Apology To Another Ap
  • First let me start by saying I recently returned from my first trip to Vegas in over 5 years and am very surprised and pleased that I received no harrasment from any of the casinos, including the ones I was supposedly banned from. I don't think I'll push it, but its nice to know the option is there again. Now I need to apologize to a fellow advantage player who really took a beating due to my play. My team and I were playing one of the bigger casinos and I was at a table just spotting for our big player. As I sat there I noticed this guy playing the count to a tee but it didn't bother me as I rarely varied my bet, and when I called in my guy our unit size was vastly different and our BP was only betting big so nothing seemed suspicious. It was all good until I caught a large negative shuffletrack, which by the way I was surprised he didn't leave because the count was severely negative. Anyway I cut it into play on the next shoe and called in my guy when it was coming. Well we did very well but the other guy kept his bets low because his count was negative, totally unaware of the advantage he was missing. Even worse when the track is over and lots of low cards start coming out the count rises but its not a true representation of the shoe and betting with the count now becomes totally inaccurate. This went on for numerous shoes, so needless to say he was getting wiped out on his larger bets. This went on for a few hours and I could see the frustration on this guys face but I could do nothing to alert him about what was really going on without calling attention to myself. During a bathroom break I told one of my teamates to get a hold of this guy when he got up to go to the bathroom or something and discreetly divert him from the table or let him know we were onto him as a counter, see his reaction and if he was okay let him in on what was happening. We never got the chance, this guy was a camel, he never left the table once for 6 hours and when he did he was apparently so broke he just left the casino. I feel badly about this and issue this caution, beware of abnormaly high negative counts, and for godsake go to the bathroom once in a while.
  • Bojack1,

    From posts I've read and things you've posted you seem like a player that has a great deal of experience. I'm 21, I just went to Vegas and made some money, not much, but 700$ is a good sum for me, all this using Basic Strategy. I really liked the game, the adrenaline rush, etc. it felt good to gamble. I'm starting to read about the game and all, it seams interesting all you can get to do with reading/learning/playing smartly.

    My big question is. If I get really serious about BJ, how profitable can it be? I'm still undecided on wether I want to invest my time in learning BJ, cardcounting, etc.

    I'd appreciate your comments, thx.
  • pcristiani, Let me first congratulate you on winning $700. If you stop playing blackjack right now I would say yes it is profitable. But the problem is we both know you're going to play again, and using what you know right now, that might be the end of your profit. Basic strategy is a must but used alone is still a losing game. Counting is a must for an advantage but does not gaurantee immediate profits. And the size of your bankroll will help determine what your approximate profitablity can be, but if not played correctly it doesn't mean a damn thing. I don't want to sound negative, but it is extremely difficult to win at this game unless you are willing to put the time in to learn and practice everything it takes to be an advantage player. Alot of that should come before you even hit the real tables. Learning solely in the casino can get very expensive. And the larger advantage techniques such as shuffletracking should not even be thought about until you can play perfect basic strategy, count cards near flawlessly, including variations to basic strategy based on count, and log some real time at the tables. So the answer is yes this game can be very profitable but only to small percentage of people who have the true discipline and desire to do it right. And many more times than not its a slow arduous process filled with emotional and financial peaks and valleys. If you can handle all of this than you will eventually make money, if not than you can still play for fun, and with some luck have a few winning sessions and maybe earn some comps, but just don't expect too much and you will never be disappointed.
  • BoJack1,

    I've been impressed with your knowledge and playing ability. I'm going to start to learn the techniques you have talked about in previous posts. I want to have more advantage and play options than what only counting gives. I know it will take me a while but from what I have seen and read, it should pay off. Congrats on your successful Vegas trip.
  • Bojack:

    Never forget the 15th century map legend "here there be dragons." (to warn people away from "dangerous" areas of the world. While your sentiment is kind, it can lead to disaster. A couple of comments as to why:

    (1) Family member has been in law enforcement for 35+ years now. He has said many times "the perfect crime gets committed all the time, but we catch 'em anyway. how? they can't keep their mouths shut. After they 'get away' with it, they _have_ to tell someone, and that someone tells someone, until finally there is a cop on the end of that gossip chain and down they go." The moral is to beware.

