I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Ken Adams

The guest this week is Ken Adams. Ken is a prolific writer about the gambling industry. You can read his work at cdcgamingreports.com. 
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The Phil Ivey case

For those not familiar with the Ivey case let me give you a brief recap. In August of 2012 Phil Ivey, and a partner named Cheung Yin Sun played Punto Banco at Crockfords in London. He won 7.7 million pounds over 2 days. (Spoiler alert - he was edge sorting.) Crockfords said they would wire him the money, and then stiffed him. He sued to get the money he won, and on October 8 the judge ruled that Crockfords did not have to pay because Ivey cheated.  A few facts about the case:
  • The casino used new cards for each shoe. Ivey played 4 shoes before asking to keep the same cards. Since Ivey and his partner were not touching the cards the casino agreed.
  • They were using a brand of cards called Angel. (Not Gemaco)
  • Ivey asked that the casino use a machine to shuffle the cards.
  • At the end of the first night's play Ivey asked if he could continue the next day with the same cards. 
Here are a few choice quotes from the judgement:

"There is a complete dearth of authority on cheating at common law, at least in the civil context. This is unsurprising. Although at common law gaming contracts were enforceable in principle, though sometimes not in practice on particular facts, section 18 of the Gaming Act 1845 provided that all contracts or agreements by way of gaming and wagering shall be null and void. No suit could therefore be raised by or against a party to a gaming contract alleged to have cheated. There is, therefore, no case law on what amounts to cheating."

"This is, as far as I know, the first case in which the question whether or not the conduct of a party to a gaming contract amounted to cheating has had to be determined in an English court."

"There is no commonly accepted view amongst those who play Punto Banco about whether edge-sorting does or does not amount to cheating. David Mills, a levelheaded and experienced English expert in casino gambling considers that it does. Towards the end of 2013 he conducted a survey amongst seven of the eight biggest casino operators in the UK. He found that four out of the seven considered that it was cheating and two out of seven considered it was not a legitimate practice. The remaining one considered that it was not cheating, nor illegitimate. Dr. Jacobson, to whom I have already referred, who has extensive experience in the USA of casino gambling both as a consultant to casinos and, between 1997 and 2005, as an advantage player himself, considers that it is not cheating. His informal survey, as he put it, of "hundreds of people" has provided the answer that the general but not universal view is that it is not cheating. I have not found these expressions of opinion to be helpful. Mr. Mills did not canvass gamblers and, as far as I can tell, Dr. Jacobson's survey was unsystematic. Neither establishes a generally accepted view."

RWM: Really? This is the way they approached this? The casino expert went and asked a bunch of casino operators what they think, and the other side did an informal survey of hundreds of people?

"Crockfords maintain that the claimant practised (sic) deception upon them by pretending to be superstitious when he was not, for example, by making a fuss over lucky Crockfords hats, which he and Ms Sun wore, and by asking for "lucky" cards and for a Chinese croupier on the ground that he got lucky when playing with Asian women."

I can go on, but below you can read the judgement for yourself. We will be discussing this with Ken Adams on tonight's Gambling With an Edge, and again next week with attorney Bob Nersesian.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Richard Marcus on poker cheating.

This week our guest is Richard Marcus. Richard was a casino cheat, and tonight we will be talking about his book Dirty Poker. 


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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Help from the media

I get calls or email occasionally from people in the media. They want to know something about card counting, or they are writing a story about Phil Ivey or some other aspect of gambling. I've always felt that the media could be a tremendous asset to players, but no one has really figured out how to crack that nut.

This particular call was from a show called Inside Edition, and they are doing a show about how card counters get barred from casinos for simply using their brain. Imagine that? This producer was particularly interested in getting video footage of casino security physically abusing players. Unfortunately I don't have any of this footage, and recommended he call Bob Loeb, and Bob Nersesian since they are both attorneys that handle these types of cases, and get copies of video footage in discovery. The bad news is that most of these cases are settled, and the casinos make it a condition of the settlement that it can't be discussed. I have to give major props to David and Kyle who sued Virgin River Casino in Mesquite Nevada. They were offered a sizable settlement that included a non-disclosure, and they refused saying that a non-disclosure was a deal breaker. You can here them interviewed on GWAE here.  Anyway, the Inside Edition people did contact a high profile AP, and did film some barrings with hidden cameras, so I look forward to seeing the show. It should be good fun.

