Playing Like a Donkey...

"Dig in your heels and refuse to go." This is a line my old teacher Stuart Wilde used when he would be in a battle with the croupier at the blackjack table. He would compare the losing experience to being pulled over the table by the dealer. By digging in his heels, he would resist, with every ounce of his will, against the flow of losing. Stuart would create an intention to "lose no more".

You probably are asking, why not simply get up and leave a losing game? I agree and do support the concept of walking away from a losing situation. However, that would be the end to this article and would miss the lesson of how you can achieve an alternative energy experience.

Saying you will dig in your heals is a command of your will, backed by a relentless confidence of never settling for anything less than the win. Popeye would say, "I've had all I can stand and I can't stand no more!" He would eat his spinach. Instantly, with a toot, toot, toot from his stem pipe, tattooed battleships on his biceps would blaze their guns, and Popeye became invincible. It is like going to the well and pulling up the fortitude that says, "I except nothing less than the best I deserve.

This empowerment of the "superself" can supercede the flow or direction of a game that is going down hill. When it does switch "on", you are like Popeye after eating spinach. It is the positive energy Deborah Garcia mentions, that comes over the game and the dice favorably "behave out of probability".

Let me share a recent experience of digging in the heals. It was a Sunday morning, last July. I was playing craps at the Casuarina. There were six other players on the table, three on either end. The game had a good feeling. No one was winning much and no one was losing much. It was kind of like being at the beach watching the waves roll in and then recede back under the next wave.

A new player entered the game. His energy caught my attention right away. His play was out of synch with the rest of the players. His energy was hard to explain as it was perceived on a feeling level. It was as if he was dancing to different music. The energy shifted immediately with the appearance of the new player. The game broke down and it was point and out, one shooter after the next. Within a few minutes, I was down about twenty units. The tide was going out fast and I was thinking about coloring up and getting out of the game.

As I was counting my checks, the out-of-synch player had lost all of his and walked away miffed. A wave of inspiration came over me as I felt that his departure was a good sign. The inspiration was accompanied with a confidence that said, "All I have to do was to take charge of the game and bring back the fun. I turned to the player on my left, a neurologist from UCLA Med. Center. I said to him, "Dig in your heels mate, refuse to lose any more!" He rolled a nice small profit hand that turned out to be the icebreaker.

The dice moved to the other end, new direction. Two players passed the dice and the next fellow rolled a two-point hand. It was my turn with the dice next. My Homer Simpson, alter ego kicks in and I announced, "Okay boys, our time has come, stop playing like jackasses. Let's play stubborn like donkeys. Dig in your heels!"

I knew I was on my way after winning the first three points. I came out on the first point, a 4, and rolled it after a string of box numbers. The second point a 10 came back hard and the third point was another 4. My sets were working like magic. A little voice whispered in my ear when to make a set change and the sets to use. Hitting on all twelve cylinders, I rolled at least eight points before the seven out. I don't know how long I held the dice. Time is not an indicator of a big hand as games move at different paces. What matters is the number of paying hands that are rolled and this little donkey caught a hand.

From the other end of the table, I hear, "for the shooter!" Scooting down the layout, and stopping right in front of me, was a black chip and a "thanks for the hand" from my benefactor. He had two rails full of green and black checks. I never even noticed what was going on with the other players. I was into my Homer routine, in "the zone" and play'n like a dunkey. That's the way that Shriek says donkey.

Next up is the Doc. I told him he could do better than me. He came close, rolling a long five-point hand and another $100 check came sliding down for him. The other players passed the dice and the cubes are back in front of me. This time I was good for only two points before the seven out. The Doc didn't need a second opinion. He colored up without shooting. Homer and Elvis had left the building, so I followed suit.

It was a lark and we were all having fun. I do mean all of us. I had the crew going, the boxman, the "suite" and even the casino manager was there. We were all having a blast. Yeah, during my hand, I had lots of attention and not one bit of if was heat for setting. The players were having fun, and the crew and management were having fun and they were gracious hosts all along. The crew at the Casuarina are among the best I have experienced.

I have written about "casino heat" before. Casino heat does not exist unless you do something to bring it upon yourself. Gaming is supposed to be fun and I say enjoy it. When you are having fun, everything else takes care of itself, winning or losing. You draw to you what you put out. Play free of the fear of casino heat and you will never draw it to you.

Life is a mix of energies and experiences. It always comes down to right time, right place, right action. Nothing works all of the time. Perception, discipline and consistency with a measured dose of flexibility has kept me playing all these years.

The melding of the physical with the metaphysical is a slippery tomato seed. Your own intention can work sometimes and sometimes it is like standing on Miami Beach telling a hurricane to take a different route. If you feel that you are centered enough to pull it off, it might just work. If your intention isn't strong enough, the storm will come no matter what you say, think or do. You are out gunned by the other energies already engaged creating the hurricane. Your measly request is but a whisper to the ear of a raging storm. That is why I call this an "alternative energy experience". You have to sense with your feelings when it is appropriate for you to push out with your energy and keep using the "walking away" strategy the rest of the time.

This donkey routine does not work every time obviously, nor do I try it every time I play. The last time I tried to invoke "dig in your heels," nothing changed. Everyone, including myself, continued to toss ice cubes. Still, consider this. What if playing stubborn, playing empowered, with an attitude that refuses to lose could have a positive affect in your game? What's the worse thing that could happen from trying it?

Dig in with all your might. Dig in with a will and with an intention to win. Dig in with the confidence and courage that you can win them all in your life's journey, as you experience the energy of the game. It does help if you avoid playing like a jackass. Dig in your heels and play like a donkey instead!

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