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How To Get It, and How To Keep It
Part III

Warning to Readers:

I think most of my articles should come with a federally-mandated warning label that reads:

Warning:  Opinions of the Mad Professor are controversial and sometimes diametrically-opposed to the conventional thinking of most gamblers.  His methods and approaches are geared for the near-professional Precision-Shooter, and for serious recreational players who want to lose LESS and win MORE.  Therefore, readers are cautioned that the Mad Professors methods are directed towards generating the MOST NET-PROFIT with the LEAST RISK, but not necessarily the MOST FUN or ENTERTAINMENT from your craps game.  Please govern yourself accordingly.”

To me, winning is fun, and losing…well, losing isn’t nearly as entertaining or enjoyable.

I wanted to put that caution in front of you, because today we embark on yet another chapter in my “Saving Your Ass” series.  No, you won’t actually find that title anywhere on my “MP Speaks” page, but saving your ass is really part of what long-term semi-professional and serious recreational Precision-Shooting play is all about.

It’s about keeping the losses small, and letting the profits run.

If you can play with skill and discipline while still protecting your bankroll, you’ll be perfectly positioned to take advantage of the opportunities when they come along.  Whether that opportunity is generated by your own skillful Precision-Shooting; or it comes from the hand of a lucky random-roller; you will always be in a position to make the bets and take the profit, when and where they present themselves.

In other words, this is all about how to GET THE PROFIT, and especially, how to KEEP IT.

When to Count Your Blessings

Sometimes when I’m standing at a craps table shooting the dice like the hand of God Himself is directing the outcomes, I can’t believe how truly fortunate I really am. 

I’ve turned a somewhat entertaining hobby into a very lucrative lifestyle.  

I won’t use the word “job” to describe what I do, because to me, it is definitely NOT work.  Oh sure, I have “off” days when my shooting is far less than stellar, and there are days when I have to struggle to reach my daily win-goal, and YES, there are some days when I lose all discipline and I turn in a net-loss; but all in all, it still doesn’t seem like “work”. 

I actually LOVE what I do. 

It gives me tremendous pleasure and satisfaction to consistently beat an “unbeatable” game.

While consistent winning does require a concerted effort and it does take focused concentration, determination and commitment; so does practically anything else in life that’s worth pursuing.

The point is, although I KNOW I’ve been very fortunate in this whole Precision-Shooting thing, and I do count and am thankful for the many, many blessings I have received; I definitely SHOULD NOT be thinking about all of that (or ANY of that) while the dice are still in my hand.  While I’m at the tables, if I start letting my mind wander into self-satisfied thoughts or prayerful thanks DURING a roll, it means that I am not concentrating on WHAT I SHOULD be thinking about. 

When my mind wanders or my thoughts stray, the results are often disappointingly predictable…a 7-Out is never far away.

There is a time and place for everything, but when the dice are in my hand, any “outside” thoughts (other than the ones that will keep the dice on-axis and deliver the most profit for the least risk) are a menace to my Precision-Shooting focus and a threat to my bankroll. 

When the dice are in your hand; whatever keeps you focused on the task at hand is good; EVERYTHING ELSE is a needless distraction.  So count your “I-can’t-believe-how-great-my-shooting-is” blessings AFTER the roll, and not DURING it.

Where Money is Made and Lost

What we do as advantage-players is entirely different than what a run-of-the-mill craps player is attempting to do.  They are hoping against hope that they’ll be able to buck the house-edge and the volatility of the game, to eek out an occasional profit.

On the other hand, a skilled Precision-Shooter squeezes consistent profits out of the game from hereinbefore unknown advantage-play techniques (dicesetting) or thought-to-be-unexploitable angles (deep regressions, and betting-methods that are matched to situational streaks, trends and Signature-Numbers).   Effectively, we are taking some of the “gamble” out of the casino gambling experience by offsetting and overcoming the house-edge by inputting studied dice-throwing skills and combining them with disciplined precision-betting methods. 

All things being equal, the more skill we put in; the less risk and volatility we have to endure.

The journey from being a “gambler” and transitioning to becoming a skilled advantage-player is often a difficult one.  While physical dice-throwing skills can be learned and then mastered, many people are unable to fully abandon or at least modify their gambling-mindset enough to bring any level of consistency to their Precision-Shooting profit-making ways.  That in turn, prevents their skill from ever being good enough or strong enough or high enough to overcome their own bet-decision and money-management choices.

