theOmega623
theOmega623
Joined: Oct 30, 2014
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heatmap
July 17th, 2020 at 7:27:45 AM permalink
Greetings everyone!

So with the Covid-19 shutdown, my blackjack career has been on hold since March. It's been tough, but the one upside is that I've been able to spend lots of time with my little girl. I am thinking I will most likely wait until the beginning of next year to get back to playing, plenty of time to figure things out and by then hopefully the worst of this virus will have run its course.

I've been reevaluating when and how to return to the game and one of the options I've been considering is starting up a small blackjack team. Ive played with a partner before but never a well organized team. I was thinking of reaching out to experienced card counters to start a team of roughly 5 players, all contributing the same amount with an even split of profits between players and even say so of how the team should operate. Admittedly, I am not the most social person and have not built many relationships with AP's. It's hard to find people that you can trust, for this reason I think many players opt to play strictly solo.

I am wondering if any of you guys have ever been part of any kind of AP team? If so, I would love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences on the subject!

Hope all you guys have been doing well!

- Omega
ChumpChange
ChumpChange
Joined: Jun 15, 2018
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July 17th, 2020 at 8:06:11 AM permalink
I saw the movie 21 (2008) on Netflix recently. GAME OVER!
darkoz
darkoz
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Minty
July 17th, 2020 at 8:18:10 AM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

I saw the movie 21 (2008) on Netflix recently. GAME OVER!



That movie is filled with so much BS.

No AP would give their chips to hookers they barely knew to cash out.

The leader literally says it's too suspicious if a bunch of grown men cash out tens of thousands of dollars so they opt for the, ahem, less suspicious strippers in full regalia all lined up behind one another.

The list could go on and on with that film
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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July 17th, 2020 at 8:42:19 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

That movie is filled with so much BS.

No AP would give their chips to hookers they barely knew to cash out.

The leader literally says it's too suspicious if a bunch of grown men cash out tens of thousands of dollars so they opt for the, ahem, less suspicious strippers in full regalia all lined up behind one another.

The list could go on and on with that film



It was a movie! And Hollywood takes liberties with the truth in movies. lol.

I began my blackjack career in 2004. The Movie "21" came out in spring of 2006. I remember thinking this was going to be terrible for a young struggling counter like me. Would draw a lot of attention and the casinos would tighten up. The opposite happened. The next several years were a boom for casinos in terms of blackjack. Thousands of want-a-be card counters, with neither the knowledge, nor bankroll to win. These people knew just enough to lose their shirt and rather quickly. I later learned very similar had happened in the 60's just after Thorp's book "Beat the dealer" came out.
kewlj
kewlj
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July 17th, 2020 at 9:08:28 AM permalink
Quote: theOmega623

Greetings everyone!

So with the Covid-19 shutdown, my blackjack career has been on hold since March. It's been tough, but the one upside is that I've been able to spend lots of time with my little girl. I am thinking I will most likely wait until the beginning of next year to get back to playing, plenty of time to figure things out and by then hopefully the worst of this virus will have run its course.

I've been reevaluating when and how to return to the game and one of the options I've been considering is starting up a small blackjack team. Ive played with a partner before but never a well organized team. I was thinking of reaching out to experienced card counters to start a team of roughly 5 players, all contributing the same amount with an even split of profits between players and even say so of how the team should operate. Admittedly, I am not the most social person and have not built many relationships with AP's. It's hard to find people that you can trust, for this reason I think many players opt to play strictly solo.

I am wondering if any of you guys have ever been part of any kind of AP team? If so, I would love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences on the subject!

Hope all you guys have been doing well!

- Omega



I applaud you for taking time away from blackjack and the casinos and spending it with your little girl. Casinos are a petri dish for germs and viruses. Very bad environment for a time like this. The last think you want to do is bring this virus home to family and your little girl.

I shutdown my play in March as well, about a week and a half before casinos shutdown. And then I got covid-19 in April, so I was anxious to get back when they re-opened here in Vegas on June 4. I though having had the virus, I would have protection and immunity. Looks like that is less and less true each day. Looks like immunity lasts weeks to several months rather than years.

