Gambling With an Edge - guest Mike Aponte of the MIT blackjack team.
At stake: a seat in the World Series Main Event.
For most online players, just winning a seat would be a career-defining achievement.
But Andy has been playing in the Series for the last decade with breaks for law school exams and a boycott during some of the Nick and Becky Behnen years.
He is, however, a spokesman for FullTiltPoker.
And a great promoter he is.
Players flock to tournaments he enters.
They pepper him with questions and he carefully answers them all.
This tournament is down to seven players and Andy is the chip leader.
The next three receive lesser amounts in cash.
On the button, Bloch raises and both blinds call.
The flop is jack-eight-six, two clubs.
ANDYBLOCH: Then Hartford, Boston, New York.
The blinds fold and he picks up the pot.
A few hands later, the shortest stack, on the button, moves all-in.
This raise is just double the big blind.
Andy, in the big blind, calls, showing 10-9.
The raiser has ace-six.
The flop brings a ten.
OBSERVER: Andy, what was your grade point andy bloch mit blackjack />The river adds insult to injury, a nine, eliminating the player on the bubble.
ANDYBLOCH: At MIT https://krimket.com/blackjack/blackjack-python-object-oriented.html Harvard?
The railbirds eventually ask him for both schools and Bloch, ever-polite, answers.
Foxwoods Fall 1993 The Hickock Kid Somehow, Andy Bloch must have taken a wrong turn.
He obtained a plum job offer in New York and seemed to be on his way to a career of distinction and success as a computer programmer.
So why is he hanging around Foxwoods, the giant Indian casino that opened, seemingly in his back yard, the year before?
The new job fell apart after an argument with his boss.
On a trip to the casino, a novel game in the blackjack pit attracted his attention, and permanently altered the course of his life.
The game was called Wild Bill Hickock and it was a andy bloch mit blackjack on the games casinos offer that resemble poker but allow the players to bet against the house.
After playing a few hands, Andy became convinced that the game was beatable.
It took two days to write the Hickock program in a combination of machine language and BASIC, and two more for the Apple to run the program.
The conclusion: Playing an optimal strategy, a player could maintain a 2% edge.
When Andy could afford a faster computer after starting with DEC, he wrote a more advanced program and discovered a strategy that could achieve a 6% edge.
He made return trips to Foxwoods and confirmed that the strategy worked.
His excitement, which was substantial, was tempered by several problems.
Second, he was due to start at DEC, which would cut further into his playing time at Foxwoods.
He needed to find a team.
Because most undergraduate students are below the legal gambling age, the bulk of the MIT Team � itself a misnomer because there have been multiple groups, some with only tenuous connections to the school, counting cards together � has traditionally been former, returning, and graduate students, along with some locals who never attended MIT.
While Andy was looking for co-venturers, the MIT Team found him.
He wanted their experience in deploying a Hickock team.
Playing blackjack together also chart printable blackjack betting in the background.
Ultimately, they collaborated on three gambling projects.
The first was the Hickock team.
Finding and training players proved difficult, and other players some of them MIT students were also discovering Hickock was beatable, making seats sometimes hard to find.
At the first opportunity, Foxwoods made additional changes.
These changes made Hickock so unfavorable that not only did Andy and his team give up playing, but so did everyone else.
The casino soon discontinued the game.
Nobody has written any best-selling books about the MIT poker team and with here reason.
The team soon disbanded.
According to Andy, one of the organizers, known as Mister M in documentaries about the Blackjack Team, later became the poker coach to a local computer programmer, Robert Varkonyi, who went on to win the 2002 World Championship.
The third venture was blackjack, and that proved more profitable.
I was going to Las Vegas every weekend.
It seemed half the time I was at work, I was reading rec.
He was playing with the MIT Team � he later became the team manager � and developing his poker skill.
He used variations of the Hickock program and his general programming ability to figure out strategies that otherwise might have taken him decades of table experience to recognize.
For example, a friend developed a program for figuring out Chinese Poker, and shared it with Andy and others.
He finished in the money in three Queens Classic Chinese Poker events in September 1995, then won the 1995 Hall of Fame Classic Chinese Poker event.
Over the next several years, Andy met many like-minded men who, despite the best efforts of educational institutions and the white-collar workforce, preferred to gamble, either as a serious hobby or professionally.
They all made money in Vegas, and most made their mark in business as well: Phil Gordon, Paul Phillips, Greg Raymer, Perry Friedman, Richard Brodie, Howard Lederer, and several others.
Bloch has gotten more than camaraderie and intellectual stimulation from these associations.
Chris Ferguson introduced him to the operators of Full Tilt Poker.
He did even better by Howard Lederer.
Howard introduced his niece Jennifer to Andy; they are now engaged.
Living in Vegas, he also scoured the casinos for games, promotions, and machines where someone had offered a deal to customers without gaming management thinking it through.
One early such situation involved a blackjack promotion at the Sahara, in which the casino would pay 2-to-1 for blackjack instead of the normal 3-to-2.
The promotion, Andy recalls, was supposed to last for a month, but the Elgin closed blackjacks stopped it after three days.
Andy learned about it on the third day.
The improved payout gave a player employing basic strategy counting cards blackjack books 2% edge over the house.
Some friends noticed it and called him.
You have to get in on this.
Then just one hand.
