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Call It Like It Is...


Recently I was called upon for my opinion at Dice Setter Precision Shooter’s Forum, (Editor's note, the Forum is no longer on-line) to answer what I might suggest for a slump in one’s play. It appeared to me, that the topic of losing is a bit like talking about cancer. No one that has it seems to want to call it like it is… a down turn, a losing streak. Yes, I lose and have been through plenty of losing streaks. You don’t play the game as much as I have and not experience the swings of the game.

The person who made the post about a slump asked about, and referenced, a few external causes for being in a losing streak, like how the stars and planets may be involved.


You can definitely plan your life that way – maybe I can get a gambler astrologer to help with expert advice. I am in fact in contact with a group that does exactly that. Yeah, maybe the planets do have something to do with it, but if you think that I am going to plan my trips to Las Vegas around the planets, think again. I am not about to hand off all I know and all of my skill to the power of Mercury in the night sky. Mercury is always retrograde, so what’s the point… well half the time anyway. It is not simply the sun and the moon... though there are better days than others for playing, I admit to that. Do you play golf or fish? Ever have better scores or catch more fish? That’s the planets too? It could be but life is too short, thank you. I am going fishing or to the casino no matter how the planets are aligned.


Joking aside, I am a stickler for keeping a record of all my casino sessions. Do you keep a journal? If you do, your journal enables you to read the evolution of your game, leading up to and through a losing streak. The answer to your losing is to be found within the pages of your journal. Perhaps the hard part is taking the objective position to see it. The observant self is something I wrote about a while back. That is, observing by pulling away from ego and intellect, almost like peering down from above and taking a good look at what you are doing, independent of your body. Our tendency is to operate in such a way that we get others to observe us instead. “Mommy, look at me, no hands!”


By the way, losing is part of the game… oh really? Yes, if we did not lose, why would we play the game? Is it not about the challenge of overcoming the odds? How profound, bet you never heard that before. It’s just that I have to remind myself of the facts every once in awhile. If it were not for me, them and those who write and brag about how they always win, could not possibly have anything to write about. They can thank me later.


Some say that you should play through the slump. This is great if the bankroll and ego can sustain a loss over time. I am sure that there is merit in this idea. I don’t know why Iraq just popped into my thoughts?


I say, "Stop the presses and look for the log jam that has stuffed up the machine!" In every single losing streak, I have been able to identify the element relating to the loss.

Here are just a few for examples. Playing too aggressive and playing too long. Over betting the bankroll. Chasing a loss and playing in denial of the fact.

The key to these behaviors is looking to the symbols present within the real energy of the game. Somewhere, there is a wobble in the force, look for it and you will find it. Perception of the wobble is the heads up that you are playing out of control. Out of control equates emotionally unstable.


“So, what is the cure Professor?” I am not sure that there is one cure for every player. But here’s what I do when I am in a losing streak. I back off the game and examine my journal. I may go to the casino, but I will not play. I watch. I watch some more and test if my perception of the game is accurate. That is to say, I push out with my feelings and pick up on or sense the direction of the energy of a game. Pulling in that perception as a feeling, I then translate the feeling into information.

I validate the feeling. Does the energy feel like winning energy or like losing energy. When my perception is in agreement with the money flow, I know that my perception is dialed in. When I am dialed in, I take heart knowing that an important aspect of my game is intact. If I am not dialed in, then I know I am “off” and accept that I am off. No point in forcing a square peg. Self honesty in a gambling scenario is rough to accept, for some anyway.


Watching a game, is the best way to play the game detached. You have nothing at risk except your feelings about the game you are watching and of course your time. You cannot lose from the experience of a free education! You can only win from the experience of the education. Your intention is focused in an unselfish and unbiased way. The focus is on the game and how it plays out, as you watch in detachment.

You are detached from your own needs and desires because you are not at risk to lose. You act as a clear vessel, channeling perception without distractions. Right or wrong, you will see before your very eyes if your perception of the energy is true and correct.

Incidentally, there is no right or wrong, it is just a confirmation about your perception being aligned or switched on for the particular experience. Some times you will be “right on” and other times it is in “right field”. You must be emotionally detached to accept the truth presented in the present moment. Otherwise, you force an untruth that fits what you want, rather than what truly is happening.


Both sides of the game are valid and necessary. Winning and losing. It is what is! The hard part to to reconcile is to learn to take the same joy of playing when we win or lose. It is not a one sided game. Have you played golf?

If you find that you are losing in all of your games, (Blackjack, Dice, Poker, Sports Book, the Track.) that is your message. Look for the message being given to you in losing. It now becomes your “new game” to play. “Get yourself out of this mess Houdini!” It is not magic. It is your challenge to review life and metaphysical symbols.


What about my experience when losing? My tendency is to become gun shy. After numerous losing sessions, I almost play with an expectancy of losing again.  I play too tight, too cautious, too scared and I cramp my game down to the point where it is no longer “my game”. I am playing chicken. Once I come to recognize this condition, I also admit that playing, (that way) is not fun never mind unproductive. So, I back off for a while. I take a break from the game.

It took me a while to accept that I was not having fun playing chicken. Playing and still losing.


When I return to the game, dice or blackjack, the memory of losing is fresh as a daisy. The question, “am I still gun shy”, pops right up. Renewing my game entails the essential win. No goals, "just win baby". So, to rekindle the confidence, a win, is a win, is a win. I begin to end the slump by locking in wins. Shorter sessions, for sure, and perhaps walking away from what may have been more money. However, without employing the basics of discipline, I know my game is without foundation. You must lock and walk with that first win in the process of coming off the slump.


Okay, we are back to watching and not playing. So, I lock up the $97 or $7 and I color up. I watch for another twenty or thirty minutes. You know what? In watching, I discover that if I had stayed and played, I would have lost more, not won more. This is the confirmation of perception once again. That is the beautiful thing about gambling and using perception of metaphysical information. Reality is confirmed for you in a matter of minutes before your very eyes. One way or the other you are going to see the truth in reality.


Want to confirm that you are in a losing streak, just keep playing and keep doing whatever you have been doing. Want to break out of it, stop and take a serious look at your present life. The person playing the game is the same person you get out of bed with every morning.


Being too hard on yourself? I think that it is natural for us all to be to self critical. We work so hard to become skilled players. We know greatness from mediocre. Who wants to settle for less? It is in the beating up on ourselves that we become demoralized. Being demoralized is the worse condition to be in when attempting to out play the challenge of a game with odds against us to win. Don't forget that. You might as well be putting sand in your pockets before taking a swim too!


Thank goodness for the losing streak. It means you have something to look forward to. It means you are in the ebb and flow of life. It means you are alive! I means you can identify better times.


Eventually, the tow truck shows up and pulls you out of the ditch.


Copyright © 2006

 Michael "The Professor" Vernon


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© All Rights Reserved, Michael Vernon, Author/Gaming Instructor, http://playing4keeps.com/



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