Don's Domain Chat: Kevin Blackwood
Don's Domain Chat
Kevin Blackwood
Kevin Blackwood, author of The Counter

March 2, 2003

KevinBlackwood Login:

KevinBlackwood This is a test

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walkingdood Login:

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Kevin_Blackwood Hi guys

megapossum Hi Kevin

megapossum Kevin-do you have a topic tonight?

Kevin_Blackwood Not sure if there is one

Kevin_Blackwood mostly talking about my novel

Kevin_Blackwood is there a moderator?

megapossum Kevin-ashamed to admit it,but haven't read your book yet. Recently ordered it,but haven't rec'd yet.

Kevin_Blackwood np, glad to talk about any other areas of bj that are of interest

Double21 Login:

Double21 Hi Kevin and all.

Kevin_Blackwood hi there

megapossum Hi Double 21

Kevin_Blackwood good evening everyone

Double21 Don had this posted as a Don's Domain chat!

Kevin_Blackwood anyone have any questions?

Double21 Yes---what's happening to the good games these days Kevin?

megapossum Kevin-what counting system do you prefer?

Kevin_Blackwood the salad days are gone, i believe

Slippery Login:

Double21 No kidding.

Kevin_Blackwood I started out with Uston APC

Kevin_Blackwood then switched to HI Opt II

megapossum Like a waste land compared to a few years ago.

Double21 I agree megapossum.

Kevin_Blackwood I now use Zen for shoes and Hi Opt for handheld games

megapossum Thats what I've used for several years Kevin

Kevin_Blackwood anyone out there who has read my novel?

Double21 I did--enjoyed it kevin.

megapossum Have you ever tried John Immings 6 and 7 sidecounts with HOII?

Kevin_Blackwood thank you double 21

Kevin_Blackwood I never did those side counts

walkingdood yes I read it.--I enjoyed it for the card counting angle.

Kevin_Blackwood I wrote a novel, because I didn't think there was a lot to add to the many fine how to books

Double21 I still say Kevin there is a market for how to handle fluctations!

Kevin_Blackwood that may the hardest part of being a pro

Double21 Not the NYSE!

Double21 I agree Kevin.

Double21 How did you handle it?

Kevin_Blackwood I was very fortunate early on

walkingdood Are you working on another novel or other piece of literature or are you primarilly interested in AP and not literature?

megapossum Sure is a lot easier to handle the BiG wins than the Big Losses!!

Kevin_Blackwood i only started with a very small amount and won a lot the first few years

Kevin_Blackwood that made it easier when I did have those losing trips later on'

Double21 Same with me Kevin.

Kevin_Blackwood when you can look back over your records, it is much easier to stomach a big loss

Kevin_Blackwood I am working on another novel

Kevin_Blackwood historical fiction

Kevin_Blackwood not set in the gambling world this time

Double21 About what Kevin?

Kevin_Blackwood ancient middle east

Kevin_Blackwood I used to be a history major

Kevin_Blackwood before I went bad and became a card counter

megapossum Now we know why you took up blackjack!!

Slippery how many bad experiences have you had playing outside the US?

Kevin_Blackwood a couple

Kevin_Blackwood a few of the events in the book are taken from my experiences or other players I know

Kevin_Blackwood a few of my friends got jailed in Monaco with a computer for about a month

Kevin_Blackwood some others had their money confiscated on some of the islands

Kevin_Blackwood I had some trouble converting some currency in some of the countries

megapossum Have you had any problems with authorities siezing cash at airports etc.

Kevin_Blackwood When I went from Europe back to the USA once

Slippery You may chose not to answer this question if you want - What countries would you recommend not playing in?

Kevin_Blackwood I got stopped by customs but they ended up giving me all my money back, since I had declared it on the way out

Kevin_Blackwood A lot of the problems we had with money were in Asian countries

Kevin_Blackwood In the Caribbean, the problem was more one of suspicions of cheating, and some places quick to label cc"s crooks

megapossum The CC mental image the casinos try to promote to the public. That we're cheats!!

Kevin_Blackwood plus safety is always a bigger concern when abroad

Double21 Kevin did you know that most (90 plus % according to Cellini) surveillance crews don't convert to true count whne observing you?

