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, January 26, 2023

Gambling With an Edge - Throwback episode Kelly Sun

This is a throwback episode originally recorded in 2017. Our guest this week is Kelly Sun. The media dubbed her the "Queen of Sorts," and her team mates called her a "baccarat machine." You know her as the mysterious Chinese woman behind the Phil Ivey edge sorting cases in London, and Atlantic City. Also on this show is Michael Kaplan, who has written about Kelly for the NY Times, and Cigar Aficionado, and Lori Chang.  Lori is a former member of the MIT blackjack team, and friend of Kelly. Kelly sometimes has trouble with English, and Lori came along to help translate, and share a few stories of her own. 

We welcome your questions - send them to us at, or you can find me at @RWM21 on Twitter or


Show Notes

[00:00]  Introduction
[02:35]  Edge sorting at baccarat
[03:44]  Kelly's backstory
[06:15]  Gemaco and other brands of cards
[08:22]  "The Macau way"
[09:20]  Automatic shufflers, reusing cards, mini baccarat, cards, and dealers
[14:33]  Edge sorting in blackjack
[16:14]  Developing the baccarat strategy
[19:39]  Playing in Las Vegas, playing with Phil Ivey
[25:30]  Playing in Macau
[27:28]  Foxwoods
[30:43]  Casinos taking freerolls
[32:00]  Don Johnson sees Kelly and Phil at The Borgata
[33:43]  Different rules in baccarat
[34:44]  Eddie stories
[38:51]  Funny stories about frugality
[43:04]  Commercials
[44:36]  Kelly's nicknames
[48:24]  Court cases in New Jersey and London
[50:35]  Playing video poker in Lake Tahoe
[52:26]  Edge sorting in baccarat versus blackjack
[53:43]  Exploiting stereotypes
[58:27]  Can Kelly still play?

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Books Referenced:
Tales from the Felt

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