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 18, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - Surveillance Agent Jay

Agent Jay has been working in Las Vegas surveillance rooms for over 20 years. He is our guest this week to tell us what surveillance people are looking for when watching for advantage players.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

How Casinos Cheat

Many of you may have read James Grosjean's blog posts entitled How Casinos Cheat. If not you can find his excellent blog here, Beyond Numbers. I very much agree with JG that the danger of being cheated by a casino is not them dealing you seconds, or hitting you with a cooler. They have a much bolder, and more effective way of cheating. If you lose, too bad. If you win, they just refuse to pay.

Recently I was told one of the most egregious cases I have ever heard of. The Playboy Club in London stole the money of two players for counting cards. The two players played in the casino for 3 or 4 nights, and left their money on deposit with the casino. On the last night they went to withdraw their money, and the casino told them they would not give them their deposit money back because they had been counting cards, and card counting was against the rules of their club. The money stolen was over £30,000 or approximately $50,000. They weren't accused of cheating, just counting cards. I know nothing of British law, but I can only infer that there has never been a court case testing the legality of counting. Now maybe they know they will lose the case, but want to harass people from another country who will have to fight a court battle from overseas. Or maybe they were emboldened by the awful decision in the Phil Ivey case.

I grew up reading stories of the old "road gamblers". Doyle Brunson told me, "First we had to win the money, then we had to collect the money, and then we had to get out of town with the money." Between the casinos stealing from players, and then the police and their asset forfeitures, I can't say much has changed.

Did I mention that the Playboy Club is owned by Caesars Entertainment? Stay classy Mr. Loveman.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jake Jacobs 2

Our guest this week is backgammon professional and author, Jake Jacobs. We talk to Jake about his new novel, The Battered Butterfly, as well as about some of his many gambling exploits.

 podcast 
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - Rick Blaine author of Blackjack Blueprint

Our guest this week is Rick Blaine, author of Blackjack Blueprint. This is a terrific book for counters, newly updated in May, 2014.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest David Switzer

The guest this week is David Switzer. David just received two masters degrees from UNLV, and we will be discussing his professional paper, “Casinos can increase table games revenue by properly training employees and adjusting many of the procedures currently used on their games that are aimed at stopping advantage players.”


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jake Jacobs

Our guest this week is backgammon professional and author, Jake Jacobs. We talk to Jake about his new novel, The Battered Butterfly.

 podcast 
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Phil Hellmuth

Our guest this week is poker professional Phil Hellmuth, aka "The Poker Brat."

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - No guest this week

No guest this week. Bob and I discuss reader emails, as well as current gambling in the news.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mr. Marty

In 1986 I got a phone call from a friend named Alan. He told me there was a really great blackjack game at Walker Hill casino in Seoul, S. Korea. I forget all the rules, but the game had early surrender vs. 10, and 6 cards was an automatic 1/2 win. All in all the player had an edge off the top without any counting of cards.
Alan recommended I stay at an inexpensive locals hotel called the Kaya, and get in touch with an American card counter named Marty Itzkowitz. Marty was an ex-New York cop, who had moved to Vegas, dealt craps, became a craps boss at Sam's Town, discovered card counting, quit his job, and somehow ended up in Korea. Marty had the answers. He knew where to change money on the black market, where the illegal underground casinos were, which ones cheated, and where the girls who liked Americans hung out.

I made a few phone calls, and heard rumor that Marty might be staying in the same hotel. I went to the front desk, and asked if Marty Itzkowitz was staying there. The front desk clerk took a step back and I saw fear in his eyes. "Oh, Mr. Marty is in 302." You see, Marty was the quintessential "ugly American." The first thing you noticed was his bulging eyes.

Imagine a 300 pound, loud, frothing, Marty Feldman. He hated everything, and everybody. But he said things that were so outrageously over the top that it was hard to take him seriously. He claimed to hate Korea, and Koreans, yet he managed to marry at least a couple, and spent years living there. Then at some point he changed from blackjack to poker, and from Korea to the Philippines, at which point he switched his loathing to all thing Filipino. Any blackjack player who spent time in Korea in the late 80s will have some Mr. Marty stories.

