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 Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter   

Volume III : Issue VIII

February/March 2004

Thanks for joining me for a special double edition of the the Precision Shooter Newsletter! I'd like to take this opportunity to give you a heads up on some upcoming changes to the message board.  

Beginning July 1, the board will go to a yearly subscription based format.  The annual rate for newcomers will be $18 per year, renewals $12 per year. 

Anyone who is currently a member would be considered a renewal although I will be grand-fathering a large number of current members in for free because of their previous participation and/or their support of dicesetter.com.  

I'm initiating this to further assure that those members who have registered for the board, are serious about dice influencing.  If it reduces the number of participants, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.

If you have any questions or comments about this change, feel free to email me at ed@dicesetter.com.   Now let's get on with the newsletter.

Thanks for your continued support of dicesetter.com


In this edition:
Maddog's Journey - Part I
Top Books of 2003
Slumps Versus Money Management
Upcoming Seminars
A Monster Hand is Better Than Sex Because...
Gambling (and Life) Lessons from Greek Mythology


Maddog's Journey
by Maddog

Part 1: On the trail of dice setting success.

Like most boys, I had a dog when I was younger.  He was a great dog. The kind any young kid would want to have around.  He was a spunky, adventurous, and rambunctious ole golden retriever that loved kids and had a playful but gentle way around them.  We called him Tucker.  One thing we loved to do was to take ole’ Tucker out to the bird ranch to hunt pheasants.  Now, we never took the time to teach the poor feller how to hunt birds up proper, but he had a natural instinct.  He’d bound around, sniffing into bush after bush.  He’d dash this way and that and I gotta tell you he’d sure spook up the birds.  Of course most the time he was a half mile away and another ridge line over doing it, but heck, we’d see some birds come flying over our way occasionally and knew the good ole boy was out doing his best (or worst from the birds point of view I suppose).

So what does ole Tucker have to do with influencing the dice?   Well, I wonder sometimes if my road to dice influencing success is like that good ole dog out bird hunting.  Running about, sniffing my way around this craps table and that, hoping to scare up a monster hand.  Going at the game with spunk and exuberance, but perhaps a little short on the proper training/approach to getting the job done right.

So, what got you interested in dice setting?  Did a friend introduce you to the idea?  Did you stumble across a book or advertisement for influencing the dice?  Did you see someone doing it at a table and think “hmmm, maybe that person knows something I don’t”.

How did I get interested in the idea of dice influencing?   It started out one day playing at a table and watching an older and more experienced gent at a craps table handle the dice.  He was standing at the table right next to me so it was easy for me to notice that he was twisting and rolling the dice into an interesting pattern.   Each time he got the dice, he’d maneuver the 3’s into a “V” shaped alignment.  I made a comment something like “ah, V for Victory, right?”  The guy simply grunted a non-committal “uh-huh”.   Of course he was setting the classic Hard Six Flying-V, but back then I knew nothing about dice pre-sets and just figured he had a superstition or something (ahh, yes, those were the good ‘ole days).

Anyway, I figured what the heck; I could have a superstition too.   So I decided a cool thing to do would be to set the dice with the aces up, the snake-eyes.  Nope, I didn’t know jack about proper axial relationships or any of the other D.I. mumbo-jumbo.  I just knew that the snake-eyes looked cool and that’s how I was gonna set up the dice from then on.  

Once you’ve decided you want to set the dice a certain way, what is the next logical step?  Yes, of course, I didn’t want to ruin this nice set up by hucking the dice down the table.  It just seemed to make sense that I should toss ‘em easy and try to keep them from bouncing around too much down there at the other end of the table.  Maybe with less bouncin’ and rollin’ those dice would be kind and less likely to land on a seven-out.

