See, Believe and Do™

Convincing Dad (Against the Odds!)

by Gregory A. Piccionelli (
        Many years ago, back when my father was alive in the universe of this writing, he became curious regarding my successful application of Universe Surfing to my craps play during a 1989 trip to Las Vegas with my then girlfriend, Anna, and me.  As we discussed the matter it was clear to my girlfriend and me that he was clearly dubious that my apparent beating the odds was anything other than good luck. At the time I was not really interested in discussing my still forming ideas regarding Universe Surfing with anyone other than Anna, who had a degree in physics from UCLA and appreciated the mysteries of quantum mechanics.  This is was in part because I didn’t want to sound crazy and develop a reputation as a nut, particularly since I was in law school with Anna at the time.  But I did want my father to visualize and surf into a universe where he would live a long life (which he did, at least in my timeline).  And besides Anna, being a physicist, could provide me with some backing that my ideas actually had some scientific support.  “O.K., then,” he asked, “can you show me how to win when I bet?”  I answered with some hesitancy, “Yes.”   

The reason for my hesitancy in response to my father’s agreement to put me to the test was my knowledge that my Dad’s preferred casino game was Keno, not craps. I knew he didn’t know how to play craps and, as expected, he declined my invitation to teach him so I could demonstrate Universe Surfing applied to a more player-friendly game.  I explained to him how much more the odds in Keno were against the player versus craps.  After patiently listening to mini dissertation on various casino game odds, my Dad gently responded, “But Greg, if it works, it should work for Keno too, yes?”  I couldn’t argue with that logic.  What could I say?  O.K, challenge on.  Besides now I was curious, would it work? 

After agreeing to the challenge I asked my Dad if he could please pick a winning bet outcome that did not have astronomical odds against its occurrence.  Something that was not magnitudes of order more improbable than rolling a 6 or an 8, but improbable enough to cause him to consider the possibility there was something to my Universe Surfing ideas.  He decided on a 5 “spot” bet which involves picking 5 numbers he hoped would be drawn.  The bet has a 1 in 322.5 chance of winning.  With that we proceeded to the Keno section of the casino.  We sat down and my father picked his numbers.  As he got up to place the bet, I stopped him.  “What’s up?,” he asked.   “Dad,” I said, it will take a while for me to surf to the universe where those numbers will be picked.  He smiled as if he had found the catch.   I said, “No really, it will take a bit of time for us to surf to that universe.”  He asked, “How long then?”  I paused and tried to internally see/feel how “far” away it was.  “About the time it takes for them to draw around twelve games, Dad,” I replied.  

So for ten games we sat in the Keno area watching the balls bounce chaotically and be drawn to produce the game results.  At the eleventh game I told my father “You should start betting now.”   He looked puzzled.  I explained to him I had never done this with Keno and I might be off by one or two games. 

My father got up and placed his first universe surfing bet.   The game results were drawn and …. he didn’t win.  “Now what?,” he asked.  “You play again … and you get ready to win,” I replied with a smile.   Then as he got up to place the bet, I got up too, but turned the other way.  “Where are you going?, “ he asked.  To get a coke to celebrate.  Then I asked if he or Anna wanted me to get them something from the casino bar nearby.
A little while later, as I was collecting our drinks at the bar to walk back to the Keno area about one hundred feet away, I heard sudden bunch of cheering and whooping coming from the Keno area.  I knew at that moment that I had successfully surfed into the universe I was aiming for.   “Thank you,” I recall saying quietly out loud.  

My father’s bet paid something like $450 dollars on a his $5 bet.  But both he and I, and my girlfriend Anna, who would be the object of some more successful universe surfing and eventually become my wife, we all, were provided with something much greater that day.  
© Gregory A. Piccionelli: See Believe and Do, G.A.P.Man and Universe Surfing are trademarks owned by Gregory A. Piccionelli.  Reproduction by permission only.