kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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Thanks for this post from:
JoemanJohnzimboBleedingChipsSlowlytheOmega623MoscaMission146
December 14th, 2021 at 11:21:11 AM permalink
I know there is not a whole lot of interest in blackjack and card counting and card counters on this forum anymore, but I want to tell a little story of a young card counter.

My brother is 9 years younger than me and in his late 20's. Our lives were kind of separated when I left home at 18 having no relationship with my mother and step dad. We reconnected in his high school years and after he graduated college, he chose to come live with me in Las Vegas. He wanted to learn to play blackjack and do what I do. I wasn't very keen on that idea and tried hard to dissuade him, putting him off for a year. Finally, I gave in and taught him some of what I do, most of what I do, which was all learned from other players, along the way.

So my younger brother has just ended his 5th year of playing blackjack for a living. Technically it is his 6th but the first year was low limit play, sort of a training and learning year. It is 5 years at playing decent stakes and making decent money. Every one of those 5 years has been at or above expectation or what I call accumulated EV for the year. I actually have been sort of waiting for him to have a down year or below expectation just to see how he handled it, because it is pretty easy to play when things are going well, the real test is how you handle things during extended losing periods.

Well most of this year was that below expectation year for him. It just so happens we had an unusual circumstance, and unusual side bet "play" for 16 days in November that bumped us both up significantly for the year. So what looked like his first below year turned out not to be. But I saw enough of him struggling below expectation most of the year to know he can handle it.

So here is the part of the story I am most proud of. When my partner passed in 2018, I sold the house I owned and my brother and myself bought a condo together. Yes the same condo I was recently doxxed about on another forum with "someone" posting the address, name of building and even a description of the unit itself.

So when we purchased this condo, I put up most of the money. My brother put up 10% and the agreement was he would pay another 10% over the next 4 years until he had paid 50%. I thought that rather aggressive because that amount represented about half of his expectation every year.

So having ended his playing year this week (it is slow in Vegas after the Rodeo leaves and not a great time to play), yesterday my brother made his final payment and officially owns half the condo. The deed already showed him as 50% ownership, but it official and he has earned that now.

While I was against him playing blackjack for a living, he is doing really well, loves this lifestyle and I couldn't be more proud of him. And for those that think and say that card counting is dead and buried in 2021....going into 2022....you are WRONG. It takes work, learning to play limits and style that is tolerated and accepted and a little thinking outside the box, but the basic concept (and math) of card counting is still very much alive and well.

A toast and my admiration to my younger brother.
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 14th, 2021 at 11:30:28 AM permalink
Congrats to your brother and yourself. I great story and hopefully inspiration for others.
Order from chaos
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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December 14th, 2021 at 11:35:06 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

Congrats to your brother and yourself. I great story and hopefully inspiration for others.



Thank you kindly DRich. That inspiration part is a little problematic. I have been accused and criticized for inspiring too many card counters. lol. That certainly isn't a goal. No benefit in that to me. I just continue to share some of my own journey and today, my brother and his success is a part of that I wanted to share.

But again thanx.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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December 14th, 2021 at 1:37:22 PM permalink
What % of your income is from +EV BJ versus free play, mailers, special Ďplaysí, etc?

So you and your bro own the condo free and clear? Isnít that a great feeling!?!
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
  • Threads: 216
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December 14th, 2021 at 3:04:36 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

What % of your income is from +EV BJ versus free play, mailers, special Ďplaysí, etc?

So you and your bro own the condo free and clear? Isnít that a great feeling!?!


Yes, there was no mortgage with this property. I bought it outright after selling the house. The only debt owed was a private one between me and my brother while he paid me back for his share.

The +EV question a little more involved. lol. I am a blackjack card counter. Although I have done some other AP things over the years, I always still consider myself a blackjack card counter. So shortly after I moved to Las Vegas, an AP who lived here sort of took me under his wing and shared some things with me. He convinced me to play some video poker, because at that time the casinos were literally fighting over local players and the mailer offers were very strong and made some play, even slightly -EV play, +EV and profitable. His exact words which always resonated with me, was "not taking advantage of this was leaving money on the table".

So over the years first myself and then my late partner always played the VP and mailer game. That and a few other non-card counting things (like a 6 month period playing the big wheel) accounted for roughly 20% of my total AP EV over the years. In addition to the EV from VP/mailer play it meant we always had many points and comps for food, which we used on a daily basis. I have never included the food and points in income, but it really was "hidden income".

So even before my partner passed in 2018, casinos were tightening up on mailer offers. It was becoming less and less and a smaller part of my total EV. And since my partner handled that part, when he passed, I really let it go. In the past 2-3 years I have played the VP/mailer game at just a very few casinos that still gave decent return, including one of the local chains so I always had lots of points for food. This year the EV from that was less than $5000, when it used to be 20-25k. I am back to almost purely a blackjack card counter now. And I never taught my brother the VP/mailer play, although my partner used to play some on his card. So it never affected him, except he always had points on his card to use for free food and meals which was pretty good for him.

