This tale about Stuey winning a $100K bet from Bob Stupak is all over the interwebs, but no one seems to know the details :

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Despite being banned from blackjack at many casinos, Stu Ungar had discovered his talent for card counting, and it wouldn’t be long before he capitalized on it. With no money left, Stu put out an open bet- He would bet anyone willing that he could count down the last two decks of a six deck shoe. Amazingly, nobody took him up on this offer.

It was through this incredible offer that Stu would meet one of the few positive influences on his life, a former casino owner named Bob Stupak. Stupak gave Ungar 10-1 odds, but challenged him to count the last THREE decks of a 6 deck shoe; if he succeeded, Ungar would collect $100,000, and if he failed, he would add a $10,000 debt to Stupak to his growing tally. To the amazement of onlookers, Ungar forecast 156 cards without a single miss.

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When I first read this many years ago , I didn't really understand it , and I still don't.

Here's the part ( I think) I understand :

The 6-deck ( 312 card ) shoe was shuffled according to the casino technique , and then the cards were peeled-off and flipped over one-by-one as Ungar watched. This continued for 3 decks worth ( 156 cards ).

Next , for the remaining 3 decks worth ( 156 cards ) Ungar predicted something about each successive card before it was flipped over.

Here's what I don't understand :

Did Stuey actually predict each card precisely , including rank & suit ? To me, this would seem impossible -- well , not impossible , it could happen , but there would be a good deal of luck involved.

Even if

(1) Ungar had total recall of the cards that came off , so that for say jacks he knew that that only the Jd Js were remaining

(2) Ungar accurately maintained an advanced high-low count , so that he knew the relative probabilities of a high ( KQJT ) vs a medium ( 98765 ) vs a low ( 432A ) card coming out next ,

(3) the 6-deck shoe originally was in factory order , and Ungar had accurately peformed an advanced shuffle-tracking technique so that he knew where clumps of various high/low/medium cards were likely to be present

it still seems impossible based on skill alone for Stuey to have sequentially predicted 156 exact cards.

I suspect that what actually happenned indeed was mind-blowing , and indeed demonstrated that The Kid had total recall , and also the ability to maintain a number of advanced counts simultaneously. However, some crucial details have been left out of the story.

Anyone know what really happenned ?

<<<

Despite being banned from blackjack at many casinos, Stu Ungar had discovered his talent for card counting, and it wouldn’t be long before he capitalized on it. With no money left, Stu put out an open bet- He would bet anyone willing that he could count down the last two decks of a six deck shoe. Amazingly, nobody took him up on this offer.

It was through this incredible offer that Stu would meet one of the few positive influences on his life, a former casino owner named Bob Stupak. Stupak gave Ungar 10-1 odds, but challenged him to count the last THREE decks of a 6 deck shoe; if he succeeded, Ungar would collect $100,000, and if he failed, he would add a $10,000 debt to Stupak to his growing tally. To the amazement of onlookers, Ungar forecast 156 cards without a single miss.

>>>

When I first read this many years ago , I didn't really understand it , and I still don't.

Here's the part ( I think) I understand :

The 6-deck ( 312 card ) shoe was shuffled according to the casino technique , and then the cards were peeled-off and flipped over one-by-one as Ungar watched. This continued for 3 decks worth ( 156 cards ).

Next , for the remaining 3 decks worth ( 156 cards ) Ungar predicted something about each successive card before it was flipped over.

Here's what I don't understand :

Did Stuey actually predict each card precisely , including rank & suit ? To me, this would seem impossible -- well , not impossible , it could happen , but there would be a good deal of luck involved.

Even if

(1) Ungar had total recall of the cards that came off , so that for say jacks he knew that that only the Jd Js were remaining

(2) Ungar accurately maintained an advanced high-low count , so that he knew the relative probabilities of a high ( KQJT ) vs a medium ( 98765 ) vs a low ( 432A ) card coming out next ,

(3) the 6-deck shoe originally was in factory order , and Ungar had accurately peformed an advanced shuffle-tracking technique so that he knew where clumps of various high/low/medium cards were likely to be present

it still seems impossible based on skill alone for Stuey to have sequentially predicted 156 exact cards.

I suspect that what actually happenned indeed was mind-blowing , and indeed demonstrated that The Kid had total recall , and also the ability to maintain a number of advanced counts simultaneously. However, some crucial details have been left out of the story.

Anyone know what really happenned ?

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