After he was there about fifteen hours, refusing to get up even to use the bathroom, the pit boss said they were closing the table and discontinuing the promotion in an hour.
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL FALL 1996 LAWYERS, GUTS, AND MONEY Nevertheless, after a year as a professional gambler in Las Vegas, he moved back East to attend Harvard Law School.
One day, I happened to see Maya Angelou on a commercial reading a poem about reaching your potential.
I got into Harvard.
He was still part of the Blackjack Team, managing the operation and making frequent trips to Las Vegas.
The period, from 1996 to 1999, was eventful for Bloch and the team.
The Griffin page on Bloch, which listed him above known cheats and criminals, appropriated a picture of him from the MIT Yearbook as well as several pictures taken by casino surveillance.
Card counting is not cheating and is completely legal.
So they bar them from the premises.
If they find them again on the property, they can now have the player arrested for trespassing.
Bloch was at loose ends after graduating from Harvard Law in 1999.
He was still making far more playing blackjack than he could even at a top law firm in Boston or New York.
He continued to play poker, but only sporadically.
Andy was boycotting the World Series after it banned Paul Phillips for his critical comments about the tournament.
He toyed with working in public interest law, but the position he decided to pursue never became available.
Paul Phillips was allowed back in the Horseshoe during the 2000 Series.
Andy made two final tables in 2001.
He made an unpredictable move, to Washington, DC, to be near his sister to help her raise her young daughter.
He represented himself, and his conviction was overturned on First Amendment grounds at the end of 2004 by the DC Court of Appeals.
Law and engineering ultimately failed to excite him.
He had taken blackjack about as far as he could and walked away.
Was there a career in poker for him?
In January 2002, after spending a while in the chip lead, he just missed the TV table at Tunica.
The final table was televised, but this was six months before the beginning of the World Poker Tour.
At Foxwoods in November, he won the 7-Card Stud tournament and finished third in the Main Event, the third stop on the new World Poker Tour.
He made a second WPT final table in Los Angeles just three months later, again finishing third.
Now, in 2006, Andy Bloch is in a quandary.
Even though he plays at the World Series � he recently made a final table at a Circuit event � he has not yet had great success there.
But he is a professional and he plays all the games, all over the world.
He has finished in the money in Paris, London, Dublin, and Monte Carlo.
He has run roughshod over the Ultimate Poker Challenge the last few years, winning the Main Event in July 2005, and making the final table in the November 2005 edition.
He has won a preliminary No Limit event at the UPC and made two other free blackjack trainer tables since 2004.
GOLDEN NUGGET 2004 POSTER CHILD The after-effects of being a professional card-counter have been wide-ranging.
Casino executives treat him with a strange combination of deference as they would a celebrity with big bucks and wariness as they would someone Griffin Investigations considers a higher risk than a cheater.
When Fox was taping episodes of The Casino, about the Golden Nugget and its then-new owners Tim Poster and Tom Brietling, he was called by the producers and invited to play blackjack during an episode.
He never had a problem with continue reading Golden Nugget in the past, but this was a switch from his usual reception in the blackjack pit.
It was a set-up.
They invited him on so Poster who also got himself fined by the Gaming Control Board for some of his conduct in front of the cameras could bar him.
Play has ended for the day and he and Perry Friedman retreat to the Golden Nugget, where Perry is staying, for dinner at the buffet.
He has, however, visited friends staying at the Nugget during the World Series, eaten in the restaurants, and conducted business meetings there.
The pair leaves after finishing dinner, but Bloch goes back.
He forgot to leave a tip.
He runs into the casino employee who read him the trespass law on TV.
The man has Andy seized by security, taken to a back room, handcuffed, and placed under arrest.
But Andy is not guilty and refuses to plead.
He eventually gets the charge dismissed.
His limited legal experience has shown that he could clearly make a good living as a lawyer, if he merely sat for a bar exam and could attract clients other than himself.
In connection with ExpertInsight.
Andy does an excellent job in describing and demonstrating basic strategy, a simple but effective counting system, and how to vary your bets with the count.
The real pleasure of the program is the last segment, about team play.
Bloch describes the basics of MIT-style team play: spotter, counter, gorilla, camouflage, heat, etc.
Then, he demonstrates it all in a andy bloch mit blackjack segment that includes hot babes, hotel-room fights, a nasty pit-boss, a snarling eye-in-the-sky goon, Andy disguised as Bono, another actor portraying Bono, a chase scene, and Johnny Chan.
Bloch holds his own as an actor, and the segment is a little serious, a little campy, a little exciting, and a lot of fun.
Buy it for the solid instruction; show it to friends for Andy Bloch in a cowboy hat and escaping an overheated pit boss in a stairwell.
The DVD recently won a Telly Award.
THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME By the time the Vegas temperature drops below 100Andy will have once again fled Las Vegas.
His fiancee Jennifer is completing her course work at Duke � she is triple-majoring in three kinds of engineering, and poker and Andy Andy bloch mit blackjack have proven to be only a temporary detour � and he is tagging along.
It is a typical Andy Bloch answer � short, simple, and correct.
He is going to do what he always does: look for the kind of action where he can use his brains to get an edge.
Blackjack con Andy Bloch
As manager of the M.I.T. Blackjack Team, Andy Bloch and his team made millions taking down the house. In this Expert Insight presentation, Andy teaches you�...
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