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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Sept. 2006, #80


This issue begins with an incredible, but true story, of how BJI writer Kenneth Smith's perseverance at an advantage play eventually turned a "house game" into a massive payday (to the tune of $100K). How he won the big jackpot is worth reading to learn how these advantage plays occur. Yours truly did a casino run to report on some of the best two-deck games in Vegas. LV Tournament Pro writes about a recent blackjack tournament cruise that he took including the unthinkable - the ship slammed into the dock. Our mid-west writer, JPB, surveys the blackjack offerings at the four Kansas City casinos. Frank Scoblete's report contains an interesting interview with a Tables Games Manager and his opinion of card counters, feedback of blackjack conditions from several Atlantic City players, and a complete run down of the current blackjack games in AC (the good, the bad, and the very ugly). You wouldn't think that cops hate card counters but that's not the case according to Las Vegas lawyer Bob Nersesian. Our Gulf Coast Reporter, The Low Roller, summarizes her big victory at the first World Craps Championship. Titan Poker is one of our advertisers and our poker writer Bill Burton revews their site. And last but not least, we have a summary of September blackjack tournaments courtesy of

The September issue of Casino Player magazine features an interview I did with the winner of the first Ultimate Blackjack Tour, David Matthews, who offers tips on how to play in Elimination Tournaments. The issue also features an article by me on how to master the ten most difficult hands in blackjack (you can subscribe to Casino Player at our special negotiated 10% BJI discount - click here for details).

Speaking of the UBT, the first show will premier Saturday, Sept.16 on CBS at 2 pm EST. The players include BJI contributing writers Kenneth Smith and "Hollywood" Dave Stann, "Big" Chuck Gorson (who beat me on the last hand in a preliminary UBT round), Michael Castellana and poker pros "Miami" John Cernuto and Alex Brenes. The show is exciting from start to finish - don't miss seeing it.

Beginning Sept. 23, the UBT begins its second season in Aruba. The tournament is open to the public. Besides paying the entry fee, you can also win a seat in the finals by playing in the free tournaments at (the finals will be taped for TV). After Aruba, there will be tournament stops at St. Kits, then different casinos in US (AC, LV, and elsewhere).

If you want to learn about how to strategically play in elimination blackjack tournaments (like the UBT), I recommend you read the second edition of WSOB Champ, Kenny Einiger's book, Play to Win (we added the book to our online store - click here for details). In future issues of BJI, we will also be presenting articles on Elimination Tournaments by our team of expert players.

Here's a heads up for BJI subscribers. The second annual Halloween Blackjack Ball (HBB) will take place in Las Vegas on October 28th (my wife and I attended last years HBB and it was a blast). You'll get to test your card counting, shuffling tracking and hole carding skills against some of the world's best players and authorities. BJI subscribers are invited - see here for details:

A reminder: BJI Members can sign up for a free 3-month membership to the Green Chip forum on, which is one of the best paid private forums for casino players (a 3-month Green Chip membership is normally $12.95). Either click here if you want to purchase a new BJI membership to get this offer, or click here if you are already a paid BJI member (free for existing BJI paid- members).

The next Golden Touch Blackjack course featuring Speed Count will be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 21 and 22. For details on the course call our toll-free number 1-800-944-0406. BJI readers get $100 off the normal sign-up rate ($695 is the discounted tuition for the intensive hands-on two-day course).

The article, More Interesting Characters from the Tournament World, by Sammy Vaughn, which was scheduled for this issue, will appear instead in the October issue of BJI.

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 #80, Sept. 2006.

Henry Tamburin


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"I've now been playing for 24 hours straight, and I've been here at this table for 32 straight hours. As you might expect, I'm exhausted. At this hour, the casino is pretty dead, and I'm thinking that maybe I should take a break for a few hours and hope I can get back on the table around 8 AM, before business picks up. I head off for a 3 hour nap, leaving friends at the table. Before I even get to sleep, my phone rings..."

Read Smith's complete article.


"Ever try to hit a moving target? That's what it felt like trying to write this report. I had played two-deck games in nine different Las Vegas casinos over a three-week period this summer and I no sooner started to write this report when several casinos changed their games. It was back to the drawing board but after I finally got confirmation from some of my moles as to what changes were made, I am now able to publish this report..."

Read Tamburin's complete article.

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"The blackjack tournament scene is about to turn the corner to bigger and better opportunities for all players, no matter how skilled they are deemed to be by the ever-peering eyes of tournament directors and shift managers from around the gaming world. These were uncharted waters that, until recently, had never been sailed upon. Specifically, I am referring to blackjack tournaments sponsored by private companies, where unlike casino-run tournaments, players do not have to fear that they might get banned, or forced to give enough "side play" to be invited to play in a future tournament..."

Read Tournament Pro's complete article.


"This casino boss was not unlike many other casino bosses I've dealt with when consulting on the table games. They are convinced that advantage players, of which card counters are a type, represent a serious threat to their bottom lines. The fact is that most advantage players are so in name only because most advantage players only think they are playing with an edge. But, yes, there are players who can actually beat the casinos - many of you reading this newsletter being among them..."

Read Scoblete's and Paone's complete article.

Smart Gaming web site


"I have been playing at the Kansas City, Missouri casinos off-and-on for about 10 years. Missouri is one of the few areas where a player cannot be barred for card-counting. Please, have no pity for the Missouri casinos; I can assure you they are not being heavily exploited by card counters. The mediocre rules and penetration and $500 buy-in limit (discussed below) make the casinos a difficult environment for a high or medium stakes advantage player. But, there is at least one casino where the blackjack games are worth playing..."

Read JPB's complete article.


"Mike and Steve were both skilled counters, and won accordingly. The pit noticed the streak and notified surveillance. Surveillance trained two cameras on the play, one of which was directly overhead and showed all of the cards and play. A surveillance officer began watching the play. Mike and Steve also noticed each other, and with nary a wink marveled at the coincidence that two knowing players happened upon the same table. As the pair won, the dealer was changed, and surveillance determined that they were counting. A little extra time was also taken to determine if there was any signaling or other activity occurring because it was strange to see two persons playing a similar count at the same table..."

Read Nersesian's complete article.

Poker Drill Master for Windows


"Please don't anyone pinch me. I want to keep having this dream for at least the next two years. Okay, I'll cut to the chase and tell you up front what this is all about. On Sunday, July 23, I won the Captain's Trophy at the World Craps Championship tournament..."

Read Low Rollers's complete article.


"Titan Poker offers some good promotions and bonuses. At the time I signed up on their site, they were offering a 100 percent sign up bonus for new players. You are awarded your bonus by earning Titan Points each time you play. They also offer some other unique promotions such as entry into a $500,000 freeroll tournament by referring two friends..."

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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