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How Consistent is your toss and related thoughts


While it seems like a simple question, maybe its not.


First I should say up front, I’m not looking for information how consistently bad your toss is!


Next, I need to say it will take me a while to get back to this initial question.


Also I have finally realized to talk about everything I want to, I’m going to need to break it up into a few posts.



--But let me get started


To me  this endeavor of precision shooting is an athletic event, and that means it is both physical and mental.


o        The physical aspect is extremely difficult to master for allot of reasons


o        I would say the difficulty starts with the fact the mass and dimensions of the dice are very small.


o        Because the dice are pretty small compared to the objects one has to control in other sports, there are issues in how our finger relate to the die in  width and length


o        Then, to compound a tricky situation already, there’s the fact that a positive result depends on the outcome of 2 separate objects, which you have to deal with/execute simultaneously


I have been searching for a solid sports analogy for dice control  and I don’t thinks there anything that is a really good fit.


I can’t think of any sport where the outcome/results that says you were good, bad or indifferent, is the result of doing 2 things at once.


You only throw or catch one baseball, or football

You only need to hit one golf ball

Throw one bowling ball

Shoot one basketball


There is an element  of the throw that could be considered similar to the golf swing, or maybe even bowling. 


And we’re just talking about the action event, not the result. The criteria for result in precision shooting is very demanding


Again, there’s no well aligned analogy, but consider this…



If you took a tennis ball, divided it into 6 equal sections, and  painted each section a different color. Then with this multicolored ball, the serve only counted it a specific color section made contact with the surface of the court and the return was only valid if that player made contact with a specific color/section you might be getting close to what we deal with


Or if you took a basketball, and did the same 6 section thing and the shoot only counted if one specific section  is the first to break the plane of the rim.


These aren’t great examples but they hopefully do provide a little perspective about what is in play  when we try to execute a controlled throw.


But I’m not done with sports analogy yet.

As human beings, we are, or at least some/ a few of us, are capable of  achieving  incredible levels of  physical skills.


The most fundamental part may come down to what is generally called eye-hand coordination, which is sort where the physical and mental  functions merge to produce split second reactions, instinctive adjustments, and the  for the best it means athletes can truly master or dominate  their competitive environment.


There are aspects of sports execution /technique  that are mostly physical, like  flexibility.


And there certain physical characteristics  that a person might have that are  more advantageous in their particular arena of competition, size in Basketball, speed in track etc.


In the overall area of  eye hand coordination I would think that the relationship between mental and physical is equal or at least deeply interdependent, there are many areas where the mental aspects are the most important.


While you can train for endurance, it seems to me that the mental toughness is what separates the greats from the good.

I’m not much of a fan of bicycle racing, but it seems to me that Lane Armstrong has  a stronger will to push on and push harder that most.


And mental toughness is a recognized trait of athletes that compete in high pressure situations.

Jordan , Montana , Magic, Bird.


Consistency is the difference maker in being a star or super star from a solid professional.

It is also the difference maker between a professional, a semi professional and an serious amateur and a hobbyist.


I’m currently thinking that the difference between influencing the dice and controlling the dice is in ones consistency in achieving or approaching a perfectly executed toss.


I think everyone  agrees that the margin of error in the critical factors/variables of a toss is very, very very small, meaning the  tipping point between influence and control is pretty fragile.


So to be a true controller, its about “uber” consistency


What I plan to talk about and get information about is just the physical characteristics  of our toss in terms of how consistent we are, how consistent we can be


To set up where I’ll be going next I have to declare a stipulation


There is a perfect toss, or perfectly executed toss and it results in a primary hit.


I’m sure most of us have actually executed a perfect toss and recognized it when we did. Its a beautiful thing for sure!


I’m currently thinking that the difference between influencing the dice and controlling the dice is in ones consistency in achieving or approaching a perfectly executed toss.