Kevin_Blackwood I haven't read his book yet

Double21 when observing you

Kevin_Blackwood Heard it was mostly helpful

Double21 This was off one of his recent posts.

Kevin_Blackwood They just take a running count?

Double21 Yes--it never occured to me.

Kevin_Blackwood Have you read his book?

Double21 No.

Slippery yes

megapossum Lot of them probably not capable of converting to true ct.

Kevin_Blackwood I'm sure that is true

Double21 I guess the cameras aren't always sufficient even if they were capable.

Kevin_Blackwood are you guys mostly in LV?

Double21 I play all over the US.

megapossum I'm in the South.

Double21 Hence--"possum"!

Slippery Yes I play mostly in the West

walkingdood midwest

Kevin_Blackwood Makes sense

Double21 I was just in Tunica.

Kevin_Blackwood I live in Oregon

Double21 Come up to see me Kevin!

Kevin_Blackwood where are you?

As_Zehn Login:

Double21 Seattle.

walkingdood how's the games out on the oregn coast-the scenery sure is fine?

Kevin_Blackwood ahh, haven't played there much

Slippery D21 - I'm hearing some positive things about WA games

Kevin_Blackwood most Washington games seemed weak last trip I took

Double21 You haven't missed much Kevin!

megapossum Kevin, do you think the new scanning systems being tried that give the casinos ct. info on the players will catch on?

Kevin_Blackwood I thought so initially, but it seems like they have struggled a little to become widespread

Double21 Mostly bad games with $100 max Slippery.

Slippery I hear some of the games are still very trackable

Kevin_Blackwood I haven't played all the new CA casinos, although there are a ton of them from what I hear

Double21 Could be Slippery.

Kevin_Blackwood I owe a lot of my early success to reading books by Uston and Wong

Kevin_Blackwood They were the standard texts in the early 80's

Kevin_Blackwood Later George C helped me a lot

megapossum Hard to understand the Sales mentality of some of the casinos, harder times are, more they tighten the games up instead of making them looser to promote biz.

Kevin_Blackwood His writing encounraged me to play higher stakes

nw Login:

Kevin_Blackwood Good evening nw

Double21 IKevin I was talking to a AP last week who knew Uston in AC. He says Uston went to work for a casino and turned him in as a counter!

nw How do

Kevin_Blackwood I have never heard that

Kevin_Blackwood I played with some guys from Ken's teams

Kevin_Blackwood Heard a lot of good and a lot more bad

Kevin_Blackwood Howard Grossman is the only one I know from that group who worked on the other side of the tables

Double21 In MDBJ he talks of walking through a casino and mentally taking note of the counters---then comparing his number with that of the casino. But not of going to work for them.

Kevin_Blackwood Howard was actually the person I had in mind when I created the Howard Goldberg character in my novel

Double21 This man called the Resort's executive offices after being half shoed and asked for Mr. Uston--he was told Uston would be in later that day!

nw Wouldn't think he'd use Uston as his business name

Double21 I believe this person--I know him and he is for real.

Kevin_Blackwood could be, i never heard that

Kevin_Blackwood ken had some bad habits and desparate men can do desparate things sometimes

Double21 After all, Uston turned in his team in Vegas.

Kevin_Blackwood I had a lot of negative experiences with teams

Kevin_Blackwood and that was reflected in my novle

Kevin_Blackwood novel

Double21 Like what Kevin?

Kevin_Blackwood biggest problems was skimming

Kevin_Blackwood but also weak players watering down the return

Slippery glad you said that Kevin - because I still have not got to the point that I can buy off on playing with teams

Kevin_Blackwood Howard Grossman did several teams where some drug habits cost him over 100K

Kevin_Blackwood that is why I can't swallow the premise of the MIT book

Double21 Unbelievable.

megapossum Testing should eliminate most of the weak players.

Kevin_Blackwood No reputable team would give that much money to a young kid with so many potentially bad habits

Double21 Talk more about the MIT book Kevin.

Kevin_Blackwood to be fair, i have only read excerpts

Kevin_Blackwood but to me, it seems highly embellished

Kevin_Blackwood To give tons of cash to a young kid who loves the high life and fast women is a dangerous and lethal combination

Double21 Can you imagine in the 90's carrying around a duffle bag into the casino containing $1 million?

