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 Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter  

Volume IV : Issue VII

April 2005

Welcome to another edition of the Precision Shooter Newsletter!  This months newsletter is a bit briefer than most because, frankly, I'm busy gearing up for Crapsfest.  Please note that we have a NEW contributor this month, Jeffrey47, who is a message board regular.  Thanks for your continued support of dicesetter.com.

Ooops!  PS.  Because of a security issue, apparently some subscribers did not receive last months newsletter.   If you didn't get it, just visit the archives at the bottom of the page!  

In this edition:
Mindful Living, Mindful Shooting
Last Call for Crapsfest!
Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part VII

 

Mindful Living, Mindful Shooting - Part I of a series
By Jeffrey47


As the title suggests, this series of articles is not about precision shooters
' physical skills, betting approaches, shooter-effectiveness percentages, or knowledge of the game.  At least not directly. 

I hope to provide something further to consider about the mental side of our practice.  As we all know, precision shooting depends on it.

We will discuss how mindfulness in our daily lives might bear on the quality of our precision-shooting practice and play.


That
's not crap between my ears . . . is it?
[1]

Many skilled players psyche themselves out of winning

because of all the stuff that they keep in their head.

-- Mad Professor

 

We live in a multi-tasking world.  The mindset we occupy when thinking about one thing while doing another is probably the dominant mindset of our lives, even our culture. 

Certainly, it's a mindset through which a lot of what we do is constantly filtered.

For example, we may read the newspaper with the TV on, while we eat our breakfast. The phone rings and while we're on the line there's another call to take.  We navigate multiple windows on our computers.  We drive the freeways listening to books on tape. 

The list of activities we never fully engage in is endless.

In its proper context, there's nothing wrong with this multiple-doings mindset.  Our brains are certainly capable of it, and our ability, perhaps a need, to absorb layers of information from which to synthesize something new is a fundamental aspect of creative, artistic, intellectual, and even entrepreneurial pursuit.

Unfortunately, this dominant mindset of ours can be an impediment to shooting with the precision we strive for.

Mindfulness?  What is that?

When I speak of mindfulness I'm not talking about the experience people refer to as "being in the zone."  Mindfulness is certainly related to the zone, but there are distinct qualities unique to each. 

I view mindfulness as kind of a precursor to the zone.  I will be talking more about the relationship between mindfulness and the zone in upcoming articles.  Suffice to say for now, if  you don't attain at least an inkling of mindful awareness, you’re not as likely to be getting in the zone. 

Insight into the mindset of successful dicesetters is provided in articles and message-board posts right here on Irishsetter's site, of course.  Articles by Mad Professor contain some of the most illuminating discussions of these matters anywhere to be found.   See, for example, How to Get It and How to Keep It , and How to Get There From Here, Part VII .

MP refers to an "every-roll mind set" derived from a combination of "absolute concentration... raw intensity... and single-minded focus.”   Our attention needs to be on the dice and on having each one next fresh toss end on the same axis and primary faces they are set on. 

Consistency, MP reminds us, requires a "Quiet Mind," with no distracting thoughts, yet a full consciousness, but not a hyper-awareness, of  what is happening around you.  Success depends on living in the moment, and shooting and betting in the present tense.

MP even provides a bullet-point road map for maintaining an every-roll mindset as a dice hand progresses, highlighting the many functional benefits to be derived.

MP explains further that invoking this same every-roll mindset when practicing, conditions us to be able to do it more automatically in the casino.  Over time, it should feel be comfortable and totally natural.  You should be able to slip into it as easily as an old pair of slippers.  See, Current Practice...Future Profitability, Part IV .

Mad Professor makes it sound so alluringly simple; while reminding us in no uncertain terms just how difficult it really is.  Revisit those materials often, because the truths of which MP speaks will reveal themselves more fully over time.

There are still remaining questions, however.

      If the whole thing is so simple, why does it require such extreme dedication to achieve? 

      And if it's so obvious, why is it so easily overlooked when we play?  

      Why is there anything so seemingly mystifying associated with advantage play at craps anyway? 

