Applying CPR to Your Game
Since the late 90's I have played the game of craps and studied its
many dimensions. I have held fast to the idea that a lot
of what goes on in our life can be directly reflected in
our game and that the person you are in life, is the
person you take to the tables. I have heard many savvy
players refer to the game as a metaphor for life which
I have always found to be very true. For me, everything
we experience in life can be a metaphor. So, as in
life, sometimes when things are not going so well in our
game, it is time to reflect on how we can optimize our
Having played all these years, I have always made it a point to
study the game with its many players who seem to win
consistently with this game. I interact with the dealers
at the table and get their observations of what makes
the difference between a player who wins and one who
loses. I ask myself the question: what do winners do to
remain a winner? And, I figure out what they have that
losing players don't seem to have. What I have concluded
is that they possess three keys to help them post
consistent wins. Those three keys can be summed up
as CPR: Confidence, Perspective and Resignation. And, these three keys
can be carried over into any zero sum game or sport
where based on your performance, the outcome will always
have a winning or losing experience.
Confident players enjoy the pressure and risk of the
gaming situation. The monetary risk to the game is a
given and they maintain composure even when their dice
toss is sub optimal or the game seems to head in an
opposite direction than they felt. They don't "freak
out" when things don't go their way. They know this: one
bad string of tosses does not make a bad game, a bad
game does not make a losing session, a losing session
does not make a bad player, it just makes a session
played badly. You see, the good winning craps players I
associate with check their ego at the casino door. They
take each game as it comes and learn to assess the flow
of the game. You can spot winners by just looking at
their body language at the table. They are upbeat and
simply possess this winning and confident attitude even
in the face of adversity or loss.
- with the fact that no two craps sessions are ever the
same. As much as we would like to think that we bring to
the table all the tools necessary to win, we simply
cannot remember to bring every weapon in our arsenal.
Players can practice the game all they want and in the
casino craps pit, some days we have a great toss or
apply strict discipline and we win. Still, on some
days, as hard as we try, sometimes it is just not our
day and you know what that means. Players who have
perspective on their game and the current situation at
the tables are able to evaluate what is going on with
their play. The winning players do this objectively and
unemotionally. They don't curse the dice gods and blame
everything outside of themselves for their losing
session. They just live to play, another
session, another day, into an the unlimited playing
horizon. I know they know that losing can be unpleasant.
Yet it does not require emotional charge because it is
just a lesson and they embrace the opportunity to learn.
- to the fact that, as players, it is up to us to place
our selves at the right place during the right time at
the craps tables. There is a time to enter the game to
optimize our winning potential. Sometimes that right
time is forced upon us by our overwhelming intent to
play. Sometimes we have to resign ourselves to accepting
there may not be a game at the time we wish to play.
Backing away from the craps pit is a good thing because
losing is always a great possibility when a player
enters a game that is not in its optimal state for him
or her to enter. It is always best to clear your mind of
the chatter that goes on debating and rationalizing why
you should play when the game is not flowing your way.
With the game of craps, the lessons to be learned will never cease
and the player’s journey is never finished.
Learning to win is a process that will constantly evolve. Mistakes
at the tables are inevitable and these mistakes are
They are not a reflection of you, just your decisions at the table.
There will always be another game waiting for you.
Happy Holidays to each and every player out there I have had the
honor and privilege of connecting with this year. Best
wishes for a positive New Year.