Time For A Vocabulary Test
Can't. If. Try. But. Maybe. Never. Won't.
Now, I'll be the first one to admit that at times I am
just as guilty as the next player for including this
group of seven game-sabotaging words in my playing
With students of the game, I feel that it is important
to stress how these powerful words, and the energy
behind these words, can be to our game and to our future
It is important to remember that what we say determines
our actions, and the effects of our actions. Whether our
words are perceived to be positive or negative, they
definitely play a part in fueling our gaming outcomes.
I know when a player uses the word "can't" with
frequency; he or she has blocked their performance and
ability to achieve. This particular word is so crippling
that it leaves our gaming potential dormant. Whatever
dreams and desires a player has for his/her session will
be kept locked or buried within. With frequent use of
this word, all the player is left with is blocked
potential. Completely eliminate the use of this word and
you will see a positive change in your game.
Confidence and intentions are big words and are
qualities essential to our performance at the tables.
"If" is a small word that breaks down these essential
qualities. The word brings doubt and uncertainty. I do
not believe there is any one player out there that will
argue with me that, when it comes to winning at craps,
confidence and intention are two qualities essential to
The use of the word "try" is a big pet peeve with me.
Either we do something, or we don't. It is as simple as
that - no judgment. When a player tells me he will try,
rarely will he achieve what he attempted. Again, in
whatever the endeavor we are facing, when a player
states - "I'll try", rarely if ever will anything be
achieved. Replace "I'll try" with "I will." Or, to quote
the wise Yoda, the fictional character from the Star
Wars universe: "Do or do not...there is not try. Hmm..?"
"Ya, but..." It was the wise Mr. Michael Vernon, The
Professor, who taught me long ago that using the word
"but" would only negate what I wished to achieve. In
relation to the game, when we use this word
conjunctively, we are basically diminishing our
potential. I've repeatedly heard this statement in my
workshops: ." I want to be good at shooting craps but it
will take a lot of hard work." In essence you are
telling your mind to not focus on your desire to become
a good shooter; you are telling your mind to focus on
the hard work you will need to perform. That's a chore.
Replace "but" with "and" to get to where you wish to go.
Make any sense?
"Maybe" is a confidence breaker. "Maybe I should stop
playing at this cold table..." The energy of doubt,
indecision and uncertainty over what to do surrounds
this word. It just does not exude positive energy and
stuns us. Perhaps, in place of this word we could
rephrase and state: "I will stop playing at this cold
table." And, you will save lots of chips too.
When players use a word like "never" it feels so
absolute. And, in life, yes there are some absolutes.
Yet, in the game, use of this word suggests to me that I
am interacting with a closed minded player. Our efforts
to evolve to greater heights are seriously hindered. It
would be far better to use a term that keeps the door to
winning opportunities open.
And, a close relative to "never" is the word "won't."
When a player conveys to me that something "won't work"
I get the feeling of unwillingness that can be quite
harmful to their gaming development. Which is sad
because, in my view, the use of this word, also suggests
a narrow mind, which also hinders our efforts to
continue to develop our winning ways.
Just take a moment to think about what kind of energy
these words bring to the table and how they determine
our success. In my mind, the energy these words
represent can make the difference between winning and
I can certainly add more words to these seven
game-breakers - words like "should, maybe and someday."
My point is that when we have the desire to be winning
players, it is so important to notice how many times you
say or hear these words at the tables and to what extent
do they influence your game. It is your responsibility
to be mindful of them, "when," not "if," winning is what
||The less you bet the more you lose when you win.