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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 16

(read part I
here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4 for here for part5 or here for part 6 or here for part 7 or here for part 8 or here for part 9 or here for part 10 or here for part 11 or here for part 12 here for part 14 here for part 15)


MP, I love your stuff and always look forward to each new article.  I’ve always wondered why you write about Precision-Shooting.  You’re obviously passionate about it, and very skilled, but if you aren’t paid for it, and you don’t plan to publish any books, why do it?



I’ll simply co-opt a phrase and say, “Talent does what it can.  Genius does what it must”.



During my last visit to Las Vegas I noticed a sign for a private gaming salon at Caesars.  Do they have craps tables in there, and if so, how much is the minimum bet?  Can anyone play in there, or do you have to be a whale?  Are there other casinos that have them, and is it difficult for anyone to get in?



The private salons (or “Salon Prive” as they like to call them) for high rollers were recently approved and built at three Las Vegas casinos (MGM Grand, Caesar's Palace and Mandalay Bay).  That ended a 71-year requirement that all Nevada casino gambling be open to the public.

Gaming Control Board regulations require each casino to log-in every player by name and government-issued photo-I.D., then provide direct real-time video surveillance feeds to GCB headquarters.

Bet-minimums for both table-games and slots must be AT LEAST $500, and each player is required to carry cash and/or starting credit totaling a minimum of $500,000.  That means that if you don’t have at least half-a-million in head-room on your Line-of-Credit, or front-money account, or in cash at the beginning of your current trip, then you cannot play in their Salon Prive.  There are no exceptions to this rule, under penalty of gaming-license revocation.

Unfortunately there are currently no craps layouts in any of the three salons.  However, if you have enough “fresh cake in your kick” to the tune of $500k, and craps is your game of choice, then I’m sure that they will accommodate your needs by setting up a craps table in their gaming salon just for you.

As a side-note, I am told, and I verily believe that these high-end salons are not putting any profit on the bottom-line of the balance-sheet.  I would think that if the situation persists, the three corporations will approach the GCB to relax the minimum-bet/minimum-credit rules somewhat.



MP, I love your articles, but they are way too long.  Is there any way that you could write a really short summary of just the good stuff, so that anyone would only have to look at that instead of reading everything else?  I just can’t invest the time, effort or patience to read the long articles.



I have to agree with you, since some of my articles seem to run the length of a Tom Clancy novel.  However, my conscience refuses to allow me to dumb-down the articles into micro-snippets that might look good on a bumper sticker or the side of a promotional pen, but have little or no practical application when you get to the craps tables.

I try to give each article a firm base upon which a player can build and develop their skills in an actionable way.  For example, you will notice that I constantly talk about “CONSISTENT profitability”.  It’s one thing to say, “You have to be consistent” or “You have to be disciplined”.  To me, that is like saying, “Have a nice day”. 

While an easily coined clich sounds nice, I would much rather show you HOW to actually be profitably-consistent instead of just saying it.  Likewise, I would much rather that you gain insight into WHY you do the things that you do at the craps table that cause you lose your discipline (and money) in the first place, and then show you various ways to improve it in a sustainable way.   To do that, it takes a little more than saying, “Be disciplined”.

I don’t just mouth the easily-digestible platitudes; my articles show you various ways and means of HOW TO LIVE THEM and make them a functional part of your gaming-profit plan.  I am not a professional writer; I am a professional craps player.  Unfortunately, I have to torture more than a few words to properly convey my profitable-consistency message. 

I have found that the type of players who tire out and quit before they fully read and digest my articles and fail to put my advice into action, are the same ones who NEVER seem to TIRE of LOSING MONEY in the casinos.  The correlation is striking…if you don’t put in the effort, you will almost never achieve your desired results.  By the way…I still hope you have a nice day.


I’m sure you’ve seen that a few players have gotten into casino chip-collecting.  Do you?



It’s a popular hobby that is growing in popularity, and there are several excellent gaming-chip and silver-strike sites on the web.  I do collect chips by using Precision-Shooting and smart wagers; then I turn them back into real money at the cashier's cage.  But to answer your question, no, I do not actually collect and save chips.  By the way, regardless of the denomination, regular casino cheques (chips) cost about 70 each to produce, while the specialty ones with holograms and numbered autographs, cost about $1.75 each.



I’m from the West Coast and was thinking of riding my bike down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), and then into Vegas.  Are there any good biker bars there?



