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 28, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Bob Nersesian #19

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 questions submitted by our listeners.

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Show Notes

[00:27] The Donovan case in Indiana and various conditions of trespassing.
[11:36] Can a sportsbook in Nevada refuse to pay a player due to posting an off number?
[15:19] Is it a malfunction when a player hits a jackpot wagered with the slot credit higher than the amount offered by the casino host?
[17:46] What happens if you don’t pay a marker from Indian casino
[20:14] Bob’s view on lowering the Nevada bar exam’s passing score and omitting essay on commercial paper.
[26:40] A player who was self excluded from Caesars in Atlantic City about 15 yrs ago, hit a jackpot at a Caesar’s property in Arizona. What are the implications?
[30:03] What happens to a 7-card straight flush in Fortune Pai-Gow Poker when other players muck their hands?
[41:12] 500% fewer people support attacking Syria than supported attacking Iraq. What does "500% less" mean?
[42:57] Would it be better to carry chips rather than cash in consideration of civil forfeiture?
[46:58] Recent uptick of Suspicious Action Reports. What can you do?
[51:38] Do you have to show I.D. for betting on a baseball game? 7 bets, and all less than $1,000 each.
[54:20] At Silverton, jackpots over $12,000 just spits out a ticket. When cashing that ticket of over $12,000 the casino insists on showing I.D. to cash that ticket.
[58:27] The legality of carrying a passport from a country that no longer exists
[1:02:58] Is it true that TSA can’t legally open a sealed envelope if it made it through the x-ray? 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest James Vogl

Our guest this week is James Vogl.  James is a former backgammon, and poker player (He won a WSOP bracelet at 24.) who then moved into the world of hedge funds.  Now he has moved on from the trading world to start something called The Cerebral Gym.

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Show notes

[01:27] James Vogl’s backgammon career
[02:47] Are there still active backgammon club in London?
[03:55] What it was like transitioning into poker from Backgammon
[06:23] Poker books that stood out for James
[07:39] Why did Gus Hansen change his name?
[09:14] How long did James play poker before he got a real job?
[09:47] Did James play a lot of online poker?
[12:29] Hedge funds, computer, and math skills. What was James’ market?
[15:38] Did the fund keep track of P/L? How did James compare to S&P 500 over the years?
[17:15] Video Poker v.s. trading
[19:28] Why did James leave trading?
[20:23] Did his romantic relationships affect his decision to quit gambling?
[23:34] Gambling v.s. trading
[28:39] Do the traders look at themselves as gamblers?
[30:51] Is a press-up the same as a push-up?
[33:31] Does James find the various games he played different or similar?
[38:52] Does James see himself returning to the gambling world?
[47:47] James’ cheating encounters at gambling or trading

"Theory of poker" by David Sklansky:
"Play Poker, Quit Work and Sleep Till Noon” by John Fox:
"Liar’s Poker” by Michael Lewis:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mike Shackleford, the Wizard of Odds

Our guest this week is Mike Shackleford of the Wizard of Odds, and Wizard of Vegas websites. Mike is a former cohost of Gambling With an Edge, and his websites are the number one resource when people need information about casino games.


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Show Notes

[00:29] Mike’s take on 21 sidebet 
[04:14] Video Poker speed challenge on Wizard of Vegas website and how to play 2,000+ hands per hour
[16:07] Super Bowl prop bets and no safety
[20:58] Dan ruben and Pai Gow Poker
[22:44] Dream Card
[28:13] Video Poker Wizard and Win Poker
[35:13] Mike’s strategy on total eclipse
[43:21] What does the number 19 trillion represent in the WoO VP strategy calculator?
[47:11] The cycles in a great big loop
[50:01] Game inventor’s conference
[52:28] Pai Gow Tiles: pros and cons of banking

Wizard of Vegas:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - Rozanna Travis and Jo part 2

This week our guests are two female advantage players.  Rozanna Travis, and Jo started out as card counters on one of the largest blackjack teams of all times. Over the years they have played with several other teams, as well as individually.  This is the second of our two interviews with them.

