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Thread: Introductory Post

  1. #1

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    Introductory Post

    Hello all, I am DoctorBlackjack, new to the forum and the game. I didn't see a thread for introductions, so I decided to put this in the social forum. I live on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Despite my username, I do not hold a doctoral degree of any kind. It's simply the best username I could come up with that expresses my personality. I went to college at Florida State University and the University of Florida for graduate school-- all for science. I served in the US Navy for nearly 10 years doing air traffic control and paperwork before being given a permanent medical retirement. The stress of the job had ultimately taken it's toll of my health, both physically and mentally. Today, I hold a real estate broker's license and help my wife with her successful real estate business.

    I joined the forum because my wife doesn't want to hear me talk about blackjack, and playing with my 4- and 8-year old daughters has its limitations. I discovered the game while reading books about the stock market and quantitative finance. I kept reading about this guy named Thorp and the game of blackjack. I asked myself, "what does a card game have to do with investing?" I found out there was a correct way to play every hand of blackjack, mathematical fact. I was under the impression that blackjack is unique among gambling games and had the smallest edge over the player. I looked into it more.

    When my wife and I went to Las Vegas for a business convention last summer, I couldn't pay attention and started wandering around the Strip. I played my very first hand of blackjack at MGM Grand, stadium-style, $5 bet. The result was a push. I didn't like pressing buttons on the machine, so I read about playing a traditional table game. The second time I visited Las Vegas, I played one hand of blackjack at the Palazzo and won $25. My wife then called me and I had to step away from the table. The dealer didn't seem too friendly, but it may have been my social anxiety or excitement at winning a hand. I wanted to play a few more hands so I went to Park MGM and played on a 6:5 table (I didn't know what that meant at the time) and won about $200. When I heard Colin Jones mention that 3:2 games are superior and to stay away from 6:5 games, I went around the strip looking for a good 3:2 game. I found one at Mandalay Bay in the late morning. There was no one else at the table and the casino looked empty. When I hit my 14 against the dealer's 4, the dealer said "you like to hit a lot, don't you" in a friendly way and tried to help me understand the game better. I lost $75 at the table and realized that I needed to learn basic strategy. Before leaving Las Vegas, I played a busy 3:2 table at Treasure Island. The variance was horrible, and I ended up walking away with $50 from my initial $200. That's when I committed to getting better. I plan to return to Las Vegas regularly. I think blackjack can help me to walk away from a casino with a net $0 or better. I don't want to burn the tables, yet. I also think it can help me overcome a lot of personal issues, such as difficulty concentrating, social anxiety, etc. It will force me.

    I just finished reading Wong's Professional Blackjack. I learned basic strategy, and I am working on the running count now. To help me with keeping the count over longer periods of time, I spent a whole day counting a deck one card at a time. Now I need to work on speed. I can count one deck in 1 minute 9 seconds (a 7-second improvement since 10 days ago). My doctor prescribed me some ADHD medication yesterday, and it's helped quite a bit. Today I noticed a change. I turned the deck around and started thumbing through the cards. I was able to completely ignore 7s, 8s, and 9s in my own mind, and I am cancelling out meaningful pairs. I look forward to sharing with you my journey from novice to AP. Did any of you ever have a eureka moment when learning to count that showed you that you were making progress?

  2. #2

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    Welcome Dr. Blackjack to the Forum. Also being diagnosed with ADD over thirty years ago since then it has morphed into other new names.
    I too have struggled to find something good that helps. No meds for me though. You must dig deep to find your answers. BJ21 is also another great site. Arnold Snyders Blackjack Forum online is very good. Richard Munchkins Gambling with an Edge. Read Norm Wattenberger Blackjack in Color Book, it's free online. It's not as easy as it sounds, but if you commit to practice every day you will learn. About counting a deck of cards, turn them up it's much faster to slide through. When you can do it in 25 seconds' then go on and count two at a time. Have fun doing it, play music and turn on the TV, talk to the wife and count. HI-Lo I reckon is your counting method, just a guess here but remember you must convert running count by decks remaining to calculate your TC or True Count. So RC/DR=TC. Take care and never give up. What you learn in Blackjack, once you learn it, will stay with you the rest of your life.
    The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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