can be at this game, you have to jump in and get your feet wet, and that will only happen if you never say “never” again!”

Preparing for Success

I’d been in a bit of a slump; inconsistent results, way too many point-seven hands, plummeting bankroll, lost confidence, ugly stuff!  Mostly though, no good stories to tell the Mrs. at suppertime. (She loves to hear the goings on at the tables!)

Well with the Sept. 20th seminar fast approaching, I had to get out of this rut and get something going.  So I did what the Irishsetter wrote about: I cycled up! 

I started an intense series of really good, focused practice sessions.   No experimentation here! Just plain and simple basics! Revisit the sets, grip, stance, target and delivery method. And while I’m at it, break out JP (John Patrick) and cram on betting strategies and bring it all together with the guidance of MP’s (Mad Professor) latest articles.  And, I’ll be dipped! A turn around!! Hands that only lasted 7 rolls or less have grown into a steady diet in the teens with hands in the twenties and one recent outing that featured a roll count of 45 tosses.”

Getting out of Slumps

Everything our craps teachers here on the web have told us has been true.    This game can pay big dividends if you work hard at it.  The Mad Professor says to practice 10 hours for every one hour of casino time.  He’s right on the money, as usual.  So I got back to the practice table in earnest and focused in on the basics and after a number of long, concentrated sessions my missing consistency returned!    Hip, Hip, Hooray!”

Beer, Craps and Small Improvements

“In brewing beer I’ve learned that you can create a lot of different styles and flavors by giving a small tweak to a base recipe.   You start by developing a very repeatable basic formula. Then by adding a pinch of this or an ounce of that you can change the color of the beer, its taste, the amount of carbonation, just about anything you want. 

It all works off of a base set of ingredients just like our dice throw: a certain set, grip, velocity, arc, spin and landing target.  Once you develop a good, reliable, basic throw, you can tweak it a bit, just like the beer recipe, and add little arc or subtract a little spin to achieve the desired result.  And just like brewing, it takes trial and error to attain the desired results. 

One type of beer is excellent during the winter but just doesn’t cut it in the summer.  One beer tastes great with nachos, but can’t cut the mustard with pickled eggs.  So, just as no one beer is perfect for every need, so to is our dice toss.  There is no one throw that will work on every table.  So if you’re looking for that one perfect throw, it doesn’t exist! 

But, if you know what you can produce with a repeatable formula of set, grip, velocity, arc, spin and landing target, you can (and should) bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be able to alter the ingredients to achieve a winning recipe.”

A Final Word

Though I never met Benjamin Franklin, his words had a positive effect on me.   While I never met Mike Mokoid either, his words had a positive effect on the dicesetting community…and on me.

Well Mike, you wrote things that were most assuredly worth reading, and you certainly did things that were definitely worth the writing…and in doing so, you touched us all.

When you are playing at the dice table up there, looking down on us mere mortals, I know that the dice will always bounce in your favor.

Most sincerely and with admiration,

The Mad Professor

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