Simply put:

Regardless of how talented some players become as Precision-Shooters; their weak wagering CHOICES never overcome their dicesetting SKILLS.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating again in this context.

A number of this planets best Precision-Shooters, are also some of the worst bettors in the world.  Their wagers rarely reflect their outstanding dice throwing abilities, and unfortunately, their losses mostly outstrip their wins.  It’s not that they can’t make good money from doing this thing; it’s just that a number of them choose betting-methods which artificially, but quite convincingly, lower their chances of making ANY profit at all.

Money is won and lost on the actual wagers that you make, and NOT on the beauty of your throw.

This may sound like an oversimplification, but it’s true:

Your bets have to reflect and capitalize on any advantage that you gain through dicesetting.  If you stick to outmoded betting-methods that don’t correspond with your ever-evolving skills, you too may find that your losses still outstrip your wins, no matter how good your Precision-Shooting gets.

Paradigm Shift

The game of craps that most people play barely resembles the game that we play as a Precision-Shooter.  Oh sure, the dice are the same, and the layout is the same, as is the types of wagers available to all of us; but it’s the way we approach and bet on the now-derandomized game which makes all the difference in the world.  That is the only way to turn this negative-expectation game into a positive one. 

Look at it this way: 

If you aren’t making enough money with the betting-methods that you are using now, perhaps you should consider making some changes to the way you bet, and especially about the way you THINK about betting.

Sometimes we have to change our approach, and actually shift our thought-patterns before we are able to profitably turn things around. Unfortunately, sometimes nothing can convince a player to change his game-approach no matter how much money he continues to lose.

The hard-headed “I’ve-always-bet-that-way-and-I’m-too-old-to-change-now” betting-approach often prevents a quite-skilled Precision-Shooter from capitalizing on the “edge” he develops through all of his dicesetting practice.

As we build up our dicesetting skills, we also have to adapt our betting-methods to fully capitalize on the newly developed talents.  This paradigm shift often means a complete abandoning of the way we used to look at this game, and especially the way we used to bet on this game. 

To take complete advantage of your current real-world talent, you have to tailor your betting-methods to match your skill. 

Betting with Friends…Gambling with Chance…Learning with Experience

Some lessons come hard and many come EXPENSIVE!

I was shooting at NewYorkNewYork one night, and my (now former) Executive Host, Leslie Sadovia, was at the rail of the mostly empty $25 table with me (it was the only 14-footer in the place at the far end of the pit, that's hardly ever open during the week).  She was doing the thing that Executive Hosts like to do most (other than consuming copious amounts of super-premium alcohol on the corporate-dime), and that is schmoozing with players who are either high-rollers in their own right, or who have connections to bring in more and BIGGER high-rolling friends and associates.  In this case, her motive was focused on the latter.  Although my betting-levels and table-time does warrant second-from-the-top-drawer treatment, it pales in comparison to what a few of my better-known (and more notorious) associates get.

My shooting was going good.  In between solicitous prompts from Leslie to check on whether my associates were going to show up, she was whining about the fact that she couldn't bet on me at any of her employers (MBG) casinos.  In short order, a few of my compadres joined us at the table.  I knew she had been biding her time with me in hopes that they would bless her corporate doorstep with their big-money play, and now she beamed with joy as her “It’s in my job-description” prayers were answered.

The first thing you have to understand about these guys, is that they are NOT Precision-Shooters by any means, however they bet HUGE when given the chance, and especially if the dice are rolling well.  To their credit, they also make a lot of Prop-bets on my behalf as a way of saying thanks for past revenue that my shooting has produced, and to provide a little encouragement for me to augment their future craps profit as well.  For example, if they have $100 on each of the Hardways, and they'll put me on those same bets for $25 too.  It's the same thing with the Come-Out World and Horn-bet action, so obviously I don't mind having them at my table.  To make a long story short...my shooting remained terrific during that session, but I continued to bet on their shooting as a kind of "thanks-for-having-faith-in-me-when-I-am-shooting-and-for-making-all-of-those-high-vig,-high-revenue-wagers-for-me" gesture.  I was making bets on them as a show of thanks for the bets they were making on me.

