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, September 21, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Zach Resnick on Bitcoin

Our guest today is Zach Resnick, a poker player, coach, and host of the “Just Hands Poker” podcast. Our show today is primarily about bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

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Show Notes

[02:07] How is Bitcoin relevant to gambling?
[04:24] What is blockchain?
[09:20] Mt. Gox exchange hack and the security of Bitcoin
[10:17] Cold wallet vs hardware wallet
[15:23] Coinbase has been closing U.S. accounts due to online gambling. Is that a problem in other countries?
[19:33] Bitcoin’s store of value.
[21:26] Can you open accounts on online casinos using Bitcoin?
[23:25] Are there derivatives market for Bitcoin?
[24:15] Other gambling uses of Bitcoin
[32:23] What other cryptocurrencies are relevant to gambling?
[34:48] Cryptocurrencies and smart contract app
[39:13] What is Just Hands Poker and what is Zach’s podcast about?
[43:20] Credit card & mileage points brokerage

Z-cash: https://z.cash/
Virtue poker: https://virtue.poker/
Bread wallet: https://breadwallet.com/

Just Hands Poker: http://www.justhandspoker.com/

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guests Pat Christenson and Andy Uyal

Our guest today is Pat Christenson, author of “Rock Vegas: Live Music Explodes in the
Neon Desert.” We discuss the book, and how Las Vegas has become one of the premiere live music venues in the US. We also have Andy Uyal  who attends 5 or 6 live concerts a year.

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Show Notes

[01:28] How did Grateful Dead revolutionize Las Vegas?
[07:23] How did Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV usher Las Vegas into the modern age of touring acts?
[08:44] What memorable acts passed Thomas and Mack Center?
[14:03] What are the effects of the size of the venues?
[20:33] What rock music festivals are in Las Vegas?
[23:26] How would having big stadiums affect live events in Las Vegas?
[26:50] Who are some potential candidates for residency?
[29:53] What percentage of shows are comped by the casinos?
[34:28] Algorithms that remember and anticipate the users' music preferences
[40:17] Pros and cons of different formats of live concerts
[42:23] Do you ever go to concerts in other cities for research?
[43:49] Do you hire with demographic in mind for capturing music preferences of different age groups?
[46:53] Las Vegas taking a chance on ABC
[51:05] Do you see extended-duration events in Las Vegas in the future?
[55:20] What is Las Vegas Events?

Las Vegas Events: http://www.lasvegasevents.com/
Thomas and Mack Center: http://www.thomasandmack.com/

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Captain Jack 2

The guest this week is Captain Jack. He is on to talk sports betting before the first week of NFL football starts. We also touch on the potential for legal sports betting in the US, and some parlay strategies.

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Show Notes

[00:34] How can you play Video Poker faster?
[02:29] Football rule changes and their effects on handicapping
[05:28] How much does the absence of Ezekiel Elliott affect the line on Dallas Cowboys?
[10:20] LA money coming into Vegas
[13:20] The Mayweather vs McGregor fight
[18:45] The significance of beating the closing line
[21:05] Using bitcoins for anonymous sports betting
[25:05] Is it possible to set up an anonymous sports book account?
[27:30] What it means to have money working in a sportsbook
[28:45] What is the general status of online sports books?
[31:30] New Jersey sports betting cases
[45:17] Stanford Wong's “teasers"
[47:32] Learning resources for sports betting
[52:22] Placing a bet without a feel for handicapping

Stanford Wong - "Sharp Sports Betting: http://amzn.to/2xdAGPZ

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest academic Mark Johnson

This week's guest is Mark Johnson.  Mark was a recent post-doctorate at UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. His research is ongoing, looking at the similarities, and differences between Esports professionals, and professional gamblers.