But before I hung up I said to the producer - you know, there is an even worse problem that modern APs face. He asked what that was, and I told him that police forces around the country have literally become Highway Robbers. I pointed him to a case that was just in the news. Watch this video. He was really excited about this story, and said he was planning to do an upcoming episode about this very thing. They plan to put hidden cameras in cars and try to capture this on tape. I recommended  he drive I 40 through northern AZ as a particularly egregious spot. If you know other spots they should hit, maybe leave them here in the comments. The producer did say he would be getting back to me when it is time for them to film.

Next time we have Bob on GWAE I plan on having him watch this video, and we will discuss exactly what the poker players did right, and wrong, and what exactly they should have said in answer to those questions.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mike Shackleford G2E 2014

The guest this week is Mike Shackleford . This week is the largest gaming conference of the year, G2E. Mike and Bob attended, and will discuss the new games they saw.


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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mike Shackleford

The guest this week is Mike Shackleford. We talk about the recent sale of his website The Wizard of Odds for $2.35 million..


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Adam Tanner

The guest on the show this week is Adam Tanner. author of What Stays in Vegas. The book looks at how casinos and other businesses gather information about each of us in order to help them make more money off of us.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What happens in Vegas?

We've all heard it right? "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." I'd rather it didn't stay in Vegas. I'm starting a new podcast series where I will interview people about the craziest things that have happened to them in Las Vegas. So if you have a crazy story, email me and I'll set up a time where I can interview you via skype. These interviews will be audio only, and they can be done completely anonymously. There is no compensation.

I have only 2 requirements. The story should be true, and it has to have happened to you. Not some friend of a friend. If your friend of a friend has a great story have them contact me and tell it themselves. Let the games begin.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jimmy Jazz 2 on low roller strategies for comp hustling

The guest on the show this week is Jimmy Jazz. Jimmy talks about strategies for low rollers to get everything free in Las Vegas.


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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Daniel Negreanu

Our guest this week is Daniel Negreanu aka "Kid Poker" although he has now been playing so long he may have to change his moniker to "Middle-Aged-Man Poker."  Daniel is the author of  Power Hold'em Strategy which outlines his "small ball" tournament strategy.  


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guests gaming lawyers Bob Nersesian & I. Nelson Rose

The guests this week are gaming attorneys Bob Nersesian and I. Nelson Rose.  Bob is a frequent guest to the show, and always entertaining.  Bob is the lawyer who advocates for the players against the casinos, and has successfully sued many Vegas casinos on the behalf of players.  He is also the author of Beat the Players. I. Nelson Rose is the coauthor of Blackjack and the Law, and his latest book is Gaming Law in a Nutshell.


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Erin Rynning

Our guest this week is Erin Rynning. Erin is a sports handicapper, sports blogger, and radio personality who provides handicapping both for free and for a fee through his website SportsMemo.com. He has done well in several handicapping contests.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eye and the Grinder

About 2 years ago I interviewed surveillance expert T Dane. You can read that interview here. T Dane wrote a book called, Behind The Black Dome: An Advantage Player’s Guide to Casino Surveillance, which is well worth picking up. Well the man is at it again. He has started blogging at Eye and the Grinder. He says it is a blog about Advantage Players and the Eye in the Sky. The blog is relatively new, but check it out. There is some interesting stuff there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Anthony Curtis 5

Our guest this week is Anthony Curtis, owner of The Las Vegas Advisor and Huntington Press publishing.  


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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Cartright

This week's guest is Cartright. We talk about analyzing games for advantage play opportunities.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Barry Greenstein

This week's guest is poker professional Barry Greenstein. Barry is a multiple bracelet winner in the WSOP, and the author of Ace On The River. His blog can be found at barrygreenstein.com.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mohan Srivastava

This week's guest is Mohan Srivastava. Mohan cracked the code on several scratch off lottery games. We talk about beating the lottery. You can read about some of his exploits in this Wired magazine article. - Wired. Also on the show we mention a story Mohan wrote about Scrabble. You can read that story here. Scrabble Story.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Arnold Snyder

This week's guest is Arnold Snyder. We talk about some gambling stories in the news, and some thoughts on James Grosjean's latest blog posts.
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #10

The guest this week is Bob Nersesian.  Bob is a frequent guest to the show, and always entertaining.  Bob is the lawyer who advocates for the players against the casinos, and has successfully sued many Vegas casinos on the behalf of players.  He is also the author of Beat the Players.


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