The Thin Line Between Loving and Hating Craps

Remember the Persuaders?  I sure do.  The Persuaders had half a dozen R&B “hits” back in the funk-a-delic era of the early seventies.  But one song crossed over to the pop charts – 1971’s Thin Line Between Love and Hate.  The song starts out with the singer arriving home at 5AM.  His woman is there to open the door, ask him how he’s doing, would he like something to eat, then putting him at ease as she lets him in the house.  But in the last verse the singer is waking up in a hospital bed, bandaged and bruised, not believing that his woman could do something like that to him.  It ends with the line “I guess actions speak louder than words.

That’s sort of the way the game of craps treats some of us.  If you’re like a lot of players, the first time you stepped up to the tables Dame Fortune smiled on you.  A few bucks turned into a few hundred – or more – and you were hooked on this great game.  For a while you loved the game.  Then you have a few losses.  The wins got farther and farther apart.  And then there was that big draw down.  You know the one.  It was the time you lost all of your buy in, then bought in for another couple of hundred – then another hundred – until you’d run through your entire bankroll.  Remember that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?  Never again, you thought.

To be completely honest, it wasn’t the game’s fault.  Sure, the house had an edge on every bet on the table.  But in the past you’d avoided any major losses because you used a little common sense, money management, and discipline.  But you broke discipline on this occasion and Lady Luck kicked you in the groin.  Welcome to the club, my friend.  It happens to all of us.
Through the years we’ve had many players on the forum who’ve gone on to be tremendously successful gamblers.  A few play professionally.  Most are what I refer to as “serious recreational gamblers.”  For others, now retired, it’s just an enjoyable opportunity to get together with friends, toss a few, win a few bucks along the way, and always make sure the value of the comps they receive is greater than their losses.

For other players, it went the other direction.  They became slaves to the emotional roller coaster ride the game provides.  They bet with their emotions instead of their heads.  Oh, occasionally they’d rein their emotions in, get back on the money management and discipline horse and ride it for awhile.  But eventually that pony would buck them off and they’d chase their losses down the rabbit hole again.  Some never came back.  They just disappeared off the forum forever.  Others took the time to write, letting me know that they’d decided to take a seat at the local Gambler’s Anonymous Chapter and give up the casino lifestyle altogether.  There’s a reason why we have their phone number listed on all of our websites.  Yeah, in a sense we’re promoting the gaming lifestyle.  But we want to make certain everyone is gambling responsibly.

At the end of the day, whether you’re playing craps, blowing all of your money at the horse track, or spending everything you have on guns, ammo, fishing equipment, or table dances – too much is too much.  So keep it all in perspective, folks.  Craps is a game.  Games are meant to be enjoyed.  When it’s not fun – it’s time to run.