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She has the golden touch: Pat DeMauro sets all-time record dice roll at Borgata4 February 2010
The odds of getting a royal flush in Texas Hold'em poker are 649,738 to 1. The odds of being struck by lightning in a single year are 700,000 to 1. The odds of dying in a plane crash are 11 million to 1. The average state lottery player faces odds of 35 to 50 million to 1. The Megabucks slot machine jackpot comes in at about 50 million to 1. The Mega Millions lottery has about 150 million-to-one odds. And the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 195,249,053 to one.
So when Pat DeMauro stepped to the craps table at Borgata Casino in Atlantic City on May 23, she had no idea that she would do the gambling equivalent of walking on water — and this in only her second turn with the dice in her life.
After four hours and 18 minutes of rolling those bones, Pat DeMauro hit 154 numbers before sevening out. Now hold your breath because her accomplishment, according to mathematics professor Stewart Ethier editor of Optimal Play: Mathematical Studies of Games and Gambling, was one in 5.59 billion. Make sure you spell that one in 5.59 B-I-L-L-I-O-N.
Pat beat the two all-time craps records of the last 70 years (records that we know about anyway) — Stanley Fujitake's formerly longest roll of three hours six minutes (118 numbers) in 1989 and the Captain's roll of 147 numbers in 2005. Think of the billions of craps rolls during that 70-year period and what Pat DeMauro accomplished boggles the mind and the math.
And it came out of nowhere, like a barrel full of lightning strikes.
On that night, Pat DeMauro and her good friend John Capra decided to give craps a whirl with their last $100. "We figured we were staying for a few days and we didn't want to lose too much, it had been a tough night for both of us. So we figured we'd team up and play one hundred dollars and if we lost it we would get something to eat and then go to bed."
According to John, "Pat had been playing slots and I had been playing Three-Card Poker. I was down about seven-hundred dollars and I didn't want to take a beating in one night, so I told Pat to come to the craps table with me and roll and win us some money. She had rolled once before, several months before this. I was looking for Lady Luck."
And he found Lady Luck at a $10 craps table and luck's name was Pat.
"We each put down pass line bets of twenty dollars," said Pat, "while the man to the right of the stickman took the dice. There were just four people at the table. He established his point and sevened out right away. We were down forty dollars."
"We didn't take odds," said John. "Because we wanted a couple of turns with the dice."
The dice were passed to John. He passed the dice over to Pat. "You shoot," he said. "If we lose now, we call it a night."
Pat took the dice and established her point. "I was feeling awkward," she said. "I was uncomfortable. John just told me to relax, throw the dice down the middle of the table and hit the back wall and not to think of anything else. He'd handle all the betting from this point on."
"I put all of our money on the table now," stated John. "This was it. If she could hit the point we were in the game. If not, we were done for the night."
In a couple of rolls Pat did hit her point. And that started the greatest roll of all time. Pat soon recognized a change in her feelings as well: "After about twelve rolls I started to feel a kind of momentum. I was getting in a zone. I wasn't nervous at all. I just threw the dice down the middle of the table and hit the back wall."
"Pat started to rub her hands before each throw," added John.
"I just kind of got into that habit and I just kept doing it," laughed Pat. "That became a part of my form. Rub my hands; throw the dice. Rub my hands; throw the dice. I didn't deviate from that."
Within forty-five minutes, the table was jammed with players. John explained, "The table had at least eighteen people on it; they were pressed in sideways. People were even pushing me to get onto the table. Some of the other players yelled not to disrupt the shooter as players tried to force their way next to her. Not disturbing the shooter is a tradition in craps. Everyone knew a good roll was happening with all the cheering and many, many players wanted to get in on it."
"Within an hour and a half, a huge crowd started to gather behind the players at the table," said Pat. "I just didn't bother looking at the people behind the players. I would have become distracted. By this time I was in like a dream world."
