It’s that time again…
The Ultimate Blackjack Tour has a second season of shows ready to air, and they start this Saturday (tomorrow) September 15th, 2007. Tune in on CBS at 2 PM Eastern to check out the first of the one-hour episodes.
My first-round appearance in this year’s World Series of Blackjack is on tonight’s show, which airs at 11 PM Eastern on the GSN network. In other parts of the country, check your television schedule.
Tonight’s players include me (Ken Smith), celebrity Penn Jillette, tournament regular Marlin Horseman, and relative newcomers to tournament play Helen Ho and T.J. Boros.
For satellite viewers, you can find GSN on DirecTV channel 309 and DishNetwork channel 116.
The recent $150,000 “Wild Bill Showdown” Blackjack Tournament held June 15th-16th, 2007 at Grand Casino Tunica left many participants shaking their heads in disgust at the way the event was handled by casino staff. The event truly displayed a level of ineptitude and arrogance that somehow managed to exceed this industry’s already normal “Screw the Customer” mentality. Just how did Grand Casino and its staff give themselves this black eye? Well, let us count the ways…
Sunday’s Las Vegas Review Journal included a letter to the editor titled “Champion of all the players … that Harrah’s allows”. The author Bob Nersesian is well-known in advantage gambler circles, as an attorney with an outstanding track record in defending legal players from the often-illegal tactics used by local casinos to harass them.
In a followup to my last post, Brodie has now been allowed back onto Harrah’s properties, and is now competing in the World Series of Poker events. Read the latest couple of posts at his blog Lion Tales.
In his post “I can play” he says that he’s now allowed back, and says also “As usual everyone at Harrah’s was friendly and professional.” Well, I guess he means other than the part where they told him not to set foot in one of their hotels again! Whatever.
I hope he wins a bracelet somewhere along the way at this year’s WSOP. It will make an interesting story for the press to cover if that happens.
It’s not just skilled blackjack players who incur the wrath of the casino powers-that-be. Any player that exhibits evidence of intelligent thought is subject to harassment by casinos. For example, Richard Brodie is a high-stakes player, and god knows he can afford it. As one of the original developers of the software now known as Microsoft Word, he’s got plenty of cash to spend however he would like. But, as you might guess, he’s no dummy. He knows when he has the best of it in the casino. He’s a talented poker player, and he also plays a lot of video poker, at limits that most of us can barely imagine.
I’m just back from a blackjack tournament at the Sheraton Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. The venue was new, but the tournament was a familiar one. The former table games manager from Bally’s Tunica has relocated to the Sheraton, and he brought the popular tournaments from that property along with him.
Well, the first season of the new Ultimate Blackjack Tour is a wrap.
In a long but very exciting week, filming finished up in late October at CBS Studios in Los Angeles. The more than $1 million in prize money was big news, but the real impact of these events will come once they hit TV. A new twist on the standard blackjack tournament format is guaranteed to spice up the game for television audiences.
Thanks for dropping by! I'm Ken Smith, the creator of BlackjackInfo.
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