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You Had to be There
(Part I)

For the last couple of weeks, my friend Dave has been watching me shoot the dice in numerous casinos throughout the Caribbean. From Puerto Rico to Dominican Republic and now in St. Maarten, he has studied my Precision-Shooting as we play, and while our ladies' shop.

As it turns out, he's been watching my rolls a lot closer than I have. He noticed that when I throw a flurry of 6 & 8's, it is sometimes interspersed with a series of 12's.

Now I can't say that I didn't previously notice that too, but I was too busy Pressing and Collecting from the 6 & 8 Place bets, and so I didn't pay the 12's a lot of attention. On the Come-out roll, that's another story. My set for the Come-out gives off a lot of 7's, 11's, and to a much lesser degree, a number of 3's and 12's. I've long exploited that angle, and the profit just from that betting opportunity has kept my ex-wives and my current girlfriend VERY happy!

So it was, that Dave saw an opportunity on my 6 & 8 dominant throws during a late afternoon session yesterday. As we started play at a table in the Princess Casino-Port de Plaisance Resort & Spa, he said, "If you get on a tear with your 6 & 8's, I've got a surprise bet that I'm gonna' make." Then it came my turn to throw the dice.

It started out harmlessly enough with 4 as the Point. A few numbers later I found a nice groove and started rolling 6 & 8's in abundance. After hitting them for the ninth time, I rolled a 12, and Dave said, "Watch this." He proceeded to bet $10 on the 12. My next number was another 6, and he seemed unfazed as he bet the 12 for $20. The very next number I rolled was a 12.

Instead of collecting $600 and savoring the profit, he said, "Parlay the whole damn thing!" I shook my head in disbelief, and the box-man looked at me, and said in a very heavy Dutch accent, "The pressure is on you, sir." I replied with, "Pressure bothers me about as much as a cloudy day!" But inside, I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be neat if…"

I picked up the dice and didn't change a thing about my throw, except that I "willed" my thoughts away from thinking about the 12. Easier thought than done on THAT idea! Yeah, you guessed it…another 12! The whole table gasped then cheered, as Dave slapped my back in congratulations. At the same time, I was wondering where all my 6 & 8 rolls had disappeared to.

My thoughts were interrupted by Dave, saying "Parlay the whole damn thing!" A bigger gasp escaped from the table as $18,000 was broken out in the Come area prior to payment.   The box-man summoned the Pit Boss, who explained in an even heavier Dutch accent than the Box-man, that the table limit was $2,000, and they would happily entertain a bet to that limit. Dave shrugged and said, "Play the limit, I'm crazy enough to win big, and sane enough to keep it!"

Before sending the dice back out, the Head of the Pit Critter Clan examined the dice, verified the serial number, and tossed the dice back to the dealer. I was no longer Mr. Cloudy-Skies-Don't-Bother-Me. I was now Mr. Holy Sh__-Why-Didn't-I-Discover-This-Myself ? Once again, I threw the dice, and to everyone's amazement, no less than mine, …that frigging 12 showed up again!

I've never been struck by lightning, but I sure had the feeling that if I was on a golf-course at that moment, I'd be the lightning rod that Mother Nature would randomly select for a good 'ole electrifying wake-up call. $60,000 was politely broken-out and then pushed at Dave who saw one more opportunity in that Proposition Box for the price of $2,000. I threw the dice and promptly 7'ed-out. I once again shook my head, not in amazement, but more in resigned disappointment. He graciously toked the dealers a couple of "mauve" chips as we colored-up and left the table. "Hey sport," Dave offered, "at least you collected on a good string of your 6 & 8's. Let's have dinner…my treat."

I sure didn't feel sporting about it. I was happy for his win, of course, but there was a nagging and gnawing feeling somewhere between my stomach, my heart, and my wallet. As we sat down for dinner overlooking Simpson Bay, the sun doused it's light into the ocean's water and I actually shivered slightly. I'm not sure if it was the coolness of the salted trade-wind breeze, or the ebb-tide of residual adrenaline, or the anxiety of having just put $72,000 into Dave's pocket instead of mine. More likely it was the, "Oh, I wish I had been betting on that guy from the start" syndrome taking hold of my body, only made worse by the fact that "that guy" was ME!

To recuperate fully, I didn't immediately return to the tables. Instead I immersed myself into a Thalasso-therapy treatment in the Spa and contemplated my roll. On a 24-hour craps table with one throw per minute, three 12's in a row can be expected about once every five weeks with random-rolling. With my Precision-Shooting, Dave had determined a discernable pattern in my throwing that meant he didn't have to wait very long at all. It made me question why I hadn't determined that first.

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

The Mad Professor 

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