Golden Touch Craps

When will they ever learn? When will they ehhhver learn?


The words from the Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" popularized by The Kingston Trio, ran through my head as I read the article, "Breaking the Bank at Monte Carlo" by John Marchel. I will provide a link to that article at the end.

Marchel tells the story of an obscure Englishman name Charles Wells who showed up at the Monte Carlo casino in July, 1891 and proceeded to turn the equivalent of $2,000 into $200,000 at a roulette wheel in a little over 11 hours. Since they had to shut down the table temporarily 11 times during his run for short periods of time to replenish its bank, because the table literally ran out of money, he became known as the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.

According to the story, "Management quickly recognized the publicity potential of Wells' actions and encouraged the spread of the story that "he broke the bank". Wells became world famous and so did the Monte Carlo Casino. This caused many want-to-be-players to head for Monaco to try and do what the Englishman had done."

The brought the story of Patricia "Patsy" DeMauro to mind. She is the woman who rolled 154 consecutive times at The Borgata casino in Atlantic City on May 23, 2009 before sevening out. That session lasted 4 hours and 18 minutes. You can read about that roll by clicking on the link under World Records just below this section. I will provide a link to that article at the end as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting Patsy and her friend John Capra who was with her on that roll at the 2009 World Craps Championship held in Las Vegas by Golden Touch Craps. She spoke at the event and was also at my table during the awards banquet. I remember her telling us how the Borgata brought champagne to the craps table when it ended for a little celebration right there on the spot. Then they asked her to go with them to discuss the roll. Folks from the publicity department were on hand and she signed a waiver agreement giving them permission to advertise the event with her name and picture.

The following days of the week the story of her magnificent feat made the rounds of the local and later national newspapers and television news. I think the Borgata even has a plaque on the table where that roll took place. The Borgata stated approximately $185,000 was taken off the table by the players who were there for the roll. I believe it was reported how numerous folks wanted to play on that table shortly after the story of the event broke in the news.

Clearly both of these casinos understand the benefit of such publicity after a killing is made by one of their patrons. How many casinos have you been in that advertise the big slot winners in a prominent place on the walls? They have their pictures hung up, larger than life, with their huge smiles, the day and amount they won proudly displayed in a place of distinction. Do you think they do this to honor the winners or to advertise how you can get lucky if you play their slot machines?

So why is it that some casinos understand the benefit of having players win big, yet others go into a tizzy if they see a player setting the dice and taking care with his toss on a craps table? Don’t they realize that controlled shooters are good for the game of craps?

Think about this. Most craps players are superstitious about playing at an empty table. But a controlled shooter prefers an empty table so he can shoot more often without waiting a long time for the dice. So a controlled shooter will often get a table going that is sitting dormant with a crew standing around doing nothing. Other players will join over time and pretty soon there will be a full table of players on what was previously an empty table.

Then if a controlled shooter happens to get a hot hand, it will stimulate and get the adrenaline flowing in all the other players there at the table. The shouting will often bring others to join the game as well. If several folks happen to make some money in this session, that is the best thing in the world that could happen to the casino. For after the controlled shooter leaves with his modest profit, all the others will stay around to try to replicate the prior hot session. Eventually they will lose anything they won on the session along with whatever they brought with them. This tends to be the nature of the gambler, especially if they win money on someone else during a hot session.

I have seen this happen on numerous occasions. I remember playing with several of my friends who are controlled shooters one afternoon. We were doing fairly well and soon several other players joined the table making a moderate profit off our good rolls. We had to break for dinner. We had a reservation and figured it was a good time to quit after making a small profit. We passed by the table 2 ½ hours later after dinner only to see most of the players we had left there before still playing. We ran into one of the dealers at that table as he was going on break and asked him what was happening at that table. He told us, after we left the table turned cold. But the people we were playing with stayed on to try to turn it around. They had lost everything they won while we were there. Those with cash went into their pockets to buy in two to three times more and were losing most of that as well. Those with markers had done the same thing taking out two to three more markers.

In the end the casino won back everything they lost while we were there with a tidy profit from the hapless gamblers that we had gotten energized with excitement and anticipation of "breaking the bank". They stay at the table too long attempting to rejuvenate the "hot rolls" that occurred previously.

Controlled shooters are good advertisement for casinos. They get other gamblers to play on the tables with their very presence. If they should happen to have a "hot" hand it is good endorsement for the casino both at that moment and in the future. Gamblers will want to go for the gold and most likely lose their bankrolls in the process. Casinos will win a lot more from the general public if they encourage controlled shooters to play at their tables. Rather than viewing them as a threat they should realize they provide the exact type of recognition they need to vitalize their craps tables. The same type of publicity they look to exploit is readily available if they are smart enough to avail themselves of it.

Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson had it right.

When will they ever learn? When will they ehhhver learn?

Following is the link to the "Breaking the Bank at Monte Carlo" by John Marchel:

Following are the links to two of Frank Scoblete’s articles about Pat DeMauro’s amazing roll.