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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Ross' Record Keeper Perfect for Baseball Bettors; 'Hot Shoe' Focus: 21 Counters

24 March 2004

Robert Ross' Baseball Bettors' Record Keeper (186 pages, 11x8 plastic spiralbound. $29.95), designed for serious handicappers who believe recording past performance patterns,can lead to future winners, has arrived at Gambler's Book Shop. This is more than a team-by-team schedule. It's a schedule organized day-by-day showing you which team plays when and where, who the opposition is, has plenty of room to record the money line; the over-under (total); final score; whether the game went over or under; who the opposing starters were; number of walks allowed, strikeouts, earned runs; bullpen notes, and anything worth noting which might impact the next game or the starter's next assignment (injury, sudden wildness; strong finish, etc.).

Thus the dedicated bettor will be able to chronicle winning and losing streaks and observe quickly if there's an end to a long road trip. The book does not list whether the game is day or night or on grass or turf, but it is divided by months for each team.

The talented David Layton, along with Michael Berkaw and Bill Petrick (executive producers) have generated a unique, well done DVD about the history, mathematics, "politics" and practical realities of the game of blackjack‹which includes interviews with some of the biggest names to ever play the game or write about it.

For those who wonder what Stanford Wong (Professional Blackjack); Peter Griffin (Theory of Blackjack); Arnold Snyder (Blackbelt in Blackjack); Bill Zender (Card Counting for the Casino Executive);Olaf Vancura (Knock-Out Blackjack); and Ed Thorp (Beat the Dealer) look and sound like; what Ian Andersen (Burning the Tables in Las Vegas) has to say (he's in silhouette‹did not want to be on camera) about card counting, it's all there.

Former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) blackjack team members John Chand and Richard Chen are also on camera discussing counting, being "backroomed" and barred, and getting "heat." Legal expert I. Nelson Rose; counters Mark Estes, Ralph Stricker and Tommy Hyland contribute. Surveillance expert Steve Forte discusses Keith Taft's early on-the-body and hidden counting devices (the nickname was "David"); Wong discusses the solenoid-in-the-sneaker computer used by the late Ken Uston.

This is both a documentary and a history lesson about the game the casinos love and hate. They love it because it made them billions in profits - hated because "counters" got away with millions using talent, skill and camouflage - many who were on "team" which found perhaps as much as a 2 percent edge.

From the casino side, you'll see and hear from management people like UNLV's Jim Kilby, Jim Pepin, owner of Biometrics (which designed software to scan the faces of potential, suspected or known blackjack counters to identify them whether or not in disguise); personnel like Gordon Adams from the Griffin group which created the famous (or infamous - depending on which side you're on) Griffin Book which profiled known counters and others.

There are also behind the scenes footage of casino pits; surveillance rooms (shot with hidden cameras). The director this movie/DVD has a $5,000 bankroll, and shows you how he did playing for 10 days during the filming of this documentary.

For anyone who dreams of becoming a blackjack counter or who wants to know how tough it is to survive at the 21 tables in the 21st Century, Layton's work does the job, and at a reasonable price.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com