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It’s Time to GO, When…

Usually, I start one of these articles with a joke or a funny story.  That’s my nature.  I’m a pretty easy-going guy.  Despite the fact that I take craps pretty seriously, I like to enjoy myself along the way.  A few of my cohorts like to joke that when I was in high-school my guidance counselor’s file probably contained just two words about me: "yard work."  They’ll tell you that in my yearbook, I was voted "Most Likely To Injure Himself Opening a Door", and that during algebra, I always interrupted the teacher by asking, "When do we get to whittle?"  Thankfully, I’ve improved a bit since then, or at least I hope that I have.  I know for sure that my hand-eye coordination with the dice has improved immeasurably.  They’ll tell you that that is just further evidence of a mis-spent youth, raging hormones and not having a girlfriend.

Occasionally in the casino I run into something that takes some of the fun away.  One example of when that can occur is if I am having a losing session.  I know that I have to endure them once in a while if I want to continue to use craps as my sole source of income.  I also know that if I cut my losses short, I won’t have as much money to make up for on my next session.   Knowing that I can turn a profit on 19-out-of-every-20 sessions keeps my confidence high.  Recognizing that I’ll have to endure one of those losing sessions at least once every four to seven-days, is something that my ego can take.  On the other hand, it’s not something I take any pleasure in, and my fun is definitely limited during one of those losing sessions.  I HATE losing, but I’m mature enough to understand that I cannot win every time that I step up to the tables.

Thankfully craps has helped me mature, and has taught me not to be impatient or hot-headed when it comes to maintaining discipline, a tightly-focused game plan and adhering to strict money-management.  It’s an understatement when I say that most of those lessons have been hard taught.  I can tell you that the first ten or fifteen years that I played craps, I saw some great profits, but I also endured some horrific losses.  Since I began Precision-Shooting more than 10 years ago, the massive losses have pretty much stopped.  Now, when I lose, I cut them short if things aren’t going well and I accept that this is going to be one of those losing sessions that I dread. 

All of this brings us to other people’s losses when I’m playing at the tables.   Usually I am nonplused by the losses or wins of other players.  Many, many times there are plenty of players who are making more money off of my rolls than I do.  I’m not jealous or envious.  I’m happy for them.  My level of play, bankroll and money-management methods are obviously different than their’s are, and that’s just fine with me.

When I see players lose large amounts of money at the tables, the same thoughts hold true.  They have a different approach to this game and I respect their ability to make different choices than I do.   If they can afford it, then, all the more power to them.

However, I can honestly say that I am affected when I see people losing more money than I know they can afford.  It takes away quite a bit of the joy from the game.  Even if I am winning at the time, my pleasure is reduced if I see the degeneration of a person with a gambling problem. Some people play down to their last dollar, then they exhaust their bank card, and finally tap out their charge-card. That’s when they finally leave the casino.  Look at it this way, the ENTIRE town of Las Vegas is engineered to separate you from your money.  You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy, and this isn’t East Gopher Hole, Montana with two taverns and a Laundromat.  This is Vegas, and you have to be careful with your money.  The same thing goes for ANY casino that you set foot into, wherever it is.

I thought that I would make a list of some of the early warning signs that you should look out for, so that you will know when perhaps it is time to leave the table.

         When “yesterday morning” becomes “tomorrow afternoon” in one session.

         When you’ve been at the table for three or more shift-changes.

         When the cocktail waitress refuses to serve you any MORE alcohol.

         When you’ve tried everything that you can think of to win, and your session has still been a complete disaster.

         When the dealer or box-man suggests, almost apologetically, that it’s time for you take a break.

         When your Precision-Shooting is not hitting the mark.

         You've been playing for what seems like an eternity.

         When your vision is blurred.

         When your judgement is blurred.

         When you can’t seem to settle into a rhythm.

         When you are tired.

        When you find yourself saying “unbelievable”, “this can’t be happening”, “unreal”, “this game MUST be rigged”, or “check the dice.”

         When you are frustrated.

         When second-hand smoke from another players is bothering you.

         When your own “first-hand” smoke is bothering you.

         When EVERYTHING is bothering you.

         When you are angry, upset or irritated.

         When you need to take a washroom break, but you’d just as soon fill an empty beer bottle.

         When you need to take a washroom break, but you’d just as soon fill your dark-blue “no-one-will-notice” suit-pants.

         When your stomach growls loud enough for everyone to look around fearing an uncaged zoo animal is on the loose.

         When you hit your Stop/Loss limit.

        When the floor-man, without your asking, hands you a meal comp, and says, “Maybe you’ll have better luck after you eat.”

         When the Pit Boss, without your asking, hands you a room comp, and says, “Maybe you’ll have better luck tomorrow.”

         When you fall asleep at the table waiting for “one more try with those damn dice,” maybe it’s time to call it a day.

         When you start to think that it's been bad for so long, the law of averages has to make things better.

        When another player leaves the table with his winnings, and says, “Have a nice day”, and you respond with, “Don’t tell me what to do.”

        When the dice circle the table with nobody making a point or even hitting a number before “7-ing out”, and you refuse to bet on the “wrong” side or the ‘darkside”, because that’s only for “losers.”

         When you start talking to yourself out-loud, and you respond by saying, “That doesn’t make any sense.”

         When you start talking to yourself out-loud, and you respond by saying, “That makes A LOT of sense.”

         When you hear cheers of triumph go up at every other table but yours.

         When you start to hear voices that aren’t really there.

         When you start to hear voices that appear to be coming from the dice.

         When you start sobbing uncontrollably.

         When you start sobbing controllably, but feel like curling up into a fetal position.

         When you look at other players coloring-out chips and you silently curse them with unhealthy wishes.

         When you look at other players coloring out chips and you LOUDLY curse them with unhealthy wishes.

         When you feel immense chest pains, and your left arm and fingers start to go numb.

         When you decide that one LARGE bet will make up for that irritating string of small losses that you’ve been enduring.

         When find yourself saying something to another player or to a casino employee that you'll regret later.

        After losing that one LARGE bet, deciding to put the balance of your bankroll at risk on one last desperate make-or-break bet.

         When you take out you false teeth, and ask if you can wager them.

         When you take out you false teeth, to wager them and the box-man takes out his teeth to “fade” your bet.

         When you start thinking about how to embezzle funds from your employer.

        When your pockets and wallet are jammed with ATM cash-withdrawal receipts, and you have a few measly $1 white chips left in your rack.

         When you realize that you are not having fun any more, and it hasn’t been fun for quite a while.

         When you realize that you haven’t been betting with your head, but betting way, way over it.

         When you consider using the “rent money” to extend your playing time.

         When you consider using the “diaper and baby-formula money” to extend your playing time.

         When you are afraid to leave because “a hot hand may finally develop.”

         When you make every conceivable bet on the table, so that you will win at least ONE bet.

         When they call a priest or minister to give you “last rights,” it’s time to leave.

So if you find yourself at the craps table in any of these situations, perhaps, it really is time to go.

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

By:  The Mad Professor

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