You’ve heard of the Man with the Golden Arm? Well, meet Jack Davison, the Man with the Platinum Arm.
If you’re a dice player, especially at casinos like Binion’s Horseshoe downtown, you probably already know Davison. That’s because 23 years ago (practically to the day) Davison set the world record for consecutive passes at the craps table — 34 — without throwing a single craps.
The feat, which has been honored with an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, still stands and, with odds in the multi billions, will probably remain for many years to come.
Davison, or Hollywood Jack as he’s often called, still gambles at the Horseshoe, plus a few other favored spots in Las Vegas. And, while he says the 34 straight passes took more than luck, he hasn’t really come close since that fateful day in August 1979.
"I’ve been able to roll 18 and 19 passes, but that record hasn’t been beaten in all these years and it probably won’t be," Davison says.
Davison recalls his record-setting session as if it happened last week.
"I had been losing at poker at another casino, and I was down to spit," he says. "So I decided to come to Binion’s and try to collect money that some people owed me."
Davison was actually down to his last six bucks, but he ended up at the craps table where someone put the dice in his hand, so he put a dollar on the Pass line and rolled the dice.
Over the course of the next hour and forty-five minutes, Hollywood Jack made 34 straight passes, which included about eight 7’s and four 11’s on the come-out, with the rest point passes.
Davison says he never made any Come bets, and his only proposition bet was the three-way craps. After about 10 rolls of strictly line bets, he began placing the numbers as well.
”˜I was down to spit ... when the run was over I found chips in pockets I didn’t know I had!’
"The key is getting to the table limit as fast as you can" Davison says, adding that his play typically consists of the Pass line, backing up with odds and pressing the Place bets.
"It’s my belief that you can build a lumberyard with a toothpick ”” I’ve done it," he says.
While Davison won’t reveal exactly how much money he cashed out at the craps table, it was in the thousands of dollars. "I was finding black chips in pockets that I didn’t know I had," he says.
Davison believes it wasn’t simply luck that led to his record-breaking run. "You have to play with a certain state of mind, and I have a belief in numerology, that certain numbers come in sequences, which brings more numbers," he says.
He also believes in a positive outlook, that he is there to win ”” and that he will win.
"It starts with the power of concentration, and when I’m in the midst of a run at the table, I’m oblivious to what’s going on around me," he says. "The concentration is almost like a trance, and it can be very draining, it can leave you exhausted."
Hollywood Jack, who received his nickname for his days working as a stuntman in the film industry during the 1960s and 1970s, could have been preparing his "platinum" arm for a lifetime.
"Gambling is my life, I’ve always been involved in gambling," he says.
Davison says his father ran some of the underground casinos in New York, and he grew up doing odds jobs until he was old enough to learn how to deal and "hold all the bills between my fingers."
"I became a student of the game, studying with such masters as System Smitty, who was a mathematical genius. But the key has always been having a winning attitude. If you expect to lose, you shouldn’t play."
Davison doesn’t ever expect to lose, but he’s realistic bout the whims of Lady Luck.
"Don’t ever buck the odds when they’re against you," he advises. "My personal limit is three in a row. If I have three straight losers I make a change.
"You have to be able to ”˜clock’ the action ”” the table, the dice, the shooter ”” and get a feel of where things are going," he continues. "Once you can do that, you’ve taken the guesswork out of it. Then everything falls into place, and runs in your favor."