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Show Notes

[00:47] What was Mark Johnson doing at UNLV? Why UNLV?
[03:55] What books other than Richard’s Gambling Wizards has Mark used in the research?
[05:40] Considering how young eSports is, was Mark able to find literatures on eSports?
[07:35] Differences between professional gamblers and professional eSports players
[13:51] How is the way gamblers earn money different than eSports players?
[17:00] How much can top eSports players make?
[18:51] Gambling on eSports through skins?
[23:14] Challenges of estimating how much other gamblers made outside of tournaments.
[26:03] eSports Players disguising themselves and the “barcodes” players.
[33:49] Love of the game and the learning curve
[34:56] Intrinsic talent indicators in eSports.
[41:24] Cheating, hustling, and doping in eSports
[48:30] The dramatic value of a single pixel glitch in a tournament.
[53:23] Handicaps in eSports
[58:17] The different issues between gambler teams and eSports teams

Gambling Wizards: Conversations with the World’s Greatest Gamblers:  http://amzn.to/2wBanDn

Mark’s podcast: http://www.roguelikeradio.com/
Twitter: @UltimaRegum

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Anthony Curtis

Our guest this week is Anthony Curtis, owner of The Las Vegas Advisor and Huntington Press publishing.  We discuss NFL contests, and current Vegas news.

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Show Notes

[00:37] A successful poker & VP player wants to start counting cards. How should he start?
[03:15] Do you have to pay outstanding markers if the casino isn’t actively collecting it?
[06:30] Anthony’s take on Cromwell Casino’s competing via better gambling opportunities
[14:03] What makes a great game?
[15:01] Low price rooms disappearing on the Strip
[18:55] The Comp City slot app
[25:24] Football contest 2017
[30:54] Mayweather vs McGregor 
[40:31] Why is the money in shoes when the DD games offer better odds?
[44:07] How do you know when to play 2 hands?
[48:20] Comp City app and new gambling books coming out

Olaf Vancura - Knock-Out Blackjack: http://amzn.to/2wadccT

Arnold Snyder - Blackbelt in blackjack: http://amzn.to/2wBtA7v

Casino Verite: http://amzn.to/2xF6gmd

Rick Blaine -  Blackjack Blueprint: http://amzn.to/2ggQpqr

Bryce Carlson Blackjack for Blood: http://amzn.to/2wAwNUK

Standford Wong Professional Black Jack: http://amzn.to/2vjfJmk

Jeff Hwang episodes: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest blackjack player Phoenix

This week's guest is card counter named Phoenix.  We discuss how he started in blackjack, and his life as a road warrior traveling the country trying to earn a living counting cards.

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Show Notes

[01:03] Where can I find the most accurate Blackjakck strategy? Would the Phoenix recommend Frank Scoblete’s Speed Count?
[03:35] How to increase the counting speed?
[10:02] How did he come up with the name Phoenix? Did it come from Blackjack?
[12:05] How did he get started with the AP game? How long has he played?
[17:16] Staying at where you play and how the Phoenix decides where to stay when playing Black jack
[18:33] Playing in a team v.s. solo playing
[22:56] How the Phoenix doubled his bankroll in 6 weeks playing Blackjack
[29:41] Being a road warrior and playing overseas 
[36:41] Creative ways that the Phoenix passed counts to his teammate
[41:40] Dealing with the emotions of winning and losing
[43:05] The longest streak that the Phoenix had with Blackjack
[46:17] Interesting back off stories
[54:11] Life on the road and how to deal with hotel maintenance staffs
[55:13] How did the Phoenix go from learning Blackjack from the bootcamp to teaching Blackjack

Blackjack Apprenticeship https://www.blackjackapprenticeship.com/
The Phoenix’s interview on the Blackjack Apprenticeship:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Cartwright #4

This week's guest is Cartwright. We discuss the blackjack games in CO which had a new side bet called 21 Magic.  Cartwright did the analysis of this bet, and then with a partner named Spence,  crushed the games. In addition we talk a little bit about credit card churning in the second half of the show.

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Show Notes

00:37 What was the 21 Magic side bet on the Buffalo Black Jack Bonus?
02:02 How different are the 6D strategy and the infinite deck strategy? How difficult is generating a strategy?
12:26 Paying tips and longevity
15:32 If an unknown player requested a game analysis, how can this player get in touch with Cartwright?
19:51 Is this game still available?
22:17 Benefits of side counting aces for the 21 Magic side bet.
25:31 How did Cartwright get other players off the table?
30:47 Towards the end, how big was the AP community at the casino that offered this game?
33:35 Unusual anecdotes and closing thoughts
36:06 His Black Jack analyzer and the serendipity of timing.
40:51 Credit card AP for mileage
47:56 Cartwright’s latest favorite trick for airline points
54:50 What’s the overall advantage from the game that Cartwright played? 