From my former Executive Host’s point-of-view, I did EXACTLY what all the casinos HOPE that every player will do; and that is to make the bets and lose the money in the way, and in amounts, and with the frequency they have specifically built their palaces for.

I ended up playing the entire four-day weekend together with that motley crew of ne’er-do-wells at various and sundry joints around town.  Some of their hands looked promising, yet none of them managed to string together anything that would resemble "greatness" or even "goodness".  On the other hand, the toke-bet revenue that I continued to receive was outstanding, so I wasn't in any hurry to part ways.

However, here's the kicker. 

I was losing back $300 to $400 of my hard-earned profit/toke-revenue during nearly EVERY SINGLE SESSION due to all the bets I was making on them!  That is absolutely ridiculous!  While I was still walking away with a good profit from nearly every session; it was so further reduced from where it should have been, that it actually pissed me off to know that I was spending that kind of money to prop up their egos and to show my gratitude.  That’s a LOT of gratitude!

It may sound immature and ungrateful to hear that from me, but let’s put that into perspective.

That one four-day weekend was profitable, but I "gave back" approximately $4100 in profit for the sake of their egos and for me wanting to be supportive, and as a sign of my appreciation for all the bets they were making on my behalf.  For me, that kind of support is just way too expensive!

Now I understand that I COULD look at it as a cost of doing business, but I just can't fully rationalize spending that kind of money to massage egos and show appreciation for their betting efforts.  On top of which, they were already making huge amounts of dough off of my good rolling, so really, who needed who, more?

To my mind, it wasn’t about my own personal greed or an inflated sense of worth or even a puffed up ego.  It was about GETTING a profit in the first place, and then being able to KEEP IT once I got it.

That weekend changed my outlook as far as showing my appreciation for players who display their faith in my Precision-Shooting abilities by making sometimes large wagers on me.

Today, I'll throw out a token $1 or $2, or maybe even $4's to cover some or all of the Hardways when one of them shoots, but THAT IS ALL.  Unless one of them lights the dice on fire with a hot roll, my money normally just stays in my rack and out of random harms way.

They've come to understand that it makes more sense for me to keep my profit (from my own shooting) rather than giving back some or all of it during their rolls.  On top of which, they have actually reduced their own betting levels (somewhat) during their own rolls, and pile it on during mine or other shooters good hands.  They've become savvy enough to wait until they know it's going to be a good hand before they bring in the huge bets on ANYONE’S hand.

If you are careful with how you bet on your buddies; you’ll often save a lot of money, as well as a LOT of “where-the-hell-did-my-profit-go” frustration. 

Becoming a House-Whore

When I was writing the Mad Professor's Dictionary, I intentionally left out the Las Vegas casino-management term “House Whore” because the explanation was a bit too long.

It’s used to describe a player who stays at the tables for too long and bets in a way where both the House-Edge (the small-percent advantage that the casino has on every single wager except Free-Odds) and Game-Volatility (the win-some/lose-some unpredictability of streaks) grinds the majority of play-until-they-lose-most-of-their-bankroll gamblers into casino dust.

In essence, the players are working for the house, and the casino is taking their bankroll (along with their souls) a piece at a time. It’s like a Pimp/Whore relationship because one party (the Pimp/Casino) makes money off of what it is you (as their Whore) do while you are under their control as you work your corner on their behalf (your favorite game in their casino).  The futility of bucking both the house-edge and the volatility of the game is practically useless unless you are able to overcome that disadvantage through Precision-Shooting and Precision-Betting.

I’ll let long-time casino executive Mel (the Vegas Ghost) give you his take on House Whores:

Eventually that evil duo named House-Edge and Game-Volatility pulls up to the table in their gold-plated wire-wheeled big-assed old Cadillac.  Being the true fur coat, angora scarf, hand-painted silk tie, ostrich feather in their fedora wearing pimps that they are; House-Edge and Game-Volatility will smack a player around like a junkie-whore that is holding out on the cash.   Without Precision-Shooting combined with iron-clad Precision-Betting discipline; the House-Edge and Game-Volatility makes nearly EVERY PLAYER the casinos personal whore where they’ll end up riding you around the kitchen floor as they make you call them “Daddy”!

