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.
I’m just back from Vegas, where I participated in a new series of blackjack tournaments produced for TV. The new Ultimate Blackjack Tour adds some interesting twists to the usual formula of blackjack tournaments, and I think the new format will be great for TV.
The James Grosjean and Michael Russo case against Caesars Palace and Griffin Investigations is done, and the jury ruled in favor of Grosjean and Russo, awarding $100,000 in actual damages. Caesars chose to settle with the plaintiffs before the punitive damage portion of the jury deliberations, but Griffin did not. The jury awarded an additional $25,000 to the plaintiffs from defendant Griffin for punitive damages.
The Las Vegas Hilton’s Million Dollar Blackjack II finals were held in May 2004. And, finally, the Travel Channel shows from almost a year ago will air starting this week.
Tune in Wednesday night on the Travel Channel, at both 8 PM and 11 PM Eastern for “Travel Channel Secrets: Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament: Semifinals”. The one hour show will cover all three of the semifinal tables from the Hilton event. Two players from the six on each of these tables advance to the finals where first place is a million in cash. (Look for me among the participants. I think I’m in the second match shown.)
An item in today’s Las Vegas Mercury discusses various casino advantage players and their tactics. It covers a broad spectrum including card counting, hole card play, sports betting, poker, and even craps.
The article starts with a few paragraphs about Eliot “The Mayor” Jacobson.
Stanford Wong weighs in on his new passion, beating the game of craps, long thought by advantage gamblers to be unbeatable.
Bob Nersesian, the Las Vegas attorney who in recent years has taken on several high profile cases representing advantage players is quoted as well.
From the Edmonton Sun:
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Lotteries Corporation has partially lifted a ban on French in the province’s casinos by allowing bilingual blackjack tables twice a week. Although Manitoba recognizes French as an official language, provincial rules normally forbid any language other than English at many casino tables to prevent collusion among gamblers.
The fear is that if the dealer can’t understand the players, he or she would be unable to spot cheating.
The bilingual tables will only be open at two Winnipeg casinos – the Club Regent and McPhillips Street Station casinos on Friday and Saturday nights.
My hand-by-hand synopsis of week two in the World Series of Blackjack on GSN is now posted, and it’s available in time for you to use it to understand the rebroadcast of the show on Tuesday night (Feb 1st). GSN, 10 PM Eastern (and 10 PM Pacific I think).
I was one of the players on this show, so a few of my insights this week are straight from the actual table.
Caution: Spoiler!! If you haven’t seen the show yet and don’t want to know the outcome, don’t read the synopsis!
Here’s a link to the complete show recap:
World Series of Blackjack, Week 2
The premiere episode of GSN’s World Series of Blackjack lived up to all expectations, delivering an exciting and well-produced show. I stick with my comments made at the time; That tournament table featured some of the best play I’ve ever seen.
If you’d like to read my hand-by-hand recap of the show and join in the debate, visit the World Series of Blackjack 2, Episode 1 thread at BJT.
Tune in this Friday night for the show at 10 PM Eastern on GSN, where I’ll be one of the five competitors.
For the third year running, I’ve managed to win a seat in the final event in the Las Vegas Hilton’s Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament. It took a few tries this year, but in the December monthly qualifier I picked up one of the 16 big-event seats available. I went on to make the final table, but my results there weren’t as satisfying.
My final table story:
Bet limits are $100 to $2500, from a bankroll of $5000. About 12 hands into the 28 hand round, I decided to make some larger bets in an attempt to take the lead. I bet $900 to take the lead. I lost. On the next hand, I bet $1300 to take the lead. I lost. After those losses with my bankroll down to $2100, I decided to lay off a hand and of course, I won the minimum $100 bet.
On the next hand I bet half my remaining bank: $1100. I went all-in on a basic strategy double-down, 10 vs dealer 8. I lost that too. That was pretty much my whole final round. Three big bets. Three big losses.
Seventh place paid $1500, but the real prize for me was winning a seat in the final event on May 12th 2005, where 200 players will compete for the top prize of $1 million in cash.