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Shotputter's July 4th Vacation

Part I

Being that July 3rd is my wedding anniversary; my wife and I always try to get away for the Independence Day holiday. Last year was our first trip to Vegas and the first time I had played there after having played in AC since it opened. I had given up craps for about 5 years, but last summer I started back up again. I had always been mostly a don’t player and a disciple of John Patrick who’s TV show “So you want to be a gambler?” I used to watch on a public access channel on Manhattan cable in the early 80’s. It wasn’t until after I got back from last year’s vacation that I picked up on DiceSetter.com site and eventually PARR. I was at the PARR class in Las Vegas in March, put together my own practice box, and have been practicing diligently since. This “vacation” would be my first opportunity to try out my PARR skills since the weekend class in March.

We arrived on the morning of the 4th with the flight from NY actually being 45 minutes early. Fortunately the flight was early because across the aisle from us a couple with an infant and a 2 year old, both of which were making full use of their diapers. The Alamo/National (somehow their operations are now combined) bus took us to the rental counter and the agent tells us we have a choice of cars (that also must be new since March) in the “intermediate” row. Any time made up with the flight being early was now lost while my wife looked over the dozen or so cars that were all basically the same except for the color.

The check in at the Mirage was as slow as can be expected, especially since the guy in front of us thought he was entitled to room upgrades and coupons that the clerk knew nothing about. We finally check in and head up to the room to find out housekeeping hadn’t been there yet and wasn’t scheduled to make up the room until later in the day. I tracked down a maid on the floor and $5 got her to “interrupt” her regular rounds so we could have a clean room with fresh towels and sheets. We get our bathing suits on, lotion up and head down to pool to soak up the sun and relax. Unfortunately down at the pool there is not an empty lounge chair to be found until another $5 goes to one of the towel attendants to give us a spot “reserved” for the high rollers (of which I’m not).

Late in the afternoon, the sun goddess decides its dinnertime and tonight would be a good time to try the Bellagio buffet. I fear the long lines that are normally there, but it’s early and we get right in. They have a July 4th special that includes all the Champagne you can drink, which translates to 6 glasses for me. After sampling everything the buffet had to offer (including flesh from several species of land mammals and sea creatures) we head out so I can find a craps table to play on. As we leave the buffet, the line for it now looks like the line for Space Mountain during Christmas! Bellagio has all their tables open, but they are all 10 or 25 and there is no space SL or SR (the only places I intent to play from).

We head back to the Mirage with a stop at Caesars to check out conditions there, and to allow my wife a shot at the Forum Shops. The tables at Caesars were no better than Bellagio so craps would have to wait until some shopping had been done. I see the fatigue of traveling has finally caught up with my wife and she suggests we go back to the Mirage. As we pass through the casino on the way to the elevators I see they have both craps pits open, but with only 10 and 25 tables available. On the 25’s there are plenty of good throwing spots available, but that too rich for my blood, at least on the first day. One spot is possible SR on a 10, but now I’m starting to feel tired too. By the time we get to the room and the “maybe I’ll go out later when I feel rested” turns to falling asleep with the lights and the TV on.

Friday morning (after finally shutting off the lights and the TV) I wake up fully rested, shower and head down to the casino at 5:30am. At the Mirage, a whole half of a 10 table beckons SL. The table is full on the other side (with all Asians), and the only person on the left side of the table is an Asian on the hook next to the dealer with a reserved sign next to him and his own area roped off. He’s got a lot of yellow and black chips in his rack and is playing 3200 across including the point. The dice are 2 shooters away from me and I hold off betting until I get the dice. They come around to me and I set for 7’s with 4 and 3 on top and 5 and 2 facing me. First roll, 2. Second roll, 2. Third roll, yo. I’m now 3 rolls in and I’ve kept 1 out of 6 dice on axis. Fourth roll, a 1/5 for 6 as the point (now only 2 of 8 dice on axis). I now set V3 with 2 & 6 facing me and throw a yo. The good part is both dice are on axis. The bad part – double pitch. The worst part was neither dice made it to the back wall and the stick is on me already despite me having put them on the line with me and they were already up $1. Next throw is a 3-6 which despite being “on axis”, flew through the air like they had been thrown by a chicken feeder. This throw also never made it to the back wall and the stick says to me in a tone of voice like I had just raped his sister “hit the back wall or you’ll pass the dice”. I should have picked up my $12 8 & my odds right there and left, but I tried to concentrate and get into the zone (actually, I was just trying to throw the dice the right way). Next throw, a 3-4 7-out line away. The dealer hadn’t even picked up my chips from the pass line and I was already at the cashier cashing in what was left of my buy-in. Call that session a $50 learning experience. Lessons learned were, don’t play a $10 table on your first session of the trip, don’t play if you’re nervous (which I was very), and if you’re getting a lot of heat, leave before it costs you money. Now off to Casino Royale . . . .

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt II – Casino Royale

After my encounter with nerves and heat at Mirage, I headed across the street to the Casino Royale for a cheap game. The tub was open and empty with a $1 minimum. Having my choice of seats, I couldn’t recall which one Heavy once said to take. So I sat down 1 seat over from 3rd base and bought in for $200. I sat down and the chair went almost to the floor. I asked if I could stand and the pit boss said no, I had to sit but I could find a chair that was higher and actually worked. I found one that almost allowed me to stand, and I started shooting with a straight flat shot to the opposite wall. I started throwing and the dealer named Mike started talking to me, where I was from and so fourth. I said I was from NY and he immediately mentioned the World Trade Center. As much as I’m happy to talk about what happened that day, the thought of what happened makes my blood boil. To make a long story short, I work in Jersey City immediately across the river from the WTC. The building I work in had a perfect, unobstructed view of the WTC and NY Harbor. I first saw what was going on about 5 minutes after the first plane hit, counted the floors and realized the fire (and there were flames bellowing out of the windows like I have never seen before) was coming from the offices of Canter Fitzgerald where several friends of mine worked. I had turned down a job there 3 years ago before coming to work at Merrill Lynch. One of my friends took the job I turned down. Also having been a bond trader, I knew several people who worked there.

As we watched the fire burn in the North Tower, we could see a plane coming in low across the harbor and we followed it into the South Tower. I then tried in vain to get a hold of my brother who parked his car in the WTC garage (the one that was bombed in 1993) and worked across the street in the World Financial Center. On all of his phones including his cell all I got was voice mail. I tried calling my sister-in-law to find out where he was and her secretary (who didn’t know what was going on at the time) told me she was on her way to LA for a sales call. At that time we knew the planes had been hijacked were heading for LA, but we didn’t know where from. It ends up she changed flights and was on her way to DFW first and ended up getting grounded in Atlanta. Fortunately my brother was playing golf that day (it was an otherwise beautiful day) and per his Club’s regulations, no cell phones on the golf course. I watched the 2 towers burn and then collapse and ended up having to make my way to my sister’s house in NJ because there was no way to get home to Long Island. Later that night I found out only 1 (out of 6) of my friends who are fireman were lost. My new commute to work (I used to go through the WTC every day) involves having to walk past my friend’s firehouse twice a day. All told, I lost 3 friends, the brother of a good friend, 27 people I knew and used to do business with, and the 2 buildings I grew up with. I was a child when they were being built and my father’s office when they were being built was across the street from them.

So now I’m not only out of the Zone, I’m way over on the other side. I did something I don’t normally would do while playing, I took a shot of vodka to calm myself down (this is at 6am). Fortunately the game was a $1 game, so I wasn’t risking a lot, which was why I didn’t just get up and walk away. The dealer seemed genuinely sorry to have brought the subject up and made what “amends” he could. After 2 bad hands I finally calmed down and had 2 hands of 11 rolls a piece and brought myself back to even so I colored up and left mostly because I just didn’t feel comfortable shooting from the position I was in and didn’t want to start moving around to different spots even though they were all open. Off to Harrahs . . . 

