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Investor-Backed Team Play Part - 9

Choosing proper team-mates is similar to choosing proper short-term business-partners.

Lack of proper care now almost always means lack of proper profit later.

Hyper-Sensitivity to Heat or even Mild Attention is Always a Bad Sign
One common trait that most really successful D-I’s seem to share, is their relative imperviousness to pit-heat or at least their resistance to feeling that a little bit of normal pit-attention is unwarranted heat.

If a skilled shooter is put off his game by nothing more than an errant glance from a TGS; then his entire A-P game is probably going to fold if more than one or two, “Hmmmph, ANOTHER guy who read a book and thinks he’s a dice master…” dealer comments are hurled his way. I’ve seen some guys whose entire day was ruined by a simple snarky observation by a boxman or even a fairly tame “Come on 7” comment by a Darksider.

If one of your prospective team-shooters is that overly-attentive and hyper-sensitive to any kind of unwanted attention; then they’re probably not going to be a net-profit contributor to your team no matter how outstanding their dice-influencing skills are in a calm and tranquil non-distracted setting.

Likewise, easily distracted players who look to blame the cocktail waitress or anything else, is a player probably best left OFF of the team, regardless of how great their shooting is during practice sessions.

If they are hyper-sensitive to everything; then regardless of how good their shooting is in the dealer-school or even in a quiet and tranquil casino once in a while; they’ll rarely be able to produce outstanding results often enough to offset the distracted times when they can’t...plus, their relentless stream of excuses will soon wear thin on the rest of the team.

Post-Session Autopsy
One of the best ways to generate continual profit-improvement as an investor-backed advantage-play shooting-team, is to always hold a post-session assessment and review.

If a team can't learn from their mistakes and move forward from their setbacks; then they are doomed to mediocrity or worse.

The post-session assessment and review can be the typical,

What went right…what went wrong…what should we be sure to do next time…what should we definitely avoid doing next time?” follow-up, or it can focus in on a couple of very specific and pointed questions:

“To what extent did our bets correlate to your advantage?”

“Why did you make that distractingly loud series of high-vig Prop-bets when our shooter was reeling off a rhythmic string of Inside-numbers?”

“What’s with making all the late bets when our shooter was in mid-launch?”

“Was there a specific reason you were talking non-stop to the shooter during his hand?”

You’ll likely find that players who are rankled by any type of constructive criticism, even if it’s gift-wrapped in the most pleasant of congenial packages, does not belong on a team.

Sorting Through and Selecting D-I Candidates
This is a little different than holding auditions for technically skilled shooters.

Let’s say that you have a handful of shooters you could choose from, and they all have a proven SRR-rate of around 7.0.


The fundamental rule of any successful business is that it will go under unless it is run and staffed by reasonably mature people with some degree of integrity and good judgment. An investor-backed team has to be run as a business.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any room for fun, nor that it has to be managed like an insane-asylum field-trip.

Instead, what I am saying is that the first impulse to recruit players who have impressive technical skills to the exclusion of all other considerations is WRONG.

Now don’t mistake what I'm saying here; it is critically important that all of the shooters on your team have strong dice-influencing skills; however someone’s ability to de-randomize the dice should not be the only concern when recruiting competent players.

Associated considerations that have to come into play are maturity, good judgment, and good character.

You have to ask yourself: Can this potential recruit keep his mouth shut when appropriate...is he unlikely to fold under pressure...is he likely to go off the reservation on his betting...is he likely to freak out if things don’t always go his way, and finally, can he work well with others?

In short, is he a grownup? To my mind, the ability to validly influence the dice is NOT that remarkable a skill. The ability to consistently deliver on those abilities under a variety of conditions and circumstances when large investor-backed wagers are on the line is a remarkable skill...and that kind of player should be actively sought.

Similarly, it’s all too easy to assume that anybody who can skillfully de-randomize the dice is a grownup; regrettably though, that is often a mistaken assumption.

The demands of playing on a team are far different and can be far more taxing than doing the lone-wolf thing.

Whether it be compromising on the time of day when everyone is supposed to meet up for the first session, or coming to agreement about where everyone is meeting and eating to plan and strategize sessions for the next day, or the order of casinos where each session will take place, or even how often the team’s profit will be split; the more players you have on your team, the more difficult it is to keep everyone happy and at the top of their respective game.

In Part Ten, we are going to talk about how to negotiate the profit-split as well as how to incentivize each team-members performance.
Until then,

Good Luck and 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 October 21, 2008 3:49 PM.

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