Most of the players at the table were small bettors, buying in for between $100 and $200. There were several green-chip players but no high rollers. Across from Pat at the other end of the table were three young Asian women just learning the game. "That slowed things down somewhat," said John.
But no epic roll goes swimmingly at every moment in time. One new dealer found it difficult to make the payouts. "He would screw up," said John. "He'd pay the wrong players and then we'd have to have that straightened out. That took a lot of time."
By the two-hour mark, the layout was totally covered with bets. John explained how the game started to grind down almost to a halt. "With each number she rolled, players increased their bets and more money was thrown into the middle for the proposition bets too. It was really slow by now. But it didn't affect Pat at all. At one point I yelled out, 'Come on Patsy!' And everyone at the table picked up the chant."
"I remember hearing the 'Come on Patsy!' chant with each roll," said Pat. "It was like being at a ball game. People playing in the other pits were standing up to see what was happening."
One energetic guy in a Yankee hat and T-shirt became the self-designated announcer of the table. He'd shout out the numbers and do commentary. John said, "Even when Pat's dice hit someone's hand or bounced off the table, she never sevened-out even though superstitious players at the table called off their bets. As the Yankee guy saw that nothing could stop her from hitting numbers, he yelled, 'You are bulletproof!' And her roll continued. It's funny. I am a Red Sox fan and he is a Yankee fan but I told him, 'We are on the same team tonight!' He laughed and agreed."
By the three-hour mark, some of the bigger bettors were wagering black and even purple chips. The game slowed even more because many of the players were now throwing out Hop bets [these are one-roll bets where the player tells the dealer what number he wants or what dice faces these number will come up as] and all of the 18 players were pressing their bets and betting on almost every number.
"What is really weird," said John. "Pat maybe hit four or five points during the whole roll. She rolled maybe two or three sevens during her come-out rolls. She just rolled the other numbers over and over again. The dealers were making some money too. Many of the players were tipping them."
In addition to that, another weird betting pattern existed. "No one," said John, "and I mean no one made come bets. From the very beginning everyone was a place bettor. I've never seen that before and I have been playing craps for forty years."
Of course, the Borgata executives streamed down in force to observe the game. "They were all friendly," said Pat, "except for one guy who was very stern. He took the dice and examined them. I don't think he ever smiled."
After the four-hour mark, one executive was heard to exclaim, "This must be some kind of record." Suits were on the phones and scurrying in the pit by this time.
And then, as always happens in the game of craps, the dreaded seven was rolled. "I couldn't see the number, the table was so long," stated Pat, "but I heard the stickman shout out, 'Seven out! Take the line, pay the don'ts.' Everything went dead for about five seconds. No sound. Just silence, like the end of the world. Then the table exploded into applause."
"It was like a standing ovation at a Broadway show," said John. "It seemed to go on forever."
Since John had been doing all the betting, except for Pat's pass line bet, Pat stepped back from the table to take a breath and then the casino executives, their public relations vanguard, the videographers and several security guards surrounded her. "They had Dom Perignon champagne for me. Then they whisked me away to the high roller pit. I got to tell you I was exhausted and confused with all the attention. They handed me a paper to sign, which I did."
The Borgata executives knew a good thing when they saw it. After Pat signed the paper, Borgata's publicity machine went into high gear telling the media world of her monumental achievement. I received calls from The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and the Newark Star-Ledger asking me to comment on Pat's amazing night. My first word was always "historical," then "the greatest roll in craps history."
John summed up his thoughts: "Pat's roll made several high rollers about thirty thousand dollars each. There were several other players who made in the teens. According to a Borgata executive, the casino lost about one-hundred-eighty-five thousand dollars. He told me that if there had been some really high rollers at the table, Borgata would have dropped between two and three million dollars. But it wasn't that kind of table. It was mostly small bettors and some brand new players who had to be helped along. Still, it was fun."
So what does Pat DeMauro attribute her world record roll to? "I had positive energy. I was relaxed. And I was lucky."
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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