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Show Notes

[01:11] Blackjack tests Rozanna Travis had to pass
[09:33] The Blackjack test Jo had to pass
[15:02] How well did Rozanna Travis and Jo know each other before Blackjack?
[18:16] Getting ripped off and the requirements for joining the Sinatra group.
[25:11] Emotional effects of teams breaking up
[33:21] Dealing with the family, Gambling Anonymous, and relationship dynamics for professional Blackjack players
[47:14] Rozanna Travis’s writings
[48:37] Televised Blackjack programs, before and after.
[52:15] Their favorite part about the Blackjack world.
[57:20] Who would they thank for the success in Blackjack?

Checkout Rozanna at:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - Kit Woolsey

Our guest this week is bridge and backgammon expert Kit Woolsey.  We talk about his recent book The Backgammon Encyclopedia Volume 2 as well as some of his stories from years of playing bridge and backgammon at the highest levels.

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Show Notes

[00:53] The difference between the volumes 1 and 2 of the Backgammon Encyclopedia
[02:27] How helpful the Backgammon bots have been in learning the game
[04:41] Is Kit planning future volumes in the Backgammon Encyclopedia series?
[05:14] Would cube decisions in the book change depending on the proficiency of the opponent?
[08:44] What is the current state of Backgammon in the U.S.?
[09:41] Does Kit team up with other bridge players in big events?
[11:23] What sets apart Kit’s defense to no trump openings
[12:43] Why was Woolsey convention considered illegal?
[18:08] Cheating scandals in bridge
[20:03] How some players cheat at high-level games with dividing screens
[23:03] How to identify cheating in bridge
[25:57] Richard and Kit shuffle tracking in the late 70’s.
[28:41] Kit’s bad barrings from playing Blackjack
[29:27] What is the Alcatraz coup?
[34:37] Does studying one game help studying other games? What other games interest Kit?
[38:07] How is playing bridge with wife affect Kit’s marriage?
[39:15] Backgammon tournament in the Las Vegas area
[40:29] Book recommendations for backgammon tournaments
[43:43] Examples of different plays 30 years ago
[47:01] Do high level games of backgammon and bridge require a genius level intelligence?

Kit Woolsey, "Backgammon Encyclopedia Vol. 1"
Kit Woolsey, "Backgammon Encyclopedia Vol. 2"
Kit Woolsey, "The Language of Bridge"
Kit Woolsey, "New Ideas in Backgammon"
How to Play Tournament Backgammon”
Paul Magriel “Backgammon”

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - Rozanna Travis and Jo

This week our guests are two female advantage players.  Rozanna Travis, and Jo started out as card counters on one of the largest blackjack teams of all times. Over the years they have played with several other teams, as well as individually.  This is the first of two interviews with them.

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Show Notes

[00:38] A recent case in Colorado regarding abandoned credits in a slot machine
[02:44] How Rozanna and Jo got started with AP
[08:22] How is it different being an AP as a woman?
[23:27] Changing appearances and putting on acts
[36:05] Sexual harassment stories: how to talk to pimps and when acts get too much
[46:30] Memorable backoff stories

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - author David Clary

Our guest today is David Clary. David is a news editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and has written  a new book entitled “Gangsters to Governors: The New Bosses of Gambling in America.”

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Show Notes

[00:44] The book’s aim and whether the goals were met
[02:51] Government revenue and financing through lottery
[04:24] Louisiana lottery company and the corruption
[05:58] Less known history about the mob and Las Vegas
[10:17] David’s prediction on the future of Las Vegas
[12:21] Atlantic City v.s. Las Vegas 
[16:10] The future of sports betting 
[24:57] The future of fantasy sports
[29:07] Where the online gaming is going
[33:31] John "Old smoke" Morrissey
[36:56] What happened to horse racing?
[41:45] The NFL owners and their gambling connections
[48:40] Other interesting gambling facts
[50:19] Possibilities of the sequel