Kevin_Blackwood I have bumped into some members of the team from time to time, and I know they exist and made a lot of money

Kevin_Blackwood But I think the book was far more fictional than non-fiction

Double21 Sounds like it to me.

Slippery That is probalby the best word for it - it was written to sell and never provides the downs of loosing or the mental grind of putting in the hours to win.

Double21 I don't know if books like that help or hurt us.

megapossum Maybe it was fluffed up to enhance sales!

Kevin_Blackwood Well, it worked, the book was definitely a best seller

Kevin_Blackwood the public doesn't want to hear about fluctuation or losing trips

Kevin_Blackwood they only want easy ways to hit the big score

Double21 If you think the book was embellished , wait till Hollwood gets through with it!

Kevin_Blackwood lol

megapossum Reason that most give up on blackjack and go to the slots after a few big beats!!

Double21 It'll be as easy as backing up a truck to the casino door.

hotboy69 Login:

Kevin_Blackwood It is the same reason most people buy BJ books on ways to win without counting

Kevin_Blackwood 'We have a society that wants to lose weight without exercise

Slippery Kevin - do you prefer pitch games or do you tend to play shoe games?

megapossum You're right Kevin, everyone wants instant gratification!

Kevin_Blackwood I have played a lot of both, but my forte has always been handheld

Double21 Kiss them good by these days Kevin!

Double21 goodbye

Kevin_Blackwood Most players I knew gave up on handheld in the late 80's, but there were several great games in the 90's and I made a lot in SD and DD

megapossum Not much longevity in the pitch games these days.

Double21 Like 30 mintes or two bet cycles--which ever comes first possum!

Kevin_Blackwood Yes, the golden age is over

megapossum Amen to that, Double.

Double21 *whip*

Kevin_Blackwood do most of you guys play full time?

Double21 I do.

Slippery I know a player that made his living up to about 6 months ago playing SD exclusively

Kevin_Blackwood where?

megapossum Bet he traveled a lot!

hotboy69 I play a lot of DD for high stake without much problem.

Slippery He basically played in NV

Kevin_Blackwood DD is easier to spread

Double21 What happened six months ago?

Slippery He burned out on playing full time

Double21 Meaning what Slippery?

Kevin_Blackwood I think BJ is a good sideline these days, but tough to do full time

Slippery He got tired of putting in the hours and I will put words in his month - he probalby got tired of the heat

Double21 Understandable.

Kevin_Blackwood it can sure wear you out

megapossum Difficult for a man that has a family with children at home still.

Kevin_Blackwood yes, I always had a family, and that makes traveling tough

Kevin_Blackwood Best business for a single guy

Double21 Traveling is tough --but today it's even worse.

megapossum Lot easier for a single guy.

Double21 'cls

Kevin_Blackwood yes, after 9-11, carrying cash is risky

Double21 Kevin why are the Vegas casinos so tough these days--earning pressure?

Kevin_Blackwood the technology hasn't gotten a lot better

Kevin_Blackwood that is a big part of it

Slippery My problem with playing full time - it's one thing to make the income, but I can not duplicate the benifits I receive in a regular job i.e. health insurance and retirement

Kevin_Blackwood Plus, i think they are more knowledgeable now about how much cc's can win

Double21 Good point Slippery.

Kevin_Blackwood they are very conscious of the bottom line

nw Logout:

Double21 That's a good point Kevin--how much do you think these supposively knowdegeable people think cc's can win?

Kevin_Blackwood the tendency is for them always to swing too far either way

Kevin_Blackwood Sometimes, they think 6 deck shoes are relatively safe

Double21 What I keep reading is only 1 in a 100 are consistent winners.

Kevin_Blackwood Then later, they are paranoid of everyone, even small players

Kevin_Blackwood hopefully, it will swing back

Kevin_Blackwood Now, everyone understands all the math so much better

Double21 Why not just monitor big ($500) players?

Kevin_Blackwood They know how much they are giving away for every promotion or rule change

megapossum Probably many competant counters don't have the BR to survive the fluctuations when they come.

Double21 You'd think somebody would do the math on advertising great games and just monitoring the really nbig bettore.

