As soon as you look at a map of Canada,
it’s easy to figure out why most sane people who decide to go to Calgary,
Alberta usually fly there instead of driving. Well, they don’t call me
the MAD Professor for nothing…so of course I decided to drive;
which meant traversing a lot of prairie wheat-fields where it takes an
average of two weeks just to walk to your neighbor's house.
With Strippers Union (Local 518)
blasting in the CD-player (yes, that really is a musical group), I pulled
into the Elbow
River Casino parking lot.
Building First Hand Confidence…and First Hand
When an advantage-play dice-influencer first walks into a
casino, it is important that his enthusiasm to play doesn’t
overwhelm his ability to win.
Please understand that I am not talking about the mindset of
a normal gambler here; however having said that, it’s not unusual for many
advantage-play craps-shooters to fall into the same giddy rush to get
their money on the table just like any other run-of-the-mill gambling
With the anticipation that is built up on your drive to the
casino combined with whatever interlude there has been between the last
time that you played; it’s human nature to want to “get ‘er done”
as soon as possible. However, it is in that headlong rush to get into the
action that many players do not slow down enough to fully compose
themselves before taking the dice into their hands…and putting their money
at due risk.
During my first session in Calgary, I too fell into that very
Though we’ve long discussed the importance of taking it easy
on the first day of a multi-day stay and especially about carefully
easing into play during your first session on the first day; we
often think that we ourselves will be immune to those oft-cited, but
Yeah, I’ll be pleading guilty to that charge Your Honor, so
please make the fine a big enough penalty so that I won’t be tempted to do
The first thing that we have to keep in mind as
dice-influencers, is that without influence, we will NOT be in an
advantage-play positive-expectation situation…and neither will our money.
HOPING for influence is not in the same money-making league as actually
playing, betting, and profitably exploiting our advantageous influence.
Our edge over the house is not static, and therefore it can’t
be presumed or invariably depended upon if we don’t nurture, cultivate and
continually foster its healthy survival. That simply means that if we
don’t work at it and continually keep our skills sharp and keen; then our
results will be as lackluster and uninspiring as our efforts to maintain
In Calgary, I not only immediately rushed to the table to
throw my first hand during that first session on my first day at Elbow
River Casino, but I also continued to rush my D-I efforts during the
second, third, and fourth hand of that inaugural Alberta session too. You
would think that since I was betting on the Darkside, my hasty impatience
would turn out to be a good thing and I’d 7-Out almost by default.
Unfortunately that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Instead,
every time I set my anti PL-Point, I would invariably bring it right back
within just a couple of rolls.
I’m sure I had a bemused look on my face during this
process. In truth, there was absolutely no reason to be mystified as to
why I was having such bad hands, but at the time, the immediacy of the
problem was blinding any sort overall perspective or mature objectivity.
Now if that only happened to me once or twice during that
first session, I could pass it off to just a little bit of shooting-acuity
dullness that I picked up from 1800 miles on the road; however, repeatedly
shooting myself in the foot for four full and complete hands in a row was
obviously way more than I should have tolerated before taking a break.
I’d love to blame it on too many miles or too much coffee or too much
enthusiasm; but in the end I really have to take full responsibility for
not first decompressing, resting up, putting in a little bit of in-room
practice, and then composing myself as I usually do before picking up the
dice before that first session. As well, I also have to take full
responsibility for not cutting that first session short when it was
clearly obvious that my shooting-proficiency was nowhere near where it
should have been.
Even more obvious during this particular session was my
complete disregard for practicing what I preach. So I’ll say again what
I’ve said in previous articles, not so much for your benefit, but
to reinforce and buttress my own commitment to shooting quality:
first hand of our first session on our first day in a new destination
should be used to build confidence in our shooting abilities.
means we should put a fair amount of preparation into that first session
since it can cause reverberations far into subsequent sessions.
start out on the right foot, it is easy to build on that success during
subsequent sessions. Equally, if we start out on the wrong foot, a bad
first session not only puts us into a deficit position on the financial
side of the ledger, but it also puts us behind in terms of knowing exactly
what it takes to successfully beat the particular tables we are currently
In other words, the first hand of the first session on our
first day in a new destination should be used to not only establish the
basic throw that will take us to subsequent victories, but to also put us
into a justified expectation frame of mind for subsequent
When an advantage-play dice-influencer first walks into a
casino, it is important that his enthusiasm to play doesn’t
overwhelm his ability to win. That first session in Calgary was
more than a wake-up call for me; it was analogous to snorting an ampoule
full of weightlifters ammonia.