Well now there is a new mystery by Jake Jacobs, The Battered Butterfly. It takes place in Manilla, and the lead character is a professional gambler named Lefty Markowitz. "Lefty, an ex-New York cop turned professional gambler, is two hundred and eighty pounds of misanthropy on the prowl in Manila. All he wants is to be left alone." The dedication is to Marty, so this isn't all a coincidence.

Lefty finds himself the prime suspect in a murder. It seems a bar girl was murdered after Lefty spent the night with her. (Marty was fond of bar girls.) At the same time Marty is much more interested in tracking down a German named Carl that ripped him off in a poker game.

I read a lot of mysteries, and one of the things that separates the good from the bad is a sense of place. Here is the opening paragraph of the book.

"The rain came, and should have washed down the streets. Falling, it should have captured the particles of dust, the fog of auto exhaust, the reek from stray fires smoldering in piles of garbage, tackled them all, and dragged them to earth. It should have washed the grime and peeling paint down the walls of the buildings. It should have swept all the discarded newspapers and crushed cigarette butts and rotting banana peels from the sidewalks, swept everything into the gutter, so the city was clean and fresh, renewed. Instead, the rain came too fast. The streets filled with water faster than the antiquated sewers could cope. They backed up like a plugged toilet, so that pedestrians could expect wet tissue paper and dog turds plastered to their calves. In Manila, even the rain didn't work right."

Jake is a former professional blackjack player (played on the Hyland team among others) and a perennial on the Giant 32, a list of the 32 best backgammon players in the world. He has written two other book, both on backgammon, and contributes a monthly column to Gammon Village. We plan to have him on Gambling With an Edge in a few weeks to talk about the book, Marty, and some of his crazier gambling exploits. Here is his book on Amazon.   The Battered Butterfly

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #11

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. This week we discuss the Phil Ivey decision in London, and asset forfeitures.


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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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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - advantage players David & Kyle

Our guests this week are named David and Kyle. These are 2 advantage players that successfully sued Virgin River Casino in Mesquite Nevada. They settled their case for $199,999, and were represented by frequent guest of our show, attorney Bob Nersesian.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jimmy Jazz 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, June 12, 2014

Reader mail - Beating Roulette

Recently in the mail bag I received...

"Can you suggest a strategy or book to help me master the game of roulette?"

Super Fan

Dear Super Fan,

I hope you are not asking about a system based on something like - 5 red numbers came up in a row so I should bet on black. Or, 5 red numbers came up so I should now bet red because it is hot. Or, I should bet 1 chip and if it loses bet 2, then 4 then, 8 etc. No betting system, nor a system based on what came up in the last few spins can overcome the house edge at roulette.

With that said there are 3 ways we can talk about beating roulette that can actually work.


1. You can beat roulette with the use of a computer. Ed Thorpe who wrote Beat the Dealer was the first I am aware of to use this approach. Back in the 60s he built a hidden computer that he could wear into a casino. The computer times the speed of the wheel turning, and the speed of the ball, and then makes a prediction as to where the ball will land in the wheel. Obviously technology has come a long way since the 60s, and most of us carry very powerful computers in our pocket every day. Developing a program that will beat roulette would not be an easy task, and getting away with it might be even more difficult. WARNING - Most states have made it illegal to use a computer in a casino. Many foreign countries also have laws against using electronic devices, so if this is your plan be sure to research the laws carefully. If you are interested in an entertaining book about the exploits of one team who used computers to play roulette pick up The Eudaemonic Pie.


2. You can beat roulette by visually tracking the ball. The idea is you use your brain to do the same thing the computer was doing in the previous method. This is not something that is easy to learn. It requires hundreds if not thousands of hours of practice, and you would need to buy a full size roulette wheel which can cost $7,000 to $12,000. And the problem is, just as in a hand held blackjack game where you raise your bet and the dealer shuffles the cards - as soon as you start winning the dealers will call "No more bets" earlier and earlier. Also this move was much more feasible back when roulette wheels had deep pockets. Most wheel today are what they call "low profile" which means the ball bounces around a lot more before landing. The bottom line is that IF you can learn to do this then under ideal conditions you may have a very large edge. But finding these opportunities may be few and far between. The only book that I'm aware of about this technique is Professional Roulette Prediction which I reviewed here. Review. Here is a link to our podcast of Gambling With an Edge on which we had the author of this book Laurance Scott. PODCAST

