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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 18

(read part I here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4 for here for part5 or here for part 6 or here for part 7 or here for part 8 or here for part 9 or here for part 10 or here for part 11 or here for part 12 or here for part 14 or here for part 15 or here for part 16  or here for part 17)

Q:

What is the longest time you’ve ever played non-stop at one table?

   

A: 

I have played for 16 hours straight, (yes SIXTEEN hours interspersed only by washroom breaks).  Of course I don’t do that very often, but long sessions like that sometimes just happen when the “perfect” set of circumstances come together.

That particular marathon session was at a high-denomination table where high-rollers were coming and going (and dropping huge loads of money in a very short time) during a casino-sponsored “fight weekend”.  Despite the ultra cold conditions that were killing all the other players, the dice were doing everything I wanted them to do nearly every time I got my hands on them.  Concurrently, I was also betting against nearly everyone else who came to the table.  That didn’t help to lighten any of their moods either.   What surprised me was that during this entire period, not one of the big-bet players ventured onto the darkside with me even once.   The blood-letting was excruciating to watch.  

Guys were buying in for $3,000 to $5,000 at a time, and others were pulling down markers for $10,000 to $50,000, and most of their losses were quick and catastrophic.  Only the fact that it was their money that they were losing, and not mine, made it barely tolerable to watch. 

To my mind, I couldn’t afford to leave, and my winnings were still well within the “comfort-level” of that particular casino (Mandalay Bay).  They were, and still are, very loss-tolerant.  The only reason I left was because I had a commitment in Laughlin early in the morning (today had magically turned into the tomorrow, and I still had to pack my bags before making the 90-minute drive). 

Now that marathon session obviously is an extreme example of a long session for me, but it illustrates what can happen when you combine your own consistent Precision-Shooting and everyone else’s random, but cold-trending results, in a casino that is loss-tolerant of sizeable sums to one player, and only too happy to clean out nearly everyone else.  Viewed another way, Mandalay Bay still earned a gross-profit of nearly $200,000 off of my table during that 16-hour period in spite of what my own net-profit take was.

Clearly, there is rarely a confluence of “perfect storm” events like that which will keep me at the table for such a long marathon session.

 

Q:

MP, I spoke with you on Heavy and Irishsetter's monthly Chat-Room where I was asking about the Dead Cat Bounce.   I know that with your level of play you can probably do the DCB at will, so when do you use this toss? Do you try to use it all the time, or just at certain tables or specific casinos?

   

A: 

I only use the DCB on certain tables and under certain conditions.

There are two main aspects to using the Dead Cat Bounce.  The first is the tables that it will work on, and the second is the psychological effect it can have on the crew/box/Pit and other players at the table when you land it successfully several times in a row.

It works best on hard, but non-bouncy 10, 12 & 14-foot tables from the SR-1, 2 and 2.5 positions (best for me), and from the SL-1 and 1.5 spot (second best for me…your mileage may vary).  On a mini-tub or a 10-footer, I'll often throw it from straight-out. 

It is important to remember that with this toss, the trajectory does tend to get quite high as you move further away from the backwall.  So on a longer table, it may not be practical because the dice have to reach an apogee (the highest point of their trajectory) that puts them over the height of most dealer’s heads.  This happens because the dice are coming in with a very steep descent (~50 to 75+ degrees) and if they are thrown from the end of a 14-foot table; that means they would have to reach some pretty dizzying moon-shot heights.  Obviously, when thrown from the SR/SL-1, 2 or 3 positions, they don’t have to fly nearly as high to accomplish that same steep descent.

The Dead-Cat Bounce also works quite well on slightly-padded tables, but requires a lower trajectory (by about 5 to 15 less degrees), and quite a bit less backspin.

As to the "psychological effect" part of the equation; you don't want everyone (or ANYONE for that matter) calling attention to the fact that the dice are hitting, sticking and stopping where they land at the base of the wall almost ALL THE TIME.  For this, you need a tolerant crew and a "non-involved" supervisory team.  You also need savvy players who aren’t going to freak out with shock and amazement or shout with incredulity and bewilderment every time it happens. 

For that reason, I'll often mix several entirely different throws into the mix.  For example, my Come-Out roll may be of the higher-rebounding (and random-looking) conventional 45-degree, 8-inches from the backwall Hit, Bounce & Rebound.  Then once the PL-Point is set, I'll intermix the DCB with a LSE (Low, Slow & Easy) toss, which you will find detailed in my Mad Professor's Shooting Bible Part Three article.  That way, each throw looks a little different, yet you are still achieving your on-axis, primary-set goal.

If you need a little more clarity on the Dead Cat Bounce, I'll first point you in the direction of my Mad Professor's Shooting Bible Part Four article, and then to the follow-up piece in my Mad Professor's Shooting Bible Part Five series.

