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The Great Northeast Road Trip
Part One

Well I’m on the road again.  I hadn’t set foot into a casino since the day before Thanksgiving.  It had nothing to do with craps.  The untimely death of a close friend of ours saw us foregoing our usual Christmas and New Year’s plans.  Rather, we re-arranged our social commitments to best serve our departed-friends children.  

The time off from the tables gave me some time to reflect upon not only what I do for a living, but how it all fits into a much larger lifestyle. 

I guess when a close friend dies, you almost automatically do some soul-searching to make sure that you’ve got you priorities straight.  Death has a way of putting things in their proper perspective.  I learned long ago that if you have a job or career that you really love…you’ll never work a day in your life.  That’s how craps-play is for me.  While I may spend up to thirty hours a week at the craps tables, it hardly seems like working.  Sure, it takes a lot of concentration and discipline.  It takes a lot of practice to stay in shape, and it takes a high level commitment to continually do all of the right things essentially all of the time.

I also wanted to be sure that I still had the same passion for the game of craps that has propelled my full-time play over the past ten years. I realized that I still loved what I have been doing, and that I really like the lifestyle that goes with it.

Keep in mind that I hadn’t been into a casino since November 21st of 2001.   On New Years Eve, we had a few friends over to our house.  We hired a local reggae band, and had a kind of Jamaican/Carnivale/Trinidad/Voodoo themed party. 

Okay, I’ll admit that there was a presence of various Caribbean rums at our party.  We had Mount Gay rum from Barbados, Demerara rum from Guyana, some black rum from Surinam, an incredible voodoo concoction from Haiti, some Rhum Vieux from Martinique and Guadeloupe, a column-distilled variant from Guatemala, and some cask-aged dark rum from Nicaragua. We had a great time and it was definitely a memorable party.

In the waning hours of December 31st, 2001, my girlfriend/soul-mate/travel companion/sexual-guru suggested that we take a casino road-trip of semi-epic proportions.  Despite of, or maybe because of the liberal amounts of those various tropical rums, I decided that a road-trip was exactly what we needed.

Arising the next day at the crack of noon, I cobbled together a list of casino destinations.  I didn’t want to pin any firm arrival or departure dates on any particular stop.  That way, we could arrive whenever we wanted; play and stay wherever we wanted; and depart whenever we wanted.

I also realized that I hadn’t had any really serious dice-throwing practice in over forty days.  That’s a pretty long non-casino period for me.  I started practicing in earnest.  I was surprised that I was able to get back into the groove fairly quickly.  My throwing wasn’t stellar by any means, but it wasn’t embarrassing either.  I took frequent breaks to check how my girlfriend was doing with her packing.

Because we travel so much, packing for a trip isn’t really too much of a concern for me.  For my exceedingly prettier better-half, well, packing is an adventure and an experience all in itself.   It’s always a struggle for her.  It’s like she feels challenged to wrestle her matching Paloma Blanca alligator shoes and handbag into submission, just to determine who the reigning princess of the clothes-swamp really is.  It’s funny to watch as she anguishes over each selection.

Less than three hours later, we are on the road.

We are in the early stages of a circuitous trip to some casinos in Southern Ontario, Quebec, Western New York, Connecticut, Atlantic City, Detroit and rural Michigan.

Keep in mind that we have commitments to be in Las Vegas for the first week of March for NASCAR racing at LV Motor Speedway.  Our plan is to complete the grand-circuit before heading south.  If we have time, we’ll add some Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, and Louisiana casino-stops along the way.

In Part Two of this article, I’ll chronicle the first casino stop and tell you a couple of playing methods that I’ve been using to keep my bankroll safe.

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

The Mad Professor

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