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New Setter's First Outing

Well here's my report from the Shreveport trip (It's long... but I decided I would put it in writing as much for me as to tell you what happened):

We fought a headwind flying down and made it by 2:30 yesterday. Grabbed a cab to Harrah's and checked in, settled into our room and even got the drawer out and warmed up shooting.

We then went to the buffet at 3:30 (BIG...BIG mistake) it was halfway between lunch and dinner and we had not yet ate and I certainly didn't want to play on an empty stomach. The selection wasn't so good due to the time we were there and the fish was tough and almost cold (More on the fish in a minute). Finished up eating and I went and surveyed the action and my wife went to the blackjack tables.

2 $10 tables and 2 $15 tables. I slid into the the only opening at stick right on a $15 table, bought in for $600 and the dice came to me faster than I expected. I was still organizing my money and everyone was looking at me, I used to just pick 'em up and chunk 'em but now I knew what to do. Except the tables were a lot longer than I remembered and the surface was like someone painted the layout on. I also noted that the position where you receive the dice isn't level (beveled all the way around). I began getting the feeling that I had when I was in speech class and had to stand up and give a long speech. My stomach was churning a little, and I got a very slight tension headache.

As I reached down to pick up the dice and set the crossed hard ten set, I could feel adrenaline in my hands (no more practice... this is for real and money ... mine and others... were on the line).

I set it up, and proceeded to throw 2 winner 7's, 1-3 craps, and a yo.

I then got a point of nine and 7 out.

Holy Cow! My practice throwing had been based on a much shorter distance and I was standing next to the stick gal. My betting started off all wrong too. I put 60 on the six and eight with the intent to do a single hit and regress to 18. So much for that... there went $150.00 Bam... right off... I did a couple of five and nine bets using the 5 count and a few paid and most were a break-even wash. I then spied an opening on the Southwest $10 table and jumped in on the stick right hook. Stomach really contorting.

I noticed this time though that the casino was a lot louder that I remembered and it was all I could do on the first couple of rolls to stay focused between it all. As I continued shooting, the crossed hard ten was VERY good for the come out roll. 7's and 11's in abundance. As I got more comfortable, my during the point rolls began to increase using the crossed hard six set from that initial point/7out to 4... 5..... 6.... 3..... 9.....5..... still no where near as good as in practice. I quickly figured out that I needed a lot more force to get the dice to my aiming point and the hook seemed to allow me to put the force on and the inertia to dissipate appropriately prior to touchdown on my aiming point.

About 45 minutes into play, my wife showed up and her face looked like my stomach felt. Yep... food poisoning. Just like in the movie "Airplane"... where the pilot ate the fish...lol I was down about $230.00 and knocking on the door of my $300 loss limit for the session, so I decided it was definitely time to stop, go up to the room, relax, re-focus, and swing through later. Moral of that story: Don't play if you feel like the name of the game!

So up we went to the room, I re-assessed what I was doing and after taking some Ibuprofen and feeling much more relaxed went back down, with a determination to be much more conservative in my betting until a real "Opportunity" showed. And that certainly included me. I noticed one thing though... every time I'd place 6/8... and immediate 7 out! I mean every stinkin' time, save once, all night... so I quit doing it... and the 7's stopped.

Now I'm a rational guy, I like to think at least, the FAA has granted me the authority to hurl myself and passengers through the air at high speeds, yet it seemed me and the 6/8 weren't getting along. So I went 5/9 and was getting ahead... crazy I know... but hey... whatever right?

Anyway, I slid over to a $15 table and began rolling consistently... 4 out of 5 comeout 7/11's then a point... then 8-10 rolls... lots of field numbers (not when I'd place it of course) I'd make two points and out... and a shooter from Australia appeared next to me and was HOT. This guy was a shooter... he'd set 'em (vertically) and was extremely consistent, hardways & 4/10's were his forte' and I rode the wave baby! Won back my losses and $300 to boot!

Did I lock the profit in? As Harrah's slogan goes: OH YEAH!

Then he goes to dinner and the table goes from hot to warm... I walked with $250 profit. I now know what those folks felt like when the wanted to follow the mad professor from casino to casino... HAHA

I then walked next door to Hollywood. Man that joint is loud! And was massively crowded at the tables. I got a players card and bought in for $300.00 with a loss limit of $200.00. Standing and waiting to get in I knew the shooter was hot... he'd just rolled 8 ...EIGHT place numbers... so I got in for $30 each on the 6/8 and $10 each on the 5/9 with immediate regression on any hit...

They regressed alright... into the pit. Seven out.

Hit on a couple of shooters and even with the 5 count (that was about all they would shoot), boom out. My turn to shoot came and I rolled 5 7's and 3 11's. The critters came over and started watching really close. Made point and boom... another 7. I looked in my rack and noticed I had $105.00 Time to go. I asked Jennifer for a comp to the Pepper Rose and she hooked us up for breakfast... it was really good!

Went back to Harrah's and surveyed the tables... Oh there's the aussie dude. The table was packed... not one opening. Finally, a spot opened up, just as he was getting ready to shoot... I bought in for $300.00.... loss limit of $100.00.

2 craps and 2 7's on his come out... point set at 4.... I bought the 10 and the hardways for a nickel. He rolls a hard 4 and I collected and went up to $25 on the hardways.... BIG mistake with a low bankroll.... the devil showed.

My wife walked up and it didn't take much to get me off the table... I was down to $150.00. We went over to the blackjack table and I made $115 dollars there thanks to double downs and splitting aces into multiple 21's. You know what I thought... Hey... more craps bankroll!

Back to the table but it went extremely fickle. Pulled out and went up to the room with $200.00. How embarrassing. Here I "thought" I was going to manage my money, play smart, shoot decent and come out ahead... I was pathetic.