Q:

Do you feel that you make more money off of random rollers than you lose from them? I've read most of your articles and I know you've said that you avoid betting on as many random-rollers as possible, but I'd like to try and make money from as many shooters as possible. I need to be versatile in my betting, and be able to play rightside, darkside, place bets, come bets, or whatever it takes.

   

A: 

Yes, I do make more money off of RR's than I lose to them, BUT it is EXTREMELY difficult.  In fact, in most ways it is much harder than Precision-Shooting itself.

The reward from dicesetting can be huge, and the risk is moderate.

Trying to win consistently off of RR's is relatively high-risk with commensurately low-returns.

The first direction that I would send you in is to my Flushing Money Down The Random-Roller Toilet article (and all the links contained in that article).

Then if you want to see how I profit off of RR's at choppy tables (which constitute about 60% of table trends), I would send you to my Dodging Bullets As A Darksider and Dodging Bullets As A Darksider Part Two articles, along with the related follow-up FAQ’s About The Choppy-Table/Short-Leash Method piece.

Finally, you might want to have a look at my Playbook article that chronicles various betting-methods that I sometimes use, and the appropriate situations that I use them in.

Again, a lot of those articles contain links to other items that provide additional perspective and supporting concepts in regard to profiting from random-rollers.

Q:

Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions on the monthly chat-line.  You mentioned that you replace the Don’t-Pass on a come-out natural when you are using your “DP with offsetting 6 & 8 Place-bets” method. How many times do you replace the C-O DP-bet?  Do you keep taking hits on the 6 and 8, or just one or two hits and then all down?

   

A: 

I generally only replace the DP once on the C-O while I’m using the “Don’t Pass w/Offsetting 6 & 8 Place-bets” method.  That way, I don't keep suffering DP losses from the same shooter.  In fact, if he's throwing PL-winners, then I'll either transition over to the Passline and join him there, or I’ll wager on the Place-bet number that he establishes as his new PL-Point.  Yes, I continue to collect wins on the Place-bet 6 and 8’s, and only turn them off if the flow of the game is disturbed or interrupted.

 

Q:

Do you ever bet the Pass-line and Come-Out prop bets on other Precision-Shooters, or do you only use Place-bet action on them?

   

A: 

It depends on where their skills lay.  If a fellow Precision-Shooter is known to me for his sustained Come-Out profitability, then I’ll probably join him on the Pass-line and mirror some of his Prop action.  However, RARELY will I be on the PL or C-O Props with most aspiring dicesetters unless I recognize them as KNOWN Come-Out action money-makers.  It’s easy to be fooled or at least mislead by many players C-O betting patterns.  Some players focus so much money on their C-O action, a casual observer could be easily convinced that the shooter has significant multi-Prop skills since he is putting his money in a wagering-area where it would seem he (and his bets) are indicating that that is where his skill is.  Often this leads to costly disappointment for both you and the shooter. 

While some dicesetters DO have outstanding abilities to make money on their C-O rolls, most others have merely fallen into the, “well-all-the-other-dicesetters-talk-about-doing-it-this-way-so-I-should-too” syndrome.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of shooting-evidence to convince me, but unless I have validated it with my own eyes, I generally lay off until their shooting confirms an authenticated betting opportunity. For most other Precision-Shooters, I usually only bet on the Box-numbers once the PL-Point is established.  In that case, my bets will often reflect their then-currently-dominant Signature Numbers.

Q:

MP, I have met Dominator and been to one of his seminars.   Having seen him in person, I know he exists.   You haven’t met Dom yet and I haven’t met you, so when he and Frank Scoblete says you don’t exist and probably have never played craps or even been to Las Vegas or any other casino, I believe him.  Your excuse about staying under the radar is getting old.

   

A: 

Well that’s the biggest piece of tainted logic since someone explained that the reason why they never wash, bathe or shower from week to week is because they are just going to get dirty again.  Now if that’s the kind of logic that Dom uses to sell seminars, or how you make decisions in your life; then I’ll simply wish you Good Luck, because Good Skill and Good Sense has obviously passed both of you by.

For the sake of other readers who may actually have the ability to use reasoning, common sense and logic in their daily thought process, I offer you this:

You have to understand that the only reason Dom and Frank puts themselves out there in the public access is because they have something to sell.   I am NOT selling ANYTHING. 

They make their money by talking about and writing about and teaching about craps...I make my money by PLAYING it!  I know that subtle difference is lost on some people, but hopefully you are not one of them.

If Frank was "just a player" with a demonstrable skill; common-sense would dictate that he'd be just as under the radar as I am. 