I was now officially and inexorably awake and aware of what I
needed to do to get back on the winning track, and that process began with
a good meal, a good sleep, a good workout, and a good in-room
Sounds like good advice to me.
Elbow River Inn & Casino
I checked into my room at the Elbow River Inn. Though it
wasn’t comped up front, I knew from previous action here that it wouldn’t
take very much play to get that taken care of. The ERI is not akin to
your typical casino-hotel at all. It’s a three-level motel-type operation
that is modest in its décor, furnishings, and food offerings; but
top-class in how they treat their guests.
I used this as my home-base for the ten days that I spent in
Calgary. Though their small rooms do not offer much expanse to stretch
out and expand your mind, it was comfortable in a
country-within-the-city sort of way. In fact, for a city with a
population of a million people, the rest of Calgary has that same
is a very small gaming-house that
is comparable in size to Casino Royale, Nevada Palace, Slots-o-Fun, and
Westin Casuarina. It has one 12-foot craps table that opens at noon and
remains sparsely populated until closing time at 2 a.m., and has a
$5-to-$200, 2x-Odds betting-limit.
They will easily comp your room and food
for about four hours of play at the $50 bet-spread level. The table-felt
is a little worn, but I find that a nice, easy, low-spin, low-trajectory,
low-energy throw that targets the white double-line that separates the PL
from the DP gave me incredibly consistent on-axis, primary-face results.
Sessions Two thru Six
To my relief (and practice-validated expectation), I did
significantly better at shortening my point-cycle roll-durations during
the next five sessions. Admittedly my shooting was still far from
perfect, and though I never once managed to establish a PL-Point and then
immediately throw a 7-Out, I only shot myself in the foot a total of three
times with an unintentional Point-repeater in 42 hands; so I considered
that a HUGE improvement over my first session.
Clearly though, some of my winning throws
were not the kind of picture-perfect works of art that would warrant being
hung in a Precision-Shooters gallery of excellence. One of my winning
hands during Session #2 contained so many non-Point rolls, that it would
be considered a mini-mega hand by any Rightsiders standard. A couple of
hands during my third session contained more non-Point rolls than the skip
of the Finnish national curling team, Markku Uusipaavalniemi, has letters
in his name.
Still though, I wasn’t discouraged. I was
hitting my intentional 7-Outs although during the second and third
sessions it was sometimes taking much, much longer than normal. The
further I went in these next five sessions, the less and less rolls it was
taking to throw my hoped-for 7-Outs. For example, in Session #2, it took
an average of 12 point-cycle rolls to 7-Out, and by the end of Session #6,
it was taking a much-improved average of just under 4 point-cycle rolls to
accomplish the same objective.
The fact that it had taken seven full
sessions to get back into proper shooting shape provided enough evidence
that putting well over 1800 miles on my shooting arm during the drive to
Calgary wasn’t such a good idea after all, or at least a decision that
should not be done without full consideration of the consequences.
Dice-influencing success starts with an influenced toss. So
when we alter the expectancy-rate of certain numbers, we alter our
opportunity-rate. The more influence we exercise over the dice, the more
profit-opportunity we gain.
Not quite so obvious to most dice-influencers is the fact
that the FEWER numbers that we try to influence (based on
the number of wagers we spread on the table at any one time); the
greater our chances for net-profit success on the wagers that we
actually hit. For example, if your wagers cover four or more different
Rightside bets on the table; then you have to hope that the strength of
your influence is spread wide enough to hit those bets often enough to pay
for that widely-spread risk…and still emerge with a profit. If you have
followed my Regression Avoids Depression series, you know
that multiple-wagers usually require multiple hits before reaching
net-profitability if you aren’t using a regression-style of betting.
Darkside-shooters use the much simpler concept of needing to
influence just ONE number (the 7); and for them, it requires
as little as ONE point-cycle roll to reach that objective.