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt III (Friday) – Harrahs

In search of a real table with a $5 game, I went into Harrahs. Last March I didn’t have any success here, but in AC Harrahs was always my favorite. Two tables were open, one full one on the cashier side and one almost empty one on the other side. I went to the almost empty one and tried SL In my last two sessions I had set for 7’s on the come-out, and then V3 afterward, I figured I try my own version of STS. I set Crossed Sixes with 4 facing me on the left and 2 facing me on the right. It was a set that my practice sessions at home indicated would work well and it was very simple to set quickly. I threw it on the come-out and on the first hand had 7 throws that were all on axis (3 primaries), including a 2 and a 12. I hit 2 4-5 9’s before a 2-5 7-out on a low throw. There were 2 other players at the table, and my strategy going in to all sessions would be to play the don’t with single odds with an occasional place bet on repeating numbers. If the shooter made 1 point, I would stay on the don’t but with double odds. After 2 points I either switched to the do or stayed on the sidelines. This would be my MO for the entire trip. The 2 other players don’t make their points and I get the dice back. Noting that I had kept the dice on axis last time, I bet $1 each high-low on every come out. The first one came on this hand! I made 1 point (a 4), a couple of on axis 6’s and 8’s before a 3-4 7-out on the 12th roll. Basically the same deal with the other 2 shooters and I have the dice back. I try the 6/8 progression starting from $12 6 and 8 and got it worked up to $30 each (going up on every other hit) before throwing another 3-4 7-out on my 22nd roll working on my 4th point. The table got choppy with the other shooters and when I got the dice back I was 3 rolls and out, and it was close to the pool opening time so I had to get back to the wife. I colored up +110 for the session and went back to my wife a happy man!

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt IV (Friday evening)

The happiness didn’t last for long. We went down to the Mirage pool at what we thought was a reasonably early hour of 8:30am, only to find there was a line to get into the pool. When we did get in, almost all the seats in the sun were taken. My wife is now pissed to the point where she’s cursing at me, something she hasn’t done in so long I can’t remember. I told her it was just the July 4th leftover crowd, and it would thin out over the weekend and the beginning of next week (which it did). We then lie down and relax in the shade, waiting for the sun to arrive. Shortly after it does, a woman takes the lounge chair next to me, and strikes up a conversation with the woman next to her. I don’t know how they got on the subject, but as I’m finally relaxing and picturing what my Zone would be and I hear “. . . oh and my friend’s daughter worked in the World Trade Center and blah, blah, blah and oh it was so horrible and those poor people who died and the ones that jumped and the ones that didn’t must have gotten . . . “ at which point I in my calmest tone possible said I live in NY and lost friends and colleagues at the WTC and this is my first vacation since Sept 11th when I went through my own hell, but nothing compared to a lot of people I know, and I was on vacation and really didn’t wish to hear any more about it and I was going in the pool and I would appreciate it if they weren’t discussing it when I came back. When I came back I had calmed down (this time without the help of alcohol) and apologized and the one woman who had the friend who had the daughter said she was a Psychologist so she completely understood how I felt.

The afternoon takes us to the corner of LVB and Tropicana to find some tables before dinner at Emerils (very disappointing, and I’m an Emerils and Cajun food fan). The MGM Grand of course has nothing but $10 and $25 so I venture over to the Tropicana where there were some decent giveaways for new Slot Club members. I found a half full $5 table and played the don’t until the dice got around to me at SL.  I threw the X6 with 4 on the left and 2 on the right and had a 13 toss hand with 1 point and a few hits on the 6 & 8 before throwing a 6-1 7-out. I was having a little trouble keeping the dice spinning together and wasn’t always getting the both to the back wall. The right die seemed to be lagging behind so I took out the talc that I’d been carrying with me and applied it to my fingers. The next was a 5 throw hand that included making a point before another 6-1 7-out. This time I tried to focus a little more on getting the dice a little higher and further to avoid the heat, but this hand just wasn’t going well.

The next hand went better with 1 point and a few hits on the 5 and 9 which I placed after they started repeating before another 6-1 7-out on the 13th toss. Looking back on the 6-1 7-outs, it was always the right die that was double pitching. The following hand was a point 10 where I placed 22 inside based on my repeating 5/9 on the last hand. After 3 hits on the place bets I threw a wobbly 3 and then 4 and took the place bets down. Next roll – 6-1 7-out. “Good timing” says the stick who didn’t make any money from me on this roll, but are up about $10 on my other tokes. As the dice went around the table the cocktail waitress brought me my usual Diet Coke, complete with a sweaty glass, which I picked up with my throwing hand. Just as I’m doing that the last shooter before me 7’s out and I quickly pick up the winnings from my DP bet and the dice are sitting there waiting for me to throw them. My hand is soaking wet so I wiped it on the back of my shirt and with it still being moist just picked up the dice and flung them off the table. “Sorry guys” I said as both dice had gone off the table. While they were being retrieved I had time to properly dry my hand off and get some talc on it. With a come-out roll of 9 I threw the dice 27 times before the preverbal 6-1 7-out with not a point being made. Fortunately there 13 6’s or 8’s including 6 in a row at which point I started a progression, getting it up to 36 each before chickening out and regressing down to 12 each where I stayed until the 7 came. I left $68 on the table and colored up +175 because I’m playing small and conservative.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt V (Friday)

After the Trop, we head over the bridge to the Excalibur. There were 2 fairly empty $10 tables I wasn’t going near and 2 $5 table that were almost full. One of them had someone about to leave at SR, but the dice were at SL2 and it could be hours before I got to shoot. So off to NY-NY! Being from NY I like the place, but it really does have the ambiance of New York City which was what I was in Vegas to avoid. They had plenty of table open but they were all $10 and they were hard as a rock. The thing I did see there that was interesting was they had electronic Roulette where you played and bet at your own computer station, but the dealer actually worked the wheel. Its very much like a cross between a video and table game, and you could slide your players card in and get some kind of comp credit for your play. With nothing in the Craps games to play we headed back over to MGM with all of their open $10 table packed and only a few open spaces at the $25’s. We ate dinner, and it being Friday night I didn’t expect to find any open $5 tables on the Strip, so we got into the rental car and drove out to Boulder Highway to Sam’s Town.

Sam’s Town was looking good. There was a crowded $5 table, a crowded $3 table and I found an empty $5 table and went SR. I got into set of X6 with 4 & 2 facing me. A good first hand with 2 points being made each being made on the first roll after the come-out with a couple of Yo’s on the come-out. On the third point (9) I threw a 6 & 8 which I had placed and then a 12 before ANOTHER 6-1 7-out. 1 other person had joined me at the table that had bought in for all of $10 and point 7’d out blowing away his whole bankroll. Dice are back to me and I’m back with the X6 set and I throw 2 7’s on the come-out roll. 1 is a 5-2 and the other is a 3-4. I’m happy to have the profit, but I don’t like seeing the 7 with this set. I finally throw a 5 for the point, throw 2 8’s (placed) and a lot of junk in a 13 roll hand that ended with a 3-4 7-out. The next (and final) hand starts with a come-out 7 (3-4), 10 (4-6) for the point, 12 (primary) and 10 hard for a front line winner. I’ve been toking the dealers all along and by this time they had become VERY friendly, VERY thankful and VERY accommodating. Another 7 (6-1) on the come-out, a hit on the 8 (placed) before another 6-1 7-out for a 7 roll hand. At this point I hear my wife’s voice I don’t like this place. She knows not to come near me while I’m shooting, but otherwise I’m fair game when we’re together. Her “not liking the place” consisted of not being able to find her favorite slot machine (“Your Rich Uncle” or something like that) and the slot area being too smokey. She hates smoking (as do I), but I tolerate it to because its part of being in the casino. If I can play in a smoke free area I try to, but table selection is more important when I want to shoot. So up $40 we cash out and head back to the Mirage to turn in for the night.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt VI Sat Morn.

