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The Captain Comes Through3 December 2004
My usual advice to my readers about gambling is not to attempt to win big every time you play but to make the best possible bets and see what happens as your session progresses. A win is a win and any win is always better than a loss.
However, I am not immune to the delights of speculating about those big wins, especially at craps where a hot roll can see the money pouring in. So I was doubly delighted when I received a call from the Captain of Craps on January 3rd, 2004, to discuss his New Years stay at Bally's in Atlantic City. Most of my readers know who the Captain is - the legendary Atlantic City craps player who developed the 5-Count and started the "careful shooting" revolution in this country. He was, and still is, my gambling mentor and in my humble opinion he was, and still is, the most intelligent gambler on the face of the earth.
Certainly I am prejudiced, he helped me become what I am today by allowing me to write about his ideas without ever asking to bask in the public limelight or securing a penny from me in compensation. He wasn't interested in fame. He wasn't interested in cashing in on my books. In that sense he is unique. We live in a country where just about everyone wishes to be a celebrity, to don the sunglasses of fame and feel superior to those who just live ordinary lives.
The Captain didn't want any of that. He wanted anonymity. He wanted to just play craps. And that he did, three to four days a week through the mid-1990s. How much has the Captain won in his 30 year-plus career in the casinos? I know but I'm not telling. Suffice it to say that he has won more money at craps than Bill Bennett lost at slots.
Now, a hearty 81 years young, he's in semi-craps-retirement, and only goes to Atlantic City once a week to play his favorite game. When I first started to write about him, many readers and more critics thought I had made him up, that the Captain was a figment of my imagination or some kind of alter ego. In the past year, however, some of the students who have taken the Golden Touch Craps dice-control course have met him and played with him at the tables (where he's had great rolls that merely add to his legend) and one of our instructors, Dominator, actually got to talk to him on the phone during Christmas - what a gift from Santa that was!
On January 3, the Captain called me to give me the rundown of his Atlantic City New Years.
On the phone the Captain said, "I wasn't really going to go. My crew, most of them now, are gone or so ill they really don't make it down to the casinos much anymore. The last New Years I attended I knew no one in the room except Steve [a casino executive] who invited me. Most of the people at the party were big slot players. But the day before New Year's Eve, Steve called me and said that it wouldn't be the same without me. Steve and I go way back to when he was an executive host at The Sands. So I decided to go."
The Captain didn't play on New Year's Eve as the tables were packed. However, he got up early on New Year's Day and went to the tables. "There were four guys at the table. Three were playing and one gentleman was not betting. He was sitting on a stool at the end of the table, a whole stack of $1,000 and $500 chips in his rack and he just seemed to be waiting. One of the other players was shooting and I looked to see if there were any Come bets on the board. If there were that would mean he had rolled a few numbers. There weren't. So I started the 5-Count on him at two. He sevened out two rolls later. The next shooter got the dice and established his point and sevened out.
"The player on the stool still hadn't bet and I was wondering if he was using the 5-Count. It was my turn to roll now. I set the dice and as I did the player on the stool threw down a load of chips and said, 'Nine thousand across.' He was covering every number for $1,500."
In the good old days of Jimmy P., the Arm and the high-rolling Crew, someone betting $9000 across or even on one number would not be an unusual event. "I haven't seen that kind of action in a while. I go down in the weekday afternoons now, not so much on the weekends anymore when the big guns come out to play and rarely at night. So I was kind of taken back to the old days when I saw him bet that much. He looked at me and I looked at him. He smiled. I was wondering if he knew me."
Well, whether he knew this was the Captain or not, the man certainly knew the right time to put his money out. The Captain proceeded to have one of his monster rolls. "I don't really know how long it lasted. I made a bunch of points; hit a lot of numbers. I was just concentrating on shooting and doing my best. I just know that it was a very long roll. When I sevened out the guy shouted over to me. 'Thanks, I just made $100,000!' He cashed in his chips and went to the cage. I played a few more rounds, had two more decent rolls, and then called it a day myself."
I tried to figure out how many rolls the Captain must have had before sevening out, based on how much the player on the stool wagered. At $1,500, his average win would be about $2,000 or so, if the numbers came up based on their probability. Two thirds of the numbers are "point numbers" 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. That means the Captain hit about 50 of the point or box numbers, not including come-out rolls where the man on the stool had his bets off. I estimate that the Captain's hand must have been between 80-100 rolls, depending on how many points he made and how many come-out rolls he had. Such a roll would have lasted well over an hour, probably close to one-hour twenty minutes or one and a half hours.
Now, that certainly is a great way to start a new year and add to a legend.
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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