3. The third method is almost as old as casino gambling. Going back to the 1800s people discovered that a roulette wheel is a machine, and machines are not always engineered perfectly. They wear unevenly and do not always act randomly. They started writing down the numbers that had hit, and eventually found that certain numbers had a bias. This method is also not a way to a fast buck. It requires the recording of thousands of wheel spins, and even then it is tricky to determine whether a wheel actually has a bias. And don't think you can just stand around a wheel writing down numbers. People get backed off for doing exactly that. There is only one book I'm aware of that details the math involved in determining roulette bias, and unfortunately it is out of print. The book is The Bias Wheel Handbook by Mark Billings.. But maybe if you set up eBay alerts it will pop up there one day. Mark was a guest on our show and you can hear that episode here. PODCAST


Just as a side note, (and a shameless plug) if you haven't read the story of Billy Walters winning millions of dollars at roulette in Atlantic City pick up Gambling Wizards.

So there you have it, from one of the oldest advantage plays, to the most modern. None of them easy, but all have been used to make millions of dollars. Good luck Super Fan, and keep those cards and letters coming.

Gambling With an Edge - guest Joseph Kerr on Advantage Cruising

The guest on the show this week is Joseph Kerr. Joseph is an advantage player from Florida who has found a number of advantage plays on cruises. Sounds like a great way to take a vacation, and earn money at the same time.


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Saturday, June 7, 2014

My favorite new app

Have you ever been in the middle of nowhere, and you say, "I know there is a casino around here somewhere." You drive around, but you just can't find it. Well your problems are solved. I've always been a fan of the book American Casino Guide, but now they have an app. Open the app and they have a buttons for "Casinos nearby," "Find Casinos" and "Special offers." Open the link to a casino you're looking for, and at the bottom will be a button that says "directions" and another for "map". Hit directions and it will bring up your phone's navigator with turn by turn instructions on how to get there.

Under "special offers" you'll find thing like 2 for 1 buffets, 20% off at a spa, or $5 match plays. This is a must have app for anyone who spends time in casinos. Best of all - it's free. Download the app at the Google play store here. American Casino guide App.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Eric Raskin author of The Moneymaker Effect

The guest on the show this week is Eric Raskin. His new book is called The Moneymaker Effect about the World Series of Poker of 2003 where Chris Moneymaker won the main event.


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Andy Bloch #3

The guest on the show this week is Andy Bloch. Andy is a very well known professional poker player, and a former member of the MIT blackjack team. We talk about the upcoming WSOP.


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - Learning to Count Cards.

We have no guest this week. We continue our series on learning games from scratch. This week we discuss how to go about learning to count cards.


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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Ed Miller #6

This week's guest is Ed Miller, poker author and player. Our topic this week is how to learn to play winning poker starting from scratch.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

Ben Affleck & the Vegas casinos

If your friends and family know you are interested in blackjack, then I'm sure by now you have been emailed, texted, and facebook tagged with articles about Ben Affleck being backed off at The Hard Rock in Las Vegas for counting cards. Ben's problems started a couple weeks ago when, according to Radar Online, Game Protection Manager at the Wynn and Encore casinos Rob Olivetti sent out an email to the other casinos in Las Vegas saying that Affleck was moving his money with the count. Ben, this is called "getting fliered." Welcome to my world.

A few days after  this flier went out Affleck was playing at the Hard Rock. He was surrounded by security, and barred from ever playing blackjack again at that property. I have a few questions.


Dear Hard Rock,

This story has received international attention. It is in over 100 newspapers, and numerous TV shows. Do you think that people reading this story are more likely or less likely to want to visit the Hard Rock?

Do you think there is value in having Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in your casino? I hear that people like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are paid 6 figures to show up at Vegas nightclubs. How much would your marketing department  be willing to pay to have them play for a few hours?  So what if you said to him, "Ben, you are obviously a very good card counter, and we'd love to let you keep playing, but we can only let you spread 1-5 on this double deck cut in half. So if he plays 2 hands spreading from 2k to 10k he is making $6,000 per hour. Is it not worth $24,000 to have Batman and Elektra in your casino for the evening? That is his win rate if he doesn't make any mistakes. If he plays perfectly. Remember this is a guy who uses chips to help him keep the count. Now betting that much he may win or lose $300k. If he wins your marketing people get the headline..