Gansters to Governers: The New Bosses of Gambling in America by David Clary:
John "Old Smoke” Morrissey”

David Clary
Twitter: @dpclary 

Thursday, November 9, 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

[00:49] Tax evasion v.s. tax avoidance
[01:43] The federal tax bill and its relevance to gamblers and non-gamblers
[08:29] What is the best way to list W2G’s for a professional gambler using schedule C?
[15:23] Online casinos in New Jersey require W2G’s for slot machine winnings of $1200 or more. In general, is free play taxable? Is the free room from the casino taxable?  
[18:10] Keeping a diary of gambling wins and losses
[21:33] Can a player form a C-corp so that he can present his tax ID rather than his SSN when he hits jackpot
[24:11] Playing under an assumed name and producing an identification for the real name and the form W-9
[28:33] Is the U.S. the only country that taxes gambling winnings?
[29:10] If you hit a $20,000 royal flush and take it in cash, is CTR filled out on top of W2G?
[33:20] What should a U.K. citizen be worried about if he visits Las Vegas for a vacation and wins a significant amount of money?
[37:31] The tax implications for both the investor and the players of a blackjack team
[40:59] Should you pay taxes on gambling overseas?
[41:51] Are capital gains on cryptocurrency taxable events?
[48:29] Do you report gambling wins/losses for games that occurred on international waters?
[48:47] If you have a SEP IRA and a solo 401k, is there any downside for using solo 401k just for the $18,000 elected deferral and use SEP IRA for roughly 18.5% of the net contributions?
[50:15] 5 silly things that Russel heard from his clients

Russel Fox:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - listener emails part 2

We have no guest this week.  Bob and I answer questions from our listeners. We always welcome your questions so post them below, or send them to us at This is a follow-up to the show two weeks ago.

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Show Notes

[00:47] 7 star experience & potential concerns with parking system's identification
[06:41] Credit card cashback and slot machines
[08:54] Casino procedures and what they mean for heats on card counters
[10:06] Edges on Easy baccarat 
[12:23] Win poker stopped working in iPad. What would Bob recommend?
[14:00] What would you recommend to a middleaged man starting in AP
[19:07] Multiline game v.s. single line games. 
[21:15] Bonus multiline games and changing the address to a local P.O. box.
[22:20] Best apps for practicing blackjack
[22:54] Tutorial for Dream Card & frequency for the dream card? Is there percentage return list by pay schedule?
[25:01] What is the life of an AP now?
[27:18] What do AP's do about insurance and retirement?
[31:37] Is it possible to use hi-lo or speed count for Spanish 21?
[34:50] The Fremont shooting story
[40:45] A camouflage idea for a card counter
[42:23] 3500 coin instead of 4000 coins for a royal. Should the listener report to the Gaming?
[47:15] Other episode recommendations
[48:37] what happened to Bob's mentee?
[49:27] weight loss story part.2
[52:49] technicalities with over and under bet
[55:39] The rule of having to sit down while playing
[59:45] Hit-and-run strategy in Las Vegas
[1:01:29] Counting cards in Baccarat

Previous episodes:
Kelly Sun: 
Bob Nersesian: 
Russel fox
Blackjack ball 
Cat Hulbert
Laurie Chang
Jefferey Compton

Wizard of Odds:
Katerina Walker’s Spanish 21 book:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - Max Votolato

Our guest this week is Max Votolato, talking about his new book,  “Gardena Poker Clubs: A High-Stakes History.”  Max's initial research into the card clubs in Gardena was for a documentary film called “Freeway City.” 