Today promises to be an interesting day. I’ll be meeting up with Tinhorn Gambler up at the Suncoast at 9, eating at 808 at Caesars for dinner before going to see Danny Gans tonight. First to some Craps business. This morning cruise by the still empty $10 tables at the Mirage and head out to the Flamingo where I had stayed in March. I’d heard they had replaced their “aircraft carriers” with something more inviting for the precision shooter. With great anticipation I walk over there only to be disappointed to find out they only have a total of 4 tables (I thought they had 6 before) of which only 2 were open (a $5 and a $10) and both were crowded. I was out of there so fast had I been in there 60 seconds total it would have been a lot. I bypass O’Shea’s (is there ever any reason to go in there?) and head right into Harrahs. I find my spot SR and the crew that was there yesterday and very happy to see me.

For some reason I try something different, going to the All 7’s on the come out and V3 (2 and 6 facing me) afterwards. The All 7’s produces a 3, 7 and then a 6 for the point. Single odds and place the 8. I throw a 2, 9, and 8 before the 7 comes up in a 2-5. The dice go to SL and I’ve got a DP and the shooter throws a 3 J and then 4 for the point. I don’t see the shooter too well but it “looks” like he might be setting. The next throw is a 7 and he comes around and stands next to me. When the dice come around the stick bypasses and gives me the dice. All 7’s on the come out, I throw a 7. 8 then becomes the point and I throw it right back. All 7’s on the come out again, 5 becomes the point and 3 tosses later and the point is made. 10 is the next point and an immediate 1-6 7-out for a total of 10 profitable throws.

I’m playing the DP and other than the guy to my right, there is only one other player at the table (there was another full table on the other side of the pit). The guy to my right gets the dice and throws a 12 on the come-out. He’s starting to look a little frustrated and on the next throw 8 becomes the point. I lay my odds and watch him throw. I see the 3-finger front the typical SR throw for a righty. I watch him throw 2 more tosses and he does the same thing so I take my odds down and place the 8. THIS GUY IS A PARR SHOOTER! I’m not playing the DP against a PARR shooter. He makes the point but misses the next point. I’m trying to think how to approach this guy, and I’m hoping he sees me doing the same thing and recognizes me. I go back to the X6 and take a $1 each high low and throw a 2 on the come out, then a 12 and then a 7 before setting 5 as the point on the come out. A few hits on some place numbers, 1 point made, another 12 hit on the come out and I finally 7-out after 30 throws.

“Good shooting” says the mystery man

“Do you play golf? I replied


“Do you shoot PARR?” I asked

“No, I’m a duffer”

About 15 seconds of silence goes by . . . .

“Come to think of it, I have shot PARR from time to time” the mystery man says with a wink

“You seen Jerry lately?” I asked

“No, but I’m spending the weekend with Beau” (The Dice Coach)

The mystery is solved and he introduces himself as Pablo and says he is in town to work with Beau (who I’m seeing on Monday).

Pablo gets the dice again and has a good 12 throw hand including 2 points, a come out 7 and a come out Yo. Back to me and I discreetly show him how I’m setting. I throw a 9 toss hand with 1 point and 2 hits on the 6/8. Now it’s only me and Pablo at the table. The dice are in his hand for a 19 toss hand with 1 point a few good inside numbers. Back to me for a 18 roll hand with 2 points and a few good hits on the 6/8. Pablo mentions he has to go (so do I) and our last hand each are only 3 rolls with an 8 between the come out and the 7-out. Good playing with another PARR player. Pablo’s a good guy. Hope to play with you again soon. Now its back to the Mirage and get my wife set up at the pool before heading out to Tinhorn at the Suncoast.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt VII Suncoast

After my session with Pablo, I head back to the Mirage and have a quick breakfast with my wife before taking here down to get settled at the pool. At exactly 8am there is a line to get into the pool and were not at our chairs until 20 after. Fortunately it was a little less crowded than it had been the prior 2 days. I get in the car and drive up I15 to US95 to Summerlin Parkway and get off at Rampart Blvd. The JW Marriott (looks very nice) is on the right and the Suncoast is next. I park and put on my Bethpage Black hat, which I have told Tinhorn (and Beau) to identify me by. For those of you who are not golfers out there, Bethpage Black is where the US Open was held a few weeks back that Tiger Woods won. I’m not much of a golf fan, but the course is 2 minutes from my house, I pass by there all the time, and my kids play on the other courses there. I spent the better part of the tournament week there, including the day in the rain and the final day of the tournament when my family and I part ourselves in the bleachers at the 15 green (the “signature” and hardest hole on the course) and watched all the groups go by. Before they started fixing up the course for the Open a few years that hole used to be a good place to go sledding in the winter.

I’m there a little early and we’re supposed to meet at the coffee shop. I walk around and find an empty $2 table but decide I’ll wait for Tinhorn. I go to the Players Club to get my card and they give me a sun visor, Mardi Gras beads and a bungee cord for my player’s card. LOVE THOSE HANDOUTS! I hang around at the coffee shop until about 9:15 and figured I’d take a walk looking for Tinhorn. Since I have some idea of what he looks like, I stare with my hat on at anyone that could possibly be him. I find him at the end of the table about to shoot, so I watch his hand and then we go talk for while.

I’m throwing my usual X6 even on the come out. My first is a point 9, a 5 and the a 6-1 7-out. Tinhorn shoots and makes a point before a 7-out on his 10th throw. My next hand is a 3-4 on the come out from the X6. 9 is the point and the next throw in 9 right back. Next point is a 6 which comes right back on the next throw. So far 5 throws, 3 winners and the other 2 established the point. The next point is a 9 and 5 throws later the point is made. The table is getting crowded now as I establish a point of 10 and then 7-out on a 2-5 for a total of 14 throws. Tinhorn then has a good hand (he’s throwing from the end) making 2 points, 2 Yo’s on the come out, 3 other Yo’s before he throws a 7 on his 17th throw. I see I won’t get another throwing opportunity for a while and I should start heading back before my wife gets mad. We’re both up for the session, me $33 on the plus side betting the $2 minimum on the line with the max for the table double odds and not many 6/8 place bets being hit. We part after having a thoroughly enjoyable session.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt VIII Sat. Night

We blow off dinner at 808 at Caesars because we are tired and really not that hungry and just decide to stay in the hotel because we are seeing Danny Gans that night. After the show we catch a quick dinner and my wife leaves me to let me play. I don’t feel like running around looking for a cheap table, so I stay at the Mirage, which of course only has $10 on this Saturday night. I find an empty one of the several that are open and go SR and set my X6 with the 4/2 facing me. A come-out Yo  leads to a point of 10 and 1 hit each on my 6&8 place bets. A 3 and 11 precede a 5-2 7-out. Still nobody at the table so the dice are right back to me for point 6 made on the first throw. The next point in the hand is also a 6 but the first throw after this come out is a 6-1 7-out taking out my $10 pass line, $10 odds and a $12 8. So I’ve now had 2 hands, 1 of 7 throws and 1 of 4 throws and I’m down about $35 of my $500 marker buy-in. The dice are still mine as someone else comes to the table to buy-in. I make a point of 5 on 1 throw and 6-1 7-out on my 5th throw on a point 8. Other than the 7’s I didn’t record the exact dice numbers, but what I did notice was that the dice weren’t staying on axis. Fortunately I’m down less than $50 and another shooter has the dice so I have a chance to reflect on my throw. I’m now playing the DP and make quick money on the other shooter and a new one that came to the table. I’m now down around $10-15 and the dice are back to me. As I have been doing on all my come-outs, I put a buck each on the high-low. First roll 12! The point becomes 9, a secondary 3 and then a 1-6 7-out.

