Several months back, I was playing in one of my favorite Las Vegas strip properties, and who do I see playing at the table next to me? It’s none other than Steve M, a BJA Bootcamp graduate! We ended up getting together to talk for a few minutes, and I asked if I could interview him to hear how life has been going in for the year or so since he attended our Vegas Bootcamp. Here’s what Steve had to say:
1. How did you get interested in card counting? BlackjackApprenticeship.com?
Several years ago, I saw something on the MIT team on cable. I started to search the internet for additional info on card counting and found your videos and site. I’ve watched every video on your site and have read all posts, both by you and Ben as well as the questions and answers on the forum.
2. When/why did you start gambling?
I traveled to Vegas for a business convention several years ago with my wife. I didn’t play blackjack at that time, in fact, we were in awe of playing at a table. But a few years later, we started playing the $5 tables, and back in 2008, I started my search to become a card counter.
3. How did you do before the Bootcamp?
I had a nice little run in the beginning of 2009 and thought the additional training would help. Unfortunately, prior to the camp, I hit a major loosing streak which wiped out my 6 months winnings in about 2 weeks.
4. Was the Bootcamp useful/worthwhile?
The training camp was awesome and well worth the time and money. When I attending the camp, I thought I was playing an “A” level game. I came to a quick realization that I was closer to a “C+” and needed a lot of work to increase my blackjack skill level. The camp was very valuable in regards to increasing my knowledge regarding card counting as well as showing me the mistakes I made during some of my play.
5. How have you done since the Bootcamp?
Since the camp, I’ve had a lot of ups, and a few big downs, overall I’m up. I’m continuously working on my betting strategy to maximize my game based on my risk criterion.
Note: Steve is being modest. He told me he was up 5-figures when we met in person.
6. Do you recommend becoming a card counter to other people?
You don’t need to be an MIT graduate to be a card counter, but you do need to have some intelligence. For someone who likes to play blackjack, and is interested in maximizing his or her game, I strongly recommend card counting as well as this site.
7. Anything else you’d like to share with people on our site?
Last, but not least, there is a lot of potential to make money counting cards but don’t think you aren’t going to lose or hit losing streaks. Practice with a simulation program before you play at a casino. Have an adequate bankroll. Start with a conservative betting strategy. Try to wong in, if possible. Don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose. You will most likely be down before you’re up. Never play at Southpoint Casino, they are by far the biggest assholes in the world! Never argue with the pit boss if you’re backed off. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, ie ignore assholes at your table. And, last but not least, have fun, and always ask for comps!
So take it from Steve: There’s money to be made, comps to be given, fun to be had. But you gotta put in your work. Kudos to Steve for taking our advice and perfecting his game! I’m glad to hear that, even though it isn’t his fulltime gig, he’s raking in some money!