That was the beginning of my dice setting journey.  Oh, I didn’t know it at the time.  Nor did I know that I would shortly discover that there was a whole “world” of like minded folks that had already taken the plunge long ago.  Heck, I didn’t even entertain the thought that I would soon be spending many late nights in my basement tossing cubes into a felt and rubber lined box.   But, to paraphrase the immortal Buckaroo Bonsai, "there I was, and here I am."  

However you became interested in dice influencing, you’re on the track now (Why else would you be subscribing to this newsletter?) Some of you will keep at this and make dice influencing part of you gaming experience.  Some will even become extremely skilled at the controlled toss.   Some of you will decide this “sport” is not for you, that it’s too much work for the amount of time you spend in a casino.   Maybe you’re not sure this stuff works.   Maybe you’re simply still undecided.   All of these are O.K.  The decision to become a Dice Influencer is something like converting to a religion.  Either you convert to it or you don’t.  Neither choice is good nor bad, it simply is a choice.  And like religion, if you only approach Dice Influencing half-assed, the effort will leave you feeling a bit empty and unfulfilled.

How does one go about learning to be a Dice Influencer?  Even now, I don’t know if there is a single comprehensive answer to that question.   In fact I believe that the answer is unique to every individual.  But there are certainly some common elements and basic skills/practices that we all start with.

Like I said, “and here I am”.  My choice was to give Dice Influencing a try.  I thought I’d take stab at writing a few articles over the next little bit that explore some of the trials and errors I’ve had while trying to teach this dog to hunt.  Like many of you, I haven’t been at this Dice Influencing thing all that long, and I don’t have all the answers. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some “puppy” tips and insights.   Maybe we’ll even get to share in a success story or two along the way.

Until next time, keep your sixes crossed and your rack full.

(Part II will appear in the next Precision Shooter Newsletter)

2003's Top Three Books

A little late, but here are the most sought after books (via dicesetter.com) for 2003.   These three were head and shoulders above the rest of the field in sales.

Dice Control For Casino Craps
Yuri Kononenko
Still "the bible" for dice influencers.
Axis Power Craps!
Heavy Haltom
Precision Shooting PLUS Money Management and Strategy
John Patrick's Advanced Craps
John Patrick
The first name in Money Management

For these books and others, visit the Books on Craps area of the site!

Slumps Versus Money Management
by Michael Vernon
Gaming Instructor/Author

Anyone who plays enough cards or dice will eventually experience a slump. However, what may seem like a slump could actually have more to do with money management and controlling the losses.

I recommend keeping a journal of your sessions. Your journal can reveal patterns of your play and provide reasons why you are having difficulty with your game.

Awhile back, a former student called me about being in a slump. The first thing I asked about was if they had been keeping a journal of their sessions.

A review of the journal revealed that the student was not so much in a losing slump as they were losing more money than they were winning. In seven sessions, they had four wins and three losses. However, in two of the losses, the player went bankrupt losing thirty or more units in each session.

In my seminars, I teach students to be prepared to risk and play one entire betting stake. This does not mean to go out and play carelessly losing thirty or forty units. Even if you are losing, it does not mean you are out of control of your game. You may quit whenever the energy is not supporting your game or when the “fun” is done.

This student’s winning sessions had resulted in reasonable profit. The problem had more to do with experiencing the two bankruptcies. The loss of two complete bankrolls was reason enough for a feeling of a slump. I counseled on discipline and about paying attention to the energy of the game. I encouraged the student to recognize the positive. The units won were commendable and consistent for the winning sessions.

The student needed to play more alert during the losing sessions. The losses caused the imbalance and it effected the student emotionally as well. The student felt depressed and lacked confidence. “It ain’t no fun when it stops being fun!” Willie Nelson wishes that he had said that, but he didn’t, I did.

The defeated depressed feeling is harmful to the psyche. Confidence, as you should know, is a huge part of the game. Contrast confidence at the craps table to the confidence of a professional quarterback, a baseball pitcher or a golfer. One difference, when confidence wanes at the craps table, the craps player has the advantage of cutting their losses. When it is not going your way, it is better to call it quits earlier rather than later. It is better to accept a smaller loss than to lose an entire bankroll and risk additional injury of being demoralized emotionally.

