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Thread: The rollercoaster that is professional card counting.

  1. #21
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'll be honest.

    The thing I hate about blackjack is that you can never play long enough to smooth out the variance.

    You can get destroyed at the beginning of a session, and you know you're never coming close to breaking even, and in fact it will take a number of future sessions at average luck to get back to even.

    It's soul crushing.
    There is some voodoo-ism in your statement Dan Druff. I expected a little more from you. Your post sounds like something Alan would say.

    I don't play poker Dan, so I can't make a comparison to that, but we both play VP (although I am getting a way from it). So in VP, you can have that same "get destroyed" early on. But you know if you keep playing, you will hit some big hands and eventually a royal or two and results will come in line with expectation. It is long-term thinking. Same with Blackjack. Why would you even make that kind of silly Mendelson-like statement?

    Almost anything in the casino, short term results can reak havoc.
    I'm not really talking about short term results.

    I'm talking about how the control to play a longer session is taken out of your hands.

    Let's say I found a 101% return VP machine and was playing it close to perfectly.

    And let's say I was still running bad and losing (which is quite possible) for the first hour.

    I can say, "Well, this is a 101% machine, so I'll just keep pressing through, and eventually it will probably turn around."

    I can't with blackjack. All sessions have to be short. So you get off to a terrible start, ad you know you're not coming back from it.

    It's very frustrating.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  2. #22
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    All sessions have to be short. So you get off to a terrible start, ad you know you're not coming back from it.

    It's very frustrating.
    Ahhh yeah, If you get off to a terrible start, maybe you aren't coming back from it.....THAT DAY. Maybe not even in the next couple days, Maybe weeks. But if you are playing a +EV game, and playing a sound game, you will come back from it at some point.

    Dan have you developed a mentality where you need to win everyday? Do you win everyday in Poker? Do you win every day playing VP? I don't get what you are saying. I mean seriously, Dan Druff, you are starting to sound like some of these guys that don't understand advantage play and long-term thinking. I am scared they have rubbed off on you.

    I mean seriously Dan Druff....what is your rush to win? Did you develop some sort of terminal disease (I hope not), where you have to win today, because you may not have a tomorrow? You don't win everyday....you win longterm.

    It is true that blackjack AP (via card counting) is a more of a grind than other forms of AP. I happen to think that the high variance associated with blackjack is why casinos still offer beatable blackjack games. If everyone was going to win everyday, I can guarantee we would be looking at one hell of a lot of CSM blackjack, 6:5 blackjack, and horrible penetration, 50% shoe games, and 1 or 2 rounds on handheld games. You don't win everyday! If that is frustrating to you, yeah, I guess you shouldn't play blackjack.

  3. #23
    Originally Posted by RS__ View Post
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5
    For simplicity:
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5 = 1_hour_SD*sqrt(hours)

  4. #24
    Originally Posted by tableplay View Post
    Originally Posted by RS__ View Post
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5
    For simplicity:
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5 = 1_hour_SD*sqrt(hours)
    TBH that’s harder for me to remember. Idk why though. Kind of like when people write the formula for N0. I know there’s some super easy one, but I just set EV = SD then solve (for # rounds or # hours) from there.
    #FreeTyde

  5. #25
    Originally Posted by RS__ View Post
    Originally Posted by tableplay View Post
    Originally Posted by RS__ View Post
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5
    For simplicity:
    ((1_hour_SD^2) * hours)^0.5 = 1_hour_SD*sqrt(hours)
    TBH thatís harder for me to remember. Idk why though. Kind of like when people write the formula for N0. I know thereís some super easy one, but I just set EV = SD then solve (for # rounds or # hours) from there.
    Whatever works best for you sir.

  6. #26
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    All sessions have to be short. So you get off to a terrible start, ad you know you're not coming back from it.

    It's very frustrating.
    Ahhh yeah, If you get off to a terrible start, maybe you aren't coming back from it.....THAT DAY. Maybe not even in the next couple days, Maybe weeks. But if you are playing a +EV game, and playing a sound game, you will come back from it at some point.

    Dan have you developed a mentality where you need to win everyday? Do you win everyday in Poker? Do you win every day playing VP? I don't get what you are saying. I mean seriously, Dan Druff, you are starting to sound like some of these guys that don't understand advantage play and long-term thinking. I am scared they have rubbed off on you.

