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!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Name that casino

I know what you're thinking, and that's not it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Michael Shakleford

Our guest this week is Mike Shakleford aka "The Wizard of Odds." We talk about his casino fact finding trip to Costa Rica, and advantage bingo.
Click to listen - Alt click to download

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gambling With an Edge logos

A couple weeks ago I mentioned on the show that iTunes now wants a 1400x1400 pixel logo for the podcast. Sort of like an album cover they display in iTunes  We invited people to send submissions if they were feeling in a creative mood. We got a couple submissions from Tim at Park Printing in Palos Hills, IL so I thought I would put them up here and get some feedback.

This was the first attempt. I like the idea of trying to incorporate the letters in the backs of cards, but not quite there.

I like the chips and mic, but I think the font makes this look a bit cartoonish.

Here are a couple from DJTeddybear.

A late entry.I'm liking this one best so far. This is from Nicholas S. in Los Angeles.

This one came in from Richard Knight.

Okay, so I hope I have sparked people's creative juices here and we get some more submissions.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #6

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.
Click to listen - Alt click to download

Monday, March 18, 2013

Name That Casino 3

There is still one casino unidentified from my original name that casino. It is this one.

So it is time for one last hint. I was going to go with something hard, like this...

But I thought that might still be too tough. So this next one should be enough to get it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Barry Meadow

Our guest this week is Barry Meadow, author of Blackjack Autumn. The book chronicles Barry' trip to play blackjack in every casino in the state of Nevada.
Click to listen - Alt click to download

A couple random thoughts

I read a couple things that caught m eye this week. First there is this. 7 rules for recording police. Professional gamblers may have to deal with police in several situations. The first is when driving with large amounts of cash. In the past I have advocated recording the police in these situations. Laws vary from state to state, but as you will see in the article it is legal to record the police in 38 states, and even some states that do not have laws permitting it classify it as a public conversation so you are still protected. The two most important states for me are Nevada and California, but take the time to research your own situation. Two other situations that come to mind are dealing with police in airports, and in casinos when they have been summoned by security. Be aware, just because you are not breaking the law doesn't mean you may not get arrested. Anyway, it's a good article so check it out, and know your rights.

The second article was Bob Dancer's weekly article at the Las Vegas Advisor. There Should Be a Limit.
In Bob's case it involves an annoying fan talking to him while he is trying to work, but for blackjack players this is a much bigger deal. You should never, ever, talk to another advantage player inside a casino. NEVER. I don't care if you think you are in good, or "it's not a big deal," or, "I haven't played here in months." You don't know if you have heat. You don't know if the other person has heat which now may transfer to you. I was 86ed because of exactly this kind of careless behavior.  An AP came up and talked to me, it turned out he had a lot of heat, and because surveillance was watching him I was infected, and then 86ed. This happened even though when he talked to me I looked at my watch, and said, "Get away from me" as if I was telling him the time. Some people will talk in the bathroom where there are no cameras, but even then you don't know who may be in a stall and hear you, or who may walk in and see you together. So if you see me in a casino, send me a text, or an email, but please don't come over to say, "hi."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Laurance Scott

Our guest this week is Laurance Scott, author of Professional Roulette Prediction. Laurance has developed a way to beat roulette by visually tracking the speed of the ball, and the wheel, and then predicting where the ball will land.  Sound crazy? Give it a listen.
Click to listen - Alt click to download

You can read my review of Scott's book here. Review.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Professional Roulette Prediction by Laurance Scott

Professional Roulette Prediction, by Laurance Scott was originally written in 1990, and then revised and re-released in 2005. The book presents a method for beating roulette through visual prediction. Scott presents  a method for timing the speed of the ball, and the speed of the rotor, and using the relation of those two speeds you can predict where the rotor will be when the ball leaves the track. There is then one more variable to deal with, how much the ball bounces once it hits the track. When Scott first wrote this book, wheels with deep pockets were common.
Unfortunately these type wheels are now rare. They started being replaced by "low profile" wheels like this.

Low profile wheel
And then it got really bad. Many modern wheels look like this.

What this means is that predicting how much the ball bounces around when it hits the numbers is much harder than it used to be. Does it work? Yes. I am a 100% believer that visual roulette prediction is possible at least on the old deep pocket wheels. But let's talk about the negatives.

  1. This is very difficult to learn. In the book Scott estimates 40 hours. I think that estimate is way low. I believe his estimate was with him teaching his son who had the benefit of having his father there to teach him.
  2. You probably need to buy a roulette wheel to really practice. Cost, $3,000 - $4,000.
  3. Good wheels are harder, and harder to find.
  4. The dealer can take away your edge very easily. For this method to work you need to bet late into the spin. Now this is common for roulette players but once you start winning many dealers will just start calling "no more bets" earlier, and earlier.
When I wrote about "dice control" I said that even if you could learn to do it I didn't think you could make any money at it. It is so obvious what you are trying to do that the casino will shut it down right away. This is the opposite. I think if you can learn to do this there is a lot of money to be made, but probably not in the US. In other countries roulette is much more popular, late betting is common, and they have conditions that help, like being able to make "neighbors bets."

Bottom line - this is no get rich quick scheme. It is very difficult to learn, much more difficult than counting cards. But it is a legitimate advantage play, so if you are interested in roulette, and are willing to shell out $90 for volume one then check it out. His entire package costs about $650 and includes some practice DVDs, but if you are really interested I would start with just book 1 so you get an idea of just how much work is going to be involved.

Here is a link to the book. Professional Roulette Prediction
Here is a link to the podcast of Laurance Scott on Gambling With an Edge. - podcast

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ping Pang Pong revisited

I had quite a few comments about my review of Ping Pang Pong, so this week I headed back for another try. They are open from 10 am to 3 pm for Dim Sum, but I missed that. They open again at 5:00 for dinner, and I arrived just as they opened.
I guess they forgot to sweep.
If this is what the floor looks like when they open you can imagine what it is like at midnight. But hey, I'm not eating off the floor. Bring it on. Many of the comments I have read said you have to try the regional dishes, this is where they excel. Okay, I tried the salt and pepper frog legs.

These were quite good. I don't know why people say, "It tastes like chicken." I think it tastes a lot closer to pork.

I think people got the impression I hated this place. I don't. It's not horrible, it's... adequate. If I were with a group of friends at the Gold Cost and they wanted to eat here I wouldn't object. But for Travel & Leisure to name it one of the best Chinese restaurants in the U.S.? I think they were licking the hallucinogenic frogs, not eating them.

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mike Aponte of the MIT blackjack team

This week our guest is Mike Aponte, former member of the MIT blackjack team featured in the movie 21, and the book, Bringing Down the House.
Click to listen - alt click to download