Posted by AZDuffman
Sep 16, 2010

More MC night fun

Time does fly in the dice pit. This week it was a river cruise. Kept so busy I could not tell you where we went on the river except where we started and where we were when they called “last hand” and I got to sit down after. To me, that is when a job is actually being fun. Another advantage on a boat is time is not flexible. Boat leaves and you start, heading back and you are done. No late starts because someone scheduled bad. No upset players when you say “ending time is ending time” after they started late.

When I deal, I try to set my bank up something resembling the real deal. We use only 2 colors and I put the bigger denomination in the middle. 20 chips high. Working stacks outside the bank. By the end of the night this is destroyed, but to me it both looks better and works better. But it seems I may be a minority. We had a new (and NICE) table this week. Like many new things, it was not quite right and had to be adjusted. I hemmed and hawed about building the bank and the lead dealer said I was about the only one who did all of that, most guys use a chip rack. I also took time to pick the whip I wanted, one was a little too long. Got asked “are you happy now?!” We are friends and it was in fun, but I learned the right way and want to keep doing it right.

And speaking of “doing it right” I still always wonder how so many people cannot throw the dice near right. Not talking about dice-setting. I mean how hard is it to nicely hit the back wall without knocking every chip in the area around? Sure sometimes a full table will have that, but when you do it time after time? And when you see others do it and you don't even try to avoid it?

But I did learn a saying for teaching beginners. One player kept telling her friend “feed the chickens.” Meaning throw the dice like one would scatter corn for chickens. I suppose it is as good as anything.


guido111 Sep 16, 2010

I also deal 21 and craps at casino night parties in CA. It is fun stuff. Sounds like you do a good job. I have learned from ex-dealers that now do the same thing to always practice good dealing procedures if you know them, otherwise if you want to be a real craps dealer, you will have too many bad habits to break! and you many never be able to break them.

remember it was a "chicken feeder" in AC last year with that monster 154 roll hand. No dice setter can claim that one.

I also notice that when I deal craps, time goes so fast and you seem to be unaware of things around you. Funny isnt it!

AZDuffman Sep 17, 2010

@Guido111: I guess I do a good job as I seem to be getting some of the gigs where they want the better people, they once told me so. Supposed to be on a really high-profile one next week. From this last week I should have my pic on their website, which hopefully does not scare off business. I do agree with you on practicing good procedure. With only 2 colors of chips it is hard, but I do get a little of the "dude, you are taking this too serious" when I do things like make them lay buy-in money in the come.

Craps is like a dealer time accelerator. Dealing BJ the first hour flies then it drags. Craps if you are at all getting slammed you start dealing and next thing you know it is last call.

BTW: I have fun reminding guests that think things are going slower in the casino I am only one person. My quote is "I'm doing the job of three people. Four if you count the boxman and five if you count the guy on break." That usually reminds them. Though one place I was getting really, really slammed and a guy mentioned we needed 2 people that night.

Posted by AZDuffman
Sep 13, 2010

Week One report card

Time to review the week's results. For an opening week, it went pretty well. I didn't expect the Redskins to win outright, but win outright they did. While I had expected them to keep it close based on last year, it does go to show the value in taking the home dog. Woof Woof!

Tampa Bay Vs Cleveland was a pick made on price as much as anything else. The 20% vig for the privilege of taking the Browns was just way too much. One fumble separated a win from a push. So it was not the worst thing. Bodog is running that bonus promotion when you bet $20 or more per week, so a push a step to getting that.


Raw: 1-0-1

Net: up .9 units

“It's not if you win or lose instead; its whether or not you beat the spread.”

Posted by AZDuffman
Sep 08, 2010

Week One NFL Picks

“AZDuffman's weekly NFL picks” will be seen here, well, weekly this NFL season. Last year I tried doing it on my own blog but think I will just do it at WoV at least for now. I will be keeping score both in simple win-loss and more important **unit** win/loss. Last year I was up about three units at the end of the season, having been up higher earlier but at the end run took a few major hits. Live and learn.

