Jul 27, 2016
Some Gambling Conspiracy Theories, Some Not So Much
Anytime that an individual or entity claims to be espousing knowledge when it comes to being a successful gambler who gets to enjoy playing at a long-term Advantage, there is a question that springs to the mind of most people on the sharper end of the spectrum, “If you’re right, then why are you not doing it yourself and making all of the money?” Of course, some individuals choose to share information, but the information that they share is either strictly mathematically valid (as is often true in my Articles, for example) or the person sharing the information is a bona fide Professional Advantage Player of one kind or another, or both.
In those cases, I think that they can be trusted sources of information, but when it comes to bona fide Advantage Players, I have often entertained what one might call, ‘Conspiracy theories,’ as to why they might share their expertise. In some other cases, of course, the fact that an individual is an Advantage Player is unverifiable, they lack the Math to sufficiently back up their claims, and I believe that there is no conspiracy to be had as the information provided is, quite simply, a load of crap.
We are going to start off with a very well-known source who provides a plethora of mathematically original and valid information on Advantage Play to the casinos and players alike via his site APHeat.net, and that is Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D. His ulterior motives, to whatever weak extent that they could actually be called that, (given that he is very upfront about his motivations) is simply that he makes money writing and providing Game Protection seminars as well as private consultations to casinos who seek out his services. Furthermore, he was previously an Advantage Player of limited success, (as he has openly admitted) but he now spends his time analyzing casino games and Side Bets not just to identify beatable games, but he also analyzes Game Protection procedures that create situations that could be played at an Advantage.
In any event, the information he shares is independently researched, but often verified by some other source, and is definitely mathematically valid. His primary motivation other than the public sharing of information (which he has stated he fervently believes in) is also to compel people to attend his seminars and contract his services. A quick perusal of his, ‘Services,’ link makes that abundantly clear:
We are now going to jump from that to a border-line crazy conspiracy theory that I once had. During the, ‘Poker boom,’ of the early-2000’s during which Texas Hold ‘Em (mainly No Limit) enjoyed an unpredictable but serious surge in popularity, a number of proven professional Poker players published books dealing with how to become a better Poker player. There are so many books of this nature that naming a few wouldn’t do justice to the rest, and it would probably take the remainder of this entire Article to name them all.
I’m going to go to Star Wars here and I think that the Emperor in Episode III said in best when, and I’m paraphrasing, he said that the previous Sith Master made the mistake of teaching his apprentice everything he knew. Of course, it is for that reason that I seriously doubt that these Poker Professionals wrote their books in order to teach the readers everything they knew, first and foremost, the probably wrote them to make some money...but beyond that, I have often wondered if they wrote the books just to instill false confidence into the players.
That may seem a bit out of left field, but if you really think about it, doesn’t it make sense that these Poker Professionals would want people who were not actually anywhere near their level to think that they somehow became advanced players as a result of reading those books and, to a certain extent, some of these people would make their way eventually to the Tables of these Professionals or perhaps even by into the World Series of Poker thereby enabling some of these Professionals to get money off of them twice? The first time, of course, is when they sell the Poker book and the second time is when they beat them at the Tables.
These people might even say something along the Lines of, ‘I follow your advice religiously,’ directly to the Author/Professional which, if true, would give the author an even greater advantage over the already inferior player because now the author would know exactly how the player plays.
I don’t necessarily know that to qualify as a conspiracy everyone involved on the writing side would have had to get together and agree in advance that the goal was to get even more fish money to the Table in an effort to win it from these inferior players, I think it would be enough to qualify as a conspiracy if a large percentage of these authors had that as a goal internally. Granted, I don’t think that you would see many of these Professionals at the $1/$2 Blind No Limit Tables, so certainly the only people they play would have the skill and money (or just the money) to be playing above that Blind Level, but still, even when these people got to the point where they could at least sit at a Table with these Professionals they would still be vastly inferior.