This morning I got up at 9am and looked at my bankrolls I originally set aside (300ea. for 2 sessions) I added 100 to each from the money left over and hit the $10 table (they had a fiver... but you couldn't a swizzle stick in between the elbows of the players). My wife, who takes forever to get ready agreed to pack up while I went down and tried to find myself (and our lost bankroll) LOL. BTW... I know now, more than ever after last night, the worst thing you can do is chase losses. It never never works.... and scared money really doesn't win... I was nervous last nite using precision shooting for the first time in a real venue. At least I realized it and just started betting flat pass line with odds. And that's what I determined to do initially today... don't even think about the place bets when I'm shooting until I get in the "ZONE".

I set up on the stick right hook of a table that had just opened (Northwest table) and it was me and a chicken feeder. I got to shoot a LOT. he'd point and seven out (I never bet on him). I'd lay PL min. and double odds at first. My come outs were decent, averaged 3 7/11's and 1 or 2 craps. And I found the zone in short order (aiming for the pass/don't pass area 6 inches from the big 6/8 was my sweet spot. I was in it... rolling place numbers and points. I'd hit a point after 8 or 9 rolls and then bring 7/11's on comeout and another point and make it after some very good rolls. Bankroll was getting better. But I realized I wasn't on the place numbers... 6/8's were my friend today. I latched onto a random rhythm roller that was producing quite well and was adding pressure when his stinkin' cell phone rang and he went seven out. Table started to chill. There was one lady that would consistently point/seven out. I talked to the guy next to me and he noticed it too. I jumped on the don't with odds and won. Next time it came around I did it and she threw a seven on the come out... back on the don't and she set a point of 4... Oh yeah I thought... had 25 on the don't with 52 odds.... she rolled the friggin' four. So then I layed the 4 for a 26....... next roll was a 4.

GEEZ LOUISE. I was on the backside of the power curve. Table got choppy... I had pocketed $75.00 from my bankroll during the good rolls and looked down and I had $26 in my rack.

I thought well... I'll at least see if I can get a comp for my trouble... Katherine hooked us up with one for Aroma's... boy they make a heck of a chocolate-irish cream latte' coffee! 3 seconds after the first sip, you can feel the caffeine coursing through your veins! I called and got a weather briefing from the FAA Flight Service Station and the weather was requiring us to return sooner in the day that I wanted... but it was for the best.

As we sat and drank our coffee and ate our massively rich pastries, I realized that the trip was a loss in terms of cash (oh I came back with about $300.00 of the $1200.00 I set aside), but I learned so much about myself, the game, and things I had never noticed before I read the articles Irishsetter, you, and Mad Professor have put together. I also reflected on a few other things...

Back in late October when I was there at Harrah's as a chicken feeder... I was lucky... VERY LUCKY... riding the obvious wave of a couple of REAL precision shooters... turning 40.00 into 4,000.00 is a hard act to follow and made me set win goals that were way to high.

My practice table outings were good... I've religiously read MP's articles and gleaned as much as possible from what he does. A couple of nights ago I was consistently shooting 14-20 rolls before a seven during point play and earlier in the week had a 56 roll hand ( IN PRACTICE ). In real life... the table is totally different than the concrete like felt I found at Harrah's.

This was my first real experience "In Casino" with setting and attempting precision shooting. Like MP says... control the dice and YOUR NERVES. I felt so much more relaxed on the 2nd day of shooting and it showed in my roll numbers increasing.

My money management skills and discipline need considerable work. Reading all the articles in the comfort of your home behind a computer is easy. The hard part is putting it into action. I held tight to my loss limit throughout last night though and added it to the next session bankroll. Today however, I broke the rule... because I wanted the "experience" of shooting and trying out methods I hadn't used before (laying place numbers, betting the darkside, etc.). In addition, I went into this trip expecting a loss due to the fact that I wanted REAL experience setting and shooting in the casino environment(still doesn't make it any easier when losses happen).

Mad Professor... I SO understand what you mean now about maturity and discipline and the absolute need to have total control and not get swept up into a fever. It is SO critical. Several times while down I thought about walking, but we only had 24 hours to play and I factored that I was there to LEARN more than I was to EARN so I chalked up losses for this weekend to that. Having said that though, it would be easy to always chalk up losses to a learning experience. My goal now is to use the experience from this weekend to always walk out with more than I walked in with. One of the hardest parts is going to be walking out even if I'm only there for a few minutes. I'm toying with the idea of in addition to having a loss limit, setting a time limit or dice travel around limit. What do you think?

One thing is certain... once I settled down, relaxed and realized the gestapo was not going to haul me off to some dark room with video monitors for "fiddling" with the dice prior to shooting, I got consistency from setting. I really noticed it when today the pit critters would show up after my fourth come out roll or my 10th roll during points.

When I stayed focused, used the proper release, combined with the proper loft and wrist movements... even the point rolls were consistent. While I was waiting for my aroma's comp today... the dice came to me. As I stated above, I had 26 bucks in the rack so I placed $10.00 on PL rolled 1 craps... put the other 10.00 on the line and made a point of 10. I then rolled... (no kidding): 5-6's (2 hardways), 4-8's (1 hardway), 3 9's, 1-4 and a 10! I then rolled again... immediate point, of 4, placed odds and proceeded to roll 16 inside numbers, OTHER THAN 4 of course, and then 7'd out and had coffee.

That tells me my biggest problem this weekend was certainly myself. If lots of money wasn't on the line... I'd have great rolls. I guess sometimes you gotta spend money if you want learn how to make money (in the future). Having your ass handed to you seems to me a great teacher of what not to do... or how to improve. It sure makes you pay attention to the fact that something's wrong, i.e. the hemorrhage of money from the wallet. Just wish it didn't cost so much.  

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