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The Great Northeast Road Trip
Part Five

(read part I here, or part II here or part III here or part IV here)

The nice thing about traveling to Connecticut to play at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, is the people.  If you like to be around people, Foxwoods for example, has A LOT of people.  The largest casino in the world is populated by so many people, that it makes the Rose Bowl capacity look sparse by comparison.

Playing at Foxwoods can also be quite an experience.  It’s like a huge gaming magnet that attracts people from across a large, heavily populated region.  The craps tables are likewise populated with a real cross-section of people.  From Bangor and Boston to New York and Newark, you’ll find so many discernable accents that you’ll think that central-casting put out a call for stereotyped Eastern Seaboard voices.

Since Foxwoods is so close to New York City, there is a very strong NYC influence.  You know…10 New Yorkers…12 opinions!  It is that atmosphere which gives Foxwoods its special character.  The dealers are quite skilled, but they are also a little jaded when it comes to graciously accepting tokes.   Some players don’t even receive a thank-you or an acknowledgement of their dealer-bet.  I guess no one told them that being polite doesn’t diminish their masculinity.   Or perhaps they make SO MUCH money from “super-george” tippers that they don’t need or rely upon smaller contributions from other players.  Either way, the situation may change if New York City ever does build a casino in the future.

Okay, the overwhelming vote was to economize on the Trip Report details, and maximize the methods and approaches that I used on this adventure.  You may not be interested in what kind of suites we stayed in, or what year of Poilly-Fuisse we had with dinner, or what the Connecticut countryside looks like at this time of year; so here’s what you asked for.

My betting methods were fairly conservative for the most part.

My buy-in was $1000 for each session.  My Loss-Limit was set a little higher for these sessions because I was playing on unfamiliar tables.   I figured that it might take a while to “dial-in” the sweet spots as well as I do on most of the tables in my regular haunts.   For that reason, I set $250 as my rock-solid, will-not-compromise Loss-Limit. 

That is a Loss Limit equal to 25% of my buy-in, which is actually HIGHER than my current 15% Loss Limit rate, and I’ll explain just why in a moment. 

Some people suggest that a 50% Loss Limit and a 10% Win Goal is appropriate.  Okay, but that means you usually have to have five winning sessions just to break-even for each losing session.  That means that 83.3% of your sessions HAVE to be winning ones!  Whew, now that’s a pretty hefty target. 

I remember some people registering disbelief when I wrote about winning 19-out-of-20 sessions (for a 95% win-rate).   Now, if these same people subscribe to the 50% Loss Limit and 10% Win Goal; then I can understand their bitterness and reluctance to believe in what I am doing.  I guess if I was winning 80% of my sessions and still LOSING money; then I’d be a little reluctant to believe in the accomplishments of others.  Hell, I’d have a hard time believing in almost anything other than craps being a negative-expectation game at that point.

In my articles I talk about Loss-Limits quite a bit.  In fact, in some upcoming articles that haven’t been posted yet, I go into excruciating details about the “how”, “why”, “when“, “where” and “what” of Loss-Limits.  For this trip, I wanted to gather as much “table” information as possible.  I wanted to update my casino-shooting database, with as much detail as practical.  I figured that it would take a decent period of table-time to figure out the best positions, throws, and especially sweet-spots for each one.  I was willing to have a higher Loss Limit to accomplish that goal.

Again, as it turned out, it was a needless concession.  I was able to gather the needed information without causing any bankroll damage.  I was definitely pleased that I was able to demonstrate some decent consistency from table to table.  Only the sweet-spots varied to any real degree. 

That one aspect of sweet-spots was the most difficult to figure out, but the patience, discipline and bankroll exposure was well worth the effort.  The reward from some tables was truly stupefying.  I even amazed myself that some sweet-spots were so large and forgiving, that there were literally hundreds of times when I was sure that the toss would render a “7-Out”, only to be blessed with a Point or Place number win. 

The dice just didn’t act as erratically as they normally do if my throw isn’t perfect.  I attribute that to moderate table lengths, consistent felt-condition and base materials, good-quality Paul-Son dice, and very absorbent back-wall rubber pyramids.  There were many times when the dice bounced up into the pyramids and still stayed on axis for the rollback.  The only time when it had a negative effect, is when one dice would hit the wall and flop down about one or two inches from the wall, while the other dice decided to go on an erratic Australian walkabout, and travel up to twelve inches further, sometimes on axis, and sometimes not.  The results from that were totally unpredictable and random.