Think about it this way…
Let’s say a Rightside-bettor wagers $22-Inside ($5 each on
the 5 and 9, and $6 each on the 6 and 8), plus $5 on the Passline with $10
in Odds. He will need six Inside-number hits to derive a profit on
that spread of widely-placed wagers before emerging with a net overall
profit of just $5 after six winning-payouts; so it’s little wonder
that most talented dice-influencers have very little profit to show for
all of their efforts despite an obvious edge over the house.
For dice-influencers, the ONE paying-hit-only
requirement for profitable Darkside-betting is often the most overlooked
aspect of their advantage-play potential.
Nothing defines this city more than the annual 10-day Calgary Stampede.
Outdrawing the U.S. National Finals N.F.R. in Vegas by a margin of
eight-to-one, the Stampede combines the traditional 140,000-cowboy rodeo
with the excitement of NASCAR racing with thirty-six 4-horse chuck-wagons
racing against each other and their accompanying outriders.
The Stampede Casino is located on the
same fairgrounds where all of those rodeo events are held. As with the
other casinos in Calgary, the craps
tables here open at 12-noon and close at 2 a.m. Similarly, betting-limits
are set at a $5-minimum and a $200-maximum flat-bet with 2x-Odds.
The casino recently doubled its floor-space, and is comparable in size to
both the Western and Wildfire casinos in Las Vegas. Although it doesn’t
have its own hotel, it is right across from Elbow River Inn & Casino as
well a number of equally close non-gaming hotels.
Overall, the Stampede
Casino is a relaxed place with a very enjoyable atmosphere, except in July
of each year when it is a madhouse of activity. The last time I played
here during the annual Stampede, the crowd was three deep when I started
shooting...by the end of it, I had to wade through a throng that was
thicker than a 20-cow corral stuffed with 3,000-head of boozed-up bovines
(and all of them wearing big-assed belt-buckles)!
Though they have two 14-foot tables here,
only one is usually open; however the crowds are typically so sparse
throughout the day and well into the evening, that it’s not unusual to
shoot solo or nearly-solo for hour upon hour at a time during the week.
I spent an entire Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and a good portion of
Friday, from table-opening at 12-noon to early evening around 6:30 p.m.,
with never more than four table-mates at any one time…now THAT is
what I call “near-solo” shooting!
In my four days of play at Stampede
Casino, I shot literally hundreds upon hundreds of hands, and as a result,
my point-cycle Darkside-SRR dropped to an new all-time low. In fact, I
stopped counting the actual number of hands that I threw by early
Wednesday afternoon, and instead just kept track of hands-won, hands-lost,
and point-cycle rolls-to-7-Out.
Casino Calgary has one
14-foot table that is busy only on the weekend. It too opens at 12-noon
and closes at 2 a.m. every day. I was surprised that the table-bounce was
so neutral, even when shooting from the straight-out position. With a $200
max-bet, you aren't going to run into any high-rollers at their $5
minimum-bet 2x-Odds table. Equally, odds of running into another skilled
shooter in Casino Calgary or any of the city’s other gaming-houses, is
extremely low. Similarly, as with the other two casinos, they have no
problem with dicesetting, and the dealers are all competent and extremely
friendly. Tipping is allowed, but don't be surprised if one of them faints
at the sight of a toke...they aren't used to receiving them...EVER!
Casino Calgary is the same size as Vegas’
Plaza Hotel-Casino, El Cortez and Las Vegas Club.
You have probably noticed that I haven’t
yet mentioned any restaurants so far. Well, the truth is that Calgary is
a beef-town just the same as Dallas is. In fact, the parallels between
those two cities are strikingly similar. Calgarians take their beef very
seriously, and as such I pretty much stuck to steak and prime-rib for my
There are three other casinos in Calgary,
but they don’t offer craps, and therefore in my book, they don’t warrant
further mention other than to tell you that they are:
Frank Sisson’s Silver Dollar Casino…no craps
Cash Casino…no craps
hope you’ll join me when we continue our Darkside-shooting journey of
opportunity. Until then,
Good Luck and Good Skill at the
tables…and in Life
The Mad Professor
Copyright ©2006 Mad Professor
What’s New…What’s Next...
from the Mad Professor
I get quite a bit of e-mail asking about
new and upcoming articles that are in the pipeline, so I thought a bit of
a preview would be in order.