Wizard of odds: https://wizardofodds.com/

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Rich Muny of the PPA

The guest this week is Rich Muny of The Poker Players Alliance. The PPA lobbies for legal regulated poker in the US.

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[00:55] What is Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA)?
[01:27] Does the PPA lobbyists?
[01:56] How does Sheldon Adelson’s oppositions against online gambling affect PPA’s effort?
[05:54] How has online poker changed since your last episode in October, 2013?
[12:15] Why was Nevada able to make a compact with Delaware but not New Jersey?
[15:59] Is PPA involved in helping online sports betting as well?
[19:05] Other than online poker, what else is PPA involved in?
[20:45] do you coordinate with ATA?
[21:34] How do you join the PPA?
[22:17] WSOP LV just ended. How is Chris Ferguson’s winning the player of the year received?
[24:25] Aria’s September poker event with a dress code and a decision time limit. Will the event be televised?
[29:04] Does Rich Muny still play poker?
[35:29] How would you tell if you’re up against the bot?
[37:54] Does playing keep you grounded with PPA?
[39:35] Is Rich Muny’s weekly radio show still going on?
[41:57] This year’s Hall of Fame induction and Phil Ivey’s case.
[45:19] A player with over $60,000 in chips was thrown out of tournament because he was barred years ago for playing Black Jack. Does the casino have the right to do this?

Rich Muny Episode Oct 25, 2013 https://youtu.be/Bj5_0YZmcmY
Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA) https://theppa.org/
Rich Muny’s weekly radio show, On Tilt Radio 
Twitter @OnTiltRadio

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #18

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. His new book is called The Law for Gamblers: A Player's Guide to Legal Survival in the Casino Environment. Today we discuss more listener questions as a continuation of last week's show.

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Show Notes

[1:08] What legal action is available about a big win that was lost due to sticky VP buttons?
[6:20] Is it illegal when a slot player refuses to forfeit all the slot tickets that were won from a glitch, and cash out over the next several days?
[11:17] Bob Nersesian’s response to the recent accusation on a blackjack forum that Bob’s book is insufficiently in-depth.
[14:18] How much can you get paid for incorrectly wired progressive jackpot on a VP machine?
[19:20] Is it legal to accept a winning smaller than the jackpot amount in order to avoid reporting to the IRS? 
[23:11] The real estate cost of the paperwork.
[24:57] The marijuana legalization strategy Richard’s father had in 1968.
[28:14] Does Bob Nersesian refer cases to other lawyers?
[32:43] Can a player bring complains to a Better Business Bureau for false promises on casino mailing?
[34:07] How frequently do Bob Nersesian’s judgements include punitive damages? Is NDA mandatory?
[41:55] A Nevada sports book posts an off number, and accept bets. Can the book cancel the bets?
[47:43] Locals sign false markers for International high-rollers who wish to conceal their income source. What if the casino pursues the marker signing local because the high-roller doesn’t pay?
[52:38] Is there a case when the lottery refuses to pay because the winner is not old enough?
[55:16] Are casinos allowed to discriminate according to zip codes? 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #17

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. His new book is called The Law for Gamblers: A Player's Guide to Legal Survival in the Casino Environment. Today we discuss listener questions.

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Show Notes

[3:00] If you put the money into the machine, but allow someone else to hit the “deal” button on a slot machine, who gets the jackpot money? Does jurisdiction make a difference?
[8:24] What should the player above have done to protect his rights?
[10:33] A player was held against will and was photographed in an Indian casino for playing a holecarding game. The tribal police got involved, threatened to arrest the player and confiscated $60,000 in chips for refusing to show ID. What is a good way to handle a situation like this?
[12:56] Risks to consider when playing in an Indian casino and the parallels between Indian casinos and Internet casinos.
[15:54] Would Harrah’s Resorts SoCal, formerly Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino, apply the normal Harrah’s rules or the rules of the owners, the Rincon Band?
[16:51] How would AG Jefferey’s Session's reinstitution of civil forfeiture affect gamblers and tourists? 
[22:32] Casino’s change in attitude when the see a guy with a suitcase full of cash
[23:06] The tax implication of Slade v.s. Casesar’s for the Nevada residents. 
[27:38] Why Richard says, “hi" to high-rollers. 
[29:40] 4 laws that Nevada tourists unwittingly break and 1 legal thing that tourists mistakenly think is illegal. (Surprise: Can tourists legally smoke marijuana in Nevada?)
[36:54] 2 ways to change your SSN and what happens to the old SSN.
[38:10] Do markers disappear when you declare bankruptcy?
[40:23] A question regarding Pai-Gow Tiles from p.30 of Bob Nersesian’s book, The Law for Gamblers: A Legal Guide to the Casino Environment: For a group of Pai-Gow Tiles players, when does sharing their tile information among themselves become cheating? 
[51:29] How do other states see the legality of holecarding? 
[54:53] Bob Nersesian’s prediction of Phil Ivey’s appealing case in London.
[56:55] Assume a player had a valid ID, but not a SSN. Is not having a SSN a sufficient reason for the casino to not pay you if the cashout amount required filling out a CTR?
[1:01:39] How does Bob’s reputation as an attorney affect his legal process?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest tax man Russell Fox