The same goes for Dom.  I have no doubt that I would like Dom, and I know for a fact that the two of us have a number of shared common interests outside of the casino.  We know a number of the same people from the non-gaming side of our lives.  What separates Frank and Dom from me, is that they NEED to be out there patting backs, shaking hands and kissing babies because they have to.  It's part of the sales process.  They know that, and they NEED to make themselves accessible if they want to SELL more products.

I don't have to be accessible...I'm not selling anything, nor do I have ANY plans to market ANYTHING connected with what I do.  I make enough money off of craps; I don't need to raise money by marketing stuff about craps. 

Precision-Shooting provides a decent lifestyle for me.  You can say that excuse is "old", but the fact is, it's true, and if you are unable to understand that, well, you obviously don't see the difference between MARKETING something versus DOING something.  

Let's say that you and I did meet... 

Sure, you'd be able to put a face to the “MP” name; perhaps we'd shoot a hand or two of dice, and over a coffee we'd see that perhaps we also have some common interests outside of gaming.  As pleasurable as that encounter might be for the both of us, what would it prove?

To your mind, it would finally put to rest the crazy notion that somehow this "MP guy" isn’t a real living, breathing human-being.   Well if this MP guy ISN'T a real person; then just who the heck is writing all of those articles?

Let me put it another way.  If the MP isn't real and doesn't play craps as Dom has suggested; then where the heck do I come up with all of this material?

Put aside the Trip Reports which you have obviously discounted as being credible, and ask yourself this:  

~WHO came up with the The Fremont Hot-Table Method?  If you look at just that one single idea, you’ll be able to see that whoever figured that one out is truly an original thinker.

~WHO chronicled the Marker-Debt Discount idea in the Casino Credit Update Part 4 article?  Again, whoever figured that one out and then developed it into a profitable science is not your everyday, run of the mill crapster.  Good ideas taken to their profitable conclusion is what these articles are all about.  So WHO wrote that one, especially if Dom thinks that writer has never even been in a casino?

~WHO came up with all the incredible detail in the Shooting Bible series?  There are advanced Precision-Shooting concepts and details in that series that are not found anywhere else including any of the current books on the subject.  While Frank was unraveling the mystery of how to make a Place-bet on the 5 AND the 9 at the same time, I was writing about actionable ways to put more money INTO your pocket, and not dreaming up marketing schemes of how to take more money OUT of your pocket.  There IS a difference.  You just have to open your eyes, as well as your mind, to be able to see it.

~WHO put together all the material in the Dodging Bullets series?

~WHO played at all of those small tables in the Mini Tub Tour series or the Laughlin Table Report or the Cheap Craps Guide?  Obviously SOMEONE with very detailed first-hand knowledge wrote that stuff.  If it wasn’t the Mad Professor; then somebody wrote it.

~WHO managed to assemble the material in the Match-Play Coupon Circuit series?

~WHO came up with all of the incredible ways to improve your Precision-Shooting skills in the Getting The Most Out of Your Practice Sessions series, or the More Gain & Less Pain series?  While Frank was writing about such revolutionary concepts as putting Odds behind your Pass-Line bet and telling everyone how the Captain invented the game of craps and how it was his revolutionary idea to use a bamboo stick to move and retrieve the dice on the table (around the same time he and Al Gore were inventing the Internet), I was writing about new ways to actually improve your Precision-Shooting skills. 

~WHO wrote the insightful Discipline, Character & Consistency series or the Streaks, Trends and Opportunities series, or the The When, Where, Why, What and How of Signature Numbers series?  If you read those articles, you'll see that they do indeed break new ground.  Fresh approaches…new ground…novel insight…and Dom thinks that a non-player could come up with all of that?  That doesn’t say much for Dom now does it.

~And just WHO put so much thought into the Can't Win For Losing series or the D'ya Wanna Win, or D'ya Wanna Gamble? series?  You won't find that in anyone else's book, because it was gleaned through one person’s own experience...MINE!

That kind of stuff is NOT in ANY books, or on ANY website (other than Irishsetter’s) or in ANY video; so just where did it all this stuff come from?

The answer?

It came from the guy who plays craps for a living...and is actually quite good at it...that guy is ME!

You don't have to believe ANY of the stuff that I've written, and if you haven't been able to derive at least one useful piece of information out of my 200 or so articles; then I'll still wish you the absolute best of luck at the tables because your take on things sure indicates that you’ll need it.

I'm not selling ANYTHING, and if you need to meet someone in person before you are able to believe in what they write, then obviously your library will remain quite thin (although Dom's rumored new book should increase those ranks substantially).  It says MUCH about his ability if he needs to sell books about Precision-Shooting to make his money rather than earning it at the actual tables.  That’s kind of like buying a book by Michael Jackson to learn how to be a good baby-sitter.

