Pinball… it’s a life style
When I was a young boy, I loved playing
pinball games. For a mere five cents I would get five balls to try to score
enough points to light the replay gizmo. There was a hole at the top of my
favorite table, right in the middle. When I produced a qualifying score and
managed to manipulate the ball into the replay hole, a loud pop sounded
rewarding a credit for another game. There was a ball return at the bottom of
the hole. After racking up more points and the credit, it would pop the ball
back out into play. The longer I could keep the ball in play, the more points
and “free games” I could win. It was all skill and I paid for my lessons. I
set aside my allowance money to finance my pinball addiction. Yeah, at the age
of twelve, I was addicted to pinball. I could only play on weekends. The only
thought that got me through Sunday mass was day dreaming of playing pinball.
Is that a sin? Just as soon as I could get out of my Sunday best, I’d peddle
my bike down to Park Lanes, the bowling ally just the other side of Mineral
Palace Park on Main Street.
I played each nickel as if it were my last. I
learned how to give that machine just the right shove, at the right time, to
send the ball back up with just a little more ump, up to the high point
bumpers without tilting. I learned this from an older boy. He had slicked back
hair. He wore a white T-shirt with a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve.
In the beginning, I did not know about manipulating the game. The first time I
saw how bumping the machine changed the action on the ball, I was so
impressed. Of course, I had to learn about tilting the machine, which ended my
session without the chance of a reward. Eventually I learned every nuance of
that pinball game. On a good day, I could play for an hour or so, investing
maybe three nickels.
Dice games and pinball games are a lot alike.
Both games are designed to challenge the player. Both games tempt the player
to keep playing for the win. Both games are rigged for the player to lose. A
pinball game has a sloping table. A dice game has odds that favor the casino.
In pinball, the ball tends to pass down the middle of the table avoiding the
action. In dice, the rolls tend to be short, adhering to probability. Not
knowing all the nuances will cost you money. You run the risk of “tilting”
either game by pushing too hard. You have a limited investment for either
game. You pay for your lessons. If you hold on to your “nickels” long enough
you may catch a hand. The best results are had when you have a method of play
that keeps you in the game. Simply, you want to get the most “points” from
every bet and sustain your playing time. By sustaining your playing time, you
increase the propensity of running into a winning streak.
When it comes to casino craps, you are
playing a game with a sloping table. The ball keeps “trying” to roll down the
middle where you are helpless. When it does, you reload another ball (place
another bet) and hope it is the one that stays in play long enough to put
you ahead. You play each bet as if it were the only bet left, keeping the
other bets safely in reserve. (money management)
How do you earn the “free game”? How do you
play craps and score enough points for the “replay”? How do you make the most
of each bet and keep your precious bankroll in reserve?
You start off with a big energy, an
intrinsic belief, that the game can be beat. You create a belief that aligns
with a winner’s attitude. There is a way to win and you will dedicate yourself
to finding it. You never settle for less and you give yourself every possible
edge. You learn to expand your energy through a paradigm of abundance. You
know that fear, scarcity and lack is the kiss of death holding you back from
all that you deserve.
You are playing a game when you play craps. You should be playing
because you enjoy playing the game. You enjoy the challenge of over coming the
odds. You enjoy the thrill of winning and you enjoy the rush of
excitement. You are able to accept the fact that not every session will be a
winner. If it were, there would be no charge from the experience of winning.
You acknowledge your limitations. If you are not 100% serious about
acquiring the skills necessary of an expert player, allow yourself to
accept your level of play and still be able to enjoy the outcome. Where
you find yourself is where you are. Gaming is a factor of skill not luck. You
can always depend on your skill. The more you invest in knowledge and learn
the game, the better your results will be in the long run!
You enter the game with only so many “nickels”, at least make every
nickel play with a properly supported bankroll. Make the smart plays that
have the best return for the money at risk. It is all about keeping “the ball”
in play as long as possible.
If you attempt to manipulate a game, do so with a subtle touch.
When you “tilt” the machine, the game is over. It is a fine line between
conservative play and knowing when to lean into the game. The old pinball game
had a pendulum hanging inside the game. Pushing on the table would cause the
pendulum to swing. If it swung too much, it would close a circuit and switch
off the game. When playing craps, be mindful about swinging the pendulum out
of control. You control the game by being in control of yourself.
You never know when a game is going to break loose with a “monster
roll”. When the opportunity arrives, have the awareness and know how to
handle it. First, you have to be at the table when it does. Second you
have to have something better than guessing to take advantage of it. (Never
missing an opportunity is something I covered during the Dice Busters Weekend
coming this month.)
Gaming is like a two-edged sword. If you play too long, the odds will
eat you alive. At the same time, if you cannot sustain your bankroll long
enough, you will not be standing at the table when the hot hand does come
along. You must have some method, some system of grasping opportunity
automatically and you must have some way of playing the game that extends you
limited funds, 5 cents for 5 balls.
You do not have to be obsessive or compulsive. You have to be in
control and play with disciplined. After all, who is going to look after you?
You must be in control of you. Only you can put yourself in a game and only
you can pull yourself out.
Limit your session to one bankroll, win or lose. When you have played
all your “nickels", be disciplined enough to peddle your bicycle home.
It’s probably time for lunch anyway.
The intended purpose of this metaphorical
story is for you take a look at how you play your game. The person you take to
the casino is the same person that you take into the game of life. All your
strengths and all your weaknesses are always with you. You can only change
those things that you truly wish to change. You can have anything you want but
for one thing. You have to want it and you have to take the necessary action
to get it.
Back in the days when I worked with Stuart
Wilde seminars, participants were challenged to look at their lives. A person
facing a challenging situation might be asked, “How is this like your life?”
Meaning, do you see a pattern here? Is there a connection with your actions or
reactions to this particular event and the way you function in “real life”?
For me, I think the pinball metaphor was a
proving ground for the gaming experience that was to come in later life. How
is it like my life? I approach both pinball and gaming in a similar manner;
first, by striving for excellence and second, by playing with a passion to
win, never settling for less than my best.
How do you approach casino games? How is it
like your life? Take a moment for introspection. Reflect on any similarities
between the game and your life. Be aware of anything that comes up that you
may wish to change or improve? Until you stop to observe yourself, you tend
not to notice yourself. There is so much more to the game than meets the eye.
The tendency is to take for granted the obvious and accept it as truth. What
is the truth? Reality is just a thought form. Simply changing your thought
form, you change your reality. Strive for excellence and settling for nothing
less than your best is a thought form. What you put out you will get back in
return. Come from a big energy and the dedication of a winner. Check yourself
when scarcity or lack tries to sneak in to your life. It is not just a way to
play games. It is a life style. You can win them all.
Copyright 2008 Michael Vernon