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Part 1 - How To Get It, and How To Keep It

One day, at a casino buffet, a man suddenly called out, "My son is choking! He swallowed a quarter! Help! Please, anyone! Help!"

A man from a nearby table stood up and announced that he was quite experienced at this sort of thing. He came over, with no look of concern on his face, wrapped his hands around the boy's genitals, and squeeeeeezed. Amazingly, the quarter popped out. The helpful man then went back to his table as though nothing had happened.

"Thank you! Thank you, sir!" the father cried. "Are you a paramedic?"

"No," replied the man. "I work for the IRS.”

Squeezing Profit From Your Current Skill

Just like the I.R.S., we have to look at various ways to squeeze the most money (and profit) out of our plays WITHOUT resorting to simply throwing more money (higher bets) at it. In most cases, all it takes is some minor adjustments to your betting routine for your current skills to generate more profit when you win, and less significant losses when you lose.

Where To Begin

We are always hoping to improve our skills for the future.

Some people longingly look down the road and say, “Some day, I’d like to make enough money from craps so that I can play when and where I WANT, but still not NEED to play”. Others look at Precision-Shooting as a possible self-sustaining retirement “hobby”, or even a potential route to augment their income.

Thinking about and planning for the future is a VERY wise move, but it’s what you do with your CURRENT skills and abilities which largely determines how easily you’ll reach your future goals, and just what you’ll have to do to get there.

To a considerable degree, Precision-Shooting reflects and echo’s life’s labors, triumphs, struggles and achievements.

I’m of the firm belief that you work with what you’ve got; yet continually strive for ever-evolving advancement. Based on that concept; we should squeeze as much profit out of our current skill-set, yet continue to seek steady improvements and measurable milestones for the future.

When We’re Both on the Same Page…

I swear that Irishsetter is either an excellent mind-reader, or at the very least, quite prescient when it comes to the entire subject of profitable Precision-Shooting play.
I was dictating this article when he answered the following Message Board question for a poster:

”When you stumble across a new grip or tossing-motion that appears to be the Holy Grail in terms of an unbelievably high number of on-axis, primary-face outcomes; why is the apparent perfection so fleeting?”

Irishsetter responded by saying that elements like Concentration, Intensity and Focus are so critically important to your ongoing success, yet many players REDUCE each of those factors once they wrongly conclude that they’ve got it “all figured out”. By failing to accurately replicate the same things that led them to success in the first place, most players quickly lose their grasp on consistent on-axis, primary-face success.

By mistakenly lowering their mental guard and reducing the power of those critical elements, their results quickly start to slip. In fact, most players wrongly try to OVERCOMPENSATE for that quick decline from near-perfection. This “over-correction” usually leads to missing the Holy Grail objective altogether by bigger and evermore frustrating distances.

So let’s take a look at how it is that we stumble across what appears to be the Holy Grail of Precision-Shooting (an unbelievably high number of on-axis, primary-face outcomes) in the first place; and then figure out why it is that “near-perfection” is so damn fleeting. Finally, after we do all of that, I’ll show you an effective way to GET IT and KEEP IT, LONGER.


CONCENTRATION

Whenever we try a new method, or grip or toss, we tend to be more deliberate in that fresh process. From setting and gripping the dice, to the flatness of the back of your hand and the elevation of your arm on its follow-through; EVERYTHING is more deliberate when we are LEARNING (that's a hint).


INTENSITY

Instead of mulling over the prospects of parlaying our most recent Place-bet win, or wondering just where the hell the beautiful cocktail waitress is; we tend to passionately center our thoughts on the new task at hand.

Again, this is based on the "newness" of the process and the "happy hormones" (endorphins) that are released by our brain because of the satisfaction and gratification that comes from our newfound accomplishment.

In a way, our brain was telling us that we needed and wanted to do well (but WITHOUT anxiety, apprehension or fretfulness); and upon seeing our good results, we get the happy satisfaction (almost a natural high) of seeing that “need” being met.
Instead of over-thinking the mechanics of the throw, we wring as much "sweetness" and smoothness out it. Our brain is relaxed, so our body just naturally relaxes along with it. Instead of busily thinking about what we are doing wrong, our mind puts us in a calm, self-satisfied state of “Gee, I did that right”.

The sweetness of our shooting flows from the BRAIN ON DOWN, and NOT from the FINGERS ON UP.

Success STARTS in your brain and is executed (carried out) by your fingers, NOT the other way around!


NEWNESS
I used this analogy in another article, but it bears repeating.
Think about how you first settle in behind the wheel of a new car. You check where everything is, and your brain quickly logs the new sequence of actions that it takes to turn a corner, choose a radio station, or set the cruise-control, etc.


After a while, everything just seems to fall "naturally to hand". While all cars have a steering wheel, turn signals and a radio; you have to get used to each new vehicle that you park your butt in. For most players, it’s the same way with dicesetting; once you are "familiar" with the "new" toss, you no longer have to "think" about it as much. In doing so, YOUR MIND GETS LAZY, and it no longer delivers the Concentration, Intensity and Focus that is required for consistent profitability.