Q:

I really like your articles on Irishsetter's website...they cover quite a bit of topics. The ones about the lifestyle paint the picture of a gambler's life--they're great. So how long have you been doing this professionally...or maybe I should ask when you started?

   

A: 

I've been playing professionally for just under 14 years.  I've been making self-sustaining net-profit (of at least $100k) for each of the last twelve years.  My current P-S'ing income has been significantly higher than that low-water benchmark for quite a number of years now.

I started playing craps in the late '70's. 

       From '78 to '81 I lost a TON of money (I'd tell you how much, but you would NEVER believe the figure). 

       I finally started to play smarter in the summer of '81.   Instead of “following-the-book” (PL with Full-Odds and two Come-bets with Full-Odds), I explored all avenues of betting with and against the shooter, along with assessing the value of streaks and trends, plus some interesting high-wager hit-and-run methods.

       At about the same time, I started pursuing dicesetting as a way of de-randomizing the outcomes.  I can’t tell you how much I experimented with different grips, various types of tosses and all sorts of betting-methods as I attempted to tailor my wagers to the outcomes I was getting.

       It wasn't until the summer of '89 (yes, about eleven years after I started playing, and almost eight years to the day that I started fooling around with dicesetting) when the whole Precision-Shooting equation really came together.   I could walk into any given casino with the foreknowledge that there was an excellent chance that I’d be walking out of there with a decent profit.  In those early days of 1990 and ‘91, it was difficult to keep my ego in check, and I ended up blowing all kinds of hard-earned profit because of it.

       In the Spring of '92, everything just sort of clicked, and as even more profit started tumbling in, I decided I wanted to KEEP more of it instead of losing it back from whence it came.  It was that profit-consistency and those revenue-volumes that convinced me I could and SHOULD be doing this on a full-time basis.  It was the element of discipline which provided that final, yet most difficult piece of the consistent-profit puzzle.  Without discipline, I couldn’t have accomplished any of that...or at least, I wouldn’t have been able to KEEP very much of it.  I suppose that is when I came to realize that it wasn’t how much I was able to win during any given session.  Rather, it was HOW MUCH of that profit that I was able to LEAVE WITH at the end of each session that really mattered.

       I’d like to tell you that I have always able to stay on that smoothly-paved golden path of discipline, but that would definitely NOT be true.   I’ve fallen off that discipline-track more times than Robert Downey Jr. has consumed non-ethical pharmaceuticals.  However, each session brings me one step closer to my goal of staying disciplined ALL of the time.

       As my craps earnings-per-hour escalate, and my non-gaming commitments increase; I have reduced the number of hours that I play; yet my casino-earnings continue to rise.  As I seek out and create more solo or higher-frequency shooting opportunities for myself, the earnings-increases easily outpace my reduced table-time. 

Q:

How does "rhythm rolling" affect the game? Does it have any merit as a stand-alone, or does it need to be combined with dicesetting?

   

A: 

Hmmm, good question.

Rhythm Rollers...well, let me put it this way...

If I am using my Choppy-Table/Short-Leash Method AGAINST random-rollers, I will intentionally hold off my bets against the shooter if he is a known Rhythm Roller.

If I haven't seen him shoot before and the table qualifies for a DP bet (from me), but I subsequently realize the shooter is a Rhythm Roller once he starts throwing; then I'll set up a 6 & 8 Place-bet to equal my DP line wager (for example, a $12  6 and 8 to "offset" a $25 DP bet).

To my mind, a Rhythm Roller can affect the ODDS of the outcome, but often doesn't realize the impact he is having on the dice, and as a result, rarely is able to take consistent enough advantage of it.

Further, a Rhythm Roller has a more difficult (almost impossible) task of determining what his Signature Numbers are since he isn’t presetting the dice; but rather is using the same grip, the same throw and the same target without really thinking about it.  In fact, by their very nature, a Rhythm Roller does not have steady enough predictability with their outcomes to actually have any dominant "Signature Numbers" per se.  Instead, they’ll have a number of non-7 outcomes based on the “as-delivered-from-the-stickman” set that they grip, throw and target the same way for each and every subsequent roll.

If you are interested in Signature Numbers, you'll find my six-part The When, Where, Why, What and How of Signature Numbers quite useful. For my own viewpoint on Rhythm Rollers, you might enjoy my Sweetest Roller This Side of Heaven piece.

Well folks, I’ve got to tell you that each new question that you send in makes me look at my game from a fresh perspective.  That leads me to thank each of you for proving once again How YOU Improved MY Game.

With the deepest gratitude and appreciation, let me wish you,

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

The Mad Professor

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