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Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending




MAY 28TH.  - 29TH. 2011.

The Hilton Craps Tournament has been a standard for tournament play in Las Vegas. Entry into this tournament is either by paying the $499.00 entry fee, or winning a spot by betting and hitting the "YO" (11) on the come out roll.

With this in mind, Beth and I practiced for three days perfecting a throw for the come out "Yo" 11.

Finally on Tuesday May 3rd. at 8:00 PM we entered the casino from the valet area in front. As we approached the first pit, I noticed that the closest craps table had only six players at the time and the energy level was very high.

The shooter was at the end of the table with an established point of 5. On his 5th roll he hit his point. At this point Beth and I bought in and we both placed $5.00 on the 11. I turned to the shooter and said "hey bro' can you throw me a come out YO?"

He picked up the dice, tossed to the other end of the table and hit a 6-5 "Yo" on the very first roll! Beth and I were paid $75.00 each for our bets, and won on the pass line too.

We increased our bet to $10.00 on the "YO" and told the shooter "can we will have another please?" With that he hit "YO" again!

We were at the table for less than 10 minutes, both with entries into the tournament, and we walk out with $530.00 net win!

After all that practice, it was a random shooter that got us into the tournament!

The tournament itself is held over a two day period, with an initial session held the first day and the second, third, semi-final and final rounds held on the following day. Four players advance from each round to move up to toward the final round. With about 300 players enrolled in the tournament and 12-13 players at each table session, it was careful money management and strategic plays that improved your chances of moving on.

As an additional twist to the tournament, you can "buy" a double-up chip prior to the first round. This double-up chip gives you the opportunity to double the payout on your largest bet, which can make or break you as you vie for the top four spots.

We had at least twelve Dice Coach Students attending this tournament, which also added extra excitement to each round.

The rules for the tournament are pretty standard for tournament play, with only some minor tweaks each year. If you are interested in this year's rules, click on this link below:

Link for tournament rules.

The first round was held on Saturday and Beth and I were scheduled for the 12:30 round at different tables. I like to watch the sessions before my round to see how the players are betting and to see if it is a hot or cold table, so I was there long before the first round at 10am.

I also like to chart the tables, watching for any patterns or energy shifts. Sometimes this will help you and it is always better than having no information at all.

Beth and I both won our first round, advancing to Round Two on Sunday.

At the countdown during my second round I had 4th place locked up. In looking around at the at the other players chips, I specifically asked who still had an active double-up chip. I only saw two players with the double-up chips. (You are supposed to keep all chips, including the double-up chip, in plain view so every player can see what you have.)

Unfortunately the player next to me was holding his double-up chip in his hand and did not divulge that it was still active. Since he only had $1.200.00 left in tournament chips, I felt he was not a threat.

With $11,200.00 in chips and careful strategy play, I felt no one could catch me and that I would advance to the next round.

That is when the player next to me made his move; a $400.00 bet on ace-duce and the rest of his monies on crapper bets. I was still not worried. Then came the toss of the dice, - and the ace-duce hit! That bet paid the gentleman next to me $6,400.00 - then he tossed down his double-up chip and was paid a total of $12,800.00 . His move put me in fifth position and out of the tournament.

A number of us questioned where that chip came from, but I ended up letting it go. In hindsight I should have challenged the fact that he had hidden his double-up chip at countdown and I think the challenge would have held up. It was another lesson learned the hard way. I guess I got caught up in the moment of the game thinking I was advancing and then was thrown off balance when he played the double-up chip. If the situation ever occurs again, I will without doubt protest his bet. And who knows, it might have changed the entire outcome of my game.

During the rest of the tournament it was cheering for friends and students who were still in the game, with good conversations during the lulls between the rounds.

One of our students, Basil, made the semi-final round, while three others made it to the final table. Steve was even able to use his favorite bet - he calls it the Heavy-Nelli split - on the last roll. He bet all the hard ways for $500.00 each, World bet $1,000.00, Hi/Lo $200.00. The last roll was a Hard 8 which paid $5,000.00, using his double up chip to make it $10,000.00, then getting all the other bets back, he was able to take 6th place.

Mike did not make the first round, but was lucky enough to be drawn into the final round where he came in 9th .

Another cool thing happened to Mike. He had initially paid for his entry into the tournament as he was coming in late and not sure he could qualify before the tournament. Before the tournament he was able to play and qualify and the events manager refunded his original entry fee. In this day of tight casino comps and benefits, it was a great thing to see, a real customer service oriented move. Not too many casinos are that user friendly these days.

As a side note, after the tournament Steve and Mike took the monorail to the Paris Casino on the strip where Steve had seen a royal hit on his last trip. He sat at the same machine and within 20 minutes hit 10 K Q A and drew the J -all clubs for the Royal!

I want to congratulate all of the players in this great tournament, and especially those of you who made the final table. If you have never played in a tournament, the Hilton is one of the best in Las Vegas. I thank Jennifer Wilcox, the Casino Events Manager, and all of her staff did a great job!

Contact information for Jennifer is:
Jennifer Wilcox (Casino Events Manager)
300 Paradise Road Las Vegas, Nevada 89109.
Direct phone line 702-732-5594 Fax 702-732-5330

Before the next Hilton Craps Tournament, be sure to sign up for our Tournament class that focuses on betting strategies and how to improve your chances of advancing.

Hope to see you in the next Hilton Tournament. Dice Coach

Dice Coach
Another 20 minute roll!  I think between that little modification and adopting your betting tactics, that this will work well in the long run.  Thanks again!  - Bill - 
Money can be lost more ways than won.

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