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Mark Bowden on the guy who took Atlantic City for $15M in blackjack

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by LongTimeListener, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member


    He wiped out the monthly revenue of at least one casino and beat two others until they said no mas. It sounds like this news has been out there for quite a while -- he has become a celebrity who parties with Charlie Sheen -- but I hadn't heard of it before this.

    Don't want to give away how he did it (which is contained almost exclusively on Page 2 of the article if anyone's skimming). The only thing I'll say is it wasn't card counting that helped him.
  2. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    That was excellent.
  3. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    This guy waited until the casino game him an opportunity to profit by means of a lucky streak. Even better, he didn't have to get that lucky to pull it off. A great read.

    With just a little math knowledge you can really avoid bad casino plays. I was in a casino last week with my wife and we observed two games that were wildly popular but were exacting a heavy house edge on presumably unsuspecting players.

    1) A low-minimum single-deck blackjack game was full of players because, with a single deck, it doesn't take much effort at all to count the deck down. Why was this a bad game? Because it paid 6-to-5 (rather than the usual 3-to-2) to a player with blackjack. That's a huge boost to the house edge (from less than 0.2% to close to 1.6%). You can't count your way to an advantage in such a situation.

    2) A craps-less craps table. On such a table, only the 7 is a winner on the comeout roll, and the 2, 3 and 12 aren't losers on the comeout roll. Rather, they're simply points (just like the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are on a regular game) that the shooter either will or won't roll before the next roll of a 7. Intuitively, this seems like a better game, but it has close to a 6% house edge, compared to a 1.4% house edge for a regular game of craps.
  4. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Screw that shit, says this wrong craps bettor.
  5. maberger

    maberger Member

    The Stratosphere used to have crapless craps; maybe it still does. The box man there told me, the one time I played, "let me color you up, while you still have some money."

    Only time a casino employee ever suggested that to me.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I figure I already have a pretty good idea of the odds on the games I play (blackjack and a little craps). I also figure that every time the casino throws a new wrinkle into it, it's because they have done the math and figured out their advantage. Pass.

    I'll play the silly Let It Ride or Caribbean Stud stuff to trade $50 back and forth and sit with friends, but I don't buy anything new the casino is selling.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    One of my best runs ever was at a crapless game in Biloxi. Me and my buddies took several grand off that table. But it wasn't the crapless as much as the lass at the other end of the table, breasts virtually falling onto the pass line as she leaned over the rail, rolling without a clue what the heck she was doing. The beautiful virgin roller.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Craps is probably the purest game with the best odds usually. Throw in "crapless"? Well the drawback is you don't win on 11, um no thanks.

    Still great story of how he beat them fair and square.

    I never delude myself into thinking I'm a great gambler, so I'm fine with paying for the ambiance and the free (watered-down) liquor, but there are few things better than being in the middle of a hot craps table. (most of the time however, I'll have given back most of it then the next day thinking "I tipped out at least $500, damn wish I had that $$ back.")
  9. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    You're also giving the house a 5.6% edge on any bet here, MC. That is, unless you play the single-zero version at the Stratosphere, which cuts that more than half -- to 2.7%.

    I'll stick to craps, playing the pass line, come line and taking odds. Or, like dixiehack, making the occasional don't pass foray on an ice-cold table.

    EDIT: And the story was fascinating. Interesting that the original head of the Trop got canned because of this guy.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I was stunned that the blackjack tables I saw in Vegas (which was only Paris and O'Sheas, to be fair) were all 6-to-5. I'd never seen that.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    All of them or just single-deck? I've never seen anything but 6-5 on single-deck, which is why I never play it.
  12. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    The odds aren't 3-2 on Blackjack Switch, either. But for normal blackjack, it's 3-2. I was just in Vegas last week, and it's 3-2 everywhere. I'm guessing it was either single-deck or Switch.
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