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Jumbotron Ron

A Day in the Life of Jumbotron

17 July 2011

After being employed by a certain transportation company in New Jersey for the last 10 years, I arrived to work on April, 1st to find the doors chained up.

Nice way to start the month.

I went back to my old job of driving a taxi for a few weeks to keep the money flowing while I waited for my unemployment to kick in. At the same time I was aggressively sending cover letters and resumes to companies, as well as pumping my friends for any leads or contacts they might have.

Driving a taxi can be fun, profitable and socially rewarding, and it was very enjoyable to travel all over New Jersey and New York basically alone with your thoughts. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this job, but I have a B.A., my son needs benefits, and there is no paid vacation, 401k, or sick days. Sixty hours is a hard grind every week and there are no raises or promotions.

I had two interviews in the month of April. I was prepared and the interviews went very well. I received a call from the HR department stating that I had been hired by one of the companies and that I would start in Manhattan on May 2, 2011.

May 2, 2011, the day after the president announced the killing of Bin Laden, I started my first day of a new career in midtown Manhattan. The terror alert is high but that is not stopping me or most people from pursuing their American dream.

When I got off the train in the middle of New York City at 8:30am on a sunny Monday morning, you could feel the buzz of rejoicing and excitement in the air. It seemed like every corner you turned people were smiling and we were all chanting, "U.S.A, U.S.A., U.S.A." Every vendor already had tons of shirts, cups, hats and other items relating to Bin Laden. There was no fear in the air at all and it was more like a "I wish somebody would try something" New York City attitude in the air all day.

My training went well and it was now 4pm. It was just a beautiful sunny day in New York City. I was only a few blocks from Port Authority, where security was seriously heightened with members from the Armed Forces. The Academy bus runs a roundtrip bus from New York City to Atlantic City every hour for $36 and you get back $25 in slot play from the casino. I have taken this bus from the city many times.

I figured, What the hell, I'll buy a set of clothes for tomorrow, book a room and spend the night. My training the next day didn't start until 10:30am, so I figured I would have no problem getting back to the city in the morning because the buses run every hour.

As I purchased my tickets I started to reminisce about many memorable nights I had in AC when I left from Port Authority. As Yogi Berra would say, "It was deja vu all over again." Only this time, I was wearing business attire due to my first day in corporate America.

I felt like Clark Kent in his disguise and with my glasses I was sure many casino employees who knew me for years would not recognize me (I was wrong). I liked the feeling; I was very relaxed. I was pretty confident that the casino had no chance of beating me. Before I landed the job, I was out of work for a month. When I wasn't emailing resumes, I was practicing the art form called dice control. I was sharp and I was ready.

There were only about five people on the 6pm bus and I laughed and joked about hitting the jackpot with two of them before arriving in AC at 8:30pm. I stopped by casino "A" to pick up my $50 match play.

I had a conversation with the crew about Governor Christie's deregulation of the Casino Commission and the removal of the boxman from a lot of the craps games. The guy in the casino that usually gives a dice controller the hardest time is the boxman. Sometimes it's the shooter's fault for not hitting the wall with both dice or for taking too long on his set up and delivery. It is the boxman's job to make sure the players follow the rules of the game and to make sure the game moves swiftly.

Sometimes the boxman just has a bug up his butt or a personal grudge against controlled shooters. Regardless of whether he is a nice guy or a jerk, the controlled shooter is usually very aware of the presence of the boxman. So much so, that it is second nature to apologize to the box when you miss hitting the back wall with both dice.

I am a very good tipper that dealers like. When you are a good tipper, you sometimes get special privileges like a losing bet staying up right under the nose of the box as a sign of appreciation for your tips from the dealers. I thought without any boxmen in the game, it is very possible that I might get half my tips back in a session, making it a win-win. As an advantage player this is my job. I look for any weakness and any way I can exploit the casino. I don't care if it is valet parking or getting undeserved room upgrades.

Money talks!

The key is to only pay a fraction of the price. If a suite upgrade costs $100, I'll figure out a way to get it for a $20 tip. I never pay full price. If I can't work a plan, I just take my regular comps. When I am a high roller I won't have to worry about this, but for now money is definitely an issue.

The dice come around to me. I put two green chips and one white chip for a tip on top of my $50 match play on the pass line. The first shot I set for a 7 and I hit the 7. I'm already up $100 bucks.

An arrogant older man buys into the game in the middle of the roll with ten $100 bills. He makes some remark about my being in his spot (stick left 1). My new point is four and he makes another remark about the four being hard to hit. Two rolls later I hit the four soft.

My next point is a 10. The arrogant man next to me throws out a quarter on the hard 6. I'm setting the 5/5 on top with the 3/3 facing me. I say, "You should have bet the hard 10 because it's coming."

I know the hard 10 has a 11.11 percent house edge, but I was just joking with the guy although I was pretty confident I was going to throw the hard 10. My shot looked and felt really good. The next roll I tossed the hard 6. Even gambling writers can't be right all the time. Within the next three tosses I hit the hard 10. I rolled a few more 6s and 8s and then sevened out with a nice profit to start the night.

