But it was all I had. As the idea of a larger-scale blackjack team began to grow, we knew we needed more capital to keep the business stable. A plastic card used to cut the deck after shuffling. Ballroom fans of baccarat are play target audience, but they have not all slots casino download all the other gamblers. By Arnold Snyder Blackjack Math: With no income and all this new overhead, we fell back on the only honest thing we knew how to do. You have to get out there and put your theories to the test by putting your money on the line.
While I was languishing at trying to train myself, a member of one of the most successful national card counting teams of the s and s spotted Ben at a local casino. Recruited as a potential new spotter for the team, Ben was trained by them.
They had a rigorous test-out process and Ben failed. But he stuck with it. Learning from the best, his game went from break-even to perfect and he eventually passed. Ben also agreed to test me out. I made a couple counting mistakes, missed payout errors, and overlooked deviations.
As it turned out, this was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. By finally becoming aware of the mistakes I was making, I was able to correct them. Over the next couple of months, Ben and I started winning. I stopped answering those early-morning phone calls offering me substitute-teaching gigs. No one had ever told me about entrepreneurialism.
And though not only the money was intoxicating, but I was in complete control of my own destiny. But if I wanted to put in extra hours to see my nest egg grow even faster, I did.
After several months, we added a partner. The more I read, the more holistic my understanding of card counting became. I also started teaching myself how to use blackjack simulation software. As I studied the impact of every variable in the casino on our win rate, the way we played changed. And it kept changing as my concept for the full potential of blackjack and card counting began to broaden. But using the software, I saw way more potential than that.
Grace and I discussed at length some of the possible dispositions of the profits and we finally came up with two major splurges: Grace would quit her dental office assistant job to go back to school to become a licensed dental assistant and I would get a jacket…. A dealer did ask me one night if I was a model, so hey, the coat must have really been worth it.
I have to admit, I was intimidated. He was no drug dealer, as it turned out. He was a card counter, and much more experienced than we were. We were ready to start playing higher-limit locations around the country.
With out-of-state trips came bigger casinos, bigger plays, and bigger swings. Experiencing the kind of team play portrayed in movies like 21 , based on the book Bringing Down the House , presented exciting new possibilities, as well as an array of new challenges. Though our first couple of bankrolls were pretty rough, taking a lot longer than expected to meet our goal, I personally seemed to be on an endless winning streak.
Ben and Sammy, in particular, seemed to butt heads on all kinds of issues. After about a year of this, Ben left the team to invest some of his profits into real estate and invited me to join him. We read a few books on real estate investing and jumped in with both feet. I still joke with people that we invested in blackjack and gambled in real estate.
With no income and all this new overhead, we fell back on the only honest thing we knew how to do. We refinanced one of the properties, pulling out as much equity as we could, and used it to start a new bankroll.
I was terrified to head back to a casino for the first time after nearly a year-long break. What if we go bankrupt? So I pushed past my fear and started hitting the casinos hard. First off, we started winning. Ben was excited about the new possibility. I was reluctant, but after a few weeks of talking about it, we took on Garrett. We trained him, tested him out, and sent him to the casinos with our money, while we continued playing ourselves.
Before long, word started to spread in our circles of this strange and compelling career opportunity. Others from our social networks, primarily the churches we attended, began inquiring about the possibility of getting trained and joining the ranks. One player turned into two. Two turned into four. As the idea of a larger-scale blackjack team began to grow, we knew we needed more capital to keep the business stable. We approached some family and friends—and only those few who had already poked their noses in, curious about making money via card counting—about the idea of investing in the team.
We guaranteed nothing, but showed them two charts: A few weeks later, we had a bankroll of a half-million dollars. Just as the ranks of blackjack trainees began to grow, Ben and I went on a horrific losing streak.
The system worked, our skills were top-notch, and with additional players, we could take things to the next level. With this kind of return, it was no surprise that no one wanted to cash out, choosing instead to roll over their profits into the next bankroll. Ben and I continued adding more players to the ranks eight tested out and six more were in training and the money train kept rolling along. At that point, we had 15 players and five more in training.
Real estate was the furthest thing from our minds. All of our energies were directed towards the Church Team. The new year, , began with high expectations and new reasons to be excited. My oldest friend, Bryan, had moved to L. After his first documentary project wrapped, Bryan began scouting for new project possibilities. What could be more interesting than filming the inner workings of a group of high-stakes card counters, most of whom met through the church?
After agreeing to the project on the stipulation that we would have input on when it could be released, Bryan began filming what would become Holy Rollers: With 28 players, three trainees, a million-dollar bankroll, and a camera crew following us around on our exploits, we had all the makings for a perfect storm and we sure got one—our biggest losing streak ever.
While losing streaks happen, this was way outside of normal. Then we began to see and hear things from our players that slowly opened our eyes to the fact that we had an unhealthy team on our hands. This lined up with our results… only half of the players had been profitable for the team.
We took some drastic measures, which included convincing investors to close a bankroll while it was at a small loss so we could make structural changes to the team. We showed a handful of players and trainees the door, realizing not everyone has the skills, mettle, and dedication it takes to be successful as a card counter.
The goal was to have a team that was a little bit leaner and meaner. However, as soon as the team stopped growing, Ben lost interest and never regained the excitement he felt when the sky was the limit. I was still bullish on running the Church Team, but with stricter standards, finding new players became a challenge.
It had happened so organically in the past. As it turned out, we never found new players who matched the original core group. The object of the game of Blackjack is simply to get more points than the dealer without going over Analysis and advice for experienced players who have mastered basic strategy, and are looking to add an extra edge to their game.
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