The 2 other players are looking disheartened, as this table has turned ice cold. I play my DP on them again and they both quickly 7-out and they are both gone. All of a sudden the table is all mine again and I’m not shooting very well. I’m back around even, maybe down a few bucks and I make the decision that this is my last hand for the night unless my throwing improves. Same set as usual becomes a point of 6 gets made 10 throws later (with only 1 8 place hit in between) with almost nothing being repeated. Next come out is an 8, 2 hits on the placed 6 in a row, 1 more hit on it a few throws later before making the point on the 10th roll after the come out. Next come out is a 5-2 7 (at least a profit), a point of 6, a hit on the placed 8, 2 5’s a nine and then “front line winner” point 6. 3 points in a row! 4 becomes the next point, a secondary 3, place hit on the 8 and point 4! 2 others have now joined the table but I throw a 6-1 7 on the 2nd roll after the come out. 36 total rolls on the hand and the profit count looks to be pretty good. The other 2 players roll each making one point each as I’m playing the DP (single odds all around since I’m on a $10 table).

When I get the dice back I make a point of 6 on the first throw and the next point is 10. After an 8 I throw a 3-4 7-out. That’s it for the night, I had my good roll, it’s getting late and I’m going to get 3 greens back after buying back my marker.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt IX Sunday

Busy day. Start the day at Harrahs (dealers know me already). Same set of X6 with 4/2 facing me. $1 high-low and hit boxcars on the come out. A point of 9 was followed by a 2 & 3 before a 2-5 7-out. The table has 2 other players who are choppy. I’m no better with another hit on the 12 on the come out, the point is 8 and then come right back with another 2-5 from SR. 3 other players are at the table not including me and they each don’t make a pass while I’m on the DP. My next hand is a point of 5 with 24 throws, none of them a 5 before a 2-5 7-out. Fortunately, there were 12 6’s or 8’s along the way and when the 7 came I had taken plenty of money in on them but I was up to 24 each. Everyone else still doesn’t make a point and I get the dice back and throw 3’s, set a point of 6, an 8 and then make the point. The next come out I throw 2 7’s (a 1-6 and 4-3) before setting a point of 5. I got 3 non-pressed hits on $12 6 and 8 before a 1-6 7-out. More quick 7-outs by the other shooters and I get the dice 3 more times not making a point on any of the hands, albeit a few hits on $6 6 & 8 with no hand lasting past 9 rolls. Time to leave, coloring up $137.

Casino Royale with the $1 game is next. They have the regular table open today and I fit in SL. As I approached the table it looks like it was cold because people were leaving, but someone (who never showed up) had the SR place reserved. I get the dice and make 4 points on 19 throws (all on $2 flat bets) before a 6-1 7. Just as I was doing that, someone pulls up to the table and buys in for $1000 with a marker and then proceeds to play a $1 point molly with $10 odds (100x max on the regular table, 10x on the tub). 5 more 7 outs without points with me having a $3 DP with $6 odds on all of them. I get the dice and hit another 12 on the come-out, make 2 points and not hits on my 6/8 place bets ($6 each) before a 2-5 takes me out 9 rolls into the hand. The only 1 left on the table at this point is me and the guy who took the marker. He doesn’t make a point and I get the dice back and throw a 3 and then a 2 (sorry, not on it this time). I then throw a 7, 2 Yo’s and a 12 before establishing 6 as the point. 3 hits on the $6 8 place bet along with a few other numbers comes up before I make the point. I make 2 other points right back before a 6-1 “point 7-out” for a total of 22 throws. Time to get back to my wife is getting near, and I get 1 more throw, which is “point 7-out”. Buy-in $200. Color up $276

Next Stop – The Hard Rock Hotel

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt X Hard Rock

My wife wanted to see what a few other hotels look like, and since she spends most of the vacation by the pool, she likes to see what the pools look like. We’ve seen most of the pools on the Strip except for the Venetian (I don’t know why we haven’t gotten over there yet). She liked the one at the Mirage where we were staying, after all the crowds had left. We’ve seen the Mandalay pool area which is supposed to be the best in town, and she liked it but there were too many kids there and when she’s on vacation she doesn’t want to deal with kids, which is why we go when ours (11 & 15) are not around.

First stop on our mini tour is the Rio. Nice hotel (we saw a suite), nice casino, nice shops, just an ok pool. Now across the street to the Palms. Fortunately we are in the east parking lot, which is right next to the pool, and you didn’t have to walk through the casino (I wasn’t going to play there anyway, we were just looking). A guard stops us at the entrance and tells us the pool is for hotel guests only. We’re not exactly dressed like were going to the pool so I tell him (as my wife blows right past him) “that were just going to look at the pool to evaluate for a future visit to the hotel”. As I turn my eyes to see where my wife went, my eye catches these two GODDESSES in thong bikinis that didn’t have enough material between the two of them to cover the bald spot on my head. I turn back to the guard and say, “actually my wife is looking at the pool, I’ll just ogle over the guests for a while.” He passes me through the gates of heaven and lets me in. The pool area was very disappointing, although the pool furniture was very good and they had ledges on the pool that you could bring lounge chairs onto. Honestly, the place looked like it was spring break. The tour took all of about 2 minutes, but felt like hours!

So now off to the Hard Rock who it appears the Palm is competing against. We go out to the pool area (nobody to stop us) and of course my wife is there to look at the pool, I’m there to look at what’s at the pool (which was actually a good mix of people including some families and some 50’s-60’s “with it” crowd). As we walk around I see the swim up BJ tables, but also in the bar area is a Craps table, with a craps game going on! SR is just beckoning for me but my wife says no way she is hanging out outside in the heat while I play. As we made out way around the area, I now see that at the end of the table where I would be shooting at is a perfect bronze derriere with the thinnest of white thong who’s upper half is leaning over the table. I’ve had trouble with finding the Zone on this trip, because I haven’t been able to really capture a picture in my head of my “quiet place”. I think I’ve just found it!

My wife liked the pool area and the hotel, but said the pool area had too much sand (this is from someone who spends weekend during the summer at an ocean beach). We went inside and I found a table with SR open and begging me to come play. I buy in fully expecting this to be a poor shooting opportunity because I’d heard these tables weren’t good shooting tables, so I’d play my DP and kill time before dinner. I make DP money on 1 shooter before I get the dice and set my X6 with 4/2 facing me. The point is 4 that I make right back. Next point 10 and then an immediate 7-out (4-3). 2 more shooters make me some DP money and I get the dice back. I’m now trying to get into the zone by thinking: Bronze Ass – White Thong. I throw a Yo, point is 6 and make on the next throw. Next come out is point 5, and make the point on the first throw. Next point is 9 which comes down to a 4-3 4 rolls later. 10 rolls total and some good money. Next shooter makes 1 point before he 7’s out. I get the dice again and shoot for point 5. Bronze Ass – White Thong. 23 tosses, 3 points and a bunch of 6’s and 8’s later another 4-3 ends my roll. 2 more quick DP wins and the dice are back in my hands. Bronze Ass – White Thong. This time 19 throws, 3 points and some more 6’s and 8’s and another 4-3 7 ends the roll. Now the table is getting busy and my next shooting opportunity might not be for a while so I color up +125. Bronze Ass – White Thong. I never did get to see the front of that. Dinner at the Pink Taco (the best double entendre I know of and back to the Mirage before the party crowd takes over.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt XI Sun Night

