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How good was "the Arm" at dice control?31 October 2012
These two are among the Golden Touch dice controllers that serious craps players wish to emulate, and with good reason. If winning money at craps is your passion, then becoming a proficient dice controller is the only way to go.
But who is/was the best dice controller of all time? Certainly, Dominator and Stickman are right up there, but even these two cannot pass the best of the best, a woman known as "the Arm,” who played in Atlantic City for over 20 years from 1980 to just after 2001, when crippling arthritis ended her career. She was a member of the legendary Captain’s crew of craps players (see my book "Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!"), and she was the ultimate expression of skill overcoming the built-in house edge of casino craps.
While the Captain had the model of the best type of dice grip and throw, the one most easily learned by committed dice controllers, the Arm could not be surpassed in her talent. I have never seen anyone shoot with her precision and consistency, although her throw was truly eccentric. If most dice controllers (using baseball terms) are 300 hitters, the Arm was the Ted Williams of controlling those cubes; perhaps even greater than the Splendid Splinter. She may have been a 500 hitter!
Her throw was unique. She cupped her hand over the dice; made several small circles, then released them in one smooth movement. The dice floated through the air, maybe six to eight inches above the layout. They would descend as would a glider and skid perhaps four or five inches to the back wall where they just lay there. They rarely bounced either going to the back wall or coming back from that wall. In fact, when she threw the dice, everything seemed to progress in slow motion.
Her adventures with the Captain and the Captain’s first mate, Jimmy P., are the stuff of legend – although I was there for many of those events and they were as real as those of you reading this column, they still seem incredible, unbelievable and wonderful as I look back at them.
One New Years Eve, the Captain and his crew were getting hammered at the Claridge in Atlantic City. Finally, Jimmy P. shouted, “We need the Arm! Captain, wake her up and get her down here.”
The Captain did so and as the Arm left the elevator and walked slowly to the craps table, the crowd of gamblers separated as if she were Moses splitting the Red Sea. And did she drown the casino’s army, as the waves had drowned the Pharaoh’s armies? She certainly did. Point after point, number after number; there was no stopping her. In a few turns with the dice she had brought the Captain and his crew all the way back from disaster into the arms of massive victory.
Interestingly enough, the Arm did not actually bet. The Captain would put up a pass line bet for her and take the odds when a point was established, and she would roll. But as she hit number after number, the Captain’s crew made bets for her – high bets. Black chips were the smallest denomination. In those days, it was not unusual for other players to tip good shooters. Today, you won’t find that practice much.
There was a six-month period where the Captain, Jimmy P. and the remarkable Arm destroyed Tropworld (now Tropicana) in Atlantic City. They won so much money that the casino executives took all their comps away (these were in the tens of thousands) and circulated their pictures to the other casinos. A casino executive showed me the pictures. They were not flattering as they were from a weird angle but there they were – casino killers!
Strangely, Tropworld never considered the fact that the other members of the Captain’s crew – another 19 members – were high rollers who were far from dice controllers and over the months lost even more money than the Captain, Jimmy P. and the Arm won. Such is short-sightedness. Three massive winners but 19 even more massive losers.
The Captain then moved to another casino … and the years passed. In that time I wrote many articles and books about the Captain’s methods of dice control and betting, helped start the Golden Touch dice control classes, and recounted the wonderful experiences of the Arm in all her glory.
I wish I could say that the Arm’s throw can be duplicated. It can’t. I have tried for several years to get it. I have failed. Other members of the Golden Touch crew have tried. They have failed. Keep in mind that the shot was entirely legal. It went into the air but it just didn’t react as a normal toss would react when the dice hit the layout. If there is such a thing as telekinesis, maybe the Arm had some of that too because those dice were more controlled than any I have ever seen since.
Those three casino killers, the Captain, the Arm and Jimmy P. have passed away. Their gift to dice controllers is the knowledge that the seemingly impossible can be done. The casino game of craps is not unassailable – it can be beaten.
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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