Our guest this week is Russell Fox.  Russell is a certified tax professional who handles many professional gamblers. We talk about strategies that effect people with gambling income.

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Show Notes

[1:00] Can professional gamblers use IRA accounts to even out year-to-year fluctuations?
[5:20] 4 ways for non-US players to retrieve the 30% of money that is withheld due to W2G’s
[8:26] Is it a taxable event if you pick up as cash $100 worth of cash-back or free-play?
[11:19] In case of winning a drawing for $10,000, is there any tax difference between receiving cash with a 1099 form and free play without a 1099 form?
[14:43] For professional gamblers using schedule C on US tax return, what qualifies as legitimate schedule C business expenses?
[17:08] You play enough to get a "free” cruise which costs $600 in taxes, port fees, and gratuities. Assume the cruise has a retail value of $2,500 plus the $600 in fees. Is there any part of this cruise that is taxable?
[21:01] Assume you’re a video poker professional and you decided go on a cruise ship and lose $4,000. The casino gives you another cruise. Is any part of that $4,000 deductible? Is it actual losses rather than the daily amount?
[22:31] Claiming more losses than what shows on W2G’s and the importance of keeping records.
[24:36] Implications on W2G’s when giving the casinos an address other than the actual home address such a P.O. box. Is there a problem?
[29:00] How would Trump’s new tax plan affect gamblers?
[31:43] Will the W2G’s $12,000 threshold increase in the foreseeable future in order to keep up with the inflation?
[32:20] The difference in the W2G threshold amount for jackpot at the tracks and the casinos
[37:41] Can you correct W2G errors after the fact? Can casinos refuse to provide the W2G’s after the fact?
[40:50] What are the W2G rules on electronic table games?
[47:42] Russel's 5 “Bozo Tips,” why keeping cash in a deposit box could cause trouble, and when CTR’s are your friends.

You can contact Russell Fox at rcfox@claytontax.com 
You can visit his website at Claytontax.com or http://www.taxabletalk.com/

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - listener emails 2

We have no guest this week.  Bob and Richard answer questions from our listeners. We always welcome your questions so post them below, or send them to us at gamblingwithanedge@gmail.com.

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Show Notes

[00:32] Should you go on a kamikaze mission and retiring from AP once and for all?
[06:17] Should you get mailers in local address P.O. box v.s. out of state P.O. box? 
[07:45] The proper length of VP session
[10:43] VP heat in Europe and hollywooding jackpots as a cover move.
[12:52] Richard’s game selection criteria
[15:24] How to make other VP players to go away
[19:00] How to deal with a casino employee knowing your full name before you have given up your identity.
[22:03] Do you think there are still decent sidebets?
[23:15] Milking hole carding games/ how to approach hole carding games
[24:57] How do you use Beyond Counting?
[28:18] How is the casino rating you based on the different machines you play?
[29:30] Richard and Porno films in Korea
[30:53] Over and Under side bet. Is this worth pursuing?
[31:50] Who is the better ping pong player? Bob or Richard?
[32:36] Poker player wondering validity of card counting and how to validate his skill level as a card counter
[34:30] Does having Wizard of Odds strategy charts get you barred?
[37:05] The mathematical background of Bob and Richard
[40:00] Worst thing that a friend or a partner has done to Bob and Richard?
[43:00] Would Richard rather be an AP right now or in 1960’s?
[44:10] What’s the nicest comps you have received?
[47:46] What’s keeping you profiting from the next Don Johnson?
[52:20] What’s the nastiest backoffs you’ve had?
[56:42] Richard, how many other people have you taught some form of AP to?
[58:53] When playing high-denomination games, when you’re basically getting W2G’s every 2-5 minutes, how does all that paperwork get processed at the end of the session?
[59:45] Richard’s AP idols when he started
[1:02:54] strategy changes to Ultimate X for less than full-pay machines
[1:07:39] Richard’s general criteria for adding an AP for his team