    I mean seriously Dan Druff....what is your rush to win? Did you develop some sort of terminal disease (I hope not), where you have to win today, because you may not have a tomorrow? You don't win everyday....you win longterm.

    It is true that blackjack AP (via card counting) is a more of a grind than other forms of AP. I happen to think that the high variance associated with blackjack is why casinos still offer beatable blackjack games. If everyone was going to win everyday, I can guarantee we would be looking at one hell of a lot of CSM blackjack, 6:5 blackjack, and horrible penetration, 50% shoe games, and 1 or 2 rounds on handheld games. You don't win everyday! If that is frustrating to you, yeah, I guess you shouldn't play blackjack.
    Because it's psychologically frustrating.

    Yes, I lose in poker some days. Hell, I go through losing MONTHS in poker.

    But rarely do I get off to such a bad start in a poker session where I have to immediately declare, "Not only am I losing today, but it will probably be several sessions from now until I get back what I lost in this short period of time."

    As said, the lack of control of session length is just frustrating. If I could control the session length in blackjack, the bad sessions would be tolerable. Knowing I just got beat down and have to leave a good game is frustrating.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  7. #27
    I wish people would stop referring to BJ as some super volatile game and focus on the real problem. Which is the length of time it takes to get exposure to the advantage, if counting.

  8. #28
    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    I wish people would stop referring to BJ as some super volatile game and focus on the real problem. Which is the length of time it takes to get exposure to the advantage, if counting.
    Yes, and that goes along with the issue I was bringing up, which is that after you get such exposure to the advantage, you have a very short window in which you can win, and then you have to bolt from the game, whether winning or losing.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  9. #29
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    I wish people would stop referring to BJ as some super volatile game and focus on the real problem. Which is the length of time it takes to get exposure to the advantage, if counting.
    Yes, and that goes along with the issue I was bringing up, which is that after you get such exposure to the advantage, you have a very short window in which you can win, and then you have to bolt from the game, whether winning or losing.
    Big deal. THAT is your complaint, that you have to work a little to gain an advantage....that it isn't just handed to you? Good grief.

    Anyway, what do I care. Don't do card counting. I never encouraged anyone to pursue card counting.

    (well no one on a forum. I did encourage and teach my late partner to learn to play some games with an advantage, rather than just donate his money as he was doing when I met him. I also taught my brother, but only after I did everything in my power to dissuade him from pursuing card counting and AP).
    Last edited by kewlJ; 02-10-2019 at 08:41 PM.

  10. #30
    Working hard is very overrated 😉

  11. #31
    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    Working hard is very overrated ��
    I didn't say work hard, I said "work a little".

  12. #32
    Having played both BJ and VP semi-professionally, it definitely seems like the swings are worse in VP, if you adjust for playing to the same winrate.

  13. #33
    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    Working hard is very overrated ��

    Of course, being one of the most knowledgable persons in the world will not help you out if you are way under bankrolled, and undisciplined. Not to mention possessing all three requirements and you may be refused to play. No one said it would be easy.

  14. #34
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'll be honest.

    The thing I hate about blackjack is that you can never play long enough to smooth out the variance.

    You can get destroyed at the beginning of a session, and you know you're never coming close to breaking even, and in fact it will take a number of future sessions at average luck to get back to even.

    It's soul crushing.
    There is some voodoo-ism in your statement Dan Druff. I expected a little more from you. Your post sounds like something Alan would say.

    I don't play poker Dan, so I can't make a comparison to that, but we both play VP (although I am getting a way from it). So in VP, you can have that same "get destroyed" early on. But you know if you keep playing, you will hit some big hands and eventually a royal or two and results will come in line with expectation. It is long-term thinking. Same with Blackjack. Why would you even make that kind of silly Mendelson-like statement?

    Almost anything in the casino, short term results can reak havoc.
    I'm not really talking about short term results.

    I'm talking about how the control to play a longer session is taken out of your hands.

    Let's say I found a 101% return VP machine and was playing it close to perfectly.

    And let's say I was still running bad and losing (which is quite possible) for the first hour.

    I can say, "Well, this is a 101% machine, so I'll just keep pressing through, and eventually it will probably turn around."

    I can't with blackjack. All sessions have to be short. So you get off to a terrible start, ad you know you're not coming back from it.