It is time to move on to the Dice Control, Dice Setting, Dice Influencing, Make the Dice Faces Say Whatever You Want Them to Say...whatever you want to call it, you know what I mean! There’s absolutely no conspiracy here, they are teaching you something that has not been mathematically proven (much less physically proven) to actually work. A brief perusal of the Golden Touch Craps website indicates that they are currently offering the, ‘Primer Class,’ for the bargain basement price (sarcasm) of $1,595.00. The, ‘Advanced Class,’ is the same price once you have satisfied the prerequisite of taking the, ‘Primer Class,’ and the, ‘Refresher Class,’ is only $200 less than that! They also offer an array of other services for a fee.
The result is, if they think you are good enough in the, ‘Primer Class,’ to strongly suggest you advance your skills in the, ‘Advanced Class,’ that you will pay a total of $3,190 to learn absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever. If they want me to Edit that statement, then they should provide me with physical and mathematical proof that their methods actually work, or alternatively, they should invite me to take both classes for free so I can decide for myself. Better yet, they should offer to have Wizard take both classes for free, he’s a smarter guy than I am, so if there is anyone who can, ‘Get it,’ provided there is actually something to get, it is the Wizard.
Of course, I seriously doubt that would ever happen because the most likely result is that we will report back with our opinion that the Golden Touch Classes are nothing more than a good old fashioned steaming pile of bunk, at least, that’s what I will say if the class goes better than I expect it to.
I have no idea what sorts of edges, in terms of percentages, that they claim you can enjoy if you follow their instructions successfully and end up being a particularly gifted student. The one thing that I do know is this: Even if you somehow managed to swing the House Edge into a Player Advantage of just 0.1% on all of your action, it would take $3,190,000 in total bets before you even broke even on the cost of the classes alone not including any travel expenses, the value of your time spent learning this bunk, or the amount of time it takes you to make nearly 3.2 million dollars in bets just to have broken even on the cost of the lessons.
I understand that people pursue education in the hopes of improving their potential for future earnings, but this is just crazy! Of course, I don’t claim that there is any conspiracy when it comes to Golden Touch Craps or any other Dice Control, ‘Educators,’ that may be out there, I just claim that these classes are very likely a complete and total wheelbarrow full of crap.
I would suggest that the information that can be most trusted has two qualities: The first of those qualities is that it is mathematically verifiable or comes from an extremely legitimate source with a proven history and the second quality is that the information is freely disseminated...though some books are an exception to the second.
I think that the free dissemination of information is important because gambling is a very money-oriented activity and it is simply fundamentally difficult to trust anyone who seems mostly interested in extracting money from you. Eliot Jacobson certainly has profit in mind for doing everything that he does, but when it comes to the Basic information and mathematical analysis with respect to a certain game, all of that information is freely available on his site.
The same is true with this site, WizardofOdds.com and the entire LatestCasinoBonuses.com family of websites. To the best of my knowledge, not a single one of these websites asks for any sort of money for the vast quantities of information that they provide, yet they are definitely for-profit enterprises. It is no secret that most of the revenues generated by these sites come via the affiliate links to Online Casinos or Online Bingo Halls, and of course, the LCB family of sites does not do anything to attempt to conceal that fact. The idea is that we freely provide good information to people that is mathematically valid, informative, entertaining or some combination of those things, and in exchange, if these people choose to gamble Online they will select their casino and use one of our links in order to do it.
There are also a number of other websites and podcasts that provide entertainment as well as mathematically valid information that I have not specifically identified in this Article, too many to readily name, in fact, so I’ll avoid it at the risk of leaving any really solid ones out. In most cases, these websites or podcasts hosts make money somehow (including via Advantage Play, in many cases) but they do not charge anything for the actual information that they are providing. They may essentially use these platforms of something of an advertisement that other services they offer are worth looking into, but the information contained on those sites is free.