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mary's Hash House

Mary's Hash House is my favorite breakfast place.  I don't get there often because I live on the other side of town.  It used to be called just "Hash House," and whenever I arranged to meet someone there I would have to tell them, "Not Hash House A Go Go."

Mary must have realized the problem, so she added her name to the joint. Mary's is on Decatur just north of Sahara.  There is a Hash House A Go Go right over on Sahara, and I'm sure she lost a lot of business to people going to the wrong place.

Here is what I like about Mary's.  She makes all her own hash, nothing out of a can.  She serves two kinds of coffee, regular and bold, they make fresh cinnamon buns every day, they make their own hot sauces, and they make fresh jelly every day.

But the main thing I like is this is a privately owned place, not some corporate monstrosity.  It's a place where the owner says, this is my joint. I'll run it how I want, and if you don't like it go to IHOP. You'll never see a sign like this in Denny's.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - listener emails

We have no guest this week.  Bob and Richard answer questions from our listeners. We have more questions that we will address next week, but it is not too late to submit yours.  Post it below, or send it to us at gamblingwithanedge@gmail.com.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guests Mr. Yuk, and Charles Hondi 2

Our guests this week are Mr. Yuk, and Charles Hondi.  Yuk, and Charles are advantage players that play both tables games, and machines.  In this episode we focus on machine play. Check last week's episode to hear us discuss table games.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guests Mr. Yuk, and Charles Hondi

Our guests this week are Mr. Yuk, and Charles Hondi.  Yuk, and Charles are advantage players that play both tables games, and machines.  In this episode we focus on the table games side of their play, and in a few weeks they will be back to talk about their machine play.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Michael Kaplan 2

Our guest this week is gambling writer Michael Kaplan. For my money Michael is the number one gambling writer today. Mainly we discuss two articles.

The Baccarat Machine This article is about Kelly Sun's exploits with Phil Ivey.  Together they won millions of dollars at baccarat using a technique called edge sorting.

How Advantage Players Game the System This article from the NY Times magazine tells the story of James Grosjean beating a craps game dealt with cards.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Layne Flack

Our guest this week is poker player Layne Flack. Layne has won 6 WSOP bracelets, and we talk about the 2017 World Series.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Seth Palansky on WSOP

Our guest this week is Seth Palansky, editor in chief of WSOP.com.  Seth came on to discuss the World Series of poker which begins next week.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

A Vegas Institution

White Cross Drugs opened in 1955.  It stands on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Oakey.  The drug store was a Vegas Institution. A place you could go at 3 in the morning to buy a bottle of aspirin, or a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Unfortunately the drug store closed a couple years ago, but attached to the drug store is a greasy spoon called Vickie's Diner.  I think before Vickie's it was called Tiffany's Diner, but I killed a lot of brain cells in the 70s so I can't really be sure.

Back in the day this was a meeting place for players.  We didn't have cell phones so to meet up before or after a play this was a central location.  This or the Peppermill.  So it was only fitting that when I arranged to have breakfast this morning with an old Vegas scuffler he said, "Meet me at White Cross."  I said, "I think they closed."  He said, "The diner is still open.  Best breakfast you'll ever have."

He brought a couple friends, and I listened to stories from the old days.  Stories about Puggy, and Amarillo Slim, and guys still alive who I can't mention in order to protect the guilty.

I could listen to guys like this for hours.  And I would have but they were off to a golf match with a couple big name poker players.

Was it the best breakfast I ever ate?  Well, no.  But if you are looking for a piece of Vegas history you might want to give it a try.  Just be warned, this isn't the best part of town.  In the parking lot on the way in there was a guy swinging a 2x4 at another guy who then pulled a gun.  The first guy dropped his 2x4 and ran, but the gun owner chased him down the street.  I never heard shots so I'm sure it was fine. Besides, the police were busy across the street at the Stratosphere with a guy threatening suicide. Just another day in Paradise.