    It's very frustrating.
    Regarding that 101% game, you are saying that you may be behind for the first hour, what you think you cannot be behind and tired and short on cash after playing anywhere from 5 to 10 hours or more? If the machine is paying out top heavy on payouts and you do not hit your share of them over a 1000 hours do you still think you are playing at an advantage when knowing you will need at least 2 royals to get even? You are still playing to an advantage just like the blackjack player who is expierencing a bad run but either of you will not get your money back today.
    Last edited by BoSox; 02-11-2019 at 03:59 AM.

  15. #35
    I think what Todd is trying to say, is that a counter has to keep his session short to help avoid detection, which gets frustrating to some players. You don't have to do this on a VP machine.

  16. #36
    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    I wish people would stop referring to BJ as some super volatile game and focus on the real problem. Which is the length of time it takes to get exposure to the advantage, if counting.
    Good point. But if that were the case, our new problem would be finding a table.

    Originally Posted by MaxPen View Post
    Working hard is very overrated ��
    Work smart so you don't have to work so hard.

    Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Of course, being one of the most knowledgable persons in the world will not help you out if you are way under bankrolled, and undisciplined. Not to mention possessing all three requirements and you may be refused to play. No one said it would be easy.
    Knowledge reduces risk. The big pockets sustain themselves with discipline and patience. A $100K a year sounds great until someone says they lose $29K in a week. Great just became unique.
    Last edited by Moses; 02-11-2019 at 07:31 AM.

  17. #37
    Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    A $100K a year sounds great until someone says they lose $29K in a week. Great just became unique.
    Now just imagine the swings Warren Buffett goes through...

  18. #38
    Originally Posted by jbjb View Post
    Now just imagine the swings Warren Buffett goes through...
    That is why there are so many mutual funds. Morning Star. IF only they were all rated High for return and Low for risk. Plus time is a key. Determining our tolerance for risk is understandable. I'm probably Above Average on return and Below Average on risk. In blackjack, we also have to determine our opponents risk for tolerance. IF we miss it? Our time and money is no longer of value to them.
    Last edited by Moses; 02-11-2019 at 08:16 AM.

  19. #39
    So the shoe game appears to me to be a game with horrendous short term downswings along with mid term recoveries. One must be present and apply themselves in order to recover and experience those horrific losses. Many stock market investors may have suffered a 10% correction in December, be fully recovered today, and not even know they had a blip.

    I read about how everyone just travels, keeps track of their expenses, and always comes out ahead. IF only it were that easy. What does it feel like when the wheels come off for a $29K hit in a week? If your large bet is $500, that's 58 more losses than wins. All that after counting two tables, short term sessions, and running from casino to casino. Ugh!
    Last edited by Moses; 02-11-2019 at 08:19 AM.

  20. #40
    In 3 weeks I will have supported myself from blackjack play for 15 years. That is 780 weeks! So that means I currently have 777 weeks under my belt. It is kind of funny how some people want to focus on the single worst week of those 777, as if that is some sort of norm.


    Case in point: Sept 7, 2003. Buffalo Bills 31, New England Patriots 0, Tom Brady: 14 of 28 for 123 yards and 4 interceptions.

    Is it fair to look at this game as some sort of norm when evaluating Tom Brady? BTW, New England went 14-2 that year, with the best record in the NFL and won the Superbowl.


    Similarly that 29k losing week was anything but normal. Nothing close has ever occurred. To look at that as anything except the absolute extreme of what could happen is nuts.

    BUT, in blackjack card counting, we want to be prepared for just that kind of absolute extreme. That is what RoR is all about. And while 29K was my worst, 58 max bets according to Moses. That is not exactly correct, but close enough. Let's take a look at that. 58 max bets. In the old days, pre-software, the general consensus was that a player needed 100 max bets. Why do you think that was? It was (is) very possible to have such a run. Worse case scenario, but possible.

    Now, lets fast forward to 2019. We now have the benefit of computers and software and we now know that this 100 max bet rule is not even enough! Most professional players, have 200-400 max bet Bankrolls. That equates to a small fraction of Kelly wagering. 200-400 max bets! Why do you think that is? Because extreme negative swings (variance) is quite possible. Not normal, but possible. You either prepare for it or you sit there crying when it occurs.

    Either way, I am tired of people cherry picking situations, in this case the single worse week of my 777 week career to make some sort of point as if that is normal.

    Here is a couple more extremes from my career. I had one shoe back in 2011 that I made over 20k. I had a 5 week period in 2013 that I made over 110 thousand dollars. Just like the 29k loss in a week, none of these results are anything close to normal. On the contrary, they are extremes.

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