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Show Notes:

Freeway City is streaming free on Vimeo @
Also, for anyone interested in more info - they can check out the film's website:

00:50 How did Max become interested in Gardena?
06:09 When did legalized poker come to Gardena and why Gardena?
16:28 The political battles along the the poker club’s legalization process
29:17 Card clubs from 50’s and 60’s v.s. current poker rooms in Las Vegas and elsewhere
32:53 Cheating problems back then and countermeasures
40:00 When Larry Flynt wanted to built the Hustler Casino
49:09 Gardena club’s competitions that led to its demise
53:47 Ernie Primm’s relations with the town of Primm

You can reach Max Votolato on:
Twitter: @Votolato

Gardena Poker Clubs: A High-Stakes History

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - listener emails

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

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Show Notes

[00:58] All the AP opportunities in Macau
[03:43] VP player playing slot machines for cover
[05:19] Traveling BR. Flying v.s. driving with cash
[09:31] Comp games outside Las Vegas. The games Richard and Bob play and average hours per week.
[12:07] Leaving a job in order to become an AP. Advantages of being older
[15:24] Life before AP for Bob and Richard
[19:44] Part-time card counter’s BR management
[21:56] Slot AP turning card counter is asking for advanced learning resources
[23:27] How to network with other players
[29:43] Getting nervous with losing big bets
[32:27] A strategy for VP points challenge
[35:09] Sports betting: can you win money by betting the opposite side of terrible sports bettors?
[37:49] Is AP a gateway to crimes?
[40:13] Do you quit playing a session when you are behind?
[46:00] Weight-loss bet stories
Rick Blaine: Blackjack Blueprint
Standford Wong: Professional Black Jack

Blackjack Apprenticeship:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - card counter Yoshi

Our guest this week is a young card counter named Yoshi. Yoshi lives in the Midwest, started with a bankroll of $3,000, and built it to several hundred thousand in a bit over a year.

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Show Notes

[00:47] Counting cards in the Midwest
[01:13] Yoshi’s origin story and the how the BR grew
[06:36] Using players’ cards
[10:45] Casinos in Oklahoma: the ante and the casino personnels
[14:50] Networking with compatible, competent AP’s?
[18:39] Proving age without showing ID
[23:16] Exchanging casino chips with other players and managing cash outs.
[31:39] Interesting back-off stories
[34:53] Card eating effect of splitting 10’s
[38:12] Other advantage playing
[40:28] Yoshi's quitting point?
[43:48] Dealing with the family’s reactions and traveling with cash
[50:03] Unfair treatments and getting ripped off

Stanford Wong, Professional Blackjack:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - G2E 2017

No guest this week. Bob and Richard discuss this year's Global Gaming Expo, also known as G2E. Bob talks about the new video poker games, and I talk about new table games.  We also discuss "skill based" games.

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Show notes

[03:59] Surveillance educational seminars
[05:57] Federal rule procedure 37(e): using electronic data in a lawsuit
[07:58] Scams, cheats, and blacklists
[10:26] Slot machine game Haystacks: legality of winning money without wagering money.
[16:43] New Video Poker games and other skills based machine games
[28:17] Interesting table games: side bets and consequences of 3CP's expiring patent
[35:21] A new shuffling machine
[41:23] Video games of skills
[53:33] Driving game 
[54:55] IGT's mobile game that lets you earn comps at home
[56:18] Remote wagering via phones

G2E Global Gaming Expo:
CDC Gaming Reports:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gambling With an Edge - guest Mickey Crimm

Our guest today is Micky Crimm. Mickey is a low stakes machine player that lived for years for free in casinos.  He now makes his living grinding away in Montana of all places.

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Show Notes 

[01:15] How long has Mickey been in Montana, and what kind of AP things are there?
[03:25] Keno games in Montana
[06:58] Getting around the betting limits
[12:42] Games that Mickey used to play
[13:31] What kind of games is Mickey looking for now?
[14:19] Mickey’s train hopping adventures
[17:58] 5 years of living in McLaughlin for free
[20:20] Do casinos recognize Mickey?
[21:50] Quitting alcohol
[27:04] How Video Poker changed Mickey’s life
[34:22] Gambling has been a steady source of income since 1996. 
[36:37] Mickey’s math education
[39:56] A future book on Mickey’s adventures 

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

Virtue poker:
Bread wallet:

Just Hands Poker:

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:
Thomas and Mack Center:

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:

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:

Mark’s podcast:
Twitter: @UltimaRegum