Volume 2 Turning Up The Heat




Starting with an initial cash amount of $2,000, after the first twenty-six gambling trips of my card-counting avocation I had finished with a bankroll of $10,000 as detailed in my first book You’ve Got Heat. Okay ? so far so good. Now I could increase my stakes to include $25 minimum blackjack tables with a viable spread.

Even though it had taken me four years to achieve a $10k bankroll, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I was proud of my accomplishment: but on the other hand, I didn’t expect it to take so long. I know guys who have played less conservatively and had won a $10k bankroll in just a few trips. Of course you only heard about their success stories and not their failures. What about all the would-be card-counters who had busted out and quit the game? I didn’t want to join their ranks. Being risk-averse by nature, I had felt that if I followed the conventional wisdom on bet sizing and spread, I would slowly and steadily increase my winnings. This turned out to be true.

Now I had a choice. I could continue to play conservatively, and keep grinding out my EV (Expected Value) hour after hour with small risk to my hard-won bankroll, or I could adopt an all-out attack strategy, overbet my bankroll and hope to perhaps double my $10k in a much shorter time span ? but with much greater risk.

In either case, whichever method I chose, I would still be subject to the whims of mathematical variance. The thought of going to a more aggressive strategy would be chancy but there would be much to gain (but much to lose as well). What if I were to take my $10k and go to a max bet of $300 or $400? Or two hands, of say, $250? All along, during those first twenty-six trips, I had been slowly increasing my spread and max bet ? now up to $150 ? while trying to lower my percent risk-of-ruin. And it had worked out in the end. According to John Auston’s BlackJack Risk Manager 2000 program, if I now adopted the more aggressive method, my chances of losing my entire hard-won $10k bankroll would increase from 6.73% to 23.86% ? approximately three-and-a-half times more risky.

If I lost my entire bankroll, it would be much harder to raise a new playing stake than it was back in 1999 when I started. My living expenses had gone up, and recently I even had to borrow $2,000 from my current bankroll to pay in full for a new 2007 Honda Accord SE. I needed the car because my 1994 Accord had suffered “total loss” damage in a car accident late in 2006

I finally decided it was too much of a chance. One bad session could set me back several prior trips’ worth of winnings. In fact, a bad run of several sessions could wipe me out completely. Then I’d have to start all over again and the thought of that was just too horrible to contemplate. The upside looked pretty, but the downside was just too dangerous. Besides, the slow-but-steady approach had worked out for me, despite the long time that it took. I decided to stick with the method that got me this far, take my time, and keep slowly increasing the bankroll, despite the extra time and work involved. Just like a sports team with a winning season, the smart strategy is to conserve your lead, protect your players, and don’t take any unnecessary chances.

And so I set out upon the second part of my quest. You’ve Got Heat – Volume 2: Turning up the Heat covers trips # 27 through # 46 ? twenty forays ? mostly to Las Vegas ? in which I would hopefully continue to build my bankroll from my present low-green stakes into a black spread. Then I could win more, do it more quickly, and get better comps. Instead of casino rates, I’d get comped rooms with a single phone call to a host. I’d get gourmet room comps instead of the coffee shop ones I had been getting. Show tickets, airfare reimbursement, and free tournament entries ? all these perks beckoned.
Also, I’m hoping there might be a third book. The first one detailed my efforts with red chips, the second (this) book describes my work with a green spread, and hopefully the future third book would describe my employment of a true black spread.
I hoped that my winning trips would now yield consistent win totals in the $4k to $6k range. That way, I could perhaps double the present $10k in just a few winning trips. And I could go onwards and upwards from there.
As you’ll see, it’s harder than it sounds. Wish me positive variance (luck)!



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