After dinner we head over to Harrahs. I tell my wife to go join the slot club since she’ll be playing some slots there. She comes back and tells me they already have her on file. They still have her account, which was last used in AC in 1993! I find a position on a $5 table SR that is fairly crowded but the dice are coming around. Instead of playing the DP I stand aside until I shoot. I set the X6 with 4/2 facing me, think Bronze Ass – White Thong and set the point at 6. 6 throws later a 6-1 7 comes up as I spot my wife out of the corner of my eye. Bronze Ass – White Thong is a distant memory. The table is crowded and I’m up $14 from some place hits so I follow my wife to her new favorite slot machine, “My Rich Uncle”. We put $20 and ˝ hour later $40 comes out and she’s happy. I OTOH want to find another table. She’s says she’s tired. I say I’m not. I suggest she goes back to the room and go to sleep. She suggests I come with her (the Mirage is across the street). I say I just want to play a little more and I’ll be back up in the room. I should have listed to her. Next door at the Casino Royale, one spot left of 1st base on the tub beckons which I take. The dice are a few shooters away and the table is full. For the $1 table I’m playing the DP and the table is very choppy. When the dice finally come to me I’m in my usual set and throw a 4-3 come out 7. 8 becomes the point and then I throw a 2 and a Yo before I 7-out on a 2-5. The game was VERY slow and I see a space SL on the full table so I head over there. I take the spot and unfortunately its Amateur Hour on this table. I play DP and there is plenty of chop until the dice reach me. Once again I set X6 with 4/2 facing me. 2 come out 6-1 7’s have everyone on the table happy except me. I move my ring finger up a notch and then roll a 4-5 9 to set the point, and come right back with the same thing to make the point. The come out roll is a 3-5 8 (secondary – I’m keeping track of each die since things on this table are moving so slow), followed immediately on the next roll by the exact same thing. It looks like little adjustments help! The next come out leads to a point of 10 (4-6) and the next roll the same 4-6 comes up to make the point. All the hardways players keep coming down and are putting them back up adding to the slowness of the game. I roll another 4-6 10 to set the point on the come out. I think about hopping the 4-6 but I’ve just thrown 3 in a row, so I don’t. Up until now I haven’t really been in the Zone, and “Bronze Ass – White Thong” was nowhere to be seen in my brain on this hand until another hot number pulls in behind her boyfriend down at the end I’m shooting at (the table is now full). The next rolls are a secondary 8, secondary 9, hard 6 secondary 9, secondary 3, primary 8, 4, secondary 3, secondary 5, primary 6, primary 6, primary 8, primary 12, primary 6, secondary 5, secondary 3, secondary 5 and then a 6-1 7-out for 27 rolls total. The net for the 2 sessions was $54.

Next stop, the Venetian where I’ve had some good success in the past playing from the don’t side (in addition to them saying they count at least the don’t odds in you average bet). I cruise around the tables to see what’s available, and there isn’t much. There is 1 $5 table, which is of course full. 3 $10 that are almost full, but no good shooting positions. An almost empty $25 table beckons, but I’m not going from a $1 game to a $25 game. The table next to it is totally empty and I figure it’s a $25. I peak over at it and I see a black plate with a ‘1’ and a ‘0’. What I didn’t see until I parked myself SR and reached into my pants for my money was there was another ‘0’ there. The dealer is already moving out black, green and yellow chips and I say, “sorry guys, I’m in the wrong place”. I stake out a spot at 1 of the $10 tables and buy-in SL. My usual set is in place and I throw a 2-5 come out 7. That bothers me more than I realize as I set the point of 9. I hit a place bet of 8 before throwing another 2-5 7. It will be a long time until I get to throw again on that table, so I move around $24 lighter. I see a spot on another $10 table where the dice will be around to me soon, so I’m in SL. Some more chop and the dice finally get to me. My usual set yields a 6-1 7 on the come. Everyone’s happy except me. I adjust my ring finger again and as I’m about to throw there is yelling from the next table over and as everyone at my table turns to look over, I see the back of a young woman who when she jumps up I can see the top of her black thong. Maybe I can get the zone back. I throw a secondary Yo and then set the point on a secondary 4. I come right back with the hard 4 to make the point. The next come out is a secondary 8, IMMEDIATELY follow by the 6-1 7-out. I’m now another $33 lighter due to playing the DP in all the chop before my throw, and I won’t get a chance to shoot for a while. Time to find another table. I see a spot SR on the $5 table and make a beeline for it. I wait out the 2 shooters before me and throw a secondary Yo on the come-out. 5 becomes the point but gets taken down by a 2-5 7-out 3 rolls later. I’m lighter another $21 and that makes 3 table losses in a row which causes me leave the Venetian for the night. I should have gone up to the hotel, but I figured I’d give Caesars a shot hoping “Bronze Ass – White Thong” can make it back into my mind. No such luck. On a $10 table SR its point 7-out, fortunately with no place bets costing me only $20. Like I said, I should have gone up to the room with my wife. The minute I walk in the door (she’s still awake for some reason) she says “it looks like you should have come back with me.” She’s always right.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt XII Mon Morn

I was planning on sleeping late and not play before I was to meet up with The Dice Coach at TI at 9am. But I wake up at 5am, lie in bed and try and go back to sleep, and finally give up at 5:30. By 5:35 I’m out the door and by 5:45 I’m at Harrahs with the same set of dealers I’ve been playing with all weekend. They say good morning to their early George and set me up with my $200 buy in SR. 1 other person at the table is in the process of losing his line bet, odds and a few come bets as I count my chips and take out my note book. X6 with 4/2 facing me. Yo. Yo. 3, Yo. 3-4 7. Up 3 units. Set a point of 10. Just odds, nothing placed until I get a handle on my throw. Good thing. The next throw is a 2-3 totally off axis throw. Before I can think about what went wrong the dice are sitting in front of me with my set already there. Take’m, toss’em, knew the result when they left my hand. 2-5 7-out. Ok, still up a unit. Back on the DP as 1 other chap has joined the table. He is point-7 out. The next shooter makes me some DP money too. Dice are back to me. 10, 5, 3, 10 front line winner. I pass the dealers winnings over to them. To my right 3 young “hot shots” come up to the table, each throwing various denominations of close to $100 each on the table. The commotion bothers me. Point 7-out.

The left side of the table has left. One shooter before the “hot shots”. He makes a point and then 7-out’s on his second attempt (I’m playing single odds on the first point, double on the second). First “hot shot” gets the dice, takes time to set them and then throws them straight out of the Chicken Feeders demo tape. Point 7-out. The dice are now with the middle “hot shot” who seems to be the leader of the bunch. He takes the dice and whales them down the table like he’s trying to break the back wall with them. “NO THROW, DICE DOWN”. He wants the same pair (they both left the table), it’s still his initial come out roll. Next throw is a little softer and only 1 die leaves the table. He gets some admonition from the box but he appears unperturbed. Next throw one of the die hit the back wall on the fly and the other (I think) comes back and hits the front wall. “7 front line winner”. The “hot shots” act like they’ve just won the lottery. The woman box is rolling her eyes. Next throw is a 2. I turn from them and smile at Larry on the stick who has been here every morning I have and whose daughter is getting married next Saturday. “You have to put up with this shit all the time” I ask him. “Like they say in the ads, its not a job, its an adventure” he responds. Lead “hot shot” sets a point of 8. “All the hardways, all the numbers” the leader says as he drops some reds and blues on the table that scatter all over the place. His flunkeys do pretty much the same. His next throw was his hardest yet, with both die ending up in front of him in a hard 8. Larry the stick with a note of disappointment in his voice calls it. “Hot shot” PARLAYS the hard 8. His next throw is a little softer setting a point of 5. I take 15 odds on my 5 DP.

