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Shooting Craps

Bob Moriarty
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Oct 11, 2011

Much of what happens in life is an accident. The single most valuable course I took in high school and college was typing. When women were pretty much limited to becoming secretaries, telephone operators or stews, typing was pretty much mandatory if you were female. I don’t know why but I had completed all the courses I had to take by my junior year of high school so I pretty much skated during my senior year. I thought it might be handy to know how to type so I signed up for typing.

We had 30 females in the class and me. How dumb was I? I should have been in hog heaven and taken typing 101, 102, advanced typing. Hell, with those odds, how could you go wrong? I would never have those odds again ever. But I was both dumb and shy.

It’s been a handy skill, a lot more handy than physics or trig. But I took another short course that’s been about as valuable. My teacher in advanced algebra (another totally useless course) finished the prescribed portion of the syllabus some six weeks short of the semester break. You can’t simply cancel six weeks of a high school course. He looked around for something interesting that he could teach us. The boring name of the subject for the next six weeks was probability and permutations. In actuality, he taught us how to shoot craps.

You might at first glance think that shooting craps is either boring, unsuitable or sinful. It’s not; it’s a handy skill. We studied the number of permutations on a pair of dice. Then what the probability of any particular number coming up would be. But how is that handy?

Well, on my second day of USMC Boot Camp in San Diego in the fall of 1964, some enterprising young sport made a pair of dice out of chalk. Every night from then until graduation, we had a crap game going. Since I had learned that (1) you always want the odds in your favor and (2) the odds are always against getting a 4 or 10, I made a lot of money in boot camp.

I continued to shoot dice during flight training in an illegal casino owned by the Sheriff in Meriden, Mississippi in 1965 and Advanced training in Kingsville in late 1966. Then as now, the police are different from the crooks only in that they wear uniforms and are more thuggish.

Knowing the odds certainly helped while I was in Vietnam. Those who didn’t understand the odds, often didn’t come back. After I got out of the Marine Corps, I dated a Black Jack dealer in Tahoe and she taught me something even more valuable than mere knowledge of the odds. She said, “There are two kinds of people, those who walk away a winner and those who are going to lose. If you don’t take your profits and walk away, you will only take losses.”

Now that’s valuable and helped me come up with a way you can actually shoot dice in Vegas, with the odds against you. And win. There are a couple of key issues, (1) reduce the odds to the lowest possible number. You can do that by making only come bets and taking the odds. (The house will pay the correct odds on any ‘odds’ bet that cuts the odds against you in half. And (2) walk away when you are a winner. Alternatively you are going to walk away a loser.

The house advantage in Craps is 1.41%. You can cut that in half by taking the ‘odds’ on your point bet. So now the total odds are only .7% against you. What that means is that for you to lose $710, some $100,000 has to cross the table back and forth. At some point after a long run by either you or some other lucky soul, you will have more money on your side of the table than the dealer. Get up and go cash in and you will walk away a winner. If you insist on staying and playing, eventually you will lose.

With a lot of brokers, the odds are worse for buying stocks. It’s not uncommon to pay 3% in and 3% out. Don’t confuse buying shares with investing for even a moment. You are shooting dice and you had better understand the odds. I’m an American and I like buying the Penny Dreadfuls and most often they are Canadian. If you buy them using an OTCBB symbol, the odds are even worse, they like to pinch you for a cent going in and a cent going out. The best way for an American to buy Penny Dreadfuls is to open an account with Penntrade.

One of the biggest issues with gold and silver investors is that they spend too much time listening to the self-appointed “GURUS” who are constantly leading them astray with noise. Gold and silver aren’t supposed to go up every single day, buying them with the intent to hold them forever is not a wise investment plan and manipulation exists in every financial market. Live with it.

But there are times you can really get the odds in your favor and if you are willing to sell when you have made a nice profit, you can do well. I look for exactly those sorts of situations and a couple of weeks ago, I found one in Mexico.

The company is called Astral Mining. (AA-V) Their main interest for a number of years was the Jumping Josephine project in BC. Suffice it to say, they spent a lot of money and didn’t accomplish much. Management continues to believe in the potential of the project but so far it hasn’t panned out. Those sort of marginal projects can kill a company.

Lucky for us, management realized the odds were not in their favor. In December of 2010 picked up an interesting project in Mexico in the Sierra Madre Mountains some 100 km north of Culiacan called the Los Crestones gold project. I went to see that project in September.

The terms of the project are excellent. Astral only has to pay some $750,000 for a 100% interest in the 41 square km project with a .5% NSR which can be purchased for $400,000 at any time. Grab samples have been attractive with values of up to 26.9 g/t Au and 56 g/t Ag over 1 meter.

The company has identified three main vein sets and is in the midst of a 2,500-meter drill program. Drilling has commenced and samples have been sent off for assay a couple of weeks ago. I would expect results to be out by mid-November.

Astral clearly has veins that can be tracked on surface for up to 900 meters. The core clearly is altered and what grab samples they have assays for are rich. The company did a small placement at $.23 a share just 3 weeks ago. Clearly the insiders believe they have something good.

With a market cap of less than $4 million, a project purchased right and drill results coming out in less than a month, the odds are in the favor of investors. Good results showing continuity and grade could increase the stock 500% overnight. A $4 million dollar market cap isn’t much.

My opinion is that this isn’t going to be a giant gold/silver project. I suppose it might but my opinion is that it might well make a nice high grade small mine. With gold at $1650 and silver back above $31, this is the kind of stock that could rocket higher.

We are biased. I participated in a PP at $.20 early in the year and Astral is an advertiser. As always, the potential investor is solely responsible for his or her own investment decisions.

Astral Mining
AA-V $.18 (Oct 7, 2011)
21.6 million shares
Astral Mining website


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Bob Moriarty
President: 321gold
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