Kevin_Blackwood Not having enough money is the demise of many wannabee card counters

Kevin_Blackwood I think that kills more than any other factor

Double21 That and the psychological profile.

Slippery Kevin - how comfortable are you with playing at Indian casinos and does your comfort level vary by state?

Kevin_Blackwood I have a friend who will never play at reservations

Kevin_Blackwood But i never had any problems

Kevin_Blackwood Some of my best trips were to Indian casinos

megapossum I don't feel as comfortable in the Indian Stores.

Kevin_Blackwood New Mexico and Minnesota were very good games

Kevin_Blackwood And I got a lot less heat in those places

Double21 A question for the group--do you think slots help or hurt blackjack games?

Slippery Last fall I visited Red Wing MN and there were a couple good games there. The downside was the max was $199

megapossum Think they are good cover to have some play at slots on record, but the casinos I think want to close table games and increase the slots.

Kevin_Blackwood Is that Treasure Island?

Slippery yes

Kevin_Blackwood The limits were much higher in the past

Double21 Slippery can you play multiple hands?

Kevin_Blackwood They had $500 when I was there

Kevin_Blackwood but they gave me a $1000 table

Kevin_Blackwood was a very good game

Kevin_Blackwood as were the grand casinos

Slippery I did not go in the high roller area - but what struck me about both Treasure Island and the one at Prior Lake is that the limits were only $199. There was something about not having a limit over $200

Double21 Could you spread to two hands of $199 Slippery?

Kevin_Blackwood Must be new

Kevin_Blackwood nice are there,

Slippery The other casino that has an absolutely great DD game was the Hole in the Wall in Danbury WI - downside was low limits

Kevin_Blackwood if it is not in the winter

megapossum Did the 199 include a double down?

Slippery DD21 - I did not try to spread to 2 hands and I did not see anyone else doing it

Slippery No - if you doubled down, you could be higher than the 199

Kevin_Blackwood I liked Indian reservations overall, most seemed friendlier to me

megapossum Have played some lower limit pitch games that the limit restricted doubling and splittiing.

Kevin_Blackwood anybody tried BJ on cruise ships?

megapossum I haven

As_Zehn Logout:

megapossum I haven't. Sorry for the typo.

Kevin_Blackwood np, i played a few, mostly fat cuts

megapossum Kevin, do you shuffle track?

Kevin_Blackwood I tried it a little, but with mixed success

Kevin_Blackwood How about you:?

megapossum I don't. Am working on it. Most of the shuffles I see would be hard to track.

chgobjpro Login:

Double21 Hi chgo.

Kevin_Blackwood Hi Ch

chgobjpro good evening

megapossum Hi Chgo.

Kevin_Blackwood are you in the Chicago area?

chgobjpro yes

chgobjpro bad 6 and 8 deck games

Kevin_Blackwood have you read my novel?

chgobjpro sorry not yet

Kevin_Blackwood np, a lot of the background is in your area

chgobjpro np?

Kevin_Blackwood No Problem

Kevin_Blackwood the back story is Wheaton College and Joliet riverboats

megapossum Kevin, do you find playing with a female companion takes a lot of heat off you?

chgobjpro my problem i'm outlawed at empress

Kevin_Blackwood I think females have a big advantage

Kevin_Blackwood both as cover and as spotters

Kevin_Blackwood and also as companions

megapossum I agree.

Kevin_Blackwood you look like less of a threat

Kevin_Blackwood and more like a tourist

chgobjpro can they help get better pen

Kevin_Blackwood probably not, but you get less heat

chgobjpro that's our problem here in the midwest

Kevin_Blackwood Penetration or heat?

megapossum They can say, "Oh, Let me put my purple chip on your hand this time, I feel lucky" when you give the signal.

Kevin_Blackwood Yes, there are a lot of advantages

Kevin_Blackwood especially if they are cute

megapossum All kind of ways they can get more bucks out if they're sharp.

chgobjpro I think oen is worse problem then heat but aren't they related? there's always a few good dealers at each house but sometimes it takes time to search them out.

Kevin_Blackwood pit bosses are easily distracted by babes

chgobjpro pen

chgobjpro bad pen is a form of heat

chgobjpro ?

