We recently had the pleasure of interviewing BJA member Skywayman on his blackjack journey. Here are the questions we asked him and his responses.
1. How did you get into card counting?
I got into card counting when I first watched Holy Rollers on Netflix. That led me to BJA.
2. How long have you been counting cards?
I’ve been counting for a little over a year.
3. How long did it take you to trust your skills? How do you know you’re any good?
It took me about a month and half of training for me to trust my skills. I knew I had it down when I could deal multiple hands to myself while carrying a conversation and watching TV. Also, playing CVBJ was a great tool that I used when I was practicing every day. If you can play flawlessly on their live game mode, you aren’t too far away from moving your training into the casino.
4. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced/had to overcome?
Not letting ploppies take away from my EV has been the biggest challenge for me. What I mean by that is playing the most positive EV hands as possible. It’s not easy. Back counting isn’t easy and neither is wonging in or out. Most of the time it’s not very popular at the table-usually resulting in snarky remarks and blame from other players. I don’t like being the bad guy and that’s usually what ends up happening. The easy way out of that is to just play every hand and make everyone happy. That’s more comfortable. But in doing that, I end up playing when I have no advantage and am in turn just another gambler. I’m getting better at it every time I play-It’s a process!
5. Any advice you would give to others? Anything you wish you would have known?
The best advice I can give to others is to never get complacent with your game. Always be learning and sharpening your skills. You never want to think you’re playing a winning game when you’re really not. You can always improve or add to your game.
6. What’s your favorite thing about being a card counter?
If I had to pick one, my favorite thing about being a card counter is the freedom that it gives me-financially and with my life style. I work (play) when I want. I don’t have to answer to anyone else and I love that. I’m in control of what I’m doing. I have plenty of time to do other things I’m passionate about and that’s really important to me.
7. Any highlights of your career so far?
Getting a chance to meet a lot of really cool interesting people-mainly through BJA.
8. What’s the most you’ve ever won/lost in a day? How did that feel? How did you respond?
The most memorable win I had was when I won $1500 in a 2 hr span-which was my first 4 digit win. That was a HUGE amount for me at the time (still is). I was happy to see my hard work pay off. I always try to stay even-keeled so I didn’t soak in my glory for too long. Black jack isn’t something you can get too emotional about. If you want to last as a an advantage BJ player, I think staying humble and hungry with your wins and losses is really important. Focus on your skills and how you can improve them, instead of how much your winning or losing at the time.
9. Any memorable story(stories) you’re willing to share?
My friend once had someone bet him $100, at the table, that a S17 game was better for the casino than the player. My friend clearly won that bet. Talk about a nice EV play.
10. What’s your favorite advantaged play have you done in your life that didn’t involve blackjack or casinos?
I would have to say getting a full scholarship to play baseball. That saved me from having any college debt or spending 6 digits on an education. I guess that could be considered an advantage play?
-Keep Generating EV!