On February 10, 2010, the greatest craps player whoever lived, the man known as the Captain, passed away peacefully in his bed in his New York City home. He was 88 years old. He was and still is a craps legend and a genius when it came to analyzing craps and figuring out a way to beat it. He started the dice control revolution.
The Captain was surrounded by family when he died and his death was peaceful. As he died a huge snowstorm blew through the City and through the Northeast. Those of you familiar with the death of the great figures of mythology and sometimes history know that when a great man passes, often nature reflects such passing in spectacular ways.
I also think there were at least 22 spirits attending his passing. Who were these spirits? The deceased members of his high-rolling Crew; and if you add their spouses and significant others the number probably rises to about 50.
There are only two members of the Captain’s Crew left, Satch and me. We were the youngest guys by many years and, at the time, the lowest rollers as well. I played with the Captain and with the “Arm,” the woman who was probably the greatest controlled shooter ever – at least of the ones I have seen or know about. She passed away several years before the Captain. If there is such a thing as magic, the Arm had magic aplenty.
I was with the Captain from the late 1980s until he retired from the game in 2008. I attribute my success as a gaming writer directly to him and I have written many books about him, recently “Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!” and “Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.” My earliest books about him published in 1991 and 1993 respectively were “Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos” and “The Captain’s Craps Revolution.” I also penned one, “Forever Craps,” that has his biography – a remarkable biography of a man who epitomized “the greatest generation.”
While his health was decent right up until just before he died, he had lost his enthusiasm for play. Thankfully this came after his amazing 147-number roll that took place in 2007, a year and a half after a 100-roll hand. Although the Captain no longer holds the world record, Pat DeMauro does with 154 rolls, his achievement was based on dice control as opposed to random luck.
I am now writing what might just be my last craps book and I am reliving many of my adventures with the Captain. In my mind’s eye, I am hearing his voice and watching him play. I am stepping back into a time when Atlantic City was growing and muscular; when high rollers crowded all the casinos.
There was only one Captain and I am so grateful for everything he gave craps players and everything he gave me. I am so happy that I knew him.
Frank Scoblete’s new book is “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” available from Amazon.com and on Kindle. Join Frank on his website at frankscoblete.com.
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