Last weekend I was actually in another part of the country, so I decided to make a visit to a casino about 2.5 hours North of where I was staying.

Up until then I’ve had a pretty good string of positive variance from my first 40 hours of play so I have been up about $3,700 and then lost $1,500 before my trip so I had $2,200 in cash with me.

I thought, no biggie, if I play and hit some neg variance, I can still pull money out of brokerage account as a short term margin loan and just liquidate stock to pay it off so I pay nothing on it.

So I got to the shop and I found they had a game similar to what I’ve been playing, so I decided to run my normal bet spread there. First shoe I play, TC goes high and I get KILLED. At the end of the shoe I had $800 left so I played some DD and got back up to around $1300.

I go back to the 6deck game and it was fresh shoe waiting for me with the same dealer who dealt when the first high count shoe got me. I sit down and was playing table minimum when the count shoots up like crazy. It was about 1.5 decks in and I’m already at a +22 so I’m doing my max bet. With the high count out, I somehow still ended up with neutral upcards and dealer always ended up getting a 10 upcard. I proceed to get cleaned out of all the money I brought with me. At this point there were still 3.5 decks left, so I do my best speed walk to the ATM hoping to get back before someone jumps into my high count. At this point, my card gets DECLINED!!! Up until now I’ve always been able to use the card and any charges will just get tacked onto my margin account but I guess it doesn’t work when it is straight cash. So the only option was to pull the $600 I had from my debit card, fortunately I don’t have to pay ATM fees from my bank.

I got back to the table and nobody had sat down yet (asked first to make sure) and bought in to do more max bets. Get cleaned out again, now with no cash available to me and I was forced to leave a RC21 shoe with 3 decks left. I was so PISSED because I had planned to stay out in that area for 8 hours and now I was forced to leave after only 2.5.

I called my girlfriend on the way back and told her everything that happened and she was like, “Oh no, are you mad because you lost close to $3000?” and I replied, “NO, THERE’S STILL A RUNNING COUNT OF 21 LEFT ON THAT SHOE!!!” Until now I haven’t had to deal with any big swings down and I have surely never ran out of money during a session, but it was at this point I realized that counting cards is definitely for me because I was more upset at the loss of potential EV than I was about the big swing I just experienced in my bankroll.

I’m glad to have received this humbling lesson so early and I’ll be sure this will never happen again and I’ll for sure be going back out there to take them down in the future!