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Discipline, Character & Consistency
Part III

(read Part I here or Part II here or Part III here)

A man is jogging in the park when he comes across a 98-year old man weeping on a park bench. The jogger stops to see if he is okay. The old man replies, “Life couldn’t be better. I’m living with a nineteen-year old nymphomaniac!  In the morning when I wake up, we have sex.  Then she brings me breakfast in bed.  After breakfast we have sex again, and I have my mid-morning nap.” 

He continued, “We normally eat out for lunch at a nice restaurant, and then it’s back into bed for “afternoon delight”.  Then I spend the rest of the afternoon watching sports or old movies before she cooks dinner for me.  Oh, and did I mention she is a gourmet chef?   After dinner we have sex again, and I finally collapse in bed exhausted and ready for a restful nights sleep.”  Surprised, the jogger says, “That’s my idea of bliss!  Why in the world are you so upset?”  Through his tears the old man weeps, “I can’t remember where I live!”

I guess happiness is relative, just like incest.

In Part Three of this series, we looked at:

ü      Building character at the tables.

ü      Relying on consistency instead of luck, but recognizing both.

ü      Applying discipline to your game-plan.

I hope by now you realize that GETTING profit is a lot easier than KEEPING profit, and that you can have all of the “mechanical” things like dice set, grip, stance, throw, trajectory, and target-area perfect; but if you don’t apply the required discipline, character and consistency, then your money is at high risk of becoming the casinos money.

Decide what your goals and motivations are.

It's pretty hard to hit a target if you haven't aimed at it. The kinds of things one does with a goal of earning a comfortable living is different from the kinds of things one does if they are just out to have a good time with their friends once in a while.

You have to determine why you are playing this game, and exactly what your goal is.  As you progress, you can refocus your goals to higher and higher levels.  When what seemed like pie-in-the-sky when you first started out becomes a reality, it is okay to raise your goals to an even higher level.

Likewise, your motivations may increase in lock-step with your goals.   For example, you may start out looking to curb your loses.  If you can turn most of your losing sessions into break-even sessions, you have accomplished what 95% of all other gamblers will not achieve.  At that point, you may decide that you would like to set a higher goal of supplementing your current income with a bit of profit that your dice-play now throws off.  The sense of accomplishment at this point should be very satisfactory.  Once again, your goals and your motivation may change to a higher level.  For me, making a great living is a big part of my motivation, but I also want to become one of the best players at this game.  Whatever your motivation is; set clear and obtainable goals.  Then set out to achieve them.  Nothing says that you can’t set a new set of goals once you achieve the first set.

You have to understand yourself.

You need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, and be able to determine threats and opportunities.  If drinking alcohol is affecting your game, then you have to determine which one you like best; winning money or getting drunk. 

It does no good if your spouse doesn't believe in what you do.  Family get-togethers may be strained when your father-in-law hears about your newest career pursuits.  On the other hand, if your success at the tables has risen to the point where it pays ALL your bills, and leaves a decent amount of money to build up your bankroll; then your ACTIONS as a responsible spouse should speak MUCH louder than words.  The best actions are those that show your appreciation to the ones who have stood by your convictions; supported your efforts; and believed in your abilities all along.  Words of appreciation are good and necessary; but actions that truly show your appreciation are absolutely required.  In most cases, the list of those that stood by you is a very short one.  For those people, I would strongly suggest that you amply reward them, and don’t be stingy.  Their commitment to you was probably just as strong as your commitment to improving your game.  Reward them!  After that, you can reward yourself for your accomplishments.  By the way, that also speaks volumes to those who DID NOT believe in you.

At the same time, you have to realize that most people are looking to deflate any notion that craps can become a positive-expectation game through Precision-Shooting, let alone a career.  Believe me, the battle is not in convincing them, it’s the battle of self-discipline that you struggle with even as your bankroll grows to that earned by other professionals like lawyers, doctors or dentists.

The amount of discipline, character and consistency that it takes to GET you to this point of accomplishment is only a fraction of what it will take to KEEP you there.

Know when to alter your approach.

The best players can switch styles or betting methods rapidly, as the situation demands it.  If you play one method all of the time, your losses will surely outstrip your wins on a very regular basis. 

What WILL work is if you use the SAME winning method in the same SITUATION every time. Second-guessing yourself and baseless-superstition is the downfall of most near-break-even players.  On the other hand, well-founded superstitions that involve the disruption of a shooters rhythm are soundly-based, and should be honored.

If you put a great deal of energy into following these principles, you will be pleasantly surprised when your current results improve.  Character has a lot to do with winning consistently, and it is that which brings home the profit nearly every session, but you need the discipline to do it consistently.  

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

The Mad Professor

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