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It’s STILL the Toughest Way to Make an Easy Living.

A not-so-devoted follower on a different M-board, quipped the other day, that there wasn’t anything “sexy or glamorous” about being a professional advantage-player.

I couldn’t agree more.

I'll be the first to tell you that playing A-P dice is not all that glamorous; and that dice-influencing is one of the toughest ways to make an easy living.

I said it way back in late ’98, and I still hold to that opinion today.

I'll also be the first one to tell you that making a living off of dice-influencing is far less sexy than it at first appears to be.

Sure the full RFB+++ comps are great, and you can pretty much expect every meal, every hotel suite, every show, every sporting event, and every compable hotel amenity (except long-distance calls and dry-cleaning) to be picked up by the house; but there's also a downside to making your living at the craps table.

There's a certain unsavory social stigma attached to calling yourself a professional gambler. I personally am not much of a gambler at all. In fact, if I were no longer allowed to do the dice-influencing thing in the casinos; I'd have no reason to set foot into any of them again.

For example, I haven't played a hand of blackjack since '91 (it was at the old Continental Hotel {now Terrible's} while waiting to see Cook E. Jarr); and I haven’t dropped a coin into a slot machine since ’89 (in the Oasis section of the old Dunes Hotel). Like, I said, I’m not much of a gambler.

The whole idea behind dice-influencing is to DE-randomize the dice, and to take most of the 'gamble' out of the gambling equation.

Despite the superb money that it can generate for a properly bankrolled precision-shooter; there is no pension plan or health benefits; so either you, your accountant, or your tax-lawyer have to make those arrangements; and if you live in a country where gambling earnings are taxable; then you are also responsible for paying the taxes on your net-earnings.

Is the advantage-play dice-influencing lifestyle sexy?

No, not particularly.

Sure you get to play craps at pretty much any casino you want to, and that can take you to some far flung places like Australia, Korea, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and even the exotic environs of rural Washington State; if you really want.

Frankly though, you don't have to travel that far afield if you don't choose to.

Personally, I like to spread my play around; not just as a way of staying under the "associating my face with the disappearance of their money" radar; but also as a way of breaking up any focus-distracting boredom or monotony that might affect my shooting-concentration if I played in just a couple of the same win-tolerant casinos day-after-day, and week-after-week.

And although you get to stay in some truly outstanding suites at some of the world's best hotels, and though you get to eat for free at some of the world's finest dining establishments...and get to work it off in their equally fine fitness centers; being a professional dice-influencer is not all fun and games and lifestyles of the rich and famous.

You actually have to execute a consistently-influenced, advantage-oriented toss which is matched with properly-sized wagers that are geared to your actual edge.

If you mess up on that; then you mess up your advantage over the casino.

Keep in mind that most skilled shooters can throw the dice with varying levels of advantage; but they often don’t bet their advantage in a way that makes their efforts self-sustaining and profitable.

In other words, having an edge doesn’t mean that it will automatically turn into a profit…you actually have to work at it and nurture it. It also means that all of your negative-expectation bets that don’t win require a positive-expectation bet that does win…just to offset the loss. When your neg-ex losses outpace your pos-ex wins, it doesn’t matter how good of a shooter you are, because it’s the way you bet that continually keeps you out of the winner’s circle.

An advantage-play pro has to control the urge to “gamble”, by focusing the majority of his wagers on his highest-edge (greatest advantage) wagers. In understanding that neg-ex bets will diminish his pos-ex profit; the pro also has to control his emotions not only in the win-some, lose-some volatility of the game itself, but also in dealing with the characters that populate this game.

There will be times when the smoke of other players will bother you, or the tables will be so crowded that you can barely squeeze in to make a bet, let alone try to make a series of precision dice-tosses. Then there's the overly-friendly drunks who want to high-five your shooting-hand right off of your arm; or the belligerent drunk who has lost nine straight high-buck Don't Pass (with max layed Odds) wagers due to your shooting; or the parade of well-intentioned but way-too-noticeable group of six, or ten, or twelve, or fourteen hangers-on and vulturous acquaintances who, without invitation, try to follow you from table to table, and casino to casino, or even city to city; to ride on the success of your dice-influencing coattails.

Is that glamorous?

No, not at all; but it's how I choose to make my living, and frankly I really do like it, but like I said; professional advantage-play dice-influencing is STILL one of the toughest ways to make an easy living.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 1, 2007 11:36 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Current Practice…Future Profitability - Part 1.

The next post in this blog is Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part 1.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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