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, March 29, 2018

Gambling With an Edge - German BJ player, Ultimate

Our guest today is a German blackjack player who posts under the name of 'Ultimate' on various forums. He tells us about extended trips in the United States and Europe --- how they are similar and how they are different.

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Show Notes

[00:51] How competent was Ultimate before and after the Blackjack Apprenticeship bootcamp
[05:15] Ultimate’s extended trip in LV
[16:08] When should you cash out the chips?
[20:55] The losing streaks
[25:07] Traveling with money 
[28:33] Blackjack in Europe 
[41:03] Game protection and crossing borders with money in Europe
[46:39] Future plans for Ultimate
[48:11] Was Ultimate always playing solo?
[49:46] Responses from family and friends
[52:17] A free ride from a Samaritan policeman

Blackjack Apprenticeship:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Gambling With an Edge - Sia Layta

Our guest is Sia Layta --- a pseudonym of a woman whose about-to-be-published book is called Black Widow Poker. It's about the advantages and disadvantages of women playing poker. In addition, Sia is planning to enter the Main Event in this year's World Series of Poker dressed as a man. Seth Palansky, WSOP Communication's Director, has said that dressing in this manner is against WSOP rules and Sia will be removed from the event and her entry fee forfeited if discovered. Bob and Richard also dip into their mailbag.

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Show Notes

[00:49] The origin of the nickname “Black Widow" and the advantages of being a man in poker
[05:35] Cash games v.s. tournaments
[06:26] Playing poker disguised as a man
[09:48] Black Widow’s first time dressing as a man
[16:49] WSOP rule on revealing identity
[18:57] Go Fund Me page
[19:41] The origin of the name Sia Layta
[20:59] Advantages of being a woman at a poker table
[27:05] Will the pictures in her book inadvertently reveal her identity?
[29:13] Playing the main event v.s. satellites
[30:13] Women’s representation in the world of poker
[37:31] A strategy deviation in Triple Double Bonus
[40:12] Paul Magriel’s passing
[43:18] Are good VP games still available? Do you have to learn all the strategies? What kind of BR do I need?

Black Widow Poker:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Gambling With an Edge - Professional card counter, Joe

Our guest this week is a professional card counter named Joe.  Joe is a young blackjack player with the expressed goal of getting kicked out of every casino in the country. We are also joined by Colin Jones, who was in town for a Blackjack Apprenticeship boot camp.

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Show Notes

[00:42] The Irish Roulette player
[03:29] Joe’s goal in the beginning
[04:11] Joe’s origin story
[07:08] Building the bankroll
[10:49] 200hr losing streak
[14:57] Team play and thoughts on counting systems
[18:37] Heat, overplays, and tourism
[30:14] Tipping
[33:35] Playing internationally
[39:09] Betting less for longevity
[40:59] Joe’s two experiences with illegal detainments
[43:35] Wearing disguises
[46:28] Casinos in the U.S. that Joe hasn’t played yet

Blackjack Apprenticeship:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gambling With an Edge - Slot Expert John Robison

Our guest this week is John Robison, author of The Slot Expert’s Guide to Playing Slots. John has been a gaming writer for more than twenty years and we talk about some of the inner workings and misconceptions regarding slot machines.

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Show Notes

[01:39] John’s thinking on slot machines and common misunderstandings
[11:37] The reality of loosening and tightening of slot machines
[13:44] How the casinos set their theoreticals
[22:43] Class 2 machines v.s. Class 3 machines
[25:09] Fruits in England
[29:47] The Big Time Bonus in Station Casinos 
[34:24] How do slots randomly trigger bonus events?
[38:37] Are the slot machines next to the restrooms are looser?
[43:01] Are no-name slot machines looser than licensed slot machines?

“The Slot Expert’s Guide to Playing Slots” by John Robinson:
"Slot Machines: A Pictoral History of the First 100 Years” by Marshall Fey:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Gambling With an Edge - Geoff Freeman of the AGA

Our guest today is Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association. The AGA is the chief lobbying organization for the casino industry. We discuss the coming spread of sports betting in the United States, and other issues that effect both the casino industry and the players.

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Show Notes

[00:27] Is it fair to say that American Gaming Association is a chief lobbying organization for gaming in the United States?
[01:09] Sports betting and PASPA
[03:16] Will there be national or state laws regarding sports betting?
[04:51] Structuring the gaming taxes to ensure sports bettors stay in the game
[07:05] The prospect of reducing the WTG threshold
[09:41] Confiscating cash by law enforcers
[11:35] Are tribal casinos’ memberships to AGA a recent development? How many tribal casinos are part of the AGA?
[20:49] Mass shooting in Las Vegas 
[23:09] 5 years ahead: the casino expansion in the U.S. 
[27:24] AGA’s view on online gaming and why did online sports betting move faster than online poker?
[31:11] Millennials and skill based gaming
[34:43] A proper time to end a Blackjack and Video Poker session
[38:50] Civilians pointing out dealers’ mistakes in favor of the player
[39:54] Cover plays in Blackjack counting
[41:46] Are differences in the basic strategy for Blackjack S17 and H17 big enough to learn separate strategies?

American Gaming Association: