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Are you Runyonesque or Bunionesque?

Damon Runyon created, and Broadway idealized the craps player/gambler with the heart of gold.  Strangely enough, these characters do exist but they are on the verge of extinction.  You’ll have to search, but on any given night, in some casino, you’ll find these eccentrics.  They’ll be standing at the corner of the table, giving the table staff some good natured ribbing, while at the same time, placing, collecting, and most importantly watching. 

Despite the din and the chatter, their eyes never leave the table.   They know the strong shooters from the poor at the table.  They know the break-even point of their spread of wagers.  They’re quietly confident in their discipline and extensive craps knowledge. They’re efficient with their interaction with the staff, but not rude.  Don’t interrupt them during the game with questions!  At best you’ll be ignored, at worst, you’ll get a tongue-lashing. 

But, introduce yourself when they’re done at the tables and in all likelihood, you’ll be greeted with a smile and a handshake. Win or lose, (mostly win) the runyonesque player knows and loves the game.  I aspire to become this type of craps player.

On the other hand, you have the bunionesque player.  He’s less difficult to find.  This guy acts as if he’s been on his feet since Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway.   He may be at the same corner of the table.   Instead, though, he’s rude to the table staff and the other players.  He’s grouchy.   He’s superstitious. He’s under funded.  He complains about the dice rolls and is quick to interject his opinion of your wagering methodology whether you’ve asked for it or not.

 “Where’s the damn cocktail waitress? I remember when this place had GOOD service.”

 “Where’re my smokes?  Jesus Christ. Did somebody take my smokes?  Ope! Here they are.” “Hey Buddy, got a light? 

"Whoa! Get a look at her!  Give me fifteen minutes with her and I’d ….Wait, hey!   I jus’ told you to take me down!  I didn't? You Sure? You’re jus' tryin’ to rip me off!”

At one time, he may have known a lot about craps, but over time, knowledge, attentiveness to the game and discipline were lost, just like the manners his mother taught him.  Now it’s all shortcuts, the quick score or comps he doesn’t really deserve.  I hope you’ve have had the chance to read the Mad Professor’s Are You A Friggin' Idiot? .  In that article, he documents quite nicely the casino life of the bunionesque player. 

Whether you wish to become the embodiment of the Runyonesque player or not, it’s of the utmost importance that at the very least you don’t become that curmudgeon in the corner.  Why?  If you’re like me, you LOVE craps.  You love everything about it. The noise, the bets, the camaraderie and the winning, (and to a smaller degree, even the losing).  You can’t love and enjoy the game and be bunionesque too.

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