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But Can You Practice What You Preach?

Reno - July 2002

In short, the answer to the question above for my Reno trip was a resounding NO.  Arrive Reno with South Shore Swamie.  Check in at Harrah’s and go through my normal routine.  Take a swim, relax awhile, take a shower.  Before dinner with Kelly and Cory, we go downstairs to see what’s happening at the tables.   One table open, nearly empty.   We buy in.   South Shore has a nice hand of 20 plus rolls and similarly I have a pretty decent hand.   Kelly and Cory arrive.  Color up, plus $60.

After dinner, we walk over to The Sienna.  Great little boutique casino.  We all buy in at a $2 table.  Cory has a nice hand, and in doing so the table begins to fill with players.  After several short hands by the random rollers we decide to move on.   Color up minus $12.

This is where the bad news begins.  We walk over to Cal Neva and are surprised to find that the upstairs table has been removed.  South Shore bids us goodnight as he was ready for bed.  Continuing our journey, we make our way to Sundowner.  The tables are old, the clientele has the energy level of a wet rag.  Despite this we buy in and each take a shot a shooting.   Nothing of note transpires and Kelly and Cory decide to call it a night.  I on the other hand decide to stay.


The tables at Sundowner are ideal for shooters.  They’re worn but the dice roll true on them.  Despite this, I can not put anything significant together.  I would make my first pass, notch my bets up a bit and seven out.   It’s a $2 table and I’m eating through my buy in six or eight dollars at a time.  At 1:00 AM, I hit my loss limit.  Just as I’m getting ready to leave, the dealers inform me that they’re going to be installing “the board.”  What they do is put a piece of plywood with pyramid rubber on it across the table at about first stick right position.  In doing so, it changes the table from a 12 footer to about an eight footer so one dealer can manage the game.   Standing at SL 1, it’s no more than a four foot throw to the back wall.  A dice influencers dream.   I re-buy in.  

BIG MISTAKE number 2.

Despite the short throwing distance, I continue my trend of making a pass, then sevening out.   The wittling away of my second buy in continues.   I cannot BELIEVE that under these ideal conditions I cannot get passed 10 or 12 throws.  Finally after another two hours, I hit my loss limit again.  Color up a total of minus $200 for both buy ins.

Day one ends: +60, -12, - 200 =  -$152

I wake up early, shower and head to the tables while South Shore attends to some business.  There is only one table open and it’s not packed but there are seven or so players.  I decide to give it a go.  My first hand is not great but I make a couple of passes and make it to 17 throws.  Now the wait begins for the dice, it takes about 25 minutes to get them again.  Second hand is not as strong as the first, one pass a couple of numbers before I seven out on throw 9.   I’m a little ahead on my own throws, but despite playing very cautiously, the choppy table is again eating through my bankroll.  No one is making money on this table…. The sole don’t player was also being ground down by the chop.  I finally get the dice again.  I’ve been on the table about an hour and 15 minutes, I’m down $130. 

I establish a point of six.  A guy buys in next to me for $1000, and on roll 3 he goes up on a No 4 for $100.  The dealer says to the No 4 bettor, “Don’t know if I’d do that, this guy (pointing to me) can shoot…”  The No 4 bettor leaves his bet in place.  On the 16th roll, I make my pass.  Shortly thereafter I knock down the No 4.  He immediately goes back up on it for $100.  I knock it right back down.

To make a long story short, I had a 44 roll hand, made 4 passes and pulled myself to being $20 ahead.   You may be wondering how I could only have made $150 on a 44 roll hand.  Here’s how.   The previous night’s loss had a HUGE affect on me and quite frankly made me extremely timid about pressing my bets as the hand progressed.  I stay at the table for 2 more shooters to see if my good hand would inspire other good hands….it didn’t.  I color up at minus $10.

I meet up with South Shore, Kelly and Cory over at Cal Neva.  They are just finishing up, I decide to give the table a go.  No dice, 5 roll hand, lose $20.

South Shore said he had a surprise for me.  As we were walking back towards Harrah’s, who should be walking towards us but roadrunner.  Great to see him again.  We buy in at the only table open at Harrah’s (still!).  South Shore gets the dice, has a very nice roll.  I get the dice and it looks like I’m going to as well.   I make a pass quickly.  On roll nine, just as I’m getting ready to release, some nitwit prop-posse player on the other end tosses a late bet out and shouts….. and of course seven out.  I decide I AM DONE!  Color up +$20.

I say goodbyes to everyone and we go off in different directions.  About a half an hour later as I’m heading up to the room to gather my things, I see that SR 1 is open and the dice are heading quickly in that direction.  Buy in, have a 11 roll hand, color up at +$10.

Ok, now I’m really done.  Here’s the final, ugly tally:

Day one total: minus $152

Day two: -$10, -$20, +20, +10 = Break even

Total: minus $152.

In retrospect:

As you can see, I had a HUGE maturity break down on day one… and it had lingering effects.  I threw very consistently, (in addition to the 44 roll hand I had several hands in the 20’s and a bunch in the teens) and I can take some comfort in that.  Definitetly have to do some work on the maturity and discipline.  In addition, I’ve found that low stakes tables have a hidden danger.  At a $2 table, you’ll frequently lose in small increments ($6-$8) and therefore, when you get whacked, you don’t “feel” it as much as on a $5 or $10 table.  Because of this, at least I think, you may linger at a table longer despite losing.  Food for thought.

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