This guy’s throw is somewhat similar to throwing a Frisbee, and this time he loses control of the dice and one of them hits the dealer to my left in the nose, just missing the eye my millimeters. The “hot shots” break out laughing like it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen. They’re even high fiving each other. The dealer is pissed, not just because he got hit in the face, but because these Bozos think its funny. Dealer says something, “hot shots” curse back at him. They go back and forth until the pit boss comes over and threatens to call security and have them kicked out. I put another 15 down in odds to make a total of 30 (the max). “Hot shot” gets the dice back and the box tells him to throw them softer. He babies them out barely past the prop box for an 8. His next throw was the most normal yet. “7 OUT, LINE AWAY” bellows Larry the stick. I make eye contact with the box and then the left dealer and cup my hand so the “hot shots” can’t see my face and show them the big smile I know they can’t make. The “hot shots” curse and leave, and I throw $5 from my winnings to the box “for the boys”.

I’m next up and I don’t know what zone I was in, but I was in one. 27 total rolls, 5 points and a bunch of 6/8 place bets, the details of which really escape me other than the raw numbers themselves. More money for “the boys” too.

One other player at the table makes me some DP money and I get the dice back for a 10 roll hand including 1 point and 3 hits on a 6/8 regression. 2 more chicken feeders make me some DP money and I get the dice back. My usual high-low bet on the come out yields a profit from the 12. Then unfortunately its point 9, 7-out. $343 the box counts out after I fumble my mostly reds and blues to the table. “Keep the blues” I say and I’m off the Casino Royale.

Oddly enough, all that happened in only 30 minutes so I’ve got some time to play on the almost empty $1 table at the Casino Royale. I got SL (both were open) to get a little practice before meeting up with The Dice Coach later. My first hand in the usual set starts out with a 6-1, followed by three 3-5 8’s in a row for 2 points before a point 7-out to a 3-4 7. Next hand is Yo, point 7-out taking a $6 6&8 with it. Some quick DP money on the other shooter at the table. Back to me and I set a point of 4 and hit one placed 8 before a 6-1 7-out. The other shooter can’t get past his first point so its immediately back to me for 3 points, 2 high-lows (both 2’s), a Yo on the come out before a 6-1 7 out on my 16th roll of the hand. The other shooter still can’t get past his first point and I’m back up with 9 nine roll hand with no points but 4 hits on the 6/8. The other shooter finally makes 1 point before he 7’s out. Back to me for a 12 on the come-out (gotta love making $27 net on the high-low when you only have a $1 Pass line bet), 6-1 7, establish a point of 6 that comes down 2 rolls later on a 2-5 7-out. The other shooter finally does a little damage to my DP with 2 naturals and 1 point before he’s gone. I’m left at the table alone and throw 4 6-1 7’s in a row from the X6 set. I make an adjustment on my ring finger and set a point of 4, take 2 more throws before forgetting the adjustment and throwing another 6-1 7-out. The table is empty so the dice are back to me again. Remembered the adjustment – 8, 8, 9, 5, and 9. 2 points all primary or secondary. A 2-5 7 on the come out leads to a point of 6 which goes down to a 4-3 7-out 2 rolls later. $1 game, up $57. Off to meet The Dice Coach.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt XIII Beau

I get back up to the room at 8am to find my wife hasn’t woken up yet. I wake her and tell her we need to get her out to the pool and have breakfast because I have to be over at TI by 9am (not a long trip but my wife doesn’t move quickly unless there is shopping involved). We get down to the pool and we have so many lounge chairs to choose from, she can’t figure out where to sit. At our third location I tell her I got to go, and if she’s not here when I come back, I’ll find her somehow. I get over to TI to find they have 2 $5 tables open. One is full and the other is totally empty with the dealers standing around trying to figure out what to do. Why is it nobody will play on an empty table? That’s the perfect situation for PARR shooters. I spot Dice Coach and I’m wearing my Bethpage Black hat, which is now the way to spot the short, bald, fat guy from NY. We sit and talk for a while and the Dice Coach gives me some of his great lifetime stories and about some of his experiences in Las Vegas. We go up to what was the full table before (the once empty one is now full) and it has 2 spots SR1 and SR2. There are a few shooters to go before us, and I start playing the DP. Some chop and 1 guy has a decent hand, throwing a lot of inside numbers but not hitting many points. The Dice Coach  tells me how he plays and he puts some money into action and pulls in some profits. The Dice Coach  at SR2 finally gets the dice and doesn’t make a point but makes some money on the inside numbers. I’ve only placed the 6 in addition to the point 8. Dice Coach is done after a 10 roll hand. I do my X6 with 4/2 facing me, set a point of 4 and seven out on a 4-3 on the next roll. I’m calm and relaxed in front of the Dice Coach. I thought throwing in front of him would make me nervous (my problem, not his), but he’s such a pro at working with shooters and people he’s just met that he makes you feel so relaxed. I told him about the “Bronze Ass – White Thong” which had helped me get into the Zone at the Hard Rock.

There is some more chop that hurts me on the DP but makes the Dice Coach some money as he’s very selective about when he puts his money down, his regression, and how long he keeps it in play. I really had to admire the way he played; he’s really a pro at this. The dice come back around to the Dice Coach and his hand is short. My turn again and I throw a 4-3 7 on the come out. I establish a point of 10 and throw a good deal of inside numbers before a 6-1 7-out ends my hand after 13 rolls. That hand made me back some money I had lost on the choppy play as the dice were coming around to us, and the Dice Coach did well on it too. After 2 hands each we both had to get going, the Dice Coach cashing out ahead, me cashing out $61 short of my buy-in, but much richer for the experience of having spent time on the table with the Dice Coach. He’s a good man, a pro player and a real asset to the game of craps. Thanks again Dice Coach.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt XIV Monday

Monday night takes to the Bellagio for dinner at Prime. Afterwards its upstairs to craps tables, almost all of which are open, including a few $5 tables. I find a spot SR on one of them and the dice are about to come to me so I stand aside for a shooter or 2. The first hand starts off with my usual set of X6 with 4/2 facing me. I throw a 4 on the come out, place the 6&8 for $6 each and throw a 5,6,8 and then make the point. Good start and I’m starting to picture “Bronze Ass – White Thong”. A 3 on the come out takes down my pass line bet and the next throw is a hard 10. An 8 next brings in some money from the place bets, which I lose on the next throw to a 3-4 7-out for a total of a 9 throw hand. The next shooter at SL ricochets 2 points back to back taking me out of his hand. He throws 2 naturals on the next come out before he 7’s out. One more shooter makes me DP money and the dice are back around to me. A 3-4 doesn’t bother me this time and I establish a point of 5 that I make 3 rolls later. The next come out is a 5 and I come back on the next throw with a 5 for my second point. I think of hoping them but I can’t figure out if they were secondaries or off axis hit. I’m thinking I could use a scorekeeper. The next come out is another 5 and my thoughts go to 2nd guessing myself for not having hopped them and what “Bronze Ass – White Thong” would have thought of me had she been here to see me hit it. J The Zone now is unfortunately gone and a 1-6 7-out comes 3 rolls later for a hand of 11.