Some basics on how it will look:

First, I pick just 1-3 games each week. As we all know, most games just should not be bet at all as they become a coin flip with the line. I look to find value. My goal is to win cash, preferably enough to have a bankroll to bet baseball in 2011.

Second, all lines are at publication. Unless I state different, I will use the Bodog line as they are a sponsor of this site. I do not “line shop” all week and most times publication will be Wednesday or Thursday.

Third, I rarely will make a pick for more than one unit of bet. And unless stated, all bets are against the spread. Last year I had one money-line underdog pick that came in for me. It takes something real special for me to do that.

Finally, week one will be skimpy on analysis since there is little record to go on, weeks 2-17 will have a much more complete analysis.

Now to the picks......

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Line at publication: Washington +3.5
vig: -110 on both

This game has two great things going for it: a home underdog and a Redskin team that was my favorite to analyze last year. Not because they were good (they were terrible) but because they were consistent and because they had a strong history of always being close against the spread. Home underdogs are actually a player advantage long term, take the Redskins and the points!

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Bucs
Line at publication: Tampa Bay -3
vig: Cleveland -120/Tampa Bay EVEN

Last year Cleveland could not get out of their own way. Tampa was not much better. But in my experience, bad teams playing away do worse than bad teams playing at home. And there is that vig-free bet, a rare thing. Take the Bucs and give the points.

Considered and rejected: Taking Denver over Jacksonville, but there is a -130 vig on Denver. Are you crazy??

Look for more in-depth next week, when there are actual numbers worth analyzing.


odiousgambit Sep 10, 2010

just as a note, my current "like the site" is for the line.

am I the only one thinking the Redskins are going to be a flop [at least early season?]. Home team though, so no bets.

toastcmu Sep 11, 2010

Odius - I am with you on the Skins. As someone who's lived here since 1994, I'm still waiting to see if things will come together. The local media was pointing out that the Redskins have been 6-19 in the last 25 WAS-DAL matchups.

I think they will play their a** off (maybe not Haynesworth) but it will be close as usual.

I do get to tease my wife lately, she's a die hard Skins fan - my Texans have had better records the last few years. ;)

odiousgambit Sep 12, 2010

maybe we can get one good year out of Mcnabb, at 34 that'd be doing good

Posted by AZDuffman
Aug 26, 2010

Random Monte Carlo Night Follies

It might not be a real dealer job, but Monte Carlo Night dealing gives you your share of stories. Consider....

Guy comes up and starts to play. Asks "what is the best strategey?" Starts to say somehting about 3 come bets and who knows what. I show him the "modified iron cross" (ie: 2 units of place bets on 5/6/8 and one unit on the field) and explain how he will win a unit (we pay 1:1 on improper place bets, beginners don't know or care the difference) on all but a 7. You would think I invented the wheel. He gave me a nice tip and if you add that to my pay vs. the "real" dealers literally just across the river and I bet I did better tonight in 2 hours vs their 8.

Same night a bunch of female beginners are playing. In fact, it was almost all women playing, which is rare. I explain the come out roll and they are sort of understanding. After a point is established I guess they didn't quite get it as when a 7-out hits there is a cheer of "yes-7" which ends as I scoop up the table. Then someone remembers 7 is bad when the little round thing says "on."

Still same night woman is throwing where the stickman would be at a real table. (with one dealer we stand where the boxman would sit and work the whole table alone. She asks what to do with the dice and I say where to send them, pointing at the second base end of the table. So she starts to walk over there, leaving her passline bet where she was.

The income is unpredictable, but a more fun job than delivering pizzas.........


FleaStiff Aug 27, 2010

Great fun.

When do you start your next training class somewhere?

Or do you think you just might enjoy teaching newbies all the time at some real casino?

7craps Aug 27, 2010

Nice blog. Keep up the good work!

What company or companies do you deal for?

Do yo always deal to a whole table? Too bad if you do, in my opinion.

Hope you get to deal on the "real deal" type craps tables.

I deal for a casino night party company in SoCal, (Im an ex-dice dealer from Reno)

that has real size tables and true size tubs. Most games have 2 dealers (inside stick) sometimes 3 dealers when a table closes early.

