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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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