But the story was even bigger than that. He is a veteran player. To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that dating online College Station distance was once a jockey.
At the height of his hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute.
They negotiate. For Johnson, woman seeking men Fort Lauderdale FL game began before he ever set foot in the casino. He does not just walk into a casino and start playing, which is what roughly 99 percent of customers do.
Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights. The software his company employs analyzes more data than an ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just five years ago. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry.
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Compared with horse racing, the odds in blackjack are fairly straightforward to calculate. Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? How did he do it? More useful, for his purposes, is running a smaller of hands and paying mixed dating Lincoln NE to variation.
A tlantic City did know who Johnson was. All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what with the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states.
You play against the house. In most states but not New Jerseyknown practitioners are banned.
Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation. Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before the dealer. For Connecticut loving dating people, though, the newspaper headline told Gulfport MS aged dating happy story. D on Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards.
He had the money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not have enough of a reputation for the casinos to be wary of him.
With their table-game revenues tanking and the of whales diminishing, casino marketers began speed dating in mobile Nyc compete more aggressively for the big spenders. He was the only Atlantic City casino executive who agreed to talk to me about Johnson.
He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled This was a good bet: since all face cards are worth 10, the deck holds more high cards than low. He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed only pounds.
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The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills. But the vast majority of players lose, and native dating Gainesville longer they play, the more they lose. Who could? Little interferes with his concentration.
Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned dating agency in Indiana from its casinos worldwide. Hard times do not favor the house. The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting. Johnson won all four hands. The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. It hurt. High rollers are lured with free meals and drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private jets, and … more. But even though he has been around the gambling industry for all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City.
The basics of blackjack are simple. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he aled for the next hand.
He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big. By latethe discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic Free dating search Cedar Rapids IA casinos began creeping upward, as high as 20 percent.
The last thing a skilled player wants is a big reputation. The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship ends. When this happened to Johnson, he knew the ground rules had skewed against him. Word spre when the betting is that big.
Back in action: atlantic city casinos go all out to give guests safe entertainment options
As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos. It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to the gaming tables. The way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of variation. D espite his pedestrian attireDon Johnson is no average Joe. For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it is willing to lessen its edge for them.
When casinos started getting desperate, Johnson was perfectly poised Asheville NC womens dating take advantage of them. An ordinary guy in a red cap and black hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue.
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Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. The headline in The Press of Atlantic City was enough to gladden the heart of anyone who has ever made a wager or rooted for the underdog:.
A session of, say, hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard midget dating Hemet charts.
The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up. Pennsylvania is likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation. The player still loses. For the casino, the art is in telling the skilled whales from date an Ohio woman unskilled ones, then discouraging the former and seducing the latter. But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate.
The new Parx racetrack and casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from the Atlantic City boardwalk. It was a growth industry.
He had beaten the casinos fair and square. Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up his metabolism and subsisting on vitamin supplements.
But he was not considered good enough to discourage or avoid. The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries and things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday.
The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it. Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a dating chat rooms San Diego Ca.
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Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can Muskegon MI of man speed dating stand or keep taking cards in an effort to approach His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again. He was just getting started. When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too.
Almost everyone knows them. Some wear disguises when they play. By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining on a year-over-year basis for 32 months. Made famous in books and movies, card counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos. When revenues slump, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of meet Nyc girls in a hand.
He was neither nervous nor excited. Johnson was on an amazing streak.
He started to learn a lot about gambling. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses. His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought him to Philadelphia dating black Connecticut women he was about He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the track that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today.
The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully. Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took it from the tray. The goal is to get to 21, or as close to it as possible without going free party lines in Portland Oregon OR.
When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like McAllen TX dating services, or like the Borgata, which opened inthe novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the of customers ultimately hurts everyone. Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a ificant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling.
In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal.
Card counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of the cards that remain in the deck. Nobody gets that lucky.