I’ve had the honor of getting to know Kevin Blackwood over the past couple of years. He contacted me when he heard about “Holy Rollers”, saying that it sounds like we have a very similar story. I was then able to meet Kevin in person at the Blackjack Ball last year and have gotten together with him a couple more times since then.
Kevin was kind enough to have me over to sit down and discuss his story, the life of a card counter, and his novel. If you are a Premium member, you can listen to the podcast here.
After reading Kevin’s novel, The Counter, and getting the opportunity to interview him, it was amazing to see just how much we have in common. We both come from conservative Christian backgrounds –he and Ben even went to the same Bible college in Portland, OR– we were intrigued by card counting, studied it like crazy, then took a stab at it at a local card room, grew bankrolls, and played at a professional level for a number of years. After retiring from card counting, Kevin decided to write a fictional novel about the life of a card counter. It borrows a bit from Kevin’s background, experiences, and struggles, though is not based on him. The interesting thing I found from reading “The Counter” is that it stands on its own as a novel to someone who just wants to read an exciting story. But more than that, it is one of the most entertaining reads for a card counter, even offering tidbits of good advice to for card counters (from choosing to always back-count before placing a bet to his philosophy behind tipping). Of course, because of the similarities to my life, I was intrigued by the internal struggle of a guy trying to balance card counting as a means to an end and becoming the new ends. If you want to a great read full of card counting stories, internal and external conflict, and nuggets of card counting wisdom from one of the most successful card counters I’ve met, you should give it a read. The book is out of print, but Kevin is selling the ebook version here.
Author: Colin Jones