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Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending

Ninja Craps Pro



Pinbal ... it's a life style  
BY:  Michael Vernon

When I was a young boy, I loved playing pinball games. For a mere five cents I would get five balls to try to score enough points to light the replay gizmo. There was a hole at the top of my favorite table, right in the middle. When I produced a qualifying score and managed to manipulate the ball into the replay hole, a loud pop sounded rewarding a credit for another game.  
There was a ball return at the bottom of the hole. After racking up more points and the credit, it would pop the ball back out into play. The longer I could keep the ball in play, the more points and "free games" I could win. It was all skill and I paid for my lessons. I set aside my allowance money to finance my pinball addiction. Yeah, at the age of twelve, I was addicted to pinball. I could only play on weekends. The only thought that got me through Sunday Mass was daydreaming of playing pinball. Is that a sin? Just as soon as I could get out of my Sunday best, I'd peddle my bike down to Park Lanes, the bowling alley just the other side of Mineral Palace Park on Main Street.  
I played each nickel as if it were my last. I learned how to give that machine just the right shove, at the right time, to send the ball back up with just a little more ump, up to the high point bumpers without tilting. I learned this from an older boy. He had slicked back hair. He wore a white T-shirt with a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve. In the beginning, I did not know about manipulating the game. When I saw it for the first time I was so impressed. Of course, I had to learn about tilting the machine, which ended my session without the chance of a reward. I eventually learned every nuance of that pinball game. On a good day, I could play for an hour or so, investing maybe three nickels.  
Dice games and pinball games are a lot alike. Both games are designed to challenge the player. Both games tempt the player to keep playing for the win. Both games are rigged for the player to lose. A pinball game has a sloping table. A dice game has odds that favor the casino. In pinball, the ball tends to pass down the middle of the table avoiding the action. In dice, the rolls tend to be short, adhering to probability. Not knowing all the nuances will cost you money. You run the risk of "tilting" either game by pushing too hard. You have a limited investment for either game. You pay for your lessons. If you hold on to your "nickels" long enough you may catch a hand. Best results are had when you have a playing method that keeps you in the game. Simply, you want to get the most "points" from every bet and sustain your playing time. By sustaining your playing time, you increase the propensity of running into a winning streak.  
When it comes to casino games, you are playing a game with a sloping table. The ball keeps "trying" to roll down the middle where you are helpless. When it does, you reload another ball (place another bet) and hope it is the one that stays in play long enough to put you ahead. You play each ball as if it were the only ball left, keeping the other balls safely in reserve. (money management)  
How do you earn the "free game"? How do you play craps and score enough points for the "replay"? How do you make the most of each bet and keep your precious bankroll in reserve?  
You come from an energy, an intrinsic belief, that the game can be beat. You create a belief that aligns with a winner's attitude. There is a way and you will dedicate yourself to finding it. You never settle for less and you give yourself every possible edge. You learn to expand your energy through a paradigm of abundance. You know that coming from scarcity and lack is the kiss of death holding you back from all that you deserve.  
1. You are playing a game. You better be playing because you enjoy playing. You enjoy the challenge of the odds. You enjoy the thrill of winning and you enjoy the rush of excitement. You are able to accept the fact that not every session will be a winner. If it were, there would be no charge of energy from the winning.  
2. You acknowledge your limitations. If you are not 100% serious about acquiring the skills necessary of an expert player, allow yourself to accept your level of play and still be able to enjoy the outcome. Where you find yourself is where you are. Gaming is a factor of skill not luck. You can always depend on your skill. The more you invest in knowledge and learning about the game the better your results will be!  
3. You enter the game with only so many "nickels", at least make every nickel play with a properly supported bankroll. Make the smart plays that have the best return for the money at risk. It is all about keeping "the ball" in play as long as possible.  
4. If you attempt to manipulate a game, have a subtle touch. When you "tilt" the machine, the game is over. It is a fine line between conservative play and knowing when to lean into the game. The old pinball game had a pendulum hanging inside the game. Pushing on the table would cause the pendulum to swing. If it swung too much, it would close a circuit and switch off the game. When playing craps, be mindful about swinging the pendulum out of control. You control the game by being in control of yourself.  
5. When the opportunity arrives, have awareness and know how to handle it. You never know when a game is going to break loose with a monster roll. First, you have to be at the table when it does. Second you have to have something better than guessing to take advantage of it. (Never missing an opportunity is something covered during the Dice Busters Weekend.)  
6. Gaming is like a two-edged sword. If you play too long, the odds will eat you alive. At the same time, if you cannot sustain your bankroll long enough, you will not be standing at the table when the hot hand does come along. You must have some method, some system of grasping opportunity automatically and you must have some way of playing the game that extends you limited funds, 5 cents for 5 balls.  
7. You do not have to be obsessive or compulsive. You have to be in control and play with disciplined. After all, who is going to look after you? You must be in control of you. Only you can put yourself in a game and only you can pull yourself out.  
8. Limit your session to one bankroll, win or lose. When you have played all your nickels, be disciplined enough to peddle your bicycle home. It's probably time for lunch anyway.  
The intended purpose of this metaphorical story is for you take a look at how you play your game. The person you take to the casino is the same person that you take into the game of life. All your strengths and all your weaknesses are always with you. You can only change those things that you truly wish to change. You can have anything you want but for one thing. You have to want it and you have to take the necessary action to get it.  
Back in the days when I worked with Stuart Wilde seminars, participants were challenged to look at their lives. A person facing a challenging situation might be asked, "How is this like your life?" Meaning, do you see a pattern here? Is there a connection with your actions or reactions to this particular event and the way you function in "real life"?  
For me, I think the pinball metaphor was a proving ground for the gaming experience that was to come in later life. How is it like my life? I approach both pinball and gaming in a similar manner; first, by striving for excellence and second, by playing with a passion to win, never settling for less than my best.  
How do you approach casino games? How is it like your life? Take a moment for introspection. Reflect on any similarities between the game and your life. Be aware of anything that comes up that you may wish to change or improve? Until you stop to observe yourself, you tend not to notice yourself. There is so much more to the game than meets the eye. The tendency is to take for granted the obvious and accept it as truth. The truth is, reality is just a thought form. Simply changing your thought form, you change your reality. Strive for excellence and settling for nothing less than your best is a thought form. What you put out you will get back in return. Come from a big energy and the dedication of a winner. Check yourself when scarcity or lack tries to sneak in to your life. It is not just a way to play games. It is a life style. You can win them all.  
© 2004 Michael Vernon  

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