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My Favorite Guru

My Favorite Guru

When one writes about the gaming industry, one expects to get emails from everyone who has a book coming out involving casinos or gambling. For instance, one of former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman’s people contacted us a couple of months ago about interviewing him on his upcoming book, Being Oscar.

We told them sure, but since we had about 56 trade shows to attend within a period of, like, a week, we asked to do it right away. They said, no, too soon. Apparently, at that time, he was just too busy being Oscar. (Hey, it’s a full-time job.)

But one interview opportunity sent to us a few weeks ago may be too good to pass up—well, at least from the perspective of getting material for a humor column. The subject of the email was “Slot Machine Secrets,” and it offered a chance to interview Earnest Cobb, who, it says, is also known as “The Slot Guru.” He’s written an “ebook” called The Secrets of Hitting More Jackpots.

As you may suspect, I was taken aback. I thought I was the Slot Guru. I even did a show about MegaJackpots for the Player’s Network once where they called me their resident Slot Guru. A spiffy young news anchor would report information about IGT MegaJackpots winners and throw it to me, the crusty old Jimmy-the-Greek kind of expert, for the “tip of the day.”

But Earnest Cobb—yes, he spells it “Earnest,” because he just is—evidently is the new Slot Guru, according to the email. I was intrigued, but before I turned in my guru clothes (it’s a robe that I wear as I sit on mountaintops waiting for people to come with slot questions), I wanted to investigate further. There was a link to a YouTube video on the email, so I clicked it.

It was entertaining, to say the least. The guy says he’s been playing the slots for 20 years, even though he looks like he’s about 25. (Evidently, he started at age 5 with “My First Slot” by Fisher-Price.) He introduces himself as the Slot Guru, and says he “plays slots as a full-time job.” Then, he actually makes a sign of the cross, “blessing” the viewer as he introduces himself. (I guess slots are his religion.)

The Guru says he’s won more than $10 million playing slots, and he shows you a BMW he bought. (Ten mil, and you couldn’t spring for a Porsche?) He also shows you a luxury apartment which, thanks to slot winnings, he “rents for $2,300 a month.” Umm… Does he know he can actually buy a place with $10 million? And $2,300 a month? That may land a decent crib where he’s from, but what if you want to live in New York City? For that rent, good luck finding a heated grate and a refrigerator cart.

But the real fun comes when he tells you how he wins. It’s all by “karma.” He wins because he gives money away, which makes him “tingle all over.” He proves it by giving a $10 bill to another player in the casino where he’s filming the video. (The player looks at him as if he’s unsure whether to accept money from an obviously disturbed individual.)

“The Slot Guru is not meant to take; he’s made to give!” he says, speaking of himself in the third person, as gurus often do.

He goes on to show you the book he’s written, with the sole purpose of “sharing his secrets.”

He admits he’s not going to tell you he can guarantee you’ll win. However, he does give you a hint at advice in his book that can lead to you becoming a well-off professional slot player with a BMW and a rented broom closet in New York: “You have to want to win!”

Wow, why didn’t I ever think of that? I always go into a casino hoping I’ll come out sifting through pocket lint.

He calls it the “SPEC Method”—”Select, Project, Expect and Collect!” If you expect to win, you will.

“The biggest thing is to believe,” sayeth the Guru. “Some people are satisfied with small wins like $50. I take $50 and make it $100. I take $100 and make it $1,000.”

Try this: Pay $20 for the Guru’s ebook and make it nothing.

He does win me over with his advice for young urban teens who want to get out of the gang life and be gurus like him some day: “I win because I finished high school and went to college. And pull your pants up when I’m talkin’ to you!”

Amen, brother!

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.