I would suggest we can also agree that the margin of error/or variance from perfect execution of a toss is very, very very small, meaning the  tipping point between influence and control is pretty fragile.


As it has been said, if was easy everyone would be doing it.


I also think there's another  factor that impacts some, if not all of us as we look to improve


While there are some people in our community who have spent time with the experts, its probably true that the majority really work in isolation most of the time


I can’t turn on the TV and see a 3 hour show with the Tiger Woods of dice control competing against a casino.


And that’s a disadvantage because it’s the super stars  with boundary pushing skills and achievement that show us all what is possible


They raise the bar


And when that happens, some or later they will be others who figure out how to do the same by starting with emulating this breakthrough person.


It happens in sports for sure.


In my original career as a musician it happened allot. Once someone like John McLaughflin showed that there was no limit to single note techniques, others just set that as the level they needed to achieve.


Once Van Halen released “Eruption” with a new   sound based on 2 handed tapping, there were 14 and 15 year old kids who never left their bedroom until they could figure out how to play it note for note.


When  the best of the best are on display in their prime, its gives us all a chance to learn from them, to be inspired from them and yes, surpass them


For some obvious reasons, we’re not going to see a guy on Your Tube taking $5000 from a casino in an hour because he is a master dice controller.



(once again hoping to bring this rambling thing to a decent close) to finally get back to my original question about consistency


(for the one or 2 people who might still be reading this)


What I have been doing, and what I want to do is of take MP’s basic premise or breaking down the toss, but maybe forcing ourselves to go as deep as we can possibly imagine, to see if we can define  and then discuss the elements and characteristics of the perfect toss.



And I’m not going to have answers, but I can offer some of the different thoughts I have had lately.


Why I know I need to kick it up;

After my last trip, I looked back and while I have been slowly becoming more successful over time, and I have felt good about that, when I brutally looked at my performance, at my level of consistency, it was hard to not think that maybe I was kidding myself.


I then backed off a bit and realized, well I’m right now I’m capable of influencing the dice.


From having made thousands and thousands of tosses, I have recognized and have a feel for a few possible scenarios that occur when I’m shooting and I can use this knowledge to guide how I’m betting at the time. However, the majority of the time I’m shooting, I lack the amount/% of consistently executed tosses to say I’m controlling the dice.


Indeed during these sessions I will have several tosses that are perfect, however when they are not perfect, I’m using my knowledge of possible trends and tendencies I have seen in my play/execution in an attempt to  return more $ to my chip rack.


Its in this scenario where the bad toss, good result, and the opposite come into play. Sometimes I get lucky and the tosses that are not perfectly controlled still fall to my advantage, sometimes not so much!


Right now my current level is that I very confident that I will be able to break off at least 1 hand in the high teens and 20’s over a span of 80 toss’s. That’s ok, and sometimes when things fall my way, its much, much better, but sometimes it’s worse, and when that happens it really sucks.


And I realized that I was sort of accepting this level of skill as being a good thing. After all I had just had my first real monster hand.


But then I thought about the losing sessions I had that trip too.

Then I started to track how often the dice stayed together like they were glued while in air.

I looked at how many of my tosses bounced back straight and true,

How many had a consistent amount of energy and trajectory


And I realized I wasn't really setting the bar high enough in my overall attitude and practice.



One of the most well know  dice coaches told me we can only expect to influence the dice, saying after all we're only human.


But my nature has always been pretty competitive and I'm more than willing to try to chase down a windmill now and again in pursuit of being one of the best. I may not get there, but the journey will certainly keep my interest







HSCIII- This is the post that sort of led me to being a contributor on this site. Before I had the chance to actually meet him in person, Deadcat asked me if I was interested in posting it on this site. Of course I was interested from the start, but it has taken me a while to get organized enough to look at posting some of my thoughts.

Not that they are that extremely valued, or original, or that I am killing the casinos!




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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 8, 2007 2:04 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Part 11 - How To Get It, and How To Keep It.

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