    (2) my best friend in college ended up as head of security at a casino (I won't mention where). When I learned of this, I decided to never play there for obvious reasons (he knows I count cards, I know he busts card counters). But once I went there looking for him (we were going to hit the buffet together while I was in town visiting a family member that was in the hospital) and when I had floorperson call up to security to have him come down, I was told "they said he was on the floor somewhere but his pager doesn't respond..." I went looking and as I walked by a BJ table I recognized him. I thought "what the hell???" and watched. SOB was counting cards and playing right along with two others. He eventually spotted me, colored up and said "let's go eat..." I asked "what was that all about?" He said "you know, it is amazing, but I can sit at a table like that and play with the count, and once or twice a week someone will approach me later and say 'I count cards and noticed you do the same...'. After a brief introduction (he gives a phony name) they give their real name, he wanders off, goes over to a pit computer, pulls up the player, flags him, and another counter is "done" without ever knowing what he did wrong.

    I don't introduce myself to _any_ counter when playing at a casino. I've made a point to meet several, but _never_ in a casino, or at least in one I ever plan on playing in. If I am playing and notice someone counting, I leave immediately, and two counters at the same table will attract attention much quicker than just one.

    There will always be situations where you wish you could tell everyone "don't play, we have a slug of small cards coming and you will take a beating if you play..." But of course you can't do that. So you steel yourself to the idea "were I not here, they would _still_ play this deck/shoe/whatever and there's nothing I could do. Sometimes you are forced to cut a slug of small cards to the front since you have to cut at least a deck in a shoe game, and the slug you want is right on top before cutting. And you know all those "hopefuls" that bet big off the top are going to get smashed. And there's not a thing you can do about it.

    I had always though the paranoia of card counters was highly "over the top" but a conversation with a well-known AP last Summer was interesting to say the least. I had talked with Arnold Snyder multiple times, we had communcated by email for a couple of years, and when visiting Vegas last year, said "let's meet somewhere..." He instantly replied "great idea..." I offered to "comp him breakfast" and then we started the discussion on where. We ended up about 15 miles south of the Strip joints at a sports bar. He kept saying "no casinos, period. I'm known in many, and they'll kill you by association if we are seen together. He went on to tell me multiple examples of where an AP was identified simply because he was seen associating with one that was already known. So if you have been "made" any sort of discussion with someone else might "make" them even if it is wrong. Or if you say something to someone that has been "made" but not yet backed-off or barred, you are guilty by association as well.

    Even at the blackjack ball, most players are in full costume, since no one knows who will be there or who will be watching from across the street with a camera.
  • SSR, I appreciate and understand your concern on this matter but believe me when I tell you its not necessary. Although its been quite a while for me being in Vegas my team hits it on average 6 times a year for about a week at a time. They know just about everything there is to know about our frequented casinos, including the employees. As a matter of fact our Vegas BP is so in with these guys they go so far as to talk to him about who they think is card counting, it is quite ironic to say the least. He's even gone so far as to suggest putting "plants" at the tables where there were suspected card counters. And wouldn't you know the geniuses at the casino proudly said that they do and showed him where and who. We've been hitting these casinos as a team since 94' and at high stakes since 96'. I would be willing to bet we've experienced more "situations" than most will ever get in a lifetime. Not to sound overly dramatic, but we are a team of professionals, we have the casino we play in cased out before the first chip hits the felt. Although I feel its getting close I am not ready to retire from this life yet, let alone being forced to. Although I am not all knowing, you can be damn sure I would be 100% positive of someone before making any incriminating comments to them. And as far as to what can get you barred, I am fully aware of that, as association with a known counter is what caused my troubles back in 2001. So again thanks for the concern but we don't need it as much as the poor guy who takes a beating sitting at our table just trying to straight count cards.
  • Hi Stainless Steel Rat nice to see your back. But I must say I think your advice to Bojack is good but I would tend to believe he knows what he's doing. I realize you are very knowledgable in the field of blackjack but its like a good weekend golfer giving Tiger Woods tips on his swing. I may be a little biased because of all that he's done for me, but I've witnessed him and one of his teamates play. Its a different level. They are the people that we all would like to be like when it comes to playing blackjack, pros that can command the game like nobodys business. As far as I can tell he's as good as any thats played the game.The fact that he played right along with the MIT teams back in the 90s and is still playing today while they're all gone should attest for something. I may just sound like a big fan of his but thats because I am.

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