Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shooting Craps in The Last Frontier

I recently returned from a dream Alaskan vacation. Each day offered our group once in a lifetime experiences; we jumped off a mountain on the world’s longest zip line, had a much too close encounter with a mother grizzly and her cubs, and watched a bunch of killer whales devour a sea lion. It was truly amazing.

Our transport for the journey was a monstrous, luxury liner, complete with all the amenities: gym, swimming pools, spa, theatre, and about nine different bars. We spent the daylight hours exploring the natural beauty of Alaska; nights, however, were reserved for the casino. It was a smallish affair with about 10 tables and slot machines that still paid out in buckets of coins.

We quickly fell into a routine of bar-hopping around the ship, grabbing a couple slices of late night pizza before stumbling into the casino around 11 (which, of course, was about 3 in the morning back home). Our group made fast friends with the bartender there, who went by the nickname “Turkish Rasta.” He showed me the brilliant secret of topping off my Red Stripe beers with a shot of Captain Morgan. Delicious genius!

Cruise ship casinos are tricky. The Hold’em table was entirely electronic with a rake that ran up to $15 for a single hand. No thanks! For convenience sake, we stuck by the craps table, positioned directly next to the bar.

Craps is a great game that offers good odds and is typically the loudest table in a casino. When I’m shooting craps and drinking, I love to talk up the game. You really gotta focus and visualize your number. See the dice in your mind and be the dice as you cast them down the table.

My favorite thing to do is bring out the positive energy by reminding everybody how lucky everything is:
Dice bounce up on the rail? That’s lucky.
Dice hit your arm? That’s lucky.
Dice knock a chip out of the dealer’s stack without knocking the entire stack over? That’s super lucky.
Pretty soon the dealers were saying it too. Either way, our trip was blessed with some incredible luck; we watched one player hit nine points in a row, as well as about five pure winners.

Everybody wins!