Those one man tables without chip racks and drink shelves that many casino night companies have should be thrown away. They are junk and you will never find a real craps table made that way. Sure hop you do not have to deal on those type.

Good Luck to you in becoming a dice dealer!

AZDuffman Aug 27, 2010

@Fleastiff: I'd like to teach in a real casino very part time. Say a 2 hour class for beginners (Pass/Don't/Field?) and a 2 hour class slightl advanced (Come/Place/Hardways-Hops/different strategies.) Problem is if I did that here I would need a gaming license and not be allowed to play anywhere in PA. But it would be a neat retirement job. "Casino Player" just had an article about a guy did that in the casino for a year, but for all games. Reminds me of craps class where we were told we were "selected" but really we just checked the box that said we wanted to dealo craps.

@7Craps: We use a break-able table. It has a rack for chips but room for only 3 chips wide on numbers. Usually not bad unless you get slammed. One man dealing can b e a killer but makes the time fly. Once two guys were helping me clean up after 7-outs and one of them said we needed a second. Once we had two tables but action at only mine so we both ran it. I was stick + 3rd and the other guy worked second. Our tables fit the size of a standard folding table that every church and fire dept rental hall has.

I work for two different companies, which now that I know craps keeps me busy. Maybe I will get the "real deal" sometime. I wish I had been able to learn 15 years ago and travel the world, dealing dice as I go. I work BJ, Craps, and Hold'em. I prefer craps most and do hold'em only if that is all they will give me. BJ is nice as a break sometimes.

Posted by AZDuffman
Aug 08, 2010

You are goint to college, not to 13th grade

It is August already, so why not some “Advise to incoming college freshmen” to go along with the advice for graduating seniors from a few months back?

Over the next few weeks, millions of young people will be going away to college. Their parents will give them advice. Their friends will give them some advice. There will be college-orientations giving advice. But hopefully here are 10 points that will fill in the holes they leave.

1. You are going to college. You are NOT going to 13th grade. It is time to act as an adult. No one will be reminding you to get up for class or do your homework. While you may have a meal plan and no need to cook, your laundry will also not be doing itself. Your room will not pick itself up. In the words of Sgt. Hulka, “Your mamas are not here to help you.”

2. Freshman take many of the same kinds of classes so those classes tend to be bigger. If it is 40 students in a classroom or 400 in an auditorium-style room it doesn't matter for this test. Introduce yourself to the person next to you. Then remember statistically only one of you will make it to graduation. That is how hard it really is to do it. Not impossible as millions do it, but only about half succeed. A simple way to tell if you will make it is similar to sizing people up at a poker table. If after just two weeks in the dorm you cannot tell who is going to party and fail their way out, you are the one who will party and fail their way out.

3. There are two things you get in college for free or near-free but are indespencible if you want to literally survive. Those are your student ID and a dorm key. The college bookstore might sell these little things that you wear on your wrist to carry both. This is a major security risk. Not to sound sexist, but usually girls are the ones who buy them. Do not do it. Adults carry keys and adults carry their ID in a thing called a wallet. Learn to carry both in your pocket at all times. It is hard to look more immature than when you go to the library or such and say “I forgot my ID.” You might as well forget to put on your pants.

4. Another security one for the ladies only. If you meet a guy at a party, have him walk you home, and “invite him in” you are implying consent. If it goes wrong you can file all the date-rape charges you like but you will still will have to live with that ordeal for life. No matter what the femminists say about “no means no” and inviting him in means you can still say no, the reality is different.

5. College is to prepare you for a career. College is expensive. If you don't have an idea of what you want your degree to be in, you do not belong in “general studies.” You do not belong in college at all. You would be better to take a year in the working world and decide. If you are in a major of “Minority History” or “Woman's Studies” you need to ask yourself what kind of job you will be qualified for at graduation. Because you will still have the same $50-90,000 in student loans to pay back.

6. They are caller “instructors” not “teachers” for a reason. Do not be afraid to talk to them even outside class. Virtually everyone who graduates college wishes they talked more with their professors earlier in their college career.

7. COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE THE ONLY CONSUMER GROUP WHO WANT TO GET LESS SERVICE FOR THEIR MONEY. What does this mean? Well, many students have the attitude that if they can pass the tests class is unnecessary and attendance should be optional. This is not so and if you think this way you should go to a correspondence school. The reason your school's degree has more prestige than the correspondence school is that class time adds to your learning. Do you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was smart enough to pass the tests so instead of class sat around watching “The Price is right?”

8. In college towns, students are seen as anything from a valuable contribution to the economy to a group of marks to be taken advantage of at every turn. The credit you take out is real. The check you bounce must be made good. If you do not know how to balance a checkbook and how credit cards work, learn.

9. See that car with the guys in uniform inside? It says “Campus Police?” Note is says P-O-L-I-C-E, not “security.” Actions can follow you for life. Wreck a car then report it stolen to collect on insurance? Major crime. Get in a beer muscle fight over something stupid? Ditto. Shoot someone with a BB gun from your window as a joke? Might even do some time over that. These are not made up, I saw all of that and then some around me! They all seemed like a good idea at the time to the people who did them.

10. Finally, do enjoy. When you get out and work you will want to retire to live with the same time freedom you now have no matter how busy it seems.


teddys Aug 08, 2010

Good stuff, if a little sarcastic. I certainly disagree with #4, though.

AZDuffman Aug 08, 2010

I was aiming for a bit of sarcasm, not straight writing. To get people thinking. #4 is not to be implied to be legal advice, but realistic advice.

FinsRule Aug 09, 2010

Good post. I could debate a lot of it. I'll just debate #5. I go back and forth on this, but I don't think I agree. College SHOULD be about learning. Only recently have people decided it is to prepare you for a job.

I entered college as a sports management major, and philosophy minor. After 3 years, I decided that I liked HR. The reason I took the HR class was that it was a requirement for my sports management degree. I then ended up getting a Masters in HR. If I end up working for a year instead of going to school, who knows what I end up doing.

Now, would I trade my sports and philosophy background, no. I learned a lot in those general ed classes. I just think if you take college seriously, and try new things, you don't need to know exactly what career you'll want to have. And, I would tell people that Minority history and women's studies are fine minors to have for fun, but if you want to major in it, that means you're committing yourself to get a Masters and perhaps Doctorate degree.

Oh, and I think having fun is very important. My list would be 2 items long. #1 - Take it seriously. #2 - Have fun.

konceptum Aug 09, 2010

When I went to college, the biggest difference I noticed was that high school taught you facts, and college taught you how to think. Sure, there are some facts mixed in there as well, but for the most part, teaching you how to think and use your mind productively seemed to be the central focus.

Of course, nowadays, from the few college students I've talked to, that doesn't seem to be the focus anymore. And the college graduates that I interview certainly don't seem to have much thinking ability among them.

cclub79 Aug 09, 2010

I like what you've said here. I've taught High School and College (adjunct) and I'd say that I really don't see much maturing happening when students are in college. I did notice there is a lot more lying from high school students. Every smartass I taught in the high school thought they were more intelligent than me. They really believed they were good at lying. I told more than a few that I've been working with adults who were 100x better at lying than them, so they should probably save it for a while. At college, they definitely show more respect in the classroom (it may be because the truly disruptive didn't make it or that the parents won't tolerate discipline issues for $40k a year...) but outside the academic building, I think there's a REGRESSION in maturity. I'm not speaking for every student, but many. I think my biggest piece of advice is, yes, there's a lot of work, but it's not as much as it seems. It's not going to take you ALL week. Just get it done and then enjoy your free time responsibly. And if you can, try to enjoy the summers. Work if you must (I understand monetary constraints) but try to take some long and pointless journeys. You aren't going to be able to get away from your job for that kind of extended period until you retire. (Unless you become a teacher, and even then you'll be working in the summer...or you get laid off, and then the stress with probably stop you from doing anything fun.) You're going to miss 3 months off every year.