The only way a craps player can avoid becoming part of their stable of street-corner girls, is to learn Precision-Shooting for themselves, or ride and bet on the coat-tails of someone who already does.  Otherwise, the casino pimp-masters will continue to use your ass to pay for yet another crystal chandelier or another stretch limo or another stock dividend for the whore-monger shareholders.

Okay, that’s a harsh version of what House-Edge and Volatility can do to most players, but the message is pretty clear.  If you try to fight both of them without any advantage-play weapons of your own, you are certainly in for a tough battle.

Know When To Say Uncle

Remember, we are looking at ways to get more profit, and then determining how best to keep it. 

Our friend Al C. and I had a brief conversation about this subject the other day. 

He had been at a casino where a well-known (to the two of us) player had been betting against Al.  Even though Al had unleashed six PL-Points during his first hand, and nine PL-winners on his very next go-round with the dice; "Jimmy, the Darksider" continued to bet against him.  Al continued to clobber Jimmy’s high-dollar DP bets, and Jimmy kept right on betting against what he should have clearly seen as a very talented dicesetter.

Now to put that into even greater perspective, Jimmy is VERY knowledgeable about Precision-Shooting, and is an accomplished dicesetter in his own right.  So why was he betting against another known and quite obviously talented Precision-Shooter like Al, who was plainly having an exceptional day?

Jimmy clearly doesn’t know when to say, “When” or “Enough is enough” or “Uncle”.  He’ll continue to throw good money at bad bets, and he won’t give up until all of his money is gone.  In Jimmy’s case, “all of his money” usually means a $2,000 or $3,000 session-loss.

I can't count the number of times I've had several mega-hands in one day, yet Jimmy is right there with his big ass parked on a chair at the end of the table, sweating gravy, as I keep right on rolling win after win, yet he keeps right on losing bet after bet.  And he’ll keep on betting against me until all of his session-money is gone.

I related one of my own “Jimmy” stories to Al about the fact that even after all of these years it still amazes me how Jimmy will continue to bet against me ALL DAY even when my shooting is SPECTACULAR.  He’ll only bet on his own shooting, which is usually pretty good, but he’ll pile up the Darkside bets against some of the most accomplished shooters in the world, and curse at them every time that he loses.

About a year ago, he waddled up to my table. When the dice came to me, he said to his buddy who had driven down to this place with Jimmy in his van, "This guy NEVER makes a Point, we'll win against him". I thought to myself, “Is this guy STUPID as well as being morbidly obese?  I turned and smiled broadly as I said, "That's right Jimmy, feel free to bet against me". So sure enough, I unleash yet another memorable hand while both he and his trip-mate lose a bundle.  By the fourth PL-Point, I thought the engorged vein that was thumping just under the skin of Jimmy’s forehead, was going to burst through and hose down everyone at the table with a hemoglobin gusher.

The very next time the dice come around to me, Jimmy bet against me the same way he did before…and I did the same thing that I did before.

Lesson learned yet, Jimmy?

Nope…third time around…third time for another senseless beating.   Jimmy’s cursing was having no effect on my concentration, and I stuck to doing the thing that I do best when I get my hands on the dice. 

Come on Jimmy, if you’re not going to bet with me, why don’t you at least save some money, and not bet at all while I shoot?

Nope…one more hand…and one more sound thrashing.

Unfortunately, Jimmy ran out of money long before I ran out of good rolls.  He left in the middle of my next turn while still muttering about not being able to find any ways to win today.

I mention all of this to illustrate that sometimes the profit-opportunities are right in front of you.  Of course, you have to recognize them, and then take the necessary betting-action to take proper advantage of them.  Sometimes it’s better to switch sides, instead of fighting against a streak.  And sometimes, well sometimes you just have to say “Uncle” and make the mature decision NOT to bet at all.

Get It, Then Keep It

Today, we’ve taken a look at six more of the many elements that can mean the difference between merely getting your hands on some profit, and actually being able to keep it.

If you take a step back from your own game to consider the amount of money that you win at the tables, versus the amount that you actually walk away with; you may discover some real opportunities that will allow you to GET it, and then KEEP it.

Until next time,

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

The Mad Professor


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