There is a great biker bar, not far from the Strip.  It’s called the Sand Dollar Blues Lounge, and is located on Spring Mountain Road at Polaris.  It is the quintessential biker bar with great music, decent food, relatively high-paying (98%+) video-poker, and a crowd that is a show in itself.  You won’t find very many Acura’s and Infinity’s out in the parking lot, nor a lot of just-turned-21 frat boys inside, so you’ll probably feel right at home.   If you are going to be there on a Saturday night, be sure to check out one of the best rockin’ blues bands around; the Moanin’ Blacksnakes.  They have a huge, loyal and ever-growing fan base, amongst which I include myself.



I read Walking with a Vegas Ghost - Part I where you talked about a video horse-racing game.  I understand that the video version isn’t available anymore, but can you tell me where any of the mechanical versions of this game can be found?



You are correct, the electronic TV-screen version of this game was only available at the old Aladdin Hotel.  The 25-cent Sigma Derby mechanical version where 8 or 10 little horses race around a miniature racetrack are available for your betting pleasure at:

       The New Frontier, at the back near the Sportsbook and Sports Deli.  Just go past the hotel check-in desk, and you will find it right in front of the washroom entrance.

       The Orleans has theirs in a similar location near the Sportsbook in front of the Sports Bar.   Of the locations listed here, this is the least active game.

       Sticking with the “it’s-located-near-the-Sportsbook” theme, the one at Imperial Palace is located right before you go into their Sportsbook area.  There is a lot of foot-traffic passing by, so you’ll likely have an enthralled audience when each “race” is on.  People never seem to tire of watching these things work.

       The horseracing slot-machine game at NewYork NewYork, was located near the Big Apple stage area, but was scheduled to be removed by the date of this writing.

       Luxor has a racing camels game located close to the base of the western-most escalators.  They usually have a security dude, (you know, the guys with the big shoes and short hair) posted near this machine because the 8,371 visiting underage kids who call the Luxor “home” at any given time, just LOVE this game.

       The racing chariots game at Caesars Palace used to be located just down the steps from the Palladium Buffet, but it was recently moved much closer to the Sportsbook snack-bar area.  Just look to the right-most far wall of the Sportsbook, and head in that direction, you can’t miss it.

       Right beside the entrance to the Superbook at the Las Vegas Hilton, you will find their game.  Again, don’t be surprised if a bunch of inebriated conventioneers become your own personal cheering-section during each race.  This game is busiest of all the ones that I have listed here.

       If you are looking for one at Ballys, it is in the basement Shopping Concourse/Monorail Station area.  It is located at the bottom of the stairs right as you come down the escalator (very close to the 25-cent Live Video Craps machine).



I was wondering if you would be willing to personally train me in a master/apprentice type of relationship. It just seems like that would be the ultimate way to learn. I'm the type of person that doesn't do anything half way. If I choose to do something, I go at it full ahead, but this Precision-Shooting is very difficult. I practice and practice and practice, but there really isn't any feedback to guide me directly.  But at any rate, I know if I had a 1-on-1 mentor, I would excel at this.  Are you available, and what is your price?



There are several people who specialize in what you are looking for, however I am not one of them.  There are several links on this site that will put you directly in touch with them and their services.



I’ve read all of your articles, all of the stuff you’ve posted in the Discussion Board Archive, and everything that you ever write on the Message Boards, so I’m confident you will be about the only one who can help me out.  This may be the most unusual Las Vegas question that you’ve ever heard.  My wife is originally from England, but hasn’t been back home for years.  I was wondering if there are any Las Vegas hotels that have “high tea” or afternoon tea?



There are two very fine places to have afternoon tea, where it is served daily at 4 pm.  At The Verandah in the Four Seasons Hotel, they’ll generally start you off with a selection of fresh fruit and Stilton cheese, followed by finger sandwiches (made from handcrafted oatmeal and molasses bread), various jams, marmalades, Devonshire (clotted) cream, and a selection of savory toppings. 

To really bring out your wife’s memories of back ‘ome, you might want to show how debonair you are, and do the ordering for the both of you.   In that case, you could have them bring out a plate of charcuterie with gherkins, quince jelly & Provence olives, and finish with some Tuscan orange cake.  Tea flavors range from Darjeeling and Kalgar, all the way to Oolong and Lapsang Suochong

The Petrossian Bar at Bellagio has a similar menu, but you won’t find as wide of a variety of black, green and white teas as you will at the Quatre Saisons.  However, you will find most popular favorites along with a couple more that I would recommend like Lychee and Osmanthus.  Of course, since you are in a Russian restaurant, you might want to try their lesser-known, but equally good, Russian Caravan tea.

All this talk about food has gotten me hungry.  The rumbling growls of my stomach has frightened the neighbors into thinking that there is an escaped zoo animal on the loose.  So until next time…

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

The Mad Professor

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