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The Koko factor: Part two13 December 2007
As my last article explained, Koko is a female, lowland gorilla who supposedly has a "human" IQ of between 85 and 95, which would make her a "dull normal" human and far more intelligent than the kid who lives across the street from me. Koko was raised by humans and taught American Sign Language, so she can actually communicate. Her active vocabulary is about 500 words, and she never says things like, "Well, like, you know, like I said, like, I wasn't, like, going to do that, like why should I or that's Phat!"
For a gorilla, Koko seems pretty savvy.
However, in a position of authority, Koko just couldn't hack it because, while she may be smart in gorilla terms, she's no world-beater in human terms. You don't want someone with an 85 IQ flying planes, doing brain surgery or making decisions in the casinos - especially a gorilla. I don't want to be comped to a banana.
Last issue I explained what I thought were the decisions made by casino-side Kokos, such as 6/5 single-deck blackjack, creating a "Forbidden Zone" where a dice shooter's arm can't extend into, or forcing players to bet twice as much as the table minimum in order to play two hands at blackjack. I am sure this made me a lot of friends in the executive suites of the various casino properties that have incorporated the Koko-nut decisions I wrote about into their games.
But to be fair, there are plenty of Koko players in the casinos and they are far more visible as they swing from machine to machine, game to game, causing havoc to their bankrolls and anyone who happens to make a decision at blackjack that is actually correct!
So this article is dedicated to that breed of gorilla who makes gaming unpleasant not only for himself but for thee, me, and dealers as well. Every quote coming up I have heard with my own ears, every event I've seen with my own eyes.
At blackjack, the Koko is convinced he knows what's best for the table and does not hesitate to give you advice. "Never hit a 12 against a dealer's two or three," he scolds as you look at your hand of 12 and see the dealer's 2 staring you in the face. In his own game, he has such peculiar moves as splitting tens, not splitting aces or eights against a dealer's 9, 10 or ace. And when you attempt to so split against said hands, he'll gently chide you with, "What're ya stoop-pid?"
The Koko is convinced that the dealer has a 10-valued card under every upcard, even though the 10-valued cards make up a mere 31 percent of the shoe! If you make a move he doesn't like, and you happen to lose, God help you; he'll jump on it. "See, see, what'd I tell ya?" Should a 10-valued card actually be under the upcard, you won't hear the end of it: "The dealer always has a ten in the hole!"
At craps the Koko continually presses his bets, before he ever takes down a win, because he's always looking for the monster roll, the hot hand which comes about once week or so when random rollers shoot, and he always wants to make a killing, not just a profit. And when he loses his thrice-pressed bets to a seven-out, he moans and complains about all the rotten shooters. "Can't anyone shoot the dice. Of course, when he shoots, it's a different story; he tries to pretend he doesn't care whether he wins or loses. He just flings the dice indifferently towards the other end of the table. It's almost as if he wishes to seven-out so he can go back to bitching and moaning about everyone else.
The Koko at roulette will cover every number; every single number, figuring he has to win on each and every spin. He doesn't realize that the house only pays 35 units on a win but he loses 37 units at the same time.
The Koko at a slot machine is a marvel to behold as he yells and hits the machine. "This damn thing is cold, ice cold," he complains as he puts in another one hundred dollar bill into the bill changer. If asked why he doesn't just abandon the machine and look for greener pastures elsewhere, he states confidently: "Because this machine is due to hit!"
The Koko has an annoying habit at the machines. If someone else is winning, he goes over to that person and hovers around them, hoping they will leave the machine and that he'll be able to take it over. "That's how I get on hot machines," he says confidentially, pulling out his ATM card to take yet another advance.
The Koko blames everyone and everything for his losses, but himself and his poor strategies. At blackjack, the third baseman caused him to lose because of the way the third baseman played his cards. At craps, the shooters stinks. At roulette, the wheel is "off." At slots the machines are jinxed!
The Koko's most irritating trait is the fact that he thinks everyone gives two flying cents about his luck! He thinks he is the center of the gambling universe. Everyone should applaud his good luck; his bad luck should bring on the sympathy from everyone. Unlike Job, he enjoys the attention even horrendous luck brings him because that places him where he wants to be - in your face.
When he asks for a comp that is outrageously above his betting levels and playing time, he rails when the pit boss offers him the buffet instead. "I should get the steak house, at the very least!" he'll scream, when what he really deserves is "a trough of baked beans garnished with a couple of dead dogs." (I got that line from the great Brit-com Fawlty Towers!)
The Koko makes casino gambling an unpleasant experience for the rest of us because his fate and face are always intruding on our space. He isn't just interested in what he's doing; he wants to make sure you are doing that too.
The Koko knows everything there is to know about gambling, politics, religion, philosophy, medicine, computers, love, and relationships. He can read the future, "I knew that was gonna happen!" And he knows the past, "This always happens!"
So what is the typical human player to do when confronted with a Koko at the tables; or when sitting next to a Koko at the machines? Get up and swing over to someplace where he isn't.
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 email@example.com.
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