• kewljason


    Although I am saddened by Ken’s decision, I am forever grateful that I found this site. The educational value of this site far excedes all the books and articles that one can read. When I joined the site in 2007, I was in my 4th year of full-time play and supporting myself solely from blackjack play. My first 3 years were very lean. Barely averaged 5 figures and one year did not make 5 figures. I don’t think it is any coincidence that just about the time I joined, my career and earnings dramatically improved. Now this is also about the time, I experienced some good fluctuation which allowed me to begin to grow my meager bankroll and bet at a slightly higher level, but I truly believe that the education that I received via this site was a major factor in that progression and the modest success that I have enjoyed the past few years.

    I have learned so much from the membership of this site and those that have shared their thoughts and experiences. Sometimes it seems like I wasn’t ‘getting’ what people were trying to tell me, and it may have seemed like I was fighting you, but often the lessons would sink in as time went on. Avengers advise after my ‘perfect shoe’ earlier this year about limiting a massive win in the name of longevity is one example. At the time I know it seemed I was fighting you on these thoughts but I heard you and as time went on, I have come to find out you are right.

    In addition to the educational value, the site provided a blackjack related outlet for me. A place to discuss blackjack with like minded players, which as a solo player is something I don’t have in my every day life. I enjoyed sharing experiences good and bad and hearing about other players experiences. I believe one learns through experience…but it doesn’t have to be your own experience. You can learn from other’s experiences. In the case of costly mistakes….that’s even better! Unfortunately I was a little careless in posting to much detail and paid a price for that, but even with that, the sharing of experiences overall was a great benefit to me.

    This year was somewhat of a struggle for me, especially the second half of the year. As my one of my closing posts, I wish to share the experiences of my year, as I think it is very important for newer members who might be considering attempting to make a living from this game to understand how difficult it is. Especially the mental aspect. I believe their isn’t enough discussion on that part of the game.

    I had a fantastic first half of year. Earnings far above expectation. Many big swings, mostly positive. Many new all time highs. And one incredible shoe, that I can’t imagine I will ever top.

    The second half of the year quite different. I lost a third of my total bankroll in a 5 week period in July and early August. This number is actually a little deceiving because my bankroll had grown so much from the first half of my year. If I had encountered this period earlier in the year with the bankroll that I started the year with, the loss would have represented closer to 50% of my bankroll. It was the worse such stretch of my career. My bankroll took an additional non-blackjack related hit in the form of a robbery during this same period.

    This was immediately followed by a nearly 3 month period of which I had no blackjack play while recovering from a medical situation and surgery. This period was insignificant as far as my blackjack results, but it was very challenging for me, mentally, coming on the heels of the previously mentioned 5 week period. I had plenty of time to dwell on things at just the wrong time. Add to this, the stress of sitting idle, with no money coming in, while increased expenses were going out for an extended period and as I said, it got the better of me mentally. Something I need to improve on.

    I had a decent run during the last 7 weeks since returning to action, making up almost half of the losses from earlier in the summer, however I am still down almost 20 grand since June. With 3 weeks left in the year, there is a very strong chance this 6 month period will be a big loser for me. Even missing half that time due to illness, that’s a long time to go and still be down. That is something new players don’t think about when considering this route. A 6 month period or whole year of losing. You need not only the bankroll to survive this but incredible mental toughness. That is the part I am still working on.

    With 3 weeks left in the year, my earnings for the year are currently down almost 30% (mid 5 figure range) from what I averaged over the past 2 years and for the first time in 6 years, most likely will be lower than the prior year. The total number of hands that I played will also be down more than 25% from previous years. But, in this problematic year, I will manage to pay all my expenses from my earnings for the 8th straight year and that makes the year a success for me despite everything else.

    As a result of reduced earnings, coupled with additional, unexpected medical expenses, barring a big swing in the final 3 weeks (which I am still working towards), my bankroll will not grow much for the first time in 5 years, topping six figures early in the year, but then dropping back below where I started the year and now is very close to that point that I started the year. This is very disappointing for someone still trying to build their bankroll.

    The experiences of this year re-confirmed for me, the need for a large bankroll and the importance of playing a small fraction of Kelly, to minimize the mental stress of such situations. Especially for a full-time player such as myself, who has put all his eggs in one basket. (no outside income) But even for players with different circumstances. If your bankroll represents a large investment to you, not easily replaced, you must play a fraction of Kelly. (see Blackjack Avenger’s recent preachings) I hope having gone through this, will better prepare me mentally for any similar ‘down periods’ that the future may hold.

    I am now fully recovered, feeling healthy again and actually feel a little rejuvenated by the unexpected time off. My face being absent from my local joints for several months was also a positive development. I am extremely excited about and looking forward to the coming year.

    I have on occasion been accused of sugar-coating my lifestyle and encouraging newer, younger players to follow in my footsteps. I never intended that to be the case. Just wanted to share my experiences good and bad, and so again, I share this not-so-good year, so that those newer guys will look at the big picture and know there is a little more to this endeavor than learning how to count cards and having a 10-20 thousand dollar bankroll.

    In closing, I again thank all of you who participated on the site and who I have learned from. For those of you that I have had a rocky relationship with, in particular, Mr Panther, and things turned personal between us…well that is one of my biggest regrets. To Ken, Sonny, Icount and the other mod, who I never knew by a handle, I deeply appreciate the time and effort you put into the site. And finally to Ken, I thank you for allowing me back into the community after my poor judgement and behavior this summer. I hope I accounted myself well and you don’t regret that decision.

  • creeping panther


    Now that was nice, all is well between us now, it is over, it is all good.

    Just so you know, that offer I made to you a few weeks ago was genuine, sorry you took it as otherwise.

    So, now it ends, and I do wish you the best with your life.


  • jaygruden



    Great post. In spite of you going into the “witness protection program” for a short spell……..I was/am glad Ken “un-banned” you. I have always enjoyed reading your posts. Best of success to you.


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