    Why is there a mystery connected with getting whatever it is we're supposed to get?

    Hey, it's beginning to sound a bit like one of those things:   When you know, you'll know.

And to one extent or another, for each of us, it is one of those things. 

If the "every-roll" mind can feel like a perfect old pair of slippers, maybe our everyday mind is more like a starched white shirt and tie . . . or a strait-jacket.

If entering and maintaining a mindset different from the one we're accustomed to is the task, is it any wonder that it seems a mystery, as if we're outside looking in, even though everything's being explained so perfectly and in such excruciating detail? 

And is it surprising that this mystery can seem to crop up to block our path to the very skills upon which the promise of further progress depends?

Having a road map is useful in any journey.  But it can be easy to mistake the map for the road, or to misinterpret the scale and compass showing the distance and direction we are required to travel. 

From a new and different vantage point of increasing levels of mindfulness in our everyday existence we might better read the map's encoded directions; and penetrate the seeming mystery that stubbornly insulates us from further elevating our precision-shooting skills.   

Put another way, as we more diligently exercise simple mindfulness in our daily lives, we may be better able to achieve similar mindfulness when it's time to shoot the dice. 

In future articles, I'm going to explain what everyday mindfulness is to me, in practical terms, and more about why I believe it can be an important component for improving our dice skills. 

Let's see if working to raise our consciousness away from the rig may help to get it done at the rig and then at the tables. 

[1]  See Heavy’s discussion, “The Crap Between Your Ears

 

Last Call For Crapsfest!

That's right!  We're just a few short weeks from Crapsfest 2005.  Register now! Prices increase May 1st!

Join Heavy, Soft Touch, Dice Coach, Michael "The Professor" Vernon and friends May 20 - 22, 2005 in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada for three days of seminars, one-on-one coaching, and live casino sessions. It is THE craps event of 2005.

Here's what attendees had to say about Crapsfest 2004: 

"The best time ever! I WILL be back." 

"I'm signing my kids up for the next one - they lose too much money in Vegas." 

"The Friday session was GREAT! I only wish I could have stayed over for the rest of the weekend." 

"My hats off to ya’ll for putting on, yet again, a great event." 

"It's a long drive from Tennessee, but I'd go again next week." 

"Thanks to some fine shooting by Irish, Heavy, Dice Coach and a few others, I walked away with one of my largest wins yet. Whoohoo." 

"Was Crapsfest 2004, really worth it? You bet your sweet bippy, it was." 

"Meeting you guys was priceless." 

"Watch out! This dice thing WORKS! 



Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part VII

by the Mad Professor

Here’s The Fishing-Pole, Here’s the Bait…There’s the Lake

A short while back, Irishsetter started a thread on his Message Board that asked, “If there was one single piece of advice you would give to a new aspiring dicesetter, or if you had to go through the learning process all over again, what is the one thing you would change?”

I didn’t post a reply to that thread because most of the great answers that other players supplied pretty much covered any thoughts or advice that came to my mind.

However upon reflection, there is one major thing that I would definitely change about my game if I was first starting out again and it is also something that I would suggest to most new open-minded players…and that is to learn to also shoot from the Darkside as soon as possible. 

To my mind, IT IS FAR EASIER to become proficient (and profitable) MUCH SOONER as a Darkside-shooter than it is to get it right and steadily profitable as a Rightsider.

       The less frustrating the learning-curve is, and the sooner you reach tangible profitability; the less likely you are to go off on all kinds of non-productive mismatched-to-talent wagering tangents and the less likely you are to waste your time and money chasing down the Holy-Grail of random-betting.

       To my mind, it’s often easier for an open-minded player to prove to himself the immediate money-earning efficacy of throwing more of the already-dominant 7’s than it is to convert his at-the-frustrating-cusp-of-dice-influencing-success Rightside-shooting into in-yer-pocket profit.

In other words, Darkside-shooting frequently offers a far more compelling “Here’s the fishing pole…here’s the bait…there’s the lake” sort of sustainable-earnings option for beginners and open-minded veterans alike.

