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, December 26, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Brian McAllister

This week's guest is Brian McAllister, a long-time options trader.  He has been on the show before to talk about his video poker exploits, but tonight we will talk about what options trading can teach you about gambling.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Do you trust your partner?

I received an email recently in which a player asked about his partner. He said the partner had lost $220 scouting a hole card game with a $5 minimum. He said that he could usually tell in one or two hands if a dealer was good or not, and didn't I think this completely unreasonable for his partner to have lost so much.

First, can you scout a dealer in one or two hands? Usually no. I guess if you look at two hands and see absolutely nothing you can move on, but usually it takes longer than that. What if you sit down, and on the first hand you see the hole card clear as day. Then you play three more hands and get nothing. The fifth hand you see it pretty good, and then four more hands of nothing. You could easily play 10 hands before abandoning this game, and on some carnival games with multiple bets you can end up betting 10 times your initial wager. Is it unusual to lose $220 scouting a $5 carnival game? Absolutely not.

But this brings up a much more important question? Do you trust your partner? Did he lose $220 scouting? Or did he lose $20 and tell you it was $220 and put $200 in his pocket? If you are asking yourself these questions then you should really think long and hard about why he is your partner.

Secondly - Do you trust your partner's judgement? If my partner came back to the hotel room, and said he lost $1,000 because he also had to scout the craps, and roulette tables I wouldn't give it a second thought. Why? Because I trust his judgement. I know that he would not be on those games just because he likes to gamble. (Although I would ask what he had seen that would make him want to scout a craps or roulette game?)

Third, write this down and remember it: Every person is peculiar about money in their own way. We all have things we don't mind spending money on, and other things we don't like to spend money on. And mine are different than yours. Mine are different than anyone else, and yours are different than your partner's, or your wife's. So don't try to micromanage everything your partner does. Why were you betting $10 instead of $5? What difference does it make? If he is playing at -3% it costs him an extra 15 cents a hand to bet $10 instead of $5.

Partnerships are like marriages. Your partner may do things that drive you crazy, but like marriage, when it is good it is really, really good. So if you trust him, and you trust his judgement, then don't sweat the small stuff.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest Moo the Cash Cow (and accountant)

Our guest this week is  Moo the Cash Cow. He is on to talk about what gamblers should be aware of tax-wise before the end of the year. In addition to being an accountant he is also a blackjack player so we are hiding his identity.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guests Tommy Hyland & John C.

Our guests this week are Tommy Hyland, and John Chang, on to talk about blackjack teams. Tommy runs the Hyland team, one of the longest running and most successful teams of all time. You can read about him in Gambling Wizards. (Shameless plug) John ran the MIT team and you can read more about him here. Interview.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Show Notes

[1:00, ]: show introduction (questions for guests)

[2:03, ]: introduce guests

[2:15, ]: How do you recruit new members?

[4:05, ]: What percent of players that expressed interest actually followed through?

[5:13, ]: How do you evaluate member skill?

[6:21, ]: What was the testing process for new counters?

[9:35, ]: Accuracy of the movie 21- checkout process.

[10:58, ]: how do you split profits in a team (managers, investors, scouts, players, etc),

AND… how did that evolve over time?

[18:21, ]: what did management end up with?

[18:40, ]: how were comps treated w/r/t team compensation?

[24:30, ]: how did you deal with barrings?

[27:30, ]: [how] has the game, esp w/r/t barrings/backoffs, changed for teams since the advent of player lawyers such as BobN?

[30:58, ]: how do you detect and handle dishonest players when managing a team? did you use polygraphs ever?

[37:59, ]: do you require that everybody on the team have investment in the bankroll?

[40:41, ]: how do you deal with players that play sub-par games because they’re afraid of heat?


[46:35, ]: do you two (Tommy, John) still play yourself?

[48:50, ]: do you allow players to play games on the side (such as poker) while on team trips?

[51:45, ]: in the event that a player is robbed, how would you handle that?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gambling With an Edge - guest David Schwartz

Our guest this week is  Professor David Schwartz. He is on to talk about his book Grandissimo.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Monday, December 2, 2013

James Grosjean's new blog

For those who haven't heard James Grosjean has a new blog.  I wanted to get the link out there since any serious player should put this in their RSS feed. Here it is, enjoy.