How true is it?
  • I just got done reading Bringing Down The House, the story about the students from MIT who beat Vegas for millions. How true is that? Ive heard that their winnings were greatly exaggerated. How does anyone or any team for that matter win that much money consistently. I do play blackjack, and I am a card counter, but this kind of winning is really unheard of, even with counting cards. I'm just curious where fact ends and fiction begins. Anybody with any input or opinions on this I'd like to hear it. I mean the book is good reading, but it seems improbable. Also are there any teams out there now like these MIT students making this kind of money? I mean if this supposedly worked, why can't everyone do it?
  • hi Jay-
    the history channel did a "docudrama" i guess you'd call it about the m.i.t. team. on it Semyon Dukach, a former member of the team said he had multiple sessions in which he'd won in the neighborhood of $150,000.00-$180,000.00.
    i think the title of the docudrama was "Breaking Vegas;the story of the m.i.t. blackjack team.
    from what i could gather they played in the high stakes area,bet large,very large, and used a spotter/big player team approach.
    best of luck-
  • JayJ, I've got to say the book, Bringing Down The House, is mostly a non fictional account of one of the now infamous MIT blackjack teams. Busting Vegas, is another book about another of the MIT teams, the one including Semyon Dukach. Both books are written by the same author Ben Mezrich. Some of the stories in these books have been embellished for entertainment value, and to make a readable book. Mezrich had to write books with more than just the math and blackjack strategy behind the teams so it would appeal to a wider audience, and not just the blackjack buffs. As far as the money won, that is fairly accurate, as a matter of fact in the case of Semyon Dukach, its even understated. These teams were not your average joe card counter teams. They were highly skilled, expertly trained, and had inexaustable bankrolls. They were actual corporations with big money investors. Even today there are still blackjack teams from MIT playing, although I don't think on the same scale as the teams from the 90's. Anyway if you read the book you know there was much more to these teams than counting, and yes it was extremely lucrative. Everyone can't do it, because it takes a lot of time, enormous dedication, and lots of money. But if you've got all that, and a few other people just like you, yes you can do it too. The problem being, its a whole lot harder than it sounds.
  • You know they did not bring down the house or bust the town, but they did win about the amount of money stated. At the same time, during the period they were playing, the casinos also were making money. Counters, even well financed teams are just an annoyance to the bottom line of most casinos and not a threat like the title says or the casinos like to say.
    Teams have been operating (almost non stop) worldwide for over 30 years and are operating today.

  • I know they didn't really break Vegas or even bankrupt any casino, I just thought they won way too much. I know counting can give you an advantage, but the book made it sound like everytime they walked into a casino they walked out with tens of thousands of dollars. I find it hard to believe that even a skilled team with a large bankroll could win all the time and always for a lot of money. I play about 1 weekend a month. My unit is $10 and I'm up about 100 units for last year. I'm happy with that, but thats nowhere near the success rate of the MIT team. I understand I play on a much smaller level, but I still can't comprehend their winning percentage. I try to always play with an advantage, but its usually such a small one that I never know for sure if I'm going win. These kids seemed to always, or at least more often than anyone I've ever heard of win. I'd like to believe its true, I just am not completely sold.

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