Your battle plan should include minimizing losses. The student’s journal represented an upside down ratio of loss to profit. It turned out that the slump had more to do with money management. The student lost more than they had won. Emotionally, it felt like a slump to the ego. In reality, it was win one, lose two. Do your best not to lose more than you reasonably expect to win.

In the heat of a game, to go bankrupt or not to go bankrupt is always the challenging question. It is not wrong to play away one betting stake in the pursuit of a win, if you are in a worthy game. The dice or cards can turn in a heartbeat. Suddenly, someone rolls seven passes and you can come roaring back. However, if you find that you are experiencing more than one bankrupt session, out of say ten, it is something to scrutinize. 

Upon a closer look of your play, a slump is not always just a time when you can’t win. Self discipline and money management often are linked to the losses. Learn to recognize the difference between a cold streak verses an imbalance with the units in the win/loss columns.

Paying attention to the energy, in the first place, is the best way I know to keep out of the negative games. Prevent yourself from engaging in the losing situations. Limit your losses. It is simple really - lose less and you will win more.

Copyright © 2004 Michael Vernon / Playing4keeps®

Upcoming Seminars

Heavy and John Patrick Escape to Atlantic City - April 17 - 18

Heavy and the Dice Coach's June Reunion Craps Clinic - June 11 - 13, Las Vegas

Dice Coach and Michael Vernon - The Dice Busters - July 3 - 4, Las Vegas

A Monster Hand is Better Than Sex Because...

...you don't have to buy the other players breakfast after a monster hand.
...in all likelihood, 11 strangers won't applaud for you after sex.
..a 3-way hard eight...... Let's not EVEN go there.
...you don't have to call your bankroll the next day.
...after a monster roll, you can go right home.  No cuddling required.
...you can come when, and as often, as YOU like.
...if you're getting toked for sex, chances are it's a sting.
...a monster hand is always "good."
...you can have two or three monster hands a night! (does not apply to players under 50)
...after a monster hand, the dealers take care of the clean up for you.

(these are a compilation from the members of the roundtable)

Gambling (and Life) Lessons from Greek Mythology
an excerpt from Yuri Kononenko's new slots book
Streaks Recognition for Casino Slots / Streaks Method & Slots Thermometer

Sometimes I think about our gambling predecessors from the good ol’ days when Olympic games had no rules, Beauty was measured and male and female gamblers wore the same sandals. Let’s “unchain our minds” and “let our imagination go” to have a glimpse of the views the ancient gamblers probably held on the general principles of gambling.

What the Old Masters could teach us – “modern” men and women about gambling? Since Gambling is, probably, older than the oldest profession, their accumulated wisdom should be deeper than the eyes of a philosopher and more precious than a last drop in a desert.

In the times when the ideals of Antiquity were taken literally, the gamblers were busy people. We know they played dice games and many others we’ve never heard of. They, of course, had their own “sport and race” gambling and made bets on who would win Olympic competitions and be the first at the finish line in the races. As a matter of fact, as the representatives of the developed culture, they bet on everything that was a part of their everyday life. From predictions and associated bets on how big will be the next year’s olive harvest to whose amphora is more beautiful on the basis of the proportions required by the Golden Ratio. Instead of a notebook and slacks, local bookies, probably, used marks on the ground, small pebbles and fingers (not the way we use them) to help with the calculations and dressed themselves in tunica.

All available information about that romantic era reached us in the form of the Myths presented by Homer (10th Century B.C) and Hesiod (9th or 8th Century B.C.) in a poetic form. Let’s take a closer look at Greek Mythology and poetry and try to “read between the lines” looking at the classical plots through the clear Vegas dice to get a gambling perspective on a probable Hellenistic wisdom, which can be used in our gambling.

