hook3670
hook3670
Joined: May 17, 2011
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February 15th, 2012 at 7:53:45 AM permalink
I was listening to the podcast of Mike and Bob's radio show when they interviewed the blackjack team member Mr. Axelrad. He described how as a team they took down casinos for I believe hundreds of thousands of dollars but they were different form the MIT team which had the same results in a different way. My question is, how common is something like this where teams band together and win hundreds of thousands of dollars. You obviously hear about the ones that are a huge success, but every team that wins huge, how many go broke or fail? It seems if it were as easy, and I know a lot of work, dicipline and effort, and planning goes into this, as it seems why wouldn't there be hundreds upon hundreds of teams looking to make an easy big score and then be set for a long time financially?
WongBo
WongBo
Joined: Feb 3, 2012
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February 15th, 2012 at 8:02:59 AM permalink
We have all heard about the MIT teams and several subsequent teams have been publicized.
My feeling about so-called teams is that you would never hear about a truly successful team anymore
as this would defeat the purpose and bring heat.
If mr axelrad was so successful at it, he would still be out there collecting his alleged thousands,
instead of writing a mediocre book about it.
Having played BJ for over 35 years, I have never been part of a team
but I have managed to grind out a long term profit from the game.
It is fairly rare for a large number of shoes to yield a high enough count to make a substantial enough impact on your profit.
You need to play positive running shoes by highly advantageous house rules, at high limits, with a large spread.
Just try doing that anywhere in the world and see how fast you get flat-betted or backed off.
I have no doubt that there are teams of players and certain able individuals who are profiting from certain games,
but it is no where near as common as we have been led to believe.
In a bet, there is a fool and a thief. - Proverb.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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February 15th, 2012 at 8:14:25 AM permalink
Because alot of those teams were obvious and just because you play in a Blackjack Team doesn't mean you are a net winner.

Sure there were some teams flying in from Santa Monica and playing nice steady games with no real bet spreading... they just signaled Team Leader who would hop from table to table making big bets while team members who did the counting just stayed there and kept up their standard bets.

The team members were proud of their counting skills and patience in not showing any excitement. Casino personnel were not fools. One floorman said to Big Bettor "your friend at table 4 just took his cap off again" which let Big Bettor know the casino knew they were part of a team and also knew what his signal was.

At least in those days, the floormen were not fools.

The real problem is most of those teams were not really winning big at all. They may have claimed to be winning big but it really was not happening all that much.
MakingBook
MakingBook
Joined: Sep 19, 2011
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February 15th, 2012 at 8:21:21 AM permalink
I never really understood why the team member would remain at the table and consume the "good" cards with their flat bets. Shouldn't they leave the table (bathroom break) and allow the big bettor to play solo? Would this be too obvious to the pit?
"I am a man devoured by the passion for gambling." --Dostoevsky, 1871
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 15th, 2012 at 8:46:44 AM permalink
Quote: MakingBook

Shouldn't they leave the table (bathroom break) and allow the big bettor to play solo? Would this be too obvious to the pit?

Too obvious. Some casinos just watched the teams closely and tracked their non-team spending profiles and didn't much care.
hook3670
hook3670
Joined: May 17, 2011
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February 15th, 2012 at 10:52:48 AM permalink
I just can not believe that there are teams and teams of card counters that are making hundreds of thousands a year. Sure a couple might hit it big and those are the ones everyone hears about, but I have to believe for every team that wins that big there must be 25 that go broke or fail.
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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February 15th, 2012 at 12:04:33 PM permalink
A lot goes into making a good team. Everybody has to be of equal skill, not an
easy thing to find. And everybody has to be trusted not to rip off the rest of
team, a really hard thing to find in 5 or 6 people. The job is a shitty grind, you
travel all the time, stay in crappy motels to save money, are always worried
about getting heat and are always getting heat. Axlerad said in an interview
that in his best year he made $110K, big f-ing deal. Thats a year of really hard
work, of being chased by the internet from casino to casino, of erratic swings
in your BR, of living like a bum in Motel 6. Its not worth it to most players, the
few that are qualified to do it.

Added: And that $110K was in 2000, 12 years ago. Its much harder now,
casinos are really sophisticated about catching counters, especially teams.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
buzzpaff
buzzpaff
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
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February 15th, 2012 at 12:06:51 PM permalink
And that's his best year. Like so many " professional" gamblers, his real winnings came from the advance on the book. 300K if he is to believed ??
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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February 15th, 2012 at 12:13:53 PM permalink
Quote: buzzpaff

And that's his best year. Like so many " professional" gamblers, his real winnings came from the advance on the book. 300K if he is to believed ??



I'm skeptical about the $300K. He was not a writer, all he had was
an idea for a book. I thought the book was awful, some thought it was
OK. Its poorly written, disjointed and repetitive. Fully 1/3 of it is his
depressing fall into gambling addiction, not a good read. He's says
a couple times he's not much of a writer, no kidding. Somebody said
its like he used a Thesaurus to make it sound interesting. It didn't
work.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
buzzpaff
buzzpaff
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
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February 15th, 2012 at 12:19:06 PM permalink
I was just repeating what he said on the radio. Actually i am skeptical about both the 100K and the 300K. Guys have ways of inflating wins and deflating expenses ! Either way tough way to grind out a living. All the so-called professional gamblers I ever knew
had a side source of income. Married money, inherited a business, etc.
I put bookies in a separate class. Most life a good life, unless the FBI or IRS come calling. Local police are just a necessary expense.
NO MORE & NO LESS...

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