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I Hate Craps, Sweetie, But I LOVE The Profit!

“I thought you hated all the time and effort that I’ve spent practicing and playing craps, honey?  Now you want to go to the casino and watch me play craps almost every day.  What made you decide to become my PARTNER?” asked the craps player standing next to me at the table.

With an enthusiastic smile, his wife replied, “I hate craps, sweetie, but I LOVE the PROFIT!”

I couldn’t help but overhear that discussion the other day as I was playing at Arizona Charlie’s East out on Boulder Highway in Las Vegas.  The single moderately busy medium-long table offers a great $2 game, plus the dealers and the table surface are near-perfect for Precision-Shooting the dice without irritation, hassle or interference. 

When this fellow’s wife departed for the washroom, he said to me in a low-volume conspiratorial-tone, that he had received twelve kinds of hell from her over all the time and effort that he had been spending on craps over the years.  She had always complained that instead of watching TV with her, he “wasted” his evening hours practicing his dice-shooting at home on the their pool table.  She had long whined that instead of wanting to go to shopping with her on the weekend, he always wanted to spend four or five hours at the local casino, or perfecting his craft at home. When he honestly reported his minor financial losses, she shook her head in disgust, or occasionally shook her finger in anger.  When he honestly reported his frequent minor financial gains and rare major wins, she had told him that, “everybody gets lucky sometimes”, and he shouldn’t confuse “luck” with “skill”.  Over the years, her disgust for the game had aged into a kind of resigned loathing.  She had not been the poster-girl of encouragement for his efforts.

Recently, however, all of that had changed. His shooting had become more consistent, and the profit from his own rolls had really started to tumble in.  Being the faithful and dutiful husband, he had installed a new backyard deck and patio with some of the winnings.  He had also purchased their first new car in six years.  Although it was a lower-priced “mid-level” vehicle, he paid for it solely from his casino profit. He proudly stated that it was the first new car that he had ever paid for without a bank-loan or dealer-financing. 

Since early September, his wife had actually been somewhat more approving of his casino play.   She now accompanied him, to provide moral support and encouragement.  When the dice were coming around to his position at the table, she stood nearby at a respectful distance so as not to disturb him.  Having seen me have a number of successful hands with the dice too, he seemed to be happy to share all of this news with someone who understood the difficulty of getting to be really good at shooting them.  I guess the shared knowledge of knowing just what it takes to get to this point made him feel like he could open up to me.

He offered that their marriage had entered a renaissance period where there was a kind of renewed playfulness and romance that had long disappeared more than 30 years earlier.   He snorted a kind of laugh when he said that besides being his wife, she had evolved into a Financial Advisor in the casino and a Sexual Guru in the bedroom. I didn’t have ANY comments to add to that mental picture, but I nodded a knowing smile in response.

I smiled because I knew that his wife had entered that rarified zone where some women like to be.  That’s the zone where their husband’s earnings have eclipsed their own expectations, and where thoughts of endless shopping trips, a decent nest-egg in the bank and conspicuous consumption after year upon year of self-imposed thriftiness change from fantasy into reality.

Very few men believe in Precision-Shooting.  Even fewer women believe in it.  Obviously, a miniscule number of either of them will ever give Precision-Shooting anything more than just a passing attempt at the craps table.  If applying discipline, maturity, and commitment to casino gambling is difficult for most players, imagine the level of discipline and commitment required to control your bankroll, control your emotions, control your drinking, and then trying to control the dice on a consistent basis as well.  It is difficult, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think otherwise.  On the other hand, it IS NOT impossible.  With the right amount of all of those things, and a great deal of skillful practice, it becomes downright PROBABLE!

Just as importantly, please know that the transition-zone where skeptical spouses become enchanted believers, is one where the game of craps takes on a much higher level of enjoyment for the both of you.

That little encounter at Arizona Charlie’s got me to thinking about spouses, and the role they play in our quest for casino profit.  Without their acceptance, it makes the entire effort much more difficult.  WITH their support and encouragement, your chances of success increase dramatically and exponentially.  WITHOUT their support and encouragement, you have yet another major obstacle to overcome.

I am not a politically-correct person, or at least that is what my friends would have you believe. Now to put that into perspective, some of my friends make Andrew Dice Clay seem tame, and a few others have been under federal-indictment more times than most people have been inside a church, so their opinion may be a little tainted. 

I took a less-than-scientific-sampling of some fellow Precision-Shooters who make a living from this game.  The results may be a little skewed because a lot of us come from the shallow-end of the gene-pool, and a few of us have dived into that shallow-end, head-first, if you know what I mean!  

A group of us talked about what it takes for a guy to get his wife and/or girlfriend “on side” about perfecting this art.  For the purpose of this discussion, I’ll assume that you are male, and that your spouse is female.  If it’s the other way around, or you are in a same-sex relationship, then be offended, but don’t let that stop you from reading this.

I’ve mentioned before, that there are not many women who have fantasies about marrying a “professional gambler.”  Unless she has illusions about having a Clarke Gable riverboat-gambler marriage, she’d probably prefer a professional businessman or someone with high-paying useful trade-skills.  Let’s face it, most people prefer the predictability of a steady paycheck, instead of do-or-die performance-oriented earnings.  Most successful sales-professionals will vocally disagree with that statement, and who could blame them.   They make as much money, or as little money, as their skills allow. 

I LIKE that concept, and I apply it to my Precision-Shooting as well.  It can be a VERY profitable pursuit, but it isn’t easy.  A lot of men, and almost EVERY woman see it more as an unlikely, if not impossible dream.   In their minds, some wives will think that some men may be able to do it, but their husband WON’T BE ONE OF THEM.  Perhaps they feel that way because they wash their husband’s dirty underwear.

To understand why most women don’t see craps the same way that we do; we have to look at the difference in core-values that we have, versus what they hold near and dear. 

Perhaps there should be a set of Rules that Guys Wish Women Knew, such as:

      If you think you are fat, you probably are. Do not ask us. We refuse to answer.  If we have to answer, then you are forcing us to LIE, and either way, your feelings are sure to get hurt.

      If you ask a question you don't want an answer to; then expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

      Sometimes, we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

      Do not ask us what we are thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation and monster trucks.

      Sunday = sports. It's like the full moon, or the changing of the tides. Don’t try to change that, just let it be.

      Shopping is not a sport, and NO, we are never going to think of it that way.

      When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really!

      Crying is blackmail.

      No, we do not know what day it is. We never will. Mark anniversaries on a calendar.

      Yes, peeing standing up is more difficult. We are bound to miss sometimes.

      Most guys own three pairs of shoes. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?

      “Yes” and “No” are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question you ask us.

      Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That is what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

      Anything we said 18 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. All comments become null and void after 7 days.

      If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

      If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, then we meant the other one.

      Don't rub the magic-lamp if you don't want the genie to come out.

      You can either ASK us to do something, or TELL us how you want it done, but not both.

      Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials, or wait until half-time.

      The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out.

      All men see in only 16 colors, like MS-Windows default settings, so Peach is a fruit, not a color.

      Beer is as exciting for us as handbags are for you.

      If we hear from an old girlfriend, we will briefly fantasize about having sex with her. But don’t worry, the fantasy includes you AND her, together.

Okay, so how do we make measurable and incremental improvements in the “Craps-As-A-Supplemental-Income” department?  And how do you convince your spouse that all the time and effort that you are spending on perfecting your craft will pay dividends in the future?  We’ll explore that in Part Two. Until then…

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

By:  The Mad Professor

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