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Here Today…Broke Tomorrow

An elderly couple was vacationing in Vegas. Sam always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots.  Seeing some on sale at the Western Corral out on Boulder Highway, he buys them, and wears them back to the Excalibur.

He walks into their hotel room and says to his wife, “Notice anything different, Bessie?” Bessie looks him over, and replies, “Nope.”  Sam says excitedly, “Come on, Bessie, take a good look. Notice anything different about me?” Bessie looks again, “Nope.”   Frustrated, Sam storms off into the bathroom, undresses and then walks back into the room completely naked except for his boots.  Again, he asks, a little louder this time, “Notice anything DIFFERENT?”  Bessie looks up and says, “Sam, what’s different?  It’s hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, it’ll be hanging down again tomorrow.”  Furious, Sam yells, “AND DO YOU KNOW WHY IT’S HANGING DOWN, BESSIE?  IT’S HANGING DOWN BECAUSE IT’S LOOKING AT MY NEW BOOTS!!!!”  To which Bessie replies, “Shoulda bought a hat, Sam....... Shoulda bought a hat.”

A while back, I went to the Grand-Opening of the new ESPN-Zone restaurant.  It occupies the space formerly occupied by the Motown Café at the NewYork-NewYork Hotel-Casino.  The dusty old hits of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and Marvin Gaye didn’t prove to be popular enough. Perhaps Michael Jordan’s return to basketball will be more triumphant and more popular than Motown music of the 60’s was.  I used to eat there quite often.  Thankfully it was always on a comp.

A few weeks ago, I also went to the Grand Opening of the new bar/eatery called Coyote Ugly.  It is styled after the movie of the same name.  It too is located in NYNY, and comes complete with waitresses who dance on the bartops, have a New York “I’m too hip to be anything else than a waitress, but I’m wicked in bed” attitude, and the junk-package décor faithfully copies the movie.

It seems that “themes” come and go.  Some work, and some go down in flames. Perhaps $8 to $17 burgers have limited one-time only appeal for most tourists.  

Post 9-11-01, I can personally tell you that the Hard Rock Hotel & Cafe is doing great, as is the Rainforest Café and the Harley-Davidson Café.  Planet Hollywood at Caesars Forum Shops and Gilly’s BBQ at the Frontier are also doing reasonably well. 

Hunger-pang delirium must have got me to thinking that there is a couple of themes that just shouldn’t be tried, like “Bob Dole's All-Nude Crab Shack”. Still, some people are probably tempted to open places based solely on a famous name, like “Willie Nelson's Beard Squeezin's” or “Jimmy Hoffa’s Ribs, Fingers ‘n’ Ears”.  Hopefully they’ll never get the financing for a place called “Regis' Philburgers” or “Planet Oprah”.  I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t count myself as a customer to any of THOSE places, but this is Vegas baby, so you never know.

I tell you all of this, because I want to talk about how certain craps methods or systems come into and out of vogue.   Just like some restaurant ideas, some of them are destined for failure before they are even tried.  Sometimes a person will post a method on a Discussion Forum or Craps Bulletin Board.  The method then receives a bit of attention, and a number of players go out and try it.  On the surface, that doesn’t seem like a terrible thing, but in most cases it turns out to be a disaster. 

One of those systems is where you try to hit every Place number IN CORRECT ORDER starting at the 4 and moving through the 5, 6, 8, and 9 before betting on, and hoping for the 10 to show up.  Oh, did I mention that the “inventor” tells you to parlay each win, and bet it on the next Place number in line.  The likelihood of this approach working is 670,761 to 1, but the payoff is about 340 to 1.  How do you like your chances?

You could argue that it offers a good payoff for a small initial bet.  That is true.  But your chances of hitting it are rare, and the payoff is no where near equal to the risk. If you like the thrill of the big payoffs, then I understand the attraction.  But if that is the case, a nine-team sports parlay is of equal risk and usually provides higher payoff value. 

Most of these “get-rich-quick” systems that you play today, will leave you broke tomorrow.

The one exception where it could be a good gamble, is if a Precision-Shooter is throwing the dice.  In that case, your chances increase commensurately IF he happens to throw all of the required numbers in the right order.  And that is still a pretty hefty order!

I’ll never forget a discussion that I had with a fellow craps player I really respect as both a player and as a person.  When he read my Mad Professor's Playbook for the first time, he said, “Gee, I thought you had some secret formulas and tactics.  I guess that I don’t have too much more to learn about betting methods after all.”  The methods that I use are conservative, and time-proven.

Keep in mind that this dice game has been around in one form or another since the Romans centurions had their greedy eyes on the riches of Constantinople.  It’s not too difficult to separate the reasonable methods from the “bet $3,353,805 in the hopes of winning $1,700” scheme.

There is no Holy Grail when it comes to betting.  Sure there are some methods and approaches that are certainly better than others, but there are a lot out there that are completely hair-brained and they pose serious threats to the integrity of your bankroll.

If you combine a conservative betting approach with Precision-Shooting, you have a decent chance.  If you don’t, the wild fluctuations of your bankroll will usually swing to the negative side too often.   When that happens, even your rare winning sessions will not overcome the losses that you experienced during the losing ones.

Stick to making consistent money.  If you want to shoot for the moon, then buy some lottery tickets, but definitely keep your day job. 

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

The Mad Professor

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