💰 Blackjack Hall of Fame - Wikipedia

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Biographies of Famous Blackjack Players. One of the most interesting ways to approach any subject-including blackjack-is to take a look at some of the figures​.


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Let's see how they became so famous for playing a blackjack game. Ken Uston. Ken is an excellent blackjack player that took advantage of.


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Blackjack is one of the most famous card games played in high-stakes games in some of the world's most famous casinos. It is no surprise that.


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Famous Blackjack Players. Over the decades blackjack has transformed into one of the most played casino games of all time, with a few key.


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The Blackjack Hall of Fame honors the greatest blackjack experts, authors, and professional players in history. It was launched in , and its physical.


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The Blackjack Hall of Fame honors the greatest blackjack experts, authors, and professional players in history. It was launched in , and its physical.


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famous blackjack player

He was neither nervous nor excited. The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship ends. He was the only Atlantic City casino executive who agreed to talk to me about Johnson. He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up his metabolism and subsisting on vitamin supplements. For Johnson, the game began before he ever set foot in the casino. The last thing a skilled player wants is a big reputation. Word spreads when the betting is that big. He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed only pounds. All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what with the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states. Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before the dealer. When this happened to Johnson, he knew the ground rules had skewed against him. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that he was once a jockey. The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it. Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation. Some wear disguises when they play. But he was not considered good enough to discourage or avoid. The player still loses. The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting. The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. An ordinary guy in a red cap and black hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue. He started to learn a lot about gambling. For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. The way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of variation. They negotiate. With their table-game revenues tanking and the number of whales diminishing, casino marketers began to compete more aggressively for the big spenders. The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries and things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday. When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide. His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought him to Philadelphia when he was about He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the track that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today. The new Parx racetrack and casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from the Atlantic City boardwalk. Who could? Compared with horse racing, the odds in blackjack are fairly straightforward to calculate. But the vast majority of players lose, and the longer they play, the more they lose. The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills. More useful, for his purposes, is running a smaller number of hands and paying attention to variation. He does not just walk into a casino and start playing, which is what roughly 99 percent of customers do. He had beaten the casinos fair and square. He had the money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not have enough of a reputation for the casinos to be wary of him. It was a growth industry. Made famous in books and movies, card counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos. So it was no longer worth his while to play there.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to the gaming tables. He was just getting started. When casinos started getting desperate, Johnson was perfectly poised to take advantage of them. Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents. A tlantic City did know who Johnson was. Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took it from the tray. Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a significant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling. Hard times do not favor the house. For the casino, the art is in telling the skilled whales from the unskilled ones, then discouraging the former and seducing the latter. But the story was even bigger than that. When revenues slump, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a hand. Pennsylvania is likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation. Little interferes with his concentration. The goal is to get to 21, or as close to it as possible without going over. By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining on a year-over-year basis for 32 months. Card counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of the cards that remain in the deck. In most states but not New Jersey , known practitioners are banned. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big. The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully. Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights. High rollers are lured with free meals and drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private jets, and … more. Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. The headline in The Press of Atlantic City was enough to gladden the heart of anyone who has ever made a wager or rooted for the underdog:. As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos. The software his company employs analyzes more data than an ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just five years ago. D espite his pedestrian attire , Don Johnson is no average Joe. But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate. You play against the house. In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal. Johnson won all four hands. Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it is willing to lessen its edge for them. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}D on Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards. Johnson was on an amazing streak. It hurt. He is a veteran player. Nobody gets that lucky. How did he do it? By late , the discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic City casinos began creeping upward, as high as 20 percent. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses. For most people, though, the newspaper headline told a happy story. Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up. The basics of blackjack are simple. But even though he has been around the gambling industry for all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City. A session of, say, hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard casino charts. When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like Revel, or like the Borgata, which opened in , the novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the number of customers ultimately hurts everyone. He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled This was a good bet: since all face cards are worth 10, the deck holds more high cards than low. Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can either stand or keep taking cards in an effort to approach His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again. Almost everyone knows them. At the height of his hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute. Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a year.