1) an unlucky individual whose presence at the tables results in a streak of bad luck for the other players.
My life is full of abundance and good fortune (according to the fortune cookie I had last night). One aspect of my life where that is true is I am fortunate in that I enjoy the people I work with. One such co-worker is Sal Brecht, a systems administrator in the IT department where I work. Originally from Chicago (my favorite city), he moved to Denver 30 years ago but he still has that wonderful Chicago accent. I knew we were going to be best buds when I found out he saves his change in a repurposed baba ganoush container from Costco. He busts it open every four months and goes up to Black Hawk (Colorado) to play craps, my favorite game.
This past March we were fortunate enough to go to a conference together in Las Vegas. We planned an evening's entertainment by going downtown to play craps. Sal had complained before that he never had much luck playing craps, but who does, right? We found a busy table with low minimums and muscled our way in. I was at position 2 and Sal found a spot at position 5. I was next in line to roll and I controlled the dice for a good 12 rolls. I was off to a great start and we were both making money. But as the dice went around the table, no one else had a hot roll. I'm a big believer in following the trend, so I switched to the Don't Pass line and I started to win consistently. Sal's turn came and he quickly sevened out. By the time the dice came back to me, Sal had moved to the number 1 position to my left that had opened up. I rolled, but quickly sevened out (I always bet the Pass Line when I'm the shooter).
The rest of the evening the table stayed cold, but I couldn't catch a break. My chip collection went up and down, but after an hour or so, Sal not only lost a couple hundred bucks, but also his taste for gambling. I considered myself fortunate by being out only $27
Post Session analysis: Poorman's goal is to extend the life of his bankroll, AKA money management. Very important! Consequently, I have always been a cautious player at the beginning of play. I like to get a feel for a table. Is the table hot? Cold? Choppy? Because the trend (Poorman's Cardinal Rule #1: The Trend is Your Friend), will dictate my strategy.
Sal, on the other hand, bet aggressively from the get-go. And he always bet the right way (always betting the Pass Line). He refuses to bet Don't Pass. (Poorman's Cardinal Rule #2: Be flexible in how you bet.) Which probably explains why he had a higher loss total for the evening. But there was something else about Sal that didn't come to me until months later. I now suspect Sal has a very special talent...
- Sal never has good luck at the craps table
- I had a hot roll until Sal moved next to me
- The table stayed cold to choppy throughout our play
- I couldn't win consistently
I know what you're thinking. You could argue that the table could have been cold before we arrived, and that it isn't unusual for a table to be choppy, and it certainly isn't unusual to leave your hard-earned money behind.
But what if? Indulge me in my fantasy here for just a moment. What if my pal Sal were indeed a Cooler? Someone whose bad luck rubbed off on other people. Wouldn’t that be a useful talent? Nay, a valuable talent?
Think about it for a moment. What is the only game where you can win when the table runs ice cold? CRAPS! By betting Don’t Pass and Laying numbers.
It’s only a hypothesis, a theory. But as a student of the scientific method, what’s a good researcher to do? Why, test it out, of course.
Sal and I are planning a trip to Black Hawk to do just that. Stay tuned.