No, this is not an essay on the Dickens novel by the same name, though, there are a number of similarities between the novel and a precision shooters expectations of success at the tables.
Dickens’ story is a rags-to-riches-to-rags story and revolves around the primary character, Pip*. I kid you not! Do you think Dickens played dice?
O.K. A little more about the novel. Good fortune smiles on Pip. A benefactor arranges for him to be educated and soon he finds himself rubbing elbows with the crème de la crème of high society. While running in these elite circles, our pal Pip is even introduced to Estella who has been trained to “break men’s hearts.” Hmmm, she sounds a little like Lady Luck to me…. Now, I hope that I’m not giving away too much of the story here, but in the end, Pip loses his money and his position in society, only to discover that virtue is more important than wealth and position.
So, what the “Dickens” does this have to do with craps and precision shooting? Great expectations. You have them. I have them. We ALL have them. You expect to throw longer hands at the table. You expect your SIGNATURE numbers to be thrown. You expect to profit from this. These are all valid expectations….valid to a certain extent.
- If you expect to throw hands of 15 tosses or more every time you get the dice, you’re expecting too much.
- If you expect to build beach houses on the Riviera based on your craps profits, you’re expecting too much.
- If riches, popularity and a place in gambling high society are the reason you took up precision shooting, in all likelihood, you’re in for disappointment.
Here are a few things to think about in regards to Great Expectations:
- Setting your expectation levels too high will actually hinder your progress as a precision shooter. Celebrate each improvement you make, regardless of how small! Set goals. Once you’ve achieved those goals, set new ones.
- Do not equate profits with precision shooting success, nor losses at the tables as failure. (Have you ever seen a pitcher in baseball throw a no-hitter and still lose the game?)
- This is a journey not a race. Some shooters will be able to execute a controlled throw more quickly than others and some shooters may never be able to execute a controlled throw. That my friends is Darwinism.
- Our single most important goal is to overcome the house edge. If you can achieve this, you have achieved more than any gambling “system” has ever been able to do.
So, back to Dickens. It took losing his wealth for Pip to discover virtue. I urge you to stop and smell the roses while you are on this precision shooting journey, there’s some wicked fun to be had. Most of all, enjoy the game. Enjoy the people you meet. Enjoy the satisfaction in every bit of progress you make.
* The dots on the dice are called “pips.”