So you will notice that I didn't lump the special opportunity that fell to my brother and I in November in with "other EV". While it wasn't the traditional card counting of regular blackjack, it was a blackjack game side bet that required a special count of cards, so it still was card counting, and that is where I put it with my card counting totals. So this year, my other EV was down to 3%. I really am back to my blackjack card counting roots. That is not to say, if someone shares some play or something falls to me, I won't take advantage of it, but I am not expecting that. Right now I am just "counting on" card counting. :/
mcallister3200
mcallister3200
Joined: Dec 29, 2013
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December 14th, 2021 at 3:38:09 PM permalink
Youíre such a salamander;)
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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December 14th, 2021 at 3:47:39 PM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

Youíre such a salamander;)



So I have heard (a few times!)

And I have no problem with that. I play a game I still love even after 18 years. It is not as though I haven't tried some other things. I did some hole-carding. I played the big 6 wheel (Grosgean's angle) for 6 months. I have played the machine play/mailer game. Among other things.

But in the end, I LIKE BLACKJACK CARD COUNTING. I like winning that way. I have incorporated lots of things learned from many other players, including some of my own things and I just like beating the casinos at a game I still enjoy playing. And I have made what I consider a pretty comfortable living doing so. Not get rich money, but comfortable. How many people get to play a game they like for a living? Work when they want to work? And really enjoy what they do?

I think I am one of the luckiest little salamanders ever. :)
mcallister3200
mcallister3200
Joined: Dec 29, 2013
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December 14th, 2021 at 4:24:48 PM permalink
I still like card counting for the lifestyle design aspect. I donít really enjoy the work itself for any AP stuff I do anymore SO tired of the casino environment.

I like to follow the seasons and hike a lot, take weeks off at a whim, and with counting you donít have to be tied to an area for an extended period or have others relying on you or vice versa like you do for most other things. You can more or less implement anywhere you want when you want just not necessarily anywhere you want indefinitely. Hasnít been the majority of my income but usually more than most APís would probably think I ďshouldĒ because of the freedom of location and donít have to plan as far out lifestyle design aspect.
theOmega623
theOmega623
Joined: Oct 30, 2014
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December 15th, 2021 at 6:53:48 AM permalink
Quote: kewlj

I know there is not a whole lot of interest in blackjack and card counting and card counters on this forum anymore, but I want to tell a little story of a young card counter.

My brother is 9 years younger than me and in his late 20's. Our lives were kind of separated when I left home at 18 having no relationship with my mother and step dad. We reconnected in his high school years and after he graduated college, he chose to come live with me in Las Vegas. He wanted to learn to play blackjack and do what I do. I wasn't very keen on that idea and tried hard to dissuade him, putting him off for a year. Finally, I gave in and taught him some of what I do, most of what I do, which was all learned from other players, along the way.

So my younger brother has just ended his 5th year of playing blackjack for a living. Technically it is his 6th but the first year was low limit play, sort of a training and learning year. It is 5 years at playing decent stakes and making decent money. Every one of those 5 years has been at or above expectation or what I call accumulated EV for the year. I actually have been sort of waiting for him to have a down year or below expectation just to see how he handled it, because it is pretty easy to play when things are going well, the real test is how you handle things during extended losing periods.

Well most of this year was that below expectation year for him. It just so happens we had an unusual circumstance, and unusual side bet "play" for 16 days in November that bumped us both up significantly for the year. So what looked like his first below year turned out not to be. But I saw enough of him struggling below expectation most of the year to know he can handle it.

So here is the part of the story I am most proud of. When my partner passed in 2018, I sold the house I owned and my brother and myself bought a condo together. Yes the same condo I was recently doxxed about on another forum with "someone" posting the address, name of building and even a description of the unit itself.

So when we purchased this condo, I put up most of the money. My brother put up 10% and the agreement was he would pay another 10% over the next 4 years until he had paid 50%. I thought that rather aggressive because that amount represented about half of his expectation every year.

So having ended his playing year this week (it is slow in Vegas after the Rodeo leaves and not a great time to play), yesterday my brother made his final payment and officially owns half the condo. The deed already showed him as 50% ownership, but it official and he has earned that now.

While I was against him playing blackjack for a living, he is doing really well, loves this lifestyle and I couldn't be more proud of him. And for those that think and say that card counting is dead and buried in 2021....going into 2022....you are WRONG. It takes work, learning to play limits and style that is tolerated and accepted and a little thinking outside the box, but the basic concept (and math) of card counting is still very much alive and well.

A toast and my admiration to my younger brother.
link to original post



Absolutely awesome and inspirational story Kewlj!
Mosca
Mosca
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
  • Threads: 181
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December 15th, 2021 at 7:08:22 AM permalink
Quote: kewlj

How many people get to play a game they like for a living? Work when they want to work? And really enjoy what they do?

I think I am one of the luckiest little salamanders ever. :)



I donít come around here much any more, I really donít have anything to offer this forum. But Iím glad I saw this. Iíve always enjoyed your posts, and I am really glad that this has worked out for you. May your future be as rewarding as your life so far has been.
NO KILL I

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