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Ask the Mad Professor - Part 1

A gorilla escapes from the local zoo. A short time later, a man calls to report a gorilla in his back-yard tree. The zoo-keeper rushes right over. He arrives with a big net, a baseball bat, a shotgun, and a Pit-Bull dog. The home-owner asks what all the stuff is for.  The zoo-keeper says, "I'm gonna climb the tree and hit the gorilla over the head with the baseball bat. When he falls out of the tree, you throw the big net over him, and the Pit-Bull will go straight for his balls."  The man asks, "But what's the shotgun for?"  The zoo-keeper answers, "If I miss the gorilla and I fall out of the tree, you have to shoot the Pit-Bull."

Here are a few inquiries that I recently received.

Q:
Do you ever just stand back and watch a craps game?  I once had to wait until a spot opened up on a busy table?  The waiting drove me crazy, but I really noticed the flow of the game much better than if I was actually in the game.  Any explanation?

A:
Sure, when you are just watching, your level of involvement, and therefore, your perspective is a lot clearer than if you actually have money in play. 

That was one of the first things that I had to come to terms with when I started playing this game full-time.  I had to bring the objectivity that I had when I was not playing, into the game when I actually had bets on the table.  This neat little realization brought a whole new level of insight and understanding to my game.  I hope that it does the same for yours.

Q:
Why don’t you have your own web-site?   Are you going to write a book about all of your experiences, and if so, when?   I think you could make a fortune.

A:
I have NO interest in having my own website.  The amount of work that Irishsetter puts into this site is truly commendable.  I have neither the time nor inclination to try to replicate what he has created here.  His website is unique, and the level of quality information that it contains is unparalleled. 

I am NOT writing a book.  Again, I have no needs, wants or desires to be published.  I receive no compensation whatsoever for my writing, nor have I sought any.  I play craps for profit.  My thoughts and opinions are here for the betterment of the game, not for the enrichment of my wallet.

Q:
You seem to hate PARR players, and I want to know why?

A:
You are absolutely WRONG!   I think the instructions that Jerry Patterson and his trainers teach are commendable.  They are useable skills that produce almost immediate improvement for most students. 

I have seen several cases where a “normal” random-shooter has gone from being a consistent loser, to being a fairly consistent winner in relatively short order. It took me a LOT longer than one-weekend of instruction and four weeks of full-time practice to reach the 12:1 Sevens-to-Roll-Ratio that most of his graduates eventually achieve. On the other hand, I think that the course falls short in a number of areas. Those concerns are discussed in my Okay, Who Cooked the Golden Goose?  articles.

On the other hand, DO NOT take this as an endorsement for his course. Simply, all of the anecdotal evidence that I have seen first-hand by watching his recent graduates, indicate that the course does work. Also understand that some people are faster or better learners than others. For some people who have never played craps before, the whole game is a little overwhelming. So when you try to add the extra element of Precision-Shooting to the mix, the results may vary. I have never had the pleasure of taking his course, nor do I plan to.

Q:
MP, I just got an e-mail from another reader that I sometimes hear from.  He suggested that some writers embellish their casino succesess and under-report their bad sessions.  What do you think?

A:
I can only speak for myself.  If you’ve read my articles like, Potholes on the Road to Success, How Much Commitment Are You Willing To Spend?, Gilligan, the Skipper, and The Mad Professor and  The Toughest Way to Make An Easy Living amongst others, then you KNOW that I DO lose.  I used to lose A LOT!   Thankfully, I’ve been able to reduce my losses to the absolute minimum. 

If you combine successful Precision-Shooting with iron-clad, will-not-falter Money Management, very conservative Betting Methods, and cold-sober, never-compromise Discipline; then there is NO reason why YOU cannot achieve a similar win-to-loss ratio.  If you have a hard time believing that, then I hope that you will at least believe in yourself.

You mention that you play at a lot of low-minimum tables.  How can you make money that way?  I need to play at the $25 tables here in Atlantic City to feel like I’m accomplishing anything.  If I don’t have 3x, 4x, & 5x Odds in play, plus some huge Place bets; then I figure what’s the point of playing?  Betting small just can’t keep me interested

We each have our own needs.  I play beside guys at Bellagio, MGM, Caesars, Bally’s, Mirage, Venetian, Paris, and the Horseshoe who think nothing of playing the table max on EVERY shooter.  At times, the casino will waive the usual $5,000 flat-bet limit.  It doesn’t make me uncomfortable that my bets are smaller than theirs.  Whether it be in the sports locker-room or at the craps table, it’s not the size that counts, it’s what you do with it that matters.

I play at pretty much every major casino in Las Vegas, and a lot of the small ones as well. I’m as comfortable at 25-cent “bird-game” craps tables as much as I am at $25.00 ones. But I DO specifically seek out UNCROWDED low-minimum tables. To me, they offer the best of both worlds.
Low-entry costs mean that I can see if my shooting is on track. If it’s not, then I haven’t exposed too much money to find that out.

Please understand that my Precision-Shooting DOES NOT WORK ALL THE TIME. Knowing THAT, and combining it with the low-cost of a $1, $2, $3, or $5 table, permits me to keep the cost of my mistakes and/or bad-sessions LOW.

I wish that I could shout it out in a clear, concise and loud voice. “IF YOU STOP LOSING SO MUCH, IT IS EASIER TO START WINNING MORE!” Okay, the Cap-Lock button is turned off, and I have stated the obvious. If it is so damn obvious, why aren’t more people doing it? The reason is lack of DISCIPLINE and wise MONEY-MANAGEMENT. I use those capital letters for emphasis, and YES, I AM shouting!
If my throwing isn’t producing a profit, why the hell would I venture a couple of hundred dollars to find that out? That would be GAMBLING!

If I have a go at the dice, and I 7-Out two or three or four times in a row, and it costs me a total of maybe $4 to $15 to find out that this table isn’t working for me, then there’s no problem. If on the other hand, I’ve loaded up the $10 Pass Line, and backed it with 5x, 10x, 20x, or 100x Mega-Odds, plus if I add huge Place bets; then there’s a freakin’ BIG, HUGE honkin’ problem if I 7-Out two or three or four times in a row.

We’re talking about two very different-sized holes to climb out of. One is like pulling your foot out of a shallow pot-hole. The other is like climbing out of the Grand Canyon after your mule died of exhaustion on a balmy 132-degree Nevada day. I’ll take the mini-losses, and maxi-profit, thank you very much!

How much do you tip a cocktail waitress, and do you have as much trouble concentrating on the game when they are around as I do?

I tip at least $1 every time that I receive a non-alcoholic drink at the tables.  If she brings multiple drinks for me, such as a bottle of water, a glass of orange juice, and a coffee; then $5 seems appropriate.   When I am with a few of my cohorts, they tip for the entire table with green or black chips when the cocktail waitress comes around.  I personally do not do that.   I LOVE women, but I try not to leer.  Dribbling is good in basketball, not in waitress-watching.  Besides, why go for hamburger when you’ve got succulent filet-mignon at home?

Do you ever have bad sessions?

I’ve answered that question elsewhere, but I will repeat it again.  YES, I sometimes have terrible sessions.   If I haven’t found my “groove”, I will even tell any of my friends or associates that I am with, to hold off on their betting during the early stages of my next roll.  If I settle into a rhythm, or I hit and land the dice the way that I want, then I’ll signal to them to get into the action.  I am ever mindful that we don’t want to over do the betting action.  I certainly don’t want to contribute to the death of the Golden Goose.

Thanks again for all of the great questions.

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
By: The Mad Professor 

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 1, 2007 12:18 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Regression Avoids Depression: Part 1.

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