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Modern Blackjack nth Edition

Reactions to negative comments in a casino

Rating: 19 votes, 5.00 average.
I have seen hundreds of posts over the years expressing negative reactions to other players and unpleasant dealers. Including those that say they will leave a casino in an unpleasant situation. I’m sorry, but, to me, this sounds a bit like; I went hiking and saw a priceless, ancient arrowhead laying on the ground; but it was raining so I went home instead of picking it up.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. And yes, it is absolutely allowed, and can even be therapeutic, to vent about the nonsense that we all experience in casinos on a forum. And please do not let me stop anyone from venting. Blackjack card counting can be a lonely avocation; and venting publically has a value in reducing the personal toll of your “in-casino” interactions.

BUT, APs have a very slim advantage. I think that one should look at any reactions that they have to the, obviously, unpleasant parts of this enterprise, to make certain that they do not reduce one’s advantage. That is, getting pissed off can harm your bottom line.

Apparently I have been misunderstood on this question a few times. When you are in a casino, you must have a thick skin. That’s not even right. You must have the ability to think of insults as humorous, but sometimes act otherwise. Depends on your act. There must be a disconnect betwixt what you feel and how you act. If you’re not a trained actor, this can be difficult. Actually, even trained actors have famously had difficulties in separating roles from life.

Some people in casinos are there for diversion from their boring lives. Some are degenerate gamblers. Some (most, I hope) are just having fun. (Still allowed.) Some of these people are not pleasant company. Many are likely nice people. All of these people can appear to be “in the way” of our goals. (Or, on occasion, used for advantage.) This is why I say that you should act as if the casino is a video game. There exist characters in a video game that may or may not be helpful. It is your job to figure out which are which. But, having emotional feelings about them is ridiculous as they are fictional. If you can use this mindset about other players and dealers in a casino; you can reduce the energy-sapping effects of dealing with unpleasant people – at least to a degree.

Now, just as important: In my mind, you should avoid letting your in-casino experiences define your “real” life. Yes, don’t let “extras” on a movie set get in the way of your goals. But, don’t let the cynicism leak into how you feel about the other humans with which we share existence. I’ve seen too many advantage players succumb to cynicism. Oscar Wilde said: “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” When you are in a casino, you are playing a game; and everyone else is part of the game – not just the cards. When you are out of the casino, regain your humanity. Don’t lose sight of real “value.”

At least that’s my way of dealing with the situation – when I have the strength to follow my own advice.

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  1. simple man's Avatar
    Great entry, Norm. Thank you.

    All too often I see (or hear of) happenings, reactions, questions and comments, of the nature you describe, from every walk of (casino) life, average player and AP alike.

    Your take - ahem, advice - bears similarities to my own, having garnered a respect for all gamblers AND their views, opinions, comments and even actions over the years. Though it is never easy to absorb, study, and eventually react to negative situations/comments in 'our' environment, I strongly believe that one must strive to control, or even master, their ability to do so responsibly, respectfully and, most importantly, POSITIVELY.

    I hope your entry serves to assist others in forging their discipline - an essential aspect of any successful AP's career. Keep up the good work and fightin' the good fight, Norm!

    Thank you, again.

  2. zengrifter's Avatar
    It reminds me of how some otherwise really nice people behind the wheel get very angry and upset when another driver makes a mistake.
  3. Blackriver's Avatar
    Very nice post and very well written. Most newbs and everyone from time to time do take other players/dealers too personally. The cherry on top is the caution against becoming too cynical in day to day life. (Although having the ability to not take people so seriously has made my real life much better also.)
  4. Three's Avatar
    I just take advantage of the situations. When it suits me I am "upset " and sit out or leave the table, at other times I have a very thick skin and roll with the punches. I try to incorporate all the happenings and ploppy superstitions into why I do things at the table. I usually get sympathy from the pit and the old I can't blame you for not wanting to play through such a situation. Sometimes its hard not to laugh at the idiots while I am acting pissed off. Other times that laughter is just what the situation calls for.
  5. Three's Avatar
    Nice post Norm.
    Updated 08-31-2012 at 08:34 AM by Three
  6. ZenMaster_Flash's Avatar
    [FONT=century gothic][COLOR=#000080][SIZE=3]Maintaining one's emotional equilibrium is more than an asset;

    it is absolutely crucial in AP activities.

    It also helps one establish their [U][I]camouflage[/I][/U].

    If one is prone to reacting [/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][FONT=century gothic][SIZE=3][COLOR=#000080]badly to losses,

    and find losses and back-offs, etc. stressful

    they need to find a different vocation.

    I have found that few players are emotionally

    suited to being A P 's or even serious Card Counters.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
  7. Aslan's Avatar
    You have described an excellent mindset for achieving success at the "game" of blackjack. I emphasize game, because real life is not a game, as you pointed out. Many in the business world, for example, treat business like a game, which it is not. The decisions made by corporate managers affect the lives of thousands of flesh and blood human beings-- customers, employees, stockholders, family members, and friends. All too often we treat blackjack and other games as real life, and we treat real life as if it were a game. It's an upside down world, and blackjack is no different.
  8. Norm's Avatar
    "Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game."

    North Dallas Forty.
  9. Aslan's Avatar
    Far out!
  10. Kat's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Norm;bt131]"Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game."

    North Dallas Forty. [URL][/URL][/QUOTE]
    That is surely one of the best-ever two-minute illustrations of the divide between the spirit in the game and the spirit missing in the game of business. And so well acted...
  11. onemplus's Avatar
    That is an excellent analogy and thank you for the post. I enjoyed it very much. Neo

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