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Best of Frank Scoblete
Every mistake in the book8 April 2010
Many readers think that gambling writers have never made horrendous mistakes in our gambling lives. They think that we walked into the casino the very first time, played perfectly, and have played perfectly ever since. We are and have always been casino killers. We were born that way. It's in our nature. Our DNA screams out, "Watch it, you casino bosses, the great expert is coming to town!"
I do wish that were true so that I could be above it all when I pontificate on gambling's do's and don'ts. Here, peasants, follow my advice as I have always followed it! But it isn't true. I have made every mistake in the book — indeed, every mistake I write about in my own books. At times I have been the poorest player you have ever seen.
Gambling writers are not perfect. No sir. Sometimes we are ploppies. Just ask the gambling expert I saw about five years ago staggering out of the Venetian having played for 36 straight hours — 36 straight hours! This writer looked like one of George Romero's ghouls from Night of the Living Dead.
One of the reasons I think I and many of my fellow gambling writers give good advice has to do with the fact that we have made most of the mistakes we warn our readers about. This being a confessional-type article, here are some of the ploppy things I have done in my gambling career.
On my first casino visit I played a Martingale at the now defunct Sands casino in Atlantic City. I was playing roulette's red and black. The Martingale is the double up after every loss system. Since I had never read a book on casino gambling at that time I thought I invented the system. Every time you lose just double your bet and you have to win eventually. I bet $5. If I lost I bet $10 and on up it went until eventually I would win.
It worked for two days and then wham! I got my head handed to me. It went like this: $5, $10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640 and I couldn't double any more because that would put me over the maximum bet allowed at the table.
In my two days of winning, each win was actually for just five dollars. So there were indeed about $1,000 worth of wins. I am some genius! I thought to myself. Then I lost $1,275 on the above sequence and lost my Einsteinian view of my gambling prowess with it.
Once I started reading about gambling I discovered that I hadn't discovered the Martingale, but that every novice gambler believes he discovered it before discovering that it had actually been discovered several hundred years ago. People have played and lost with it for centuries.
In my early blackjack career after my first visit as an advantage player to Atlantic City which saw me almost magically quadruple my measly $5,000 bankroll, my second visit saw me lose every single penny — yes, every single penny. I played too long; I bet too much and I drank away like W.C. Fields. I was the ultimate ploppy on that trip. I lost my money and my confidence in my ability to play winning blackjack. Indeed, I committed every single sin in the blackjack player's book during that trip.
I won't leave out the slots either. Again on one of my early visits to Atlantic City I used the "Magic Seven" divining rod to locate machines that were about to pay off. Don't laugh; this was a serious endeavor with a "money-back" guarantee from some guy who used just one intriguing name the way Cher or Madonna does. I wandered around the casinos holding out my divining rod with people looking at me as if I were nuts. I was nuts but I thought the machines I was playing would explode.
I lost $1,000 in one day! I threw the "Magic Seven" divining rod, which was nothing but a cardboard double-crossed-stick, into the waters off Pier One, feeling the purveyor of that rod had double-crossed me. The "Magic Seven" divining rod sank pretty quickly. My dreams of beating the slots almost drowned with the sinking of the "Magic Seven" divining rod.
I like to have a drink now and then, but I have made several visits to casinos where I got somewhat too tips — oh, OK, I got plastered. I then played like the biggest ploppy that ever came from Ploppydom.
At craps I bet all the worst bets in the middle of the table, called Crazy Crapper bets by my gambling mentor, the man known as the Captain. I was seeing horns and betting horns; I bet all the hardways and I was betting the Any Seven or Big Red (the worst bet on the craps table), which color my bankroll became after that craps session.
Once I was so, ah, tipsy, that I tried to tip someone who didn't even work in the casino.
Yes, this gambling writer, and many of my fellow gambling writers, know whereof we speak — having been to those places at the start of our careers.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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