SL gets the dice again and I stand aside on his first come out. I now realize he’s setting and then softly tossing them, but not making them rotate. He throws a 7 on his first roll and I put down a pass line bet. He hits another 7, sets a point of 4 and comes right back with it. Time to jump on this guy’s bandwagon! He ricochets back 3 more points before a point 7-out on his 5th come-out. The rack is now starting to build up and while the next shooter is throwing a lot of numbers but not making his point, I count my chips and find I’m up a few reds. I put the winnings in the back row, and keep the buy in up front. The guy finally 7’s out as do 2 others and SL is now gone. Too bad. The dice are back to me and I set a point of 4. “Bronze Ass – White Thong” is nowhere to be found in my mind, but the table felt good, and it was almost like I tasted the great steak I had just had for dinner, and I was enjoying it again. I felt like I had a rhythm with the table, like it was Filet Minion and the Casino Royale was McDonalds. I start with $5 5&9, $12 6&8, pressing after every other hit. 29 rolls and 1 point later I finally 7-out on a 1-6. 2 other shooters make me DP money as I take the money from my front row and buy back my $500 marker. My wife then comes buy, and I tell her I’ll be shooting again soon and then we can leave. The pit brings me back my marker and I explain to my wife who has never seen one before what it is and at that point she realizes all the reds and blues (I don’t like to be colored up while I’m shooting) are profit and all of a sudden I see her eyes look towards the Bellagio shops! I finally get the dice and she knows not to be anywhere near me as she knows she can ruin my mood faster than my eyes can dart away from staring at “Bronze Ass – White Thong”. A lady dealer entices her to play, but my wife declines and then tells her she can just stand and watch. I tell her that I don’t do well when my wife’s around, so knowing what her tokes have been like while I’ve been shooting shows my wife where she can stand so I won’t know she’s there (I of course find this out afterwards). I set a point 6 and make it right back on the next throw. The next come out is a point 9 that comes down along with an $18 6&8 (which started at $12 each) 18 rolls later with a 2-5 7-out. This hand was a total of 20 rolls, giving me a session of 9, 11, 29 and 20 rolls. I color up what’s left and walk away with a black and 2 greens, leaving the crew with the leftover blues. The walk back to the Mirage was nice except for the crowded staircase leading down to the street on the Caesars side because the 2 escalators are both out. Why can’t they keep those damned escalators working!

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation Pt XV Mon Mirage

I go back up to the room with my wife, but I still have the itch to play. She says go, so I go downstairs to play at the Mirage. There are tables open on the front side of the cage. I spot SR available on one and low and behold, it’s a $5 table. Two players on the left, the last one on that side is shooting, three players on the right, an older gentleman and two kids who are barely of gambling age sucking down some beers. One’s on the end, the other just inside the hook. I get my chips and sign my marker and start betting with the older gentleman who throws 2 points taking me out of my DP game. There’s nothing special about him, no repeating numbers and on his third come out he makes 2 7’s taking down everyone’s come bets. The game is moving slow and I’m starting to regret coming down. He finally sets his point and couple of rolls are a variety of craps, 4’s and 10’s so the come bettors (everyone on my side) are getting creamed. As he’s shooting 2 more guys show up on the right who are friends with the two guys who are already there, and the two new guys bring their girlfriend and the girlfriends of the original two. All eight of them try and fit in on my side of the table. No way. The old guy 7’s out and leaves giving the kids a little more room. The first kid shoots and doesn’t make a pass making me back some money I lost on the first guy. Now his girlfriend goes to shoot and we’re back to amateur hour. She doesn’t have a line bet so the boyfriend puts a red down for her. She picks up the dice with 2 hands, shakes them over her head and releases them down the table before the crew can stop her. Hard 4. She’s jumping up and down like she just won the lottery. The point is set at 4 and she gets admonished by the crew. The box then asks to see some ID from her, and more time is wasted as she fumbles around in her bag. She dropped something important (not her wallet which her boyfriend was holding) and goes chasing after it. She hands her license to the box who studies it, and hands it back to her. She’s 21 to the day, and this is her birthday party. L The waitress appears with more beers for everyone but says they have to have a place at the table to get one. So everyone squeezes in and the girlfriend of the guy next to me wedges her way in between me and her boyfriend, almost sending me into the stick. The beers get passed around and the waitress gets tipped $1 for 8 beers. She 7’s out after a few throws and I’m the only one on the table making money. The next guy shoots and doesn’t make a point, making me some more money, but I’m still down a couple dollars. His girlfriend goes to shoot and the pit asks for her ID first. She hands it in and she’s only 19, so no gambling but she gets to keep her beer and goes to stand behind her boyfriend.

The next guy up gets a good hand going making 2 passes and repeating some numbers so their come bets are all making money. The girl next to me pushes in to see what’s going on and hits me in the back of the head with her beer bottle and when I turn around her cigarette is almost in my face. I look into her eyes and she’s wasted. I also then get a good look at her and she’s wearing one of those tight white tops with no shoulders. She’s fairly well endowed and doesn’t appear to be wearing any visible means of support. I ask her nicely to please watch the bottle and the cigarette and she smiles and says sorry in a genuine sort of way. On the next throw the third pass is made on a hard 10 (which the whole gang is on) and the girl is now jumping up and down and my back is getting an unwanted massage from her large unencumbered left one. I’m off for this shooter and if it wasn’t for the chance I might actually get to shoot and there was nothing available at any other table, I would have left. He makes the fourth pass but point 7-out on the fifth. Somehow, more beers arrive and the girl next to me has a fresh one, at least her third since she’s been at the table. One of the other girls goes to shoot and passes for 21, but doesn’t make a pass after everyone has gotten their come bets up on numbers. More money is coming in from the guys as somehow the one good shooter didn’t make them any.

The guy next to me is now shooting. After a few rolls he hits some numbers and the girlfriend is giving me my back massage again and as much as I usually don’t mind a young, firm woman pressing up against me, Craps is business, and I’m here to make money and I’m not making any and I’m in the middle of a party I don’t want to be part of. After the next toss, my outlook changes. A hard 10 gets thrown which the guy had money on and the girl jumps up with her hands extended up signaling a touchdown and somehow she loses her top. Her tits are flopping around and I have a front row view. The dealer gets a good look and I make eye contact with him and he smiles at me. The boyfriend tells her to “get your F’ing tits back in your shirt”. She was too drunk to notice there was anything amiss. At this point I let her stand in my spot so she can see what’s going on. She bends over that table and I can spot the thong. All good memories come back to me now and I’m moving into the Zone. 2 tosses later the dice are in my hands!

First throw is a 12 for hit on the high-low. Everyone moans but me. Next throw is a 2 for another hit and this is 2 primaries in a row. Everyone is throwing in craps bets and I spot a whale just to the right of the far dealer with what looks like $500 on the line but he’s been getting paid off from the first roll on craps bets. I make eye contact with him and they eyes say “keep it up”. The table is now crowded at the shooting end so finding a landing zone is difficult. On my third throw, the girl hits my arm on the back swing and the dice go random and come up a 6. I turn around and her boyfriend is yelling at her to leave the shooter alone. He seems to be the smartest one of the group. I ask him to move down a little so she can get in to see the game. He does and I ask tell her the best way to see the game is if she were to bend over the “just like that” so her thong shows (ok, I’m crude, but it works). Five throws later after a 2 place hits on a $12 8 I make the point of 6. The table is happy. The come out is a 3-1 4. I place the 6 for $12 and the 5 and 9 for $5 each. All four get hit in succession before I make the point on a Hard 4. Now she’s really jumping up and down and I get a good show while the payoffs are being made. I put her back in her position and throw another 12 and get paid off on the high-low as does the whale on the end, who is getting some colored chips I don’t know the denomination of. The next come out roll is a 9 and I make it 2 rolls (6&8) later. The next come out is a 5, followed by a hard 4 which is a payoff (I think he had it for $25) for the boyfriend.

