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Why I gamble3 June 2010
In my youth I used to play with some of the greatest baseball and basketball teams in New York City; the best being Our Lady of Angels 8th grade basketball team that was undefeated in 55 games, both pre-season exhibitions and post-season tournaments. That team defeated Lew Alcindor's (Kareem Abdul Jabbar's) team St. Jude, the second-best team in New York City, in a game written about in many New York papers and seen in a giant sold-out gym.
I played on four different baseball teams every summer — one day playing three games. Some of those teams were undefeated champions too. There was great pride in being one of the best of the best. When I looked at my fellow teammates, often in awe at their skills, I could feel that pride well up in me. When you are a winner, you hold your head up high — really high.
Sad to say, it wasn't all winning laurels all of the time. I did play with some losing teams too. That was not too pleasant. No high-head-holding then. You kind of crawled into the gym or onto the field and often crawled back out after your demolishment.
Those glory days (and not so-glory days) are far behind me now.
However, once you have tasted performance and competition, it is hard to give it up. Your body and your psyche have become used to it. Indeed, you love it. That's why so many boxers stay too long, getting their brains mashed even more; it is why so many older professional athletes continue even as they become embarrassments to themselves and their teams.
And what of me? I went from sports to acting. That was a challenge, staging shows, acting in shows, directing and producing shows. That was a 12-year thrill.
Then I found casino gambling when I was studying for the role of a degenerate gambler for the play The Only Game in Town. I was hooked the minute I analyzed the games and realized this would be a challenge the equivalent of an athletic event.
Within a year I was out of theater and playing and writing about my casino gaming experiences. It's been over 20 years now. And I am not tired of it. I don't see any retirement from casino playing in my future.
Casino gambling is a competitive challenge against a mighty opponent in whose home court all the games are played. The casinos have wisely positioned themselves to have an edge at every game. Of course, sometimes they have not been able to keep that edge in all instances — card counting can beat blackjack; Golden Touch dice control can beat craps. Good poker players can come out ahead and so can video poker players on the right machines. Even certain slot machines at certain times can go into a positive mode that savvy players can exploit. These I will write about in an upcoming slot book.
The casinos are tough; actually they are tougher than tough. They are the Muhammad Ali's, Joe DiMaggios, Babe Ruths, Jabbars, and a host of other greats. But one thing is true — just about every great one has lost at times; some of them have lost many times. So I think if I play my cards, machines and dice just right, I can beat those mighty houses of chance and wrest the victory from the casinos.
And it is tremendous fun trying. When I make my frequent casino trips, my juices are flowing. On the airplane to Vegas I think about my strategy. As I drive to Atlantic City, I plan my victory. I know I am going into a contest that has real rewards (winning money) and real risks (losing money) and the feeling is nothing short of exhilarating. I'm going head-to-head and face-to-face with a magnificent opponent and I intend to beat that opponent.
Since many of my trips are with my close friends from Golden Touch (we call ourselves the Five Horsemen), there is a team feel to the whole thing too. When I look at my teammates, I am once again in awe of their knowledge of the games and how they play them the best ways possible.
Oh, yes, we have wins, some of them rather large ones, and oh, yes, we have losses too, many of those rather large ones as well. But we are in the game. We are competing. We are fighting. We are playing. In a sense, I am back in New York City looking across the court at great teams we had to beat to be the best. I am back on the baseball field watching an All-City pitcher getting ready to throw us smoke and knowing I could hit this guy's best pitch.
It doesn't get better than this.
And that's why I love casino gambling.
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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