Many people, ironically mostly WoV Members, have suggested that we bat around the idea of having a, ‘Paid,’ section of the Forums for information and threads that will only be available to paid subscribers, but at the time those suggestions were made, Wizard did not have any interest in doing that. I’m not sure if such a suggestion has been made since the sale of the site nearly two years ago, but it is possible that it has and I simply do not recall it. Personally, I seriously doubt if that would ever happen simply because I do not perceive that as being part of the business model of the LCB family of sites. Disseminating free information that is either entertaining, valid or both is itself a part of the business model.
When it comes to anyone offering me any kind of service whether it is free or paid I always like to take the time to determine whether or not there are any ulterior motives which might later result in future extraction of money from me. I threw that Poker one out there because I freely admit that I am probably wrong about that one, but that is the degree to which I consider all of these kinds of possibilities...in fact, I’m not entirely willing to rule out the possibility that all of these Poker Professionals and authors did get together and deliberately opt to do it for that purpose, though I do recognize such is highly unlikely.
Understanding motives and where people offering you things are coming from is essential to avoid being scammed or taken advantage of in some other way. It is important to take a look at all possible reasons someone might be doing something and not just the most obvious ones.
Actually I welcome APHeat, reminds me of an expert medical witness who will testify for either plaintiff or defense whichever he thinks is right rather than being "a rented mouthpiece for one side".
Go back to that original pamphlet on 21 and Thorp's Beat the Dealer: great book, best seller ... and the absolute best thing to have happened to Las Vegas Casinos since they swept up the sawdust and peanut shells. Thorp obviously did not intend his book to be a boon to the casinos, but it was.
Dice Control seminars "preach to the choir" and its a choir consisting of true believing idiots one step away from UFO believers or those who believe that Good triumphs over Evil.
I doubt poker authors wanted anything more than royalties and vanity and surely didn't think of educating a new crop of suckers. Anymore than an author of a book on fishing invests in a lake stocking company.
Do people have ulterior motives... sure. Con men particularly. Usually the man who cries out 'watch out for pickpockets' has confederates noticing which pockets men pat to reassure themselves. Most people taking a junket bus to Vegas are going there to gamble, but occasionally someone will ride the bus to rob the passengers of their bankrolls. It happens, but its rare.
Excellent point, especially in light of his work in the Ivey case.
I also agree with everything else you said, I wish I could expand on it or offer a counter-point, but we're in full agreement!
Along the lines of poker pros not wanting to teach everything they know, I think that is quite often true. However, you can teach people basic-to-intermediate stuff without costing yourself anything. Plus most players will never really read and study a poker book thoroughly. And I'm sure some writers are just doing it for personal satisfaction, whether that be ego-driven or something more "noble."
Mr. Golden Sun,
Excellent points, and I would say it may be personal satisfaction more than anything. I don't know that there is anything, 'Noble,' about it in the sense that what one person wins at the poker table somebody else, by definition, must have lost. Therefore, if you teach people even basic to intermediate stuff, then the money you have indirectly contributed to them winning is also money you have indirectly contributed to someone else losing. The only, 'Noble,' advice I would suggest a poker player could give is, 'Try to find a game without a rake, as long as you think the game is fair.'
Keepng from getting scammed is what both the player and the casino are most interested. I recall the long ago incident when a Wannabe Dealer walked into a casino in black pants and white shirt and inquired about a job. Some big wigs were there and they had him tap into live game, he was doing okay for a brief stint then things changed and he was hesitating and staring at one player who promptly started running, the neophyte dealer put his deck down and actually tackled the fleeing player. It didn't take security too long to figure out that the guy in uniform is good and the player is bad. After the tussle the dealer returned to the table and displayed for the camera and the big wigs the duplicate card the player had introduced into the game. The job applicant, having started a fight with a customer, asked if he should continue with the audition and the Biggest Wig said "No, kid, come back tomorrow at 8:00am, You kept the game honest, You're hired." The big wigs knew his skills and speed would improve over time, but he already had what they most wanted, the dedication to pitch a fair game.