When she realizes it, she turns to me and hugs me and kisses me. Her breath smell like a toilet and I feel the Zone starting to make an exit. Her bending over the table doesn’t help and I feel a wetness on my back that isn’t my sweat. Instinctively I put my right hand (throwing hand) back there and my hand comes away wet. I smell it and its beer. When she hugged me she must have had a bottle in her and hand and spilled it on me. The dice are sitting there waiting to be thrown. I need time so I throw them off the table. My hand is now sticky and no amount of wiping or talc is going to help. I quietly tell the dealer I’m off on my place bets, pick up my odds and toss 2 greens down on the table and tell the stick “$50 no five”, not wanting to do the math. I had $5 on the line with 5 as the point, but the Zone was gone and my hands were in no condition to throw. I make eye contact with the whale on the end and he sees what I’ve done and takes his place bets off and odds down. I put my middle finger and thumb in my mouth to clean them off, dry them off on the front of my shirt rubbing them furiously, set the dice in an all 7’s set and pick up the dice with just my middle finger and thumb (I’m usually in a 3 finger front). The Zone is gone not to be found again this night, and I just want to get out of there and go up to the room. “7-out, line away”. “Good roll” the kids say as all their come bets and hardways get taken away. I get paid on my no 5 and get all my place bets back. As I color up, the box tells me I’ve got an extra $100 from the guy on the end. I wave and say thank you as I spy his rack that has many chips of colors I’ve never seen before. I buy my marker back and the dealer pushes back $185 to me (including the $100 from the whale) and I toss the remainder of my singles to the boys. I take one of my reds and turn to the girl and ask her what her name is. “Chrissy” she responds. “Well Chrissy”, I say, “. . . thanks for an interesting evening” as I insert the red in her cleavage. I turn and I’m gone before I can see her reaction (or her boyfriends). I’ll cash my chips in the morning. Back up to my wife and bed.

July 4th Las Vegas Vacation The Final Chapter

When I went to bed Monday night, I intended to sleep late Tuesday morning and didn’t really have any plans for any sessions on Tuesday. Well, like clockwork, I’m up at 5:30am and by 6 I can’t fall back asleep. I throw on the cloths I wore last night, including the beer stained (fortunately now dry) shirt that smelled like someone had been smoking a cigarette through it. I cashed in the chips left over from last night ($180) and added a $20 from my spending money pocket and plunked it down along with my players club card at SR at the only table open at Harrahs. One other player was in the middle of coloring up although he didn’t look too happy, so maybe we should call it “coloring down”! Larry on stick tells me they are moving the table to the next one over (cashier side, the one closes to the Strip) because “. . . that’s where management wants the main game played during the day shift”. I take a look at the table and its something like 2 feet longer than their other tables.

I’m the only one at the table so I get the dice for point 7-out (6-1). The next hand goes well with a point of 10 and 4 being made quickly, but with no inside numbers being hit. I’m still in my X6 4/2 set, but I can tell even though the points were being made, they weren’t on axis hits. The third come out leads to a 7 out 2 rolls later. I held the dice for 10 throws and made 2 points. Not bad, but things were all downhill from there. The table is still empty so I get the dice back for another point 7-out. The next hand is a point, Yo, 7-out. Then a come out 7, point 1 inside number before a 7-out.

At this point I would normally leave a table and I probably should have, but in less than 12 hours I’ll be on a flight home and I don’t know when my next craps session will be. I try to relax, try to visualize the “Bronze Ass – White Thong”, but she’s nowhere to be found. I switch sets to the V3 with 2/6 facing me. A point of 9 goes down to a 2-5 7 but not before I throw 2 12’s back to back and a few 6/8’s with are being placed for $6 each. Things are starting to look better as the come out is a 5 and a few hits on the placed 6/8 bring back some chips, but it goes down to a 1-6 7. Two hands I’ve now had 8 throws before the 7 has come up. The next hand is 3 throws.

I start to look at my dwindling rack of chips. Normally I’d have been out of there because 3 bad throwing hands gets me out. The other stop out is a 10-15 unit stop out ($50-75 in this case), which I decided to extend (due to my winnings and this being the last day of the trip) to a 15-20 unit stop. I take 20 units (4 greens) and put them in my pocket and play with what’s left, and my hand is not going into my pocket to pull out cash or chips until I’m at the cashier. The next hand is ok with 6 inside numbers in a row before a 3-4 7 comes up. I tell Larry this is my last hand since I’m down to 3 units. I set a point of 4, throw a 10, 11 and a 2-5 7-out. One red left. I go to shake Larry’s hand and offer him congratulations on his daughter’s wedding, we both clap out hands and show them to the box, shake hands and I cash out down $95 for the session.

Over to Casino Royale for the $1 game and maybe a little better throwing. The place is empty and only the Tub is open with nobody on it. I try sitting right in the middle with a SL type throw to the right. I buy I for $100 and start with a $1 PL. The first roll (X6 4/2 set) has a lot of backspin and a little short. A quick admonishment comes from the dealer who I haven’t seen before. The regular guys are all dealing BJ. The next throw 1 die doesn’t make the back wall and I get some more admonishment. I finally try to get them so they land right at the base of the wall and dead-cat (which they had been doing). About 6 throws into the hand I’m short on both again and he starts into a lecture about both die hitting the back wall, especially on the tub. “Rules and regulations . . .” he says, “. . . do you know about rules and regulations”. Yes I do and I’m sorry. He asks if I work in a “regulated” industry? I work in Investment Banking (can we say “Chinese Wall”) but don’t tell him that. “Yes, one more regulated than yours, and what probably is the most regulated there is.” He tells me he’s licensed in 5 states and doesn’t want to lose his license over short throws on a tub. I empathize with him, but figure he’s working at Casino Royale and not the Bellagio. I try to get that dead cat throw going, but it doesn’t work. I throw a few decent hands that I’m not keeping track of, just treading water.

Finally a couple comes over to the table to watch, and the dealer is trying to get them to play. I ask the lady if she’s ever played before and she said no. VIRGIN! I ask her if she’d like to spend $10 with a chance at making much more. No problem she says and sits down next to me with her husband on the other side. “Are you a virgin?” I ask her. With a little bit of indignation she says no. I said to her I meant a “craps virgin”, meaning had she ever thrown the dice before. With a relieved look she says no. She buys in for $10, we teach her the game but her throwing goes nowhere. I cash out $1 ahead which I leave to “Mr. Regulation”

The path back to the room leads me past a table at the Mirage with SR open. Two good hands are sandwich by poor ones, and I color up $15 ahead. Back up at the room my wife is awake and packing. I throw her my shirt not remembering where it had been and she doesn’t have to try and smell it to smell it. Fortunately it’s a dark shirt and the beer stain on the back doesn’t show up. We go down to the empty pool and I just place our stuff down. Today there will be no discussion or decisions about where to sit. We get back up to the room, check out and head over to the Hard Rock to cash in the “6-pack” coupons. We have lunch at the Hard Rock Café and go over to the casino to pick up our coupons (including a $10 match play). I spot the entrance to the pool and tell my wife I wanted to walk around the pool and see how that craps table is going. She finds her favorite slot machine (My Rich Uncle) and sits down to play. I make the rounds outside and the eye-candy is nice, but Zone visualization is not around, or at least not in the same position I had first caught site of her. Any one of a dozen girls could have been her, but none lying face down so I could make a positive identification. I go back inside and find SR available on the only open table. After 1 other shooter, the dice are mine. I look at the dice, and they are green. I ask the box because I distinctly remember the other day the dice I was shooting were red. He said they use all kinds of colors. I check for the A/B configuration and they are the familiar “A”, so I set X6 4/2. I have a $10 PL with my $10 match play. $2 each high-low and I throw a 12 on the come out. Gone are my PL and match play coupon, but 2 greens and some metal come my way. The greens go in my pocket and after a few average hands, they are my profit for the session. My wife makes $40 on the slot machine, we get our free deck of used cards and head to the airport and home.

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