The arrogant guy next to me asked me if I could give him some room and then the light bulb came on. He was a dice controller, that's why he wanted my spot. The thing with dice controllers is this, for whatever reason, 90 percent suck. If you know what to look for, you can definitely look at the dice and see who has the goods and who doesn't. The problem is most can't tell a good shot from a bad one.

I gave this arrogant man three shots to show me something. He showed me that he was terrible and totally out of line for wanting my spot. The nerve of this imposter!

I quickly bet $25 on the don't come. He gave me the eye like you're betting against me? I looked back and gave him the eye that said I definitely am. The only way he could have beaten me was by pure luck because it was obvious he had zero skill. The don't come bet went to the 6 and I laid odds behind it. He quickly sevened out. I colored and took a stroll on the boardwalk to casino "B" with a nice score.

I walked into casino "B" beaming with confidence, but it was short lived.

I point sevened three times in a row to start the session and noticed my dice were on an angle. As a dice controller you want your dice to stay together and land flat on the table, gently rolling end over end to the back wall. When the dice are on an angle, they land on an angle and go left or right depending on what corner they hit, tumbling randomly around the table.

I took a break and mentally tried to figure out what changed from casino "A" to casino "B." I noticed the tables were higher in casino "B" and I was having a hard time letting my arm swing freely, which was prohibiting me from getting a true pendulum swing.

I decided to bend my elbow a little more, make sure my dice were square to the table and really focus on a slow, straight backswing.

After about a half hour I came back to the table with my adjustments. The dice looked and felt much better. I eliminated the angle and they were now rotating together end over end and landing flat gently rolling to the back wall.

I am the first one to say when my shot looks bad, but I am also the first one to admire my artwork when my shot looks beautiful. I had a nice first roll that I made money on but was cut short when I hit a chip.

The second roll was high, far, deep, and gone! A home run! I had a lovely roll in the 40s, where I hit six points and plenty of 6s and 8s, as well as all the rest of the numbers. I went from single odds on the pass line to hitting my last point with 10x odds. I progressed after every point. I left with 5X my buy-in and a nice round of applause. Casino "B" had treated me rudely after a bad session I had a month earlier and this is how I get my revenge. It's nice to leave the table with a smile and a few colorful chips.

The don't pass bettor at the table informed me that he would never bet against me again. This is a fact and not just a brag.

Dice control is not an easy skill. There are many good days and bad days and plenty of ups and downs. When you have those days when the dice feel and look so good you know the casino can't beat you, it is very exciting to say the least. I don't want my readers to believe these types of rolls happen every trip, but if you put in the hard work they happen a lot more often.

You can't dismiss variance. Variance can still be a female dog. The choice is still yours, you do math on whether it is better to learn this skill or just shake 'em up and roll them and be a guaranteed long-term loser.

I decided not stay in AC but to take a walk to casino "C" to catch the 4am bus back to Manhattan. This was an error in judgment and next time I will take a taxi.

Pacific Avenue was like night of the living base-heads. The women looked like zombies and the dudes looked like wolves. I was offered sex, drugs, and a great time. Others were trying to feel me out in hopes of robbing me later.

I have been around the streets my whole life and, believe me, the wolves weren't looking for friendly conversation. They were trying to feel me out to see how much money I had. I had my work attire on so they attributed that as me, not knowing the man they were playing. But I know that game all too well.

I made it safely to the bus center only to find every inch of chair covered by a sprawled body. It seemed like Jumbotron Ron in his Clark Kent disguise was one of the very few people having a good night in Atlantic City on this historical night. When the New York City bus arrived, only a few people got on and the bus terminal was still littered with the dregs. Unfortunately, homelessness is alive and well in Atlantic City, despite the city's efforts and programs to clean it up.

When I arrived in midtown Manhattan the next day with fresh clothes and a pocket full of money, my new boss said, "Good morning, Ron. Did you get a good night's sleep?"

I replied, "Tell 'em Jumbotron Ron sent ya." Just kidding, I said, "I was in the bed by nine and I slept like a baby." I like this whole Clark Kent by day and Superman by night thing. I really dig the whole disguise.

Until next time, don't judge a book by its cover but do judge a shooter by his shot. It can tell you a lot.

Jumbotron Ron
Known as Jumbotron Ron on the East and Nevada Ron on the West, he is a advantage dice controller who spends much of his time in the casinos playing with his team The Hitmen and various advantage players from Golden Touch Craps. Known for legendary rolls on both coast he has also been dubbed "Mr. Lucky" and the "Mayor" of the boardwalk by various casino personnel.
Jumbotron Ron
Known as Jumbotron Ron on the East and Nevada Ron on the West, he is a advantage dice controller who spends much of his time in the casinos playing with his team The Hitmen and various advantage players from Golden Touch Craps. Known for legendary rolls on both coast he has also been dubbed "Mr. Lucky" and the "Mayor" of the boardwalk by various casino personnel.