The signals that your brain WAS sending to your fingertips are no longer as sharp and astute as they were when the grip/toss was new.

The signals they are receiving NOW are not nearly as finely-tuned as they were at the start of the “I found the Holy Grail” process, so it’s little wonder that the results don’t stay very GOOD, for very LONG.

In essence; when we are LEARNING, we know that our Concentration, Intensity, and Mental Acuity is MUCH higher than when things (processes) are "old hat" and normal. That brings us to the next element.


FOCUS

As a Precision-Shooter, the clarity of your purpose, and the single focal point of your task must be focused on just ONE thing.

Without a consistent on-axis throw, ALL of the other elements of your play will quickly fall to the wayside.

In fact, the importance of EVERYTHING ELSE about the way we play advantage-craps will quickly evaporate if we can't get a consistent on-axis (and preferably primary-face) result.

If we don’t have a quantified dicesetting-advantage; then the effectiveness of our money-management and betting-methods loses a tremendous amount (almost ALL) of their usefulness.

Here's why:

Ø You can have various betting-methods down cold. I mean, you can have every wagering approach on Jim “The Systems Man” Ferr's excellent website memorized backward, forward and in chronological and alphabetical order.

Ø You can have discipline that would make a Shaolin monk proud. You can set your loss-limits even lower than my current 15% of buy-in level, and have the self-control and restraint to press when things are great, but turn and walk away EVERYTIME things begin to turn bad.

Ø You can turn money-management and 6-Sigma bankroll-control into both an obscure art-form and a secret science that would make Enron, Global Crossing and Worldcom executives teary-eyed proud.

...but without CONSISTENT ON-AXIS OUTCOMES, you will NEVER get to a high level of revenue reliability…and, YES, it’s THAT simple.

So, how do I bring those required levels of heightened concentration, intensity and focus to the live tables; and once you’ve found the Holy Grail, how do you hang onto it a little longer?

How Do I Do It?

I treat EACH throw as though it is THE throw.

Ø I treat it as though it is the ONE and ONLY throw that will get the dice back to me.

Ø Each throw means the SURVIVAL and GROWTH of the bets that I have on the table.

Ø Each throw stands on it’s own.


Ø When I’m shooting, I NEVER pre-think about what I will do if such and such happens several throws (or even one throw) down the road.

Ø I deal in the “here and now”, and apply that single-minded intensity on the immediate (next few seconds) future.

Ø I may re-aim, re-target and re-calibrate the trajectory and speed of my very next throw, but I’ll quickly put any previous off-axis results out of my mind.

Ø My sole focus is on the very next toss.

Ø The longer that I can maintain my absolute concentration, my raw intensity, and my single-minded focus; the longer the stickman will continue sending the dice back to me.

Ø I want the dice to end up on the same axis and the same primary-face that I first set them on. ALL of my focus is on them, because at the end of the day, that is where the profit is.

Ø John Dillinger once replied that the reason he robbed banks was because, “That’s where the money is”. For a Precision-Shooter, the money is in the roll. It all starts with the dice, and it ends with them as well. That’s where the money is!

Ø MOST importantly, as long as I continue to do what I am supposed to be doing at the intensity that I am supposed to be doing it at; then THE MORE THE DEALER WILL CONTINUE SHIPPING CHIPS ACROSS THE TABLE TO ME.

It’s That Simple, and It’s That Difficult

All of that may SOUND simple, but it’s not.

The difficulty for most people is that they exhaust themselves just trying to get to the point where they can exert that much mental energy. It shouldn’t be a struggle.

Rather, over time, it should feel comfortable and totally natural. You should be able to slip into it as easily as an old pair of slippers.

For me, it’s like entering a higher, more focused, yet more relaxed state of intense consciousness. A number of players have also found that Kent Glines hypnosis tapes have helped them get to a point of relaxed focus and mental clarity.

Now granted, I do play a lot, so at first glance it would seem that all of this should come very easy to me. However, it’s partially BECAUSE I play so much that I too have to work at keeping the sharpness of my concerted focus and the required level of controlled intensity. It’s NOT easy, so I keep a few things front and center in my mind.


Ø Each toss is a fresh opportunity for my bankroll to survive and grow.

Ø Each toss is a new opportunity for me to THRIVE!
To put that into perspective; for me,

Ø Each throw is part of a continually improving process.

Ø Each new throw should be at least as good, if not better, than the one before it.

Ø Each subsequent toss is a fresh and new opportunity to excel and profit.


While that whole thought process may seem a little extreme to some people; it DOES deliver the required levels of Concentration, Intensity and Focus that I need for reliable, repeatable, on-axis, primary-face results. If something less demanding works for you; then by all means go with it.

So when you stumble across a new grip or tossing-motion that appears to GET the Holy Grail (in terms of an unbelievably high number of on-axis, primary-face outcomes) you’ll want to KEEP IT for as long as possible.

To keep that flow of sweet near-perfection, you have to maintain the FRESHNESS in each and every single toss that you make.

Good Luck & Good Skill at the tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 30, 2007 12:58 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Part 16 of: How To Get It, and How To Keep It.

The next post in this blog is Part 2 - How to Get It, and How to Keep It..

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