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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, July 2005, #66


Wow! That was my reaction when I started reading the articles/reports that my team of blackjack experts sent me for this month's issue. For starters, LV Tournament Pro gives the inside scoop on the recent court ruling against Caesars Palace and Griffin Investigations regarding the back rooming of two professional gamblers and disseminating false information on them. We all know that skillful blackjack players can get the edge when they play. But so can poker players. And lot's more poker players will be getting the edge when they use the new poker strategy cards developed by Hal Marcus (read his article for the details and his comparison to blackjack strategy cards). The Suit, who worked in the pits for many years, tells you what actions the floor will take against a skilled advantage player. We welcome our newest BJI reporter, Low Roller, who provides the latest blackjack playing conditions in three Gulf Coast properties (Beau Rivage, Palace, and Treasure Bay, one of which has a great 2-deck game). Likewise Fred Renzey summarizes the blackjack conditions in the Chicago area (some good games available) and Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete do the same for Atlantic City (you also don't want to miss reading Scoblete's piece, "He Kicked my Ass" that precedes his AC Report). Wouldn't you like to make a max $25 wager on the Lucky Ladies side bet and have it hit for a whopping five grand payoff? It happened to Barfarkel and his playing partner, The Grifter, and you can read about their big score in the conclusion of Barfarkel's trip report. Kenneth Smith provides us with a useful indicator on when to take insurance after the first hand of a shuffle in a single or double deck game (this is good stuff). If you are going to be successful playing Texas Hold'Em, you gotta know how to play The Flop. Bill Burton offers sound advice on this in his All About Poker column. WSOB finalist Rick Jensen offers sobering advice for all casino players on how we should have our priorities straight before we head to the casinos (must reading). And last, but not least, Kenneth Smith gives the rundown on upcoming blackjack tournaments.

I'll be teaching another Golden Touch Blackjack class featuring Speed Count in Chicago the weekend of August 13 and 14. Our newest BJI columnist, Low Roller, learned Speed Count in our February class. Read her Gulf Coast BJ report in this issue to learn how she has done since switching to Speed Count. Summer special! For our Chicago class you can save 25% off the tuition. Space is limited so reserve your spot today by calling 1-866-WIN-BJ21 (1-866-946-2521).

Enjoy this issue of BJI and good cards!

If you come across an unfamiliar blackjack term in one of our articles or reports, see our Blackjack Glossary:

E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #66, July 2005.

Henry Tamburin


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"Defense Attorney Erika Pike Turner is sobbing before the jury, begging them not to financially annihilate her client, Griffin Investigations. A week earlier, the six men and two women found Griffin guilty of maliciously libeling two professional gamblers, Mike Russo and James Grosjean, awarding the players $25,000 each in damages. Now the jury is determining the additional amount needed to punish Griffin and deter them and similar companies from harassing professional players, as they have for several decades, by distributing sometimes false information to casinos and law enforcement agencies about them..."

Read LV Tournament Pro's complete article.


"In discussing strategy after The Flop, most books will provide many pages of discussion to cover various scenarios and modifications based on whether your opponents play loose, or tight and bet aggressively or passively. This type of coverage is good, and I think you should read one or more books before playing for real money so you are aware of many of the scenarios that will unfold. But when you play with real money, I wanted to distill this information into a handy reference card to act as a refresher, and a quick and useful practical tool to help give me an edge over the other players..."

Read Marcus' complete article.


"Assume that a casino has determined you are good enough to back off. What is their next move? As I have stated in previous articles I have written in BJI, every casino has different policies and within every casino there are different points of view amongst managers as to how to tell a player that they can not play blackjack. Here are some things I have done, or seen done to advantage players, over the many years that I've worked in the pit..."

Read The Suit's complete article.

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LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT-April-May, 2005 Part 2 by Barfarkel (aka LV Pro)

"I was ahead about $50 when, towards the end of the hour, a monster plus count appeared. "It's party time," whispered The Grifter, giving me our pre-arranged vocal signal to spread to two max bets apiece. I knew it anyway. We each had two hands of $100 out with green chips on each of the four Lucky Ladies spots. My first hand was a blackjack against a dealer ten upcard. I was turning it up when on my left I heard my partner yell, "Ho!" as he threw down two red queens upon the felt. I looked closer. There they were - the two most beautiful Queens of Hearts I've ever seen! We had hit the 200-1 payoff!.."

Read Barfarkel's complete article.


"The Mississippi Gulf Coast offers a truly mixed bag of good, bad and ugly table rules, anything from six-deck shoes with both late surrender and resplitting of aces (good) down to 6:5 single-deck games with hit on soft 17, double on 10 and 11 only, no DAS, no resplitting of any pair (ugly)..."

Read Low Roller's complete article.


"The Grand "Vic" has 26 blackjack tables, all on one floor. There are usually four $10 tables, four to six $15 dollar tables, a dozen $25 tables, three or four $50 tables and one or two $100 tables. There is no high limit room and no "No-Mid-Shoe-Entry" signs. Penetration is on the poor side, even for the area. Average cutoff is about 1.8 to 2.0 decks. If they think you might be a skilled player, they won't hesitate to cut the shoe in half, but to my knowledge they have never backed off an advantage player who merely plays solo..."

Read Renzey's complete article.

ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete

"The call came in around 1AM this morning and I happened to be up so I answered the phone. "Golden Touch," I said. "I want Frank Scobolatte," said a harsh voice. "Sco-blet-tee. Frank is not here," I lied. From the tone of the voice I knew this was not a caller I wanted to speak to as myself. "This is Ja-Jim. Can I help you?" "Where's Scobolatte?" "It's Sco-blet-tee. You're making him sound like a coffee," I said and chuckled. Maybe I could chuckle this guy into a good humor. "Yeah, well, SCO-BO-LET-TEE is a f---! And you can tell him that!" said the voice..."

Read Scoblete's and Paone's complete article.


"During the tournament at the Horizon casino in Lake Tahoe, Kevin Blackwood gave me a good tip for this event, and you may find it useful for playing at live single deck tables as well. In the Horizon tournament, with all the cards dealt face up and usually seven players at the table, you could see 15 cards right off the bat. With that many cards exposed, taking insurance was often the correct play even on the first hand after a shuffle..."

Read Smith's complete article.

Smart Gaming web site


"I have a story about another good guy of blackjack, Ken Smith. He and his brother qualified for this year's finals of the Las Vegas Hilton's Million Dollar Blackjack tournament where one lucky player out of 200 would win a million bucks. Just days before they were scheduled to leave for Vegas their dad had to have emergency bypass surgery. This tournament is the largest of all the blackjack tournaments and because Ken has two of the top blackjack sites online, everyone was expecting him and his brother to be there. But once his father went to the hospital they did the right thing and canceled their flight, hotel, and playing spots in the tournament to be by their father's side. These are two gentlemen that have their priorities straight in life..."

Read Jensen's complete article.


"The flop is the first three community cards turned over by the dealer. Choosing to play a starting hand is the biggest decision you will make while playing Texas Hold'em. Deciding whether to continue playing after seeing the flop will be your second biggest decision. It can also be one of the most costly decisions if you continue after the flop with an inferior hand..."

Read Burton's complete article.


Check out the schedule of blackjack tournaments by region in our Blackjack Tournament Report.

Read our tournament schedule.

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