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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard It On The River

12 February 2006


I have been watching with more than a passing interest the development of a dice control method that is gathering followers with increasing momentum. My interest has been laced with a healthy dose of skepticism even though controlled shooting is creating a buzz. FRANK SCOBLETE, who is my regular guest on the GOODTIMES RADIO SHOW every Saturday morning from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on WMC790, is the leading proponent for this method that seeks to replace the math of craps, which gives the house the edge, with a physical skill that cuts back on losing 7s just enough to move the casino edge over to the controlled shooter.

Scoblete, the nation's leading gaming author and no stranger to Tunica's casinos, has had some amazing runs on the craps tables here; one notable session involved him rolling 67 straight hands at the Horseshoe on a hot night when he and his Golden Touch craps crew emptied the tray at least twice. His mentor, the legendary Captain of Atlantic City notoriety, is on record for rolling 147 times without crapping out.

I've discussed this method with several casino gaming execs and none seem concerned about this ground swell as real good control shooters do not show up frequently in this market and have not made enough of a dent in the casino's win to garner any serious notice. I would predict, however, that if this method becomes even a minor threat to the casino's edge, they would take counter measures, much as the industry did years ago when card counters started showing up in numbers on blackjack tables. What these defenses would be is anyone's guess but the golden rule would apply here. 'Those that have the gold make the rules."

However, controlled shooting is coming out of the closet with some backing from respectable people, like DON CATLIN, PhD. Don is a professor of math and statistics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst but is also a casino gambler. His company, Technigame, is recognized in the gaming industry for performing math analyses for gaming developers.

Don recently wrote that while some folks think controlled shooting is s lot of crap, his words, he believes it is a skill possible to achieve but does require a lot of instruction and practice. He was so intrigued by this shooting method that he enrolled in one of Scoblete's GOLDEN TOUCH craps seminars and stated he was very happy with the professional instruction. He recommends it for anyone serious about the game.

Another strong believer of the Golden Touch seminars is hardened writer JOHN GROCHOWSKI of the Chicago Sun Times where he writes a column on gaming. He initially was a disbeliever so he took the course one weekend. He is now convinced; he writes that a controlled roll can change the odds of the game, even if it isn't easy.

Like Catlin, he believes it takes a lot of practice to conquer the physical skill needed for dice setting and rolling techniques. When you think you got it licked, practice some more, and more.

"Craps can be beaten by changing the nature of the game from a mathematical contest, where the casino has the edge, to a physical contest where the shooter can gain the edge with skill," said Scoblete. "You might be able to figure it out yourself over a period of time but if you want to learn from the very best craps players in the country in a controlled classroom setting, you have to attend a seminar. "We've turned out hundreds of control players in seminars held around the country and the popularity of these weekenders is growing."

One of those players was another PhD; best selling gaming author DR. HENRY TAMBURIN, who was also initially skeptical. "Now I am a believer and it is hard to deny what my eyes have seen. I took the course in last November in Tunica and it is just great. After some practice it all came home when I rolled 45 numbers without a seven on one of my casino trips."

Scoblete will be back in Tunica on Feb. 25-27. He and his crew of top players and instructors conducted a sold-out seminar here last year. For further information go to goldentouchcraps.com or call 1-800-944-0406. There are only a few openings left,

What does it take to win the $100,000 first place money in a blackjack tournament? It takes experience, skill, perseverance, guts, a cool head, sound judgment and 95 per cent luck. MIKA KILE, a pharmacist from Winona, MO, mixed those ingredients very to win the GRAND'S recent $150,000 tournament by outlasting some 211 other competitors, including this writer who made it to money in the final 30 at least. But talk about LUCK.

She was eliminated in an earlier qualifying session and was sitting with her companion at a nearby blackjack table paying little attention when her name was pulled out of a bowl by Shift Supervisor JOHN BRANSTON for a wild card seat on the final table of seven players. Someone had to poke her to get her off the table to claim the seat with only a minute or so to spare.

Then cool hand Kile preceded to take an early lead over her more cautious opponents and hung on through 25 hands skillfully dealt by MELY PAULINO and TOMMY WABLINGTON. When the 24th was dealt, it appeared the pressure was getting too much and she seemed to be on the verge of fainting. She quickly revived on the last hand and screamed for the all casino to know that she had won. She plans to use $60,000 of the purse to pay of her student loans. It was her first tournament ever.

MIKE VAUTRIN, who years ago was director of marketing at BALLY'S, continues to move up in the gaming world. He has joined Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. as VP and GM of the company's casinos in Colorado, Black Hawk and Central Station. He was formerly CEO of Soaring Eagle Casino in Michigan.

HOLLYWOOD is going Italian, at least on Wednesday nights. The casino's EPIC BUFFET, now offers what it calls its "Authentic Italian Amore Buffet" on Wednesdays from 4 to 10 pm for $16.95 a person.

While governments and their agencies continue to fumble the ball in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast in post- KATRINA reconstruction, casinos lead the way, like always. As you read this, I will be in New Orleans partying it up at the re-opening of HARRAH'S along with thousands of other revelers who have missed the action. And then I will take a swing up through Gulfport to Biloxi to visit the newly re-opened IMPERIAL PALACE, ISLE of CAPRI, and the PALACE. I will take a lot of photos along the way with my new toy, a Canon Rebel digital camera, and hope to have a layout of interesting shots in the next issue of JACKPOT (jackpotmagazine.com)

If you like to travel and visit new casino properties along the way, you must buy a copy of STEVE BOURIE'S American Casino Guide. The 2006 version is better than last year's, which was great in its own right, and a big chunk of the book lists every casino in the country. It also carries a slew of coupons to save money on those trips and has great articles on gambling. If you are a casino traveler, it is a must

Listen to the GoodTimes radio show every Saturday morning on Country Legends WMC790 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. with Rudi & Mike Schiffer. Call in your questions to 901 274-7979 or 800-759-6279. It is also available on the Internet at audiovegas.com and is archived there as well.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Rudi Schiffer

Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com