Seneca Allegany Casino

Welcome to the southern-tier of Western New York. 

Seneca-Allegany Casino in the city of Salamanca is equidistant from Buffalo, NY (to the north) and Erie, PA (to the west). 

The Seneca Nation of Indians operate this gaming-house as well as its sister casino in Niagara Falls, NY.  (see Shooting From The Don’t’s – Part 6 for a complete profile on Seneca’s Niagara casino).  The Seneca’s are also the only sovereign nation to host a U.S. city within their tribal boundaries.

Although this casino isn’t nearly as big as the other nearby casinos to the north and east, it does offer some equally outstanding playing conditions.

My first Allegany session for this trip was at a fairly busy table with a dozen or so other players.

Either the table had been fairly cold for all the right-side bettors who were there…or they had all recently bought in for what looked like an average of $17 each.  Judging by the looks on their faces, I’d opt to guess that their original buy-ins were much larger, but the relentless erosion of the back-and-forth win-some/lose-some tide had diminished their collective bankrolls to the miniscule amounts that were now in their racks.

Two out of the three dealers recognized me and asked where I’d been lately.  I gave my standard “too much work…not enough play” reply which is usually good enough to shield the fact that I do this for a living.  When the stick-guy noticed that I was shooting from the Don’t, he asked if I had changed my game plan since the last time I was there.  I answered with my other standard, “I got tired of losing on the rightside, so I thought I’d try it from the wrong-side” reply.  Again and as always, I want to maintain the appearance of being a “gambler” and not that of an advantage-player.

The table was excellent to shoot on.  The dice were landing with a confident on-axis thunk and rebounding off the backwall by no more than three or four inches.  Although both die didn’t always end up side-by-side, they stayed in relative five to six-inch proximity to each other.  It wasn’t what I would call “picture perfect”, but the outcomes were within the realm of expectation and my intentional DP 7-Out’s showed up pretty much as often as I needed them to.

On the other hand, my Come-Out strategy of aggressive World-betting was not providing anything more lucrative than a barely break-even proposition.  That is, I was rolling many more C-O 7-losers than I was in producing the higher-paying W-B 2, 3, 11 or 12-winners.  The long delay between shooting opportunities may have contributed to those slow-to-start results.

The dice were moving around the table fairly slowly even though the conditions were choppy as hell.  By the end of my third hand, I was ready for a break.  I counted my winnings, and although they were pretty hefty thanks to some wind-falls from my heavily-laid DP-Odds (and no-thanks to my Come-Out Game Within A Game strategy); the nearly two-and-a-half hours that it took earn it didn’t seem at that particular moment to justify such a big time-investment.  That is, when I divided my winnings into the time that it took to earn it, I didn’t get any giddy delusions that my hourly earnings-rate was on par with O.J.’s lawyers or Michael Jackson’s therapist.

When I start to think that way about any positive cash-flow, it’s definitely time for a break.

I grabbed a coffee at Seneca’s Java Cafe and sat down to update my Table Intel notes for this casino.  I use these notes to reproduce replicable session-after-session positive results on all sorts of tables that I haven’t played on in a while.  The less research, experimenting and fine-tuning that I have to do to re-acclimate myself to each table, the sooner I can reach sustainable profitability no matter how long it’s been since I last played on it.  If you are interested in what a typical set of my detailed notes look like, you could have a peak at Shooting Bible-Part One for an illustrative example.  

Although my profit results from Session One were substantively positive, I noted that there was significant room for improvement on that table as far as getting the dice to do exactly what I wanted them to do.  I also noted that one of the positive offshoots of using the Straight-Sixes (S-6) set for my Come-Out efforts was the fact that although my C-O World-bet profit was lagging far behind it’s normal production-rate, it was producing an extraordinary number of easier-to-beat PL-Points of 4 and 10.

click here for the rest of the article!

If you have any comments or ideas for future issues, feel free to email me at ed@dicesetter.com

And as always, we are looking for contributors with a fresh perspective.

If you know someone who would be interested in receiving future editions of Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter, tell them to send a blank message to dicesetter@aweber.com

Good Luck!

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