So I went back to the casinos June 4 and decided to shutdown again a week and a half later, when I could see people weren't taking masks and precautions seriously. When I weigh risk vs reward, it is just not worth it right now for me, as I do have a pre-existing heart condition and have had 2 heart surgeries. I plan to re-evaluate things next month, but in all likelihood, I am done playing blackjack for this year as well. I have been briefly visiting casinos twice a week to cash out free play. That will run out in another month or two as offers diminish.

So on to your question about team play. I have been recruited and offered to join several teams, including one pretty known team years ago, just after I moved to Vegas. I declined. There are some issues and dangers with team play. First there are teams that now use disposable players. You join, play, burn out your face in a year and then they are done with you and you have a harder time playing even solo after. You should decide if that is worth it to you and If you are looking at card counting long-term thing.

Second issue with teams is trust. ALL blackjack teams have issues with trust. Card counting play is naturally high variance and when someone hits a fairly normal negative run, the worst of human nature emerges and first thought is that player is skimming from the team.

I decided long ago, that any team play I did would be with very close friends that I trust completely, would trust with everything I have, because that is what you are doing. My brother and I formed a two man team, or partnership, using the EMFH play style rather than the call in style, several years ago when he moved to Las Vegas and started playing. We played together 2 years and I thought it was great for both of us, but he decided he wanted to play solo.

For anyone who doesn't know, the EMFH team is players playing separately but sharing bankroll and results. This has two benefits. One you can play larger stakes on a combines BR that players might be able to solo. That wasn't our benefit as I have adequate BR. But the second big benefit is it smooths out variance. You get to the "long_term" quicker and usually both players don't hit that long negative run at the same time, which smooths out the ride.

Anyway, just some thoughts and experiences. Take care and good luck during these times.

KJ
billryan
billryan
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July 17th, 2020 at 9:19:20 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

That movie is filled with so much BS.

No AP would give their chips to hookers they barely knew to cash out.

The leader literally says it's too suspicious if a bunch of grown men cash out tens of thousands of dollars so they opt for the, ahem, less suspicious strippers in full regalia all lined up behind one another.

The list could go on and on with that film




I believe the chips story is also told in the book, although I'm sure the movie played it up for effect. I'd think many escorts get chips as compensation. There is a story I read in a book on Vegas about a " billionaire" hosting a party and handing out chocolate chips like they were playthings and only later were the chips discovered to be obsolete. It was a horrible movie.

Anyone thinking of starting a team should read T.K. Kenyon's "The Law of Large Numbers". It's a short cautionary tale about the problems of such a team and one mans unique solution to the problems.
Best of luck.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
theOmega623
theOmega623
Joined: Oct 30, 2014
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July 17th, 2020 at 9:32:00 AM permalink
Thank you for your response Kewlj!

As much as I hated to quit playing for the year nothing is more important to me than keeping my family safe. I've had a somewhat similar experience playing with a partner, I played the same style of team play with one of my closest friends for a couple years, we would take trips together and play separately on a shared bankroll. It was low stakes, we combined to make a small bankroll ($5k) and it went well. He is somebody I trust 100%, it was alot of fun and we did end up nearly doubling the bankroll but the problem was that I was available to play much more often than him and eventually he became too busy. It obviously would have been much more lucrative with a bank of around $25k - $50k, but not everyone is comfortable with that level of play even if they have the funds. I appreciate you sharing your experience!
theOmega623
theOmega623
Joined: Oct 30, 2014
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July 17th, 2020 at 9:34:13 AM permalink
Thanks for the response and the book recommendation billryan! I'll definitely check it out.
vegas
vegas
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July 17th, 2020 at 2:39:34 PM permalink
Kewl
You mentioned on another thread you were considering leaving vegas and buying some property about 90 minutes away. What about your blackjack career? How would you make a living?
50-50-90 Rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there is a 90% probability you'll get it wrong
kewlj
kewlj
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July 17th, 2020 at 6:59:58 PM permalink
Quote: vegas

Kewl
You mentioned on another thread you were considering leaving vegas and buying some property about 90 minutes away. What about your blackjack career? How would you make a living?



90 miles isn't that far to commute to Vegas a couple times a week. For 5 and a half years I lived in Philadelphia and commuted to Atlantic City to play. (This was before Pa had table games). Most blackjack AP's do a lot of travel all over the country.

But....I am probably not going to make that move right now.

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