I am excited about a new
series that is tentatively entitled…
If I Was Betting While
You Are Throwing
This is a series that takes at look at how
you bet your current skill-level versus how I
would do it under the exact same circumstances.
In some cases the bet-strategy differences are quite subtle,
but many other times, the differences are extremely dramatic.
To be clear though, this series is NOT
about second-guessing how you should have played one particular hand.
To do so often leads to clairvoyant flights of
once-every-three-hundred-hands fantasy and never-prescient-enough
daydreaming. Rather, it’s about how to efficiently combine the use
your current precision-shooting skills with effectual precision-BETTING
on every hand in order to emerge with an overall profit.
If you are completely satisfied with the amount of
dice-influencing money you are making right now; then this string of
articles will not be of any interest to you at all.
This series also tackles the related
subject of betting WITHIN the constraints of your current bankroll
by taking a “Here’s how much I have for a session-bankroll, and here’s
my skill-level and bet-comfort threshold…so what should I do with what
I’ve got?” scenario, and then shows several safe and efficient
betting-methods that use your current skill to get more of
the casinos money than you are getting right now.
This same series also takes a careful and
studied look at all kinds of betting-methods and pits them side-by-side
against all the others and then evaluates how each performs over various
skill-levels, bet-thresholds, and bankroll-sizes. As a result, you can
decide for yourself how well-suited each strategy (Flat-betting, Steep
Regressions, Proportional betting,
WOTCO…working on the come-out,
One Hit & Down, Place-Come-Place,
Conservative Pressing, Moderate Pressing, Press-then-Regress, Stepladder
Bet-Plateaus, Power-Pressing, and so on) would hold up under your current
dice-influencing abilities while using your present bankroll…and how to
optimally size your bets based on your current skill-level.
I’ve also completed another new series
and Runnin’…and Living to Talk About It
This one chronicles life on the East
Coast craps circuit of Atlantic City, Connecticut, Akwesasne, and
Not only do we
undertake a detailed examination of various Hit’ n’ Git
shooting-and-scooting techniques as we do an in-depth tour of all those
tables; but we also delve into the sometimes gritty world of waaaaay-off-the-Boardwalk
In a similar fashion, the
Crapsless Craps Tour of America
documents my still-active five-year on-again, off-again betting and
shooting experiments on the crapless-craps tables that are sprinkled
across the nation. It also contains a wide range of advantage-play
bet-scripts that you can run on Steen’s (www.cloudcitysoftware.com)
CraplessWinCraps™ to simulate various wagering-methods against any number
of different dice-influencing skill-levels.
We’ll also be adding to a number of my
better-known ongoing series such as…
Mad Professor’s Shooting Bible
The next installments in this long-running
series contain a ton of new material including:
XII - Spin Control Chapter III
- Asymmetrical O-ring and other Grip Updates
- Gauging, Controlling, and Conquering Backwall Rebounding and
– Diagnosing, Adjusting, and Correcting Tri-Directional Dynamics,
Release-Points and Post-Release Follow-Thru
XVII - Physics of the Toss…Metrics of Consistency
XVIII - Pitch Control…the ULTIMATE Weapon
- Beating, Besting, and Blowing Away ULTRA-Bouncy Tables
Regression Avoids Depression
This series extends far beyond what I ever
could have envisioned when I first started it several months ago. The
upcoming installments contain all kinds of new material including:
Determining your per-hand, per-session,
per-day, per-week, and per-life Loss-Limits; and how to test the
psychological limitations of those benchmarks.
How to calculate realistic
AVERAGE per-hand, per-session, per-day, per-week, per-month and per-year
Determining which betting-method and
specific bet-type is best suited to your profit objectives,
risk-tolerance, bankroll limitations, and skill level.
We’ll also be posting a number of new series including:
North Circuit Pro’s
Toughest Way to Make An Easy Living
VIP High-Roller Craps Tables
Hawaiian Joe Says Hello
As well, we’ll be delving much deeper
into and adding to these ongoing series:
On top of all that, when we finish the
current-running Newsletter series, Shooting
from the Don’t…A Journey Of Opportunity; we’ll jump right
into a completely different dice-influencing subject that will have you
checking your mailbox in anticipation of the next monthly installment.
I hope you join me for all of that.
In the meantime, good luck and good
skill at the tables…and in life.
Copyright ©2006 Mad Professor