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The ups and downs of controlled shooting13 September 2007
The past 12 months have seen me stride the earth as a god of dice control. I had many big hands in my 68 visits to the casinos, the most epic being an 89-hand roll in December 2004 that has been written about by several witnesses. The past 12 months has also seen me go over the 50-roll mark another five times. I even hit a 60 in Tunica just a month before that monster 89.
My big rolls in the past 12 months are 89, 60, 57, 55, 52, and 50.
I had a rough couple of days in Vegas in February 2005 but I came back strong and had some more excellent rolls in the 20s and 30s.
So I went into my 10-day trip to Tunica, a venue where I have had several of my 50+ and my 60-roll hands, figuring I'd make a killing, impress the new students of Golden Touch Craps dice control, and keep my name at the top of the dice control "gods" list.
That's hubris for you.
Hubris is overweening pride. Remember the saying, "Pride goes before the fall"? Well, I fell flat on my face the first six days of my Tunica trip. I was a clown pitching forward from my little car, pie in the face, horn honking, everyone laughing at his misfortune. A truly comical figure.
I was feeling damn good too. My practice throws at home were great. I was regularly going my 15 minutes in practice with no sevens. I thought I could move mountains. I thought I would bend Tunica to my will. I thought I would break my 89 record.
I should not have been doing so much thinking! Or at least I should have thought - you aren't any god, fella, and thinking that way will cost you much more than money.
I felt like wearing a bag over my head when I was at the tables because of the miserableness of my shooting. In fact, it was worse than that. When I got the dice I could see the students at the tables and I knew what they were thinking, "Let's see how good this Scoblete really is."
"Seven-out!" shouts the stickman.
I could see the looks on the students' faces. I could read their thoughts: "This guy can't shoot worth crap!"
"Seven-out!" shouts the stickman again.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - day after day of establishing a point and sevening out on the next roll or the one or two rolls after that. I would give myself two attempts at shooting each session and then I would vacate my spot to a Golden Touch crew member who invariably made me money from his good rolls.
For those six days, however, I was the worst dice shooter on the planet. I was wishing I could put a bag over my head. I wanted to skulk out of the casino and curl up into the fetal position. What the hell was happening to me?
The only (and it's a big ONLY) thing that kept me going was the fact that some of my fellow GTCers were on fire. What I blew on my pitiful rolls came back to me on the rolls of Rock 'n Roller, Dominator, Stickman and some others. Though I was an embarrassment my GTC colleagues were not. While not all instructors burned the tables each and every day, enough did that these were actually six good days - economically speaking. I was feeling miserable even though I was winning money.
Some people don't realize this but controlled dice shooting is about more than money - there's a real ego-wallop in it. Your "self" is on the line a well as your money.
On Thursday afternoon I went to a table that was empty. I bought in for my normal amount. I decided to switch to the Hardways set since I was sevening out with the 3-V. That 3-V set can be unforgiving if you are the least bit off and I was way off.
I had given myself my standard lecture before going down to the casino: "You are good. You've been doing this for almost 20 years. You've had bad streaks before. You'll come back. To hell with whatever anyone thinks about you. Just go down there and do what you have always done. Beat the casino!"
I practiced throwing the dice in my room. The dice looked just fine in the air.
The stick man pushed me the dice. I did something that was uncharacteristic of me. I put up ten dollar 6 and 8 hardway bets -- with the dealers on top for an additional $5.
"Work the hardways," I said. I made my voice sound supremely confident - even though they would work those Hardways anyway. I just wanted to let everyone know that Scoblete was back! (Even though I was the only player at the table.)
Except for the occasional "insane moments" when Rock 'n Roller goes on a hardway marathon, I almost never make such poor bets.
Now I had the dice.
My very first roll was a hard 6! My dice looked just fine in the air. They landed just fine. Could I do another?
My second roll was another hard 6.
A chicken feeder cashed in right where I land the dice. I had to throw around his money. I did. I established my point and then I went into that dreamy reverie that occurs when all things go smoothly. The fact that the chicken feeder had his chip on the Pass Line with his odds right where I wanted to land the dice wasn't the least upsetting. I just landed the dice a fraction of an inch to the chips' left. I rolled for a half hour and made 12 hardways - almost all 6s or 8s.
Marilyn and Charlie, and Stickman came to the table. I had none of the GTC group to witness my great roll so I turned to the dealer and asked him to comment on my roll, "Great roll. You hit a dozen hardways, sir." The dealers were happy because I had them on the hardways too!
The rest of my trip was a successful one at the tables. I wasn't on fire in my subsequent rolls but I was winning on each turn with the dice. I could take the bag off my head.
But I've learned a valuable lesson. I'm done with hubris. I'll just keep working on my throw!
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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