Here’s how I bet on random-rollers:

  • I used the Captain’s 5-Count to qualify them. 
  • At that point, I would usually Place bet twice the table minimum on all of the Inside numbers (5, 6, 8, & 9) even if one of them was the Point. 
  • I did not make any Pass Line or other bets, unless the player really got on a number-throwing tear. 
  • IF, they rolled one of those Inside numbers; then I regressed my Place bets down to the table minimum.
  • I would then collect at least three more winning bets if they made it that far.
  • I then increased each subsequent winning Place number by one unit every other time it hit.
  • If the 4 and/or 10 were showing up, I would use one of the winning pay-offs to Place the 4 and/or 10.  I did that only after all of my table-action had been paid for, AND I had already locked up a profit into my chip-rail.
  • If a player made three Pass Line winners, I would join them for their fourth Come-Out roll on the Pass Line, and back up the new Point with full-odds.

That’s it.  That’s the entire method that I used up until we got to Atlantic City.  I’ll readily admit that this method is definitely NOT the only way to approach random-rollers, and it’s probably not the best way either.  If a table got ice-cold, I used a short-leashed progression on the No-4 or No-10.   We subsequently made dramatic changes to our “choppy table” methods once we got to AC.  I’ll tell you more about that in Part VI of this report.

As to my own shooting, well, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun tables were.  Yes, they were usually crowded, but I had plenty of good hands, which encouraged me to seek out the less-crowded tables.  That meant playing at much higher limit tables.  Normally I don’t do that simply because I don’t have to.  In Vegas, you can shop around to find empty tables.  Here, it’s a little different.  Even the $25 tables can get moderately-crowded whenever they are open.

We sought out those higher-limit tables, but mostly avoided ALL of the random-rollers who populated them.  Instead of being squished in like sardines at the $5 tables, the $25 ones usually afforded a good amount of open space.  Once a table filled up and I was finished with my own roll; I would then move on to another one.  This method worked out best, and actually helped my shooting profitability especially once we got to Atlantic City.

For my own shooting at the $25 tables, my betting approach looked like this:

  • Play minimum Pass Line bet.
  • For the Come-Out roll, bet $10 World (whirl) bet which covers the 2, 3, 11, 12, & 7.  This bet alone generated substantial profit for the entire trip.  On the first hit, I would increase it by $5, and I continued to do so with each and every subsequent hit.  I have more details on profiting from the Come-Out roll in an upcoming article about playing “a game WITHIN a game”.
  • Once the Point was established, I bet $220 Inside, or whatever constituted the double-minimum Inside bets on whatever was not the Point.
  • I backed my Line bet with maximum Odds.
  • I also bet $5 each on the Hard-4 and Hard-10.  This too turned out to be a very profitable departure from my normal methods.  With each hit on these bets, I would press both of them by a nickel each.  I didn’t keep a separate tally of the profit that these two bets generated, but I have started to do so since that trip ended.  It is a very powerful weapon in my arsenal, and I now use it EVERY time that I shoot.
  • When my first Place bet hit, I regressed all of my Place bets down to the table minimum, $110 Inside.  This didn’t completely cover my total exposure on all my wagers, but I was pleased and confident enough with my own shooting that I would be able to earn enough from my subsequent rolls to adequately cover the total exposure and still lock up a healthy profit.
  • I didn’t press my Place bets as aggressively as I would on a cheaper table.  I was content to collect two, three or even four hits from the same Place number BEFORE increasing it at all.  It turned out to be a safe, conservative, but profitable approach.

 Of all of my sessions in Connecticut, about one-fifth of them were played on those expensive tables.   As my confidence in continued success at them increased, my reluctance to play at them decreased.  

Although $25 tables were never outside of my “snack bracket”, I never felt compelled to play at them because there were always cheaper alternative choices.  This trip-experience has made me rethink that reluctance SOMEWHAT.  While Vegas offers a wide variety of price-points, Foxwoods provided enough substantive proof that my own shooting could stand up to the higher-limit tables without jeopardizing my bankroll, or make me uncomfortable in having to bet higher Pass Line minimums. 

Interestingly enough, some of my longest rolls took place on those expensive tables.  Due to the dice circling the table faster because of fewer players, my shooting opportunities were much more frequent then they would be on the more crowded $5 and $10 tables.  This “more-shooting-frequency” factor helped contribute about 40% of the overall profit for this segment of the trip.  You can see why I’ve given the $25 tables a little more attention.

My Connecticut results were as follows:

         Sessions:                       20    

         Total Playing Time:         32.0 hours

         My hands:                      81    

         My Rolls:                       ranged from a low of 2 to a high of 32

         Sevens-Rolls-Ratio:        18.4:1     

         Total profit:                     $8204.00

         Profit-per-Hour                $247.00

 

Atlantic City is next.  The CD changer has our favorite discs in it, the gas tank is full, the road is clear, the sky is blue, there’s a great lady beside me, and there’s a smile on my face.  Saddle up, partner, we’re headin’ south.

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

The Mad Professor

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