Ben Affleck wins a MILLION DOLLARS while partying like a Rock Star at the Hard Rock!

(we all know you're going to inflate it)  And if he loses you get

Ben & Jennifer party like Rock Stars at the Hard Rock.

And Ben, what a wasted opportunity. Have you not read the stories about Don Johnson winning $15 million? If you had just hooked up with some real pros we could have got you more ev than Don Johnson had.  I shudder to think what you could have won with the right people behind you.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jeffrey Compton publisher of CDC Gaming Reports

Our guest this week is Jeffrey Compton, the publisher of CDC Gaming Reports.  


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Gambling With an Edge - guest Richard Marcus, author of American Roulette part 2

This week our guest is Richard Marcus. Richard was a casino cheat, and tonight we will be talking about his book American Roulette. This is the second part of our interview. Part 1 can be heard here - Part 1


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #9

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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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Dusty from the Church Team - Holy Rollers

Our guest this week is Dusty. Dusty was part of the Church Team, a group of card counting Christians featured in the movie Holy Rollers. You can read my review of that movie here -  Holy Rollers.  


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Anthony Curtis 4

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


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High Roller Las Vegas

The new Linq Mall has opened between Harrah's and The Quad in Las Vegas. It's an open air mall filled mostly with bars and restaurants.

The High Roller is at the east end, and is the tallest observation wheel in the world. I went yesterday, April 9th at about 2pm. The wheel has only been open a week, and it was empty when I went.


They encourage you to get drunk to ride this thing but I took a pass on the $12 cocktails. Tickets during the day are $24.95 and at night they are 34.95.

Boarding Area


One thing surprised me. As you can imagine there is a video screen with some guy prattling on. At one point he said, "Right now we are 420 feet up. That's right, 420. You know what that means. We're high." This surprised me that marijuana has become so mainstream. It is kind of a perfect joke since the people who get it will really appreciate, and the people who don't won't be offended. If you don't get it just google 420.



The ride takes 30 minutes, and really 10 would have been plenty.

Bellagio fountain


I saw some pictures of the ride at sunset, and that would be a much better time to get great photos. The best parking is a large free lot just east of the High Roller which you can access off Koval or off Linq Lane. I did the big wheel in Chicago with my son about 15 years ago. That one was open air, and we went in December. This was a much better experience than that, but I wouldn't go again. Maybe I've just been around Vegas too long.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Player Secrets of a Vegas Whale

I opened Netflix last night only to see this in my recommended list. How could I not watch? The Player is 45 minutes of what I would call "Newsotainment"; not really news, and not really entertaining. It is the story of how Don Johnson won $15 million in Atlantic City by exploiting their loss rebate program.

The show is filled with a lot of fluff. The actual time spent on what Don Johnson did maybe totals 10 minutes. The rest of the time is spent talking about how the economic collapse of 2008 effected CET, MGM, and Wynn. There are interviews with Steve Wynn, Jim Murren (CEO of MGM), and Gary Loveman. (CEO of Caesars). Now either Gary Loveman has no clue as to what goes on in his casinos, or he is a blatant liar. When Trish Regan asks him about DJ being barred at Caesars properties he says, "We can't, or wouldn't bar you from coming to the casino." Really? Would you like a list of just the people who have sued CET for being handcuffed and mistreated while being 86ed for doing nothing illegal?

Unfortunately I'm and addict. For me these shows are like pizza - even when it's bad it is still pretty good. The more you already know about the Don Johnson story, the less you will like this show. One tidbit the show brings out that hasn't been mentioned much in other places is his use of porn stars. The idea is the dealer and pit get so distracted by the girls they make errors. One or two errors a night and DJ now has an overall edge. If you're bored some night and scrolling through Netflix you might check it out.

The show was originally made for Bloomberg TV, so if you don't have Netflix you can also watch it here. The Player.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Ed Miller

This week's guest is Ed Miller, poker author and player. His new book is called Poker's 1%. 


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Richard Marcus, author of American Roulette

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


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