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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 11
(read part I
here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4
or here for part5 or here for part 6 or here for part 7 or here for part 8 or here for part 9 here for part 10)



Why are you so against having a beer while playing craps?  I usually have six or seven free drinks over about two hours in the casino, and it doesn’t affect my play at all.  You should loosen up.



I am loose and relaxed when I play, but I refuse to lower my defenses to the casinos liquor-fueled money-grinder.   The reason the drinks are free is because it makes it easier for the casino to separate a man from his money.  I like someone else’s phrase of “chip-remover” to describe those free drinks.  I leave the imbibing for post-session celebrations, or when I have no intention on playing.   The casinos LOVE the “taking candy from a baby” power that booze provides.  Is it any wonder that Steve Wynn (creator of Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, et al) is well-known for saying, “When the drinks are flowing like Tammy Faye's tears, then all is good in Vegas, baby!”



You mentioned that a couple of downtown Las Vegas casinos cater to Hawaiian tourists.  Do any of those places carry Hawaiian shirts?



The three downtown Boyd properties (Freemont Hotel, Main Street Station, & California Hotel) focus on those island visitors.  While I haven’t specifically seen any great shirts for sale at those properties, there are three notable Las Vegas outlets that carry a stunning array of Hawaiian shirts:

v     ABC Store - A Hawaiian version of Walgreens.  It’s located under the Freemont Street Experience near First Street, and has about twelve full racks of shirts.

v     Hilo Hatties – Also transplanted from Hawaii, has a great assortment of shirts in the Aladdin Hotels’-Desert Passage Mall.

v     Tommy Bahama – They are located out at the Primm Outlet Mall connected to The Primm Resort Casino, and is beside and across from Buffalo Bills Casino and Whiskey Pete’s.  Prices are a little higher than ABC or Hilo’s, but the quality is significantly better.




I really enjoyed your Casino Credit Update articles.  I would like to know how to skim any profits when I use credit at the tables?  Let’s say that I draw a marker for $1000, and wind up with a total of $1200.  I manage to “skim-off” $400 during the course of my play and slip it into my pocket.  Do I pay $800 off against the marker right at the table, and then cash the $400 at the cashiers cage?"



Excellent question.  I assume when you are talking about markers, you are referring to "credit" that you have set up with the casino, as opposed to "front-money" that you have deposited in the cage.


The second assumption that I have to make is that you honestly intend to clear or pay off any credit that you "borrow" against your line-of-credit.

Okay, that being the case, then I would "bleed-off" or skim about 20% to 30% of your buy-in throughout your normal session play. You would do this regardless of whether you are winning or losing. Gamblers lose, and the casinos expect you to lose.  Why would you want to disappoint them?  The idea is to make your losses look bigger, and your wins look smaller.

In addition, I would skim some of the profits that your winning-play generates.  For example, if you are in the middle of a $300 winning hand, I would suggest that about one-third of that amount makes it to your pocket.

The only exception is if you are having a monster roll.  Then I would ensure that my buy-in amount is at least covered, and a little profit is left in the rails.  In that case, I pay off my marker right there at the table, and keep the "little" profit that remains.  They really like it if you do that.  It shows your sincerity and payment integrity.

As to your situation, yes, I would "color-out" with $800 and later on at a different cage or shift, I would cash out the $400 “in-pocket” balance.  In most cases, the Pit-Clerk will move your marker from the dice area and transfer it to the cage within a reasonable period of time.  The dice-personal cannot do a “partial-payment” against a marker.  That is, if your marker is for $1000, then they can’t take your partial $800 payback at the tables.  That is a “cage” transaction that you will have to do at the cashiers cage. 



After reading numerous Mad Professor articles, I was wondering what your daily/session bankroll is to win $1,000 per day?



Another good question.   I’ll summarize it as follows:

Session buy-in is usually $1000.   If I am at a low-limit/low-max table, my buy-in will be either $300 or $500.  If it is a “hit’n’run” session at a major joint; then my session buy-in will still be at least $500, and more likely $1000.  This is done to show my willingness to expose my money to the casino-risk.  It also really helps with the comp picture. 

Session loss-limit is usually $150.  If I am the solo-shooter at a table that I have historically done well on; then I MIGHT extend my loss-limit to $250, but that would be a VERY RARE occurrence.  If my shooting is not going well on one table, why would I stay and PROVE that my shooting is off?  As you may know, I have steadily reduced my session loss-limit over the past 18 months.  This has been a significant contributor to higher overall profit, because I don’t have to make up and recoup such large deficits during my good sessions.  This one change in my game plan has increased over-all profitability by at least 20%.   Lowering your loss-limits is one of the major keys to consistent profitability.

Session win-goal is usually $300.  I don’t try to make a major score at every table.  Rather, I sometimes only get $40 or $50 from one table; then I move on.  On the other hand, sometimes a table is reacting perfectly to my Precision-Shooting, and I will milk it until it runs dry.  My actual current session win-amount is significantly higher than my $300 session win-goal.   However, once I reach the $300 plateau, I refuse to lose back even $1 below that threshold.

Daily loss-limit is $500.  If my shooting is “off”; then I don’t chase it.  A rest is usually in order.  Once I am away from the tables, it is then that I usually realize that indeed I really was tired and needed a break.  Again, over the past 18 months, I have steadily reduced my daily loss-limit, and it too has contributed significantly to my overall profitability.  That is because I don’t have to make up and recoup such large deficits during my good sessions the following day.

Daily win-goal is $1000.  I treat this item the same way that I treat the $300 session win-goal.  Once I reach this plateau, I refuse to lose back one measly dollar below the $1000 mark.  My actual current daily win-amount is significantly higher than my $1000 daily win-goal, but that is the realistic target that I am always shooting for.  I have thought many times about raising that win-goal, but I like the feeling of reliable accomplishment that I get when I consistently achieve it.

My daily bankroll is a function of my session buy-ins and my daily loss-limit.  Since I usually want to be able to buy-in for $1000; and my daily loss-limit is $500; then I usually ensure that my daily bankroll is at least $1500. 

Thanks again for all the great mail and the superb questions.

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

The Mad Professor

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