Greek Myths are not only simply the best fairy tales to stir a young mind and imagination in the direction of heroic, noble and beautiful. According to opinion of many, they are, also, philosophical allegories expressing an ancient wisdom and, as such, they are an inexhaustible source for a mature reflection of an adult mind. Mythology is like a magic well – every time you drop a bucket down there, it comes back full of Light and Gold and amazingly deep thoughts about a nature of a man, relationships between humans and an interaction of a man and a world around him.

Often, Myths are the representations of bizarre events filled with unusual characters and creatures, unexpected twists and turns in the plots and surprising endings. Sometimes they look so grotesque on the surface, they become too complex and confusing to allow one simple interpretation. Every myth usually warrants few more or less acceptable explanations. Below, I’ll give you, first, few possible philosophical meanings of every myth and then offer a gambler’s version of it the way it can be perceived by a modern gambler.

The Flight of Icarus

The story of that Myth is well known. The King of Crete Minos held Daedalus – the greatest mechanic, sculptor and artist of Greece – against his will. Daedalus found the way for him and his son Icarus to leave the island using artificial wings. The wings would work under the condition of not flying too close to the sun or to the sea. The heat from the sun would melt a wax keeping feathers together and the water would make them wet and useless. During the flight Icarus went too high too close to the sun and fell down to his death.

Philosophical meaning of that Myth is the idea of a preference for a middle way instead of the extremes. That reflects our common everyday life experience showing that a moderate life style is a lot healthier than the one full of excesses. Speaking philosophically, we would express the same idea saying that a Virtue always walks the middle line and avoids the extremes of Pleasure and Self-denial. This way we would relate the meaning of the Myth to the area of Morale. My personal interpretation is: setting your goals too high or too low is setting yourself for a failure in life. If you’ll set your goals too high beyond your capabilities, you’ll break yourself trying to reach them. If you’ll set them too low, you won’t live up to your full potential. In both cases your life will not be fulfilled.

What I see in that Myth when I look at it as a gambler?

The father in the Myth is the wise gambler. He “lived the life”, he “knows the score”, and “he’s got stories to tell”. He devised the good workable strategy – to flop his way out of Crete. The correct way to use that strategy was to fly somewhere between two elements. The kid in the Myth is the young aspiring gambler. He is young, he has a whole life in front of him, but, like many gamblers, he is too impatient and wants to win one million olives or worthless drachms in a few hours of play. He breaks the big rule of gambling – play your strategy and nothing else and play it good. Flying too close to the sun was playing something else, but not his learned and initially adopted strategy. Result – the kid paid the ultimate price, dropped all his bankroll and lost his gambling life and career. His father, a pro, stuck to the strategy to the end and finished the whole session successfully. According to the Myth, he landed safely in Sicily where the ancient King-Mafioso hid him in his palace away from the long hands of King Minos.

The main gambling lesson of that Myth is a paramount importance of 1) Discipline. On top of a poor discipline, the kid probably got greedy and over betted to get fast results. Any gambling pro, regardless of a particular nature of the game he plays, will tell you that a regular day is a slow grind of a small profit. Magnificent gambling coups are rare and they come on their own schedule. Since you can’t hurry them up, don’t go to your next session with a goal to get a “big one” no matter what. Instead, be realistic and make you main goal to stay in the game long-term, to win few bucks and have your bankroll in one piece.

Peripheral gambling implications of that Myth are: 2) Greed is the enemy; 3) to over bet is to ask for a disaster; 4) be realistic about your wins in your next session; 5) Patience is the Virtue.

Icarus broke Discipline and did not follow the strategy. What would be a good strategy in the minds of the Old Masters?

 If you have any comments or ideas for future issues, feel free to email me at ed@dicesetter.com  And as always, I'm looking for contributors with a fresh perspective.

If you know someone who would be interested in receiving future editions of Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter,  tell them to visit dicesetter.com to subscribe.

Good Luck!

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