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, February 27, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest Chris McKinlay

This week our guest is Chris McKinlay, author of Optimal Cupid. Chris is a former blackjack player, and current math professor who used his applied math background to figure out how to "get the edge" at dating site OK Cupid..

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Optimal Cupid

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Eyes Have It

When I was about 7 my father bought a tachistoscope. "Why?" you may ask. He was learning to speed read. Illinois had banned Henry Miller's The Tropic of Cancer as obscene. My father was hired as an expert witness on pornography, and had to read 200 pornographic novels before testifying. But I had this amazing toy to play with. You could set the interval from 1 second to 1/1000 of a second, and a word would flash across the screen. About every year or two the subject pops up on the blackjack message boards. "Should I get a tachistoscope to train my eyes?"

I was reminded of this recently when visiting a friends apartment in Las Vegas. I noticed what looked like a toy. It looked like an airplane with a two-foot wingspan, and across the front of the wings were red and blue LED lights. It came with a pair of glasses with one red lens and one blue lens. It was a different type of eye trainer called Eye Port. You wear the glasses and turn this thing on. The red and blue lights flash randomly, but you only see them out of one eye because of the glasses. You basically dart your eyes around looking at the lights and it is supposed to help your vision. Before you rush out to buy one of these contraptions I will tell you that my friend did not find it helpful.

Back in the early 80s there was a device called BJ Quick-Eye.

I believe this device was invented by Mark Billings who wrote The Ultimate Edge. You look down the box, and slide cards down the chute. You can adjust the angle of the chute to increase the speed of the cards. This item is no longer being sold, but as you can see from the drawing it would be fairly easy to make.

If you're interested in a tachistoscope let me save you a lot of money. Here is an app that does the same thing for $2. It's called Quicki. It flashes numbers on your phone screen. You can adjust the speed, and the number of digits.

Does it all work? I'll leave that to you to decide. My eyes are shot so I don't think any amount of training will help me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guest David Schwartz

Our guest this week is  Professor David Schwartz. He is on to talk about his book Roll The Bones: The History of Gambling.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - Video Poker for beginners part 2

This week our show is about video poker. We were supposed to have Vinny DeCarlo but he had to go into the hospital for surgery. I follow up with Bob asking about how to analyze a particular casino for my first video poker foray.

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gambling With an Edge - guests Max Rubin & Smoke discuss Blackjack Ball 2014

The guests this week are Max Rubin and Smoke. They are on to discuss this year's Blackjack Ball.

Click to listen - Alt click to download