Mit blackjack members. MIT Blackjack Team - Wikipedia
They traveled to Atlantic City during the spring break to win their fortune. The team concept enabled players and investors to leverage both their time and money, reducing their "risk of ruin" while also making it more difficult for casinos to detect card counting at their tables.
At various times, there were nearly 30 players playing simultaneously at different casinos around the world, including Native American casinos throughout the country, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Canada, and island locations.
At least 70 people played on the team in some capacity either as counters, Big Players, or in various supporting roles over that time span.
Using funds he received on graduation as Harvard's outstanding scholar-athlete, Kaplan generated more than a 35 fold rate of return in less than nine months of play. Never before had casinos throughout the world seen such an organized and scientific onslaught directed at the game.
Once the controller found a positive, he would signal to the big player. Uston's book on blackjack team play, Million Dollar Blackjack, was published shortly before the founding of the first MIT team. They had no interest in having to learn a new playing system, being put through "trial by fire" checkout procedures before being approved to play, being supervised in the casinos, or having to fill out detailed player sheets such as casino, cash in and cash out totals, time period, betting strategy and limits, and the rest for every playing session.
The MIT Team's approach was originally developed by Al Francesco, elected by professional gamblers as one of the original seven inductees into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Given the fortuitous timing Kaplan's parting with his Las Vegas teamhe agreed to go in the hopes of putting together a new local team that he could train and manage.
The team played on and off the next few years but interest waned as casino conditions, player exhaustion, and weakened management focus caused the group to lose players and finally stop playing.
Semyon Dukach of the Amphibians founded Blackjack Science. Fully trained players had to pass an intense "trial by fire," consisting of playing through 8 six-deck shoes with almost perfect play, and then undergo further training, supervision, and similar check-outs in actual casino play until they could become full stakes players.
Other[ edit ] Several members of the two teams have used their expertise to start public speaking careers as well as businesses teaching others how to count cards. He introduced mit blackjack members to the speaker, Bill Kaplan, a Harvard MBA graduate who had run a successful blackjack team in Las Vegas three years earlier.
The team tested potential members to find out if they were suitable candidates and, if they were, the team thoroughly trained the new members for free.
While originally marketed as nonfiction, Mezrich later admitted characters and stories in the book were mostly fictive and composites of players and stories he had heard about through hearsay. Most never gambled again, but some of them maintained an avid interest in card counting and remained in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The event was featured in an October Cigar Aficionado article, which said the winner earned the unofficial title "Most Feared Man in the Casino Business". Instead, casinos would have to ban players individually.
He or she thus knows the probability of getting a high card 10,J,Q,K,A as compared to a low card 2,3,4,5,6. Kaplan had earned his BA at Harvard in and delayed his admission to Harvard Business School for a year, when he moved to Las Vegas and formed a team of blackjack players using his own research and statistical analysis of the game.
Beyond the basic strategy of when to hit and when to stand, individual players can use card counting, shuffle tracking or hole carding to improve their odds. A couple of the players were initially averse to the idea.
Ten players, including Kaplan, Massar, Jonathan, Goose, and 'Big Dave' aka 'coach', to distinguish from the Dave in the first round played on this bank. He continued for another year or so as an occasional player and investor in the team, now being run by Massar, Chang and Bill Rubin, a player who joined the team in He noted that each of the players used a different, and overcomplicated, card counting strategy.
In a interview in Blackjack Forum magazine,  John Chang, an MIT undergrad who joined the team in late and became MIT team co-manager in the mids and sreported that, in addition to classic card counting and blackjack team techniques, at various times the group used advanced shuffle and ace tracking techniques.
The script took significant artistic license with events, with most of its plot being invented for the movie. However, their keen interest in the game coupled with Kaplan's successful track record won out. They recruited more MIT students as players at the January blackjack class. Ten weeks later they more than doubled the original stake.
Since the early s a large number of card counting schemes have been published, and casinos have adjusted the rules of play in an attempt to counter the most popular methods. Structured similar to the numerous real estate development limited partnerships that Kaplan had formed, the limited partnership raised a million dollars, significantly more money than any of their previous teams, with a method based on Edward Thorp 's high low system.
Many events in this book were at least partly based on incidents that occurred during the team's Strategic Investments era. Kaplan enhanced Francesco's team methods and used them for the MIT team. The group went their separate ways when most of them graduated in May of that year.
Kaplan observes Massar and friends in action[ edit ] After meeting Kaplan and hearing about his blackjack successes, Massar asked Kaplan if he was interested in going with a few of Massar's blackjack-playing friends to Atlantic City to observe mit blackjack members play.
They played intermittently through May and increased their capital four-fold, but were nonetheless more like a four winds casino new buffalo mi concerts group sharing capital than a team with consistent strategies and quality control. While the MIT team's card counting techniques can give players an overall edge of about 2 percent, some of the MIT team's methods have been established as gaining players an overall edge of about 4 percent.
Card counting Blackjack can be legally beaten by a skilled player. Having played and run successful teams sinceKaplan reached a point in late where he could not show his face in any casino without being followed by the casino personnel in search of his team members. He proposed forming a new group to go to Atlantic City to take advantage of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission 's recent ruling that made it illegal for the Atlantic City casinos to ban card counters.
The BBC documentary, Making Millions the Easy Way, addressed the Bringing Down the House period as part of the renowned "Horizon" strand directed by Johanna Gibbontold the story of a Strategic Investments breakaway group, and revealed the science behind the winning formula.
This resulted in error rates that undermined the benefits of the more complicated strategies. Blackjack team play was first written about by Ken Ustonan early member of Al Francesco's teams.
These members were replaced by fresh players from MIT, Harvard, and other colleges and companies, and play continued. Jeff Ma and Henry Houhformer players on the team, appear in the movie as casino dealersand Bill Mit blackjack members appears in a cameo in the background of the underground Chinese gambling parlor scene.
The detectives obtained copies of recent MIT yearbooks and added photographs from it to their image database. Eventually, investigators hired by casinos realized that many of those they had banned had addresses in or near Cambridge, and the connection to MIT and a formalized team became clear.