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BJI Newsletter, June 2007, #89


Congratulations to Fred I. for winning our first tournament. See the following paragraph for a list of all the tournament finalists. This month The GameMaster covers the effect of penetration, bet spread, and wonging on your edge in a 6-deck game; don't miss reading this informative article. Do you know what to say and what to do if you are playing blackjack and a casino manager backs you off the game, or worse, asks you to accompany him to the back room? If not, you'd better read LVBear's advice to stay out of serious trouble if this happen to you. Last month, Barfarkel attacked the games in Reno; get the lowdown on how he did including learning about who offers the best games in the area. Casino revenues are heading south in Atlantic City and Frank Scoblete and Alene Paone explain why; plus, learn which AC casino has the best blackjack games. After winning a million bucks in a blackjack tournament, Sammy Vaughn was besieged by reporters and television producers for interviews, yet, only one interview made it on the air. Sammy gives ten reasons why he thinks this happened (your gonna love them). Tournament players, we've got your number. First, Joe Pane summarizes the recent week long series of tournaments at the Cherokee Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma (which some say are the "best of the best"); Ken Smith also discusses the Cherokee tournaments plus the recent three day series of tournaments sponsored by the Tournament Blackjack Players Association at the River Palms Casino in Laughlin, NV. Ken's article also has a short tournament teaser; see if you would have made the right play (Ken didn't); and tournament expert, The Babe, is back with some examples of why the play of the hand is sometimes as important as how much you bet. Poker players, are you confused about split pots in Texas Hold'em. Bill Burton explains in clear English how they are determined. And last, but not least, we have a summary of upcoming tournaments courtesy of (there are some good ones coming up). Tournament

Thirty three players competed (with 36 re-buys) in the first tournament held at the River Palms in Laughlin, NV (May 11-13). There was a total of $7,650 in prize money. Congratulations to the first place winner, Fred I. (Fredguy), who won $2,716 in cash, plus a lifetime membership to BJI, plus an additional $80 worth of products that we gave away. Other finalists were:

  • 2nd = $1,568 Tammy Edney (Themom82)
  • 3rd = $1,186 Keith Wolf
  • 4th = $803 Tom K. (T-gun)
  • 5th = $421 Chuck E. (Rookie)
  • 6th = $268 Barb Townsend

    Semifinalists (received $115 each)

  • Lou C. (LHenryC)
  • Sue K. (Swede21)
  • Larry M. (Hopping Larry)
  • Harry F. (Eastxpro)
  • Ronald A.
  • Fred K. (FGK)

    I had a blast at the River Palms, met a lot of nice people including many BJI subscribers, and also managed to reach the final table in Saturday's Tournament Blackjack Tour event (unfortunately I couldn't win a hand to save my life in the finals and finished in 6th place, winning $520).

    Kudos to Rick Jensen for organizing the event and running it like a fine tuned engine, and to Daniel Higginbotham, Table Games Manager, and his staff, for a terrific job in making sure all the tournaments ran smoothly, and all the winners were paid immediately after their tournament was completed. Higginbotham also donated a bunch of very nice prizes for random drawings that were held every day (free room nights, free matchplay chips, and lots more). I got lucky (again) and won four $25 matchplay chips in one drawing (these were the valuable matchplays; you play them till they lose). There is another TBJPA tournament scheduled at the River Palms on August 15-18. Hope to see you there.

    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 #89, June 2007.

    Henry Tamburin


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    "Fortunately, we can measure the effect penetration has on a counter's long-term advantage. Obviously, the deeper, the better but what's "deep?" I'll show you, plus I'll show you a way to artificially increase the penetration by manipulating your bets..."

    Read The GameMaster's complete article.


    "Consider a confrontation with a casino employee, particularly a security guard, to be the same as a confrontation with an unpredictable wild animal. Do not expect that they will obey laws or act reasonably or rationally..."

    Read LVBear's complete article.

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    RENO TRIP REPORT by Barfarkel

    "I haven't visited Reno since November of 2000. I always thought that since I can drive to Vegas and use my own car, as opposed to paying the airlines for a round-trip flight and paying the rental companies for a car, that my "Expense to EV" ratio was always way lower in Vegas. As I was to find out on this five-day trip, it ain't necessarily so..."

    Read Barfarkel's complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete

    "Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, it comes as no surprise that Atlantic City is really slowing down in terms of profit and customer growth. The slot parlors of Pennsylvania are taking many of the day-trippers away from the Boardwalk and the partial smoking bans are causing many table game players to take breaks from the games to go outside or into smoking areas to fill their lungs with nicotine..."

    Read Paone's and Scoblete's complete article.

    PHX. SAM'S TOP 10 by Sammy Vaughn

    "Out of the hundreds of interviews I did during, and after, the big Las Vegas Hilton tournies of 2004 and 2005 (including the one I won for a million bucks), would you believe only part of one interview made it on the air (well maybe not a hundred, but a bunch). And that's only because they twisted Ms. Vicky's arm to get her on camera and tone me down a bit. So here, for the first time in print anywhere, you will read the top 10 reasons why all of my other brilliantly choreographed interviews were S#*! canned..."

    Read Vaughn's complete article.


    "In the month of May, I attended only two tournament events, one in Laughlin and the other in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, in just those two events, I was able to play a total of fifty tables of tournament blackjack. These tournament series are part of a new breed of tournament event, where multiple events are held on consecutive days at the same venue. It's an idea whose origin goes back a few years in a slightly different form..."

    Read Smith's complete article.

    Smart Gaming web site


    "Tournaments, Tournaments, Tournaments, Overlays, Overlays, Overlays, and then add in some Southern Hospitality for an event that some are calling "the best of the best"...

    Read Pane's complete article.


    "Using specific examples, this article will deal with both the bet and the play of the hand, showing that the two should not be isolated, but must be used together in order to promote great competitive play..."

    Read The Babe's complete article.

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    "I receive many e-mails each month asking me questions about Texas Hold'em. The majority of them come from new players, who want me to decide the winning hand, or settle a dispute they had while playing. Since several readers have asked the same question about split pots and tie breakers, I thought I would answer two similar questions in this article..."

    Read our Burton's complete article.


    Check out the schedule of major June and July blackjack tournaments by region in our Blackjack Tournament Report.

    Read our tournament schedule.

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