Slippery I need to run - thank you Kevin and good night all

walkingdood Disconnect:

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Kevin_Blackwood thanks for joining

megapossum Chgo-You know you've over stayed your welcome if the pen fades when you sit down.

chgobjpro Logout:

megapossum Got to call it a night. Thanks Kevin. Good Luck and Good Night All.

chgobjpro Login:

Kevin_Blackwood good night and thanks for the questions

megapossum Logout:

Kevin_Blackwood I think i will call it a night also

Kevin_Blackwood are there any last questions from you guys?

chgobjpro with profits down in LV and many other locations will they loosen the games or tighten them?

Double21 night all and thanks kevin.

hotboy69 Logout:

Kevin_Blackwood I think many places will loosen the games

chgobjpro thanks

Kevin_Blackwood Not all, but i expect there will be some excellent opportunities

Double21 Why kevin?

chgobjpro where are the bill z's of the industry?

Kevin_Blackwood competition has always created the best games in the past, and if places are hurting, they will do new things to get business

Kevin_Blackwood Some of those things will be better rules or fewer decks

Double21 i hope you are right!

Kevin_Blackwood I hope so too, lol

chgobjpro short pay blackjack doesn't indicate that things are loosening up

Kevin_Blackwood true, there are a lot of junk games

Kevin_Blackwood but if the public is knowledgeable enough, they will vote with their feet and demand better games

chgobjpro I guess if if a pro player does his due diligence (homework) a good,winning game can be found.

Kevin_Blackwood always a beatable game somewhere, just might be harder or take more traveling

Kevin_Blackwood well, anyway, good night everyone and thanks for the input

Double21 Night and thanks Kevin.

chgobjpro Thanks for your time

Kevin_Blackwood Logout:

chgobjpro D21 if i remember your in Seatle?

Double21 Just you and me left chgo!

chgobjpro yes

Double21 Yes--Seattle.

chgobjpro not sure how to private mess

chgobjpro use the/ ?

Double21 Only two of us now anyway.

Double21 No--right click once on the name.

Double21 Any good games in your area?

chgobjpro I'm hosting Parker in chgo tomorrow at the midwest cc dinner

Double21 Nice.

chgobjpro he came in from san diego

chgobjpro we'll have about 15 of chgos group

Double21 Nice turnout.

chgobjpro all screened players

Double21 Any good games in your area?

chgobjpro only if you search for the dealer

Double21 Too bad.

chgobjpro mostly bad rules

Double21 You can find good games up here but with $100 table max.

chgobjpro i play aggressive wong out on all negs, then just sit or more tables. if they back me off , well then i couldn't beat um anyways

chgobjpro move

As_Zehn Login:

Double21 Move where?

chgobjpro to another table. typo from previos mess

Double21 Well I'm off to Vegas--wish me luck!

chgobjpro AZ wheres your game?

chgobjpro luck D21

Double21 Thanks.

As_Zehn predominantely AC.

Double21 Talk about bad games!

As_Zehn Might get to vegas this spring, and possibly the islands this summer

Double21 Which Islands AZ?

As_Zehn Aruba

chgobjpro see a lot of posts from one more shoe about AC and indians

Double21 What kind of game is there in Aruba AZ?

As_Zehn To be honest don't know. Usually played craps there. Strictly a family vaca

Double21 Sounds like fun.

Double21 Night all!

chgobjpro AC games a like here in MW bad pen. Here at least theres mid shoe entry allowed in most places

As_Zehn Usually can do mid shoe on 8 deck games

Double21 Logout:

chgobjpro Can you find les than 2 deck cuts

As_Zehn Pen is bad, everything is crowded.

chgobjpro I play here when houses open and never after 2pm.

chgobjpro once tables fill here i'm gone

As_Zehn Have only gotten back to playing in the last 4 months. Made the mistake of going on the weekend last time. Ploppies were waiting 4 deep for tables to open.

chgobjpro THats what I here FW is like

chgobjpro gotta go

As_Zehn Have been trying to backcount without sticking out like a sore thumb. The PC see me but I guess my action is too small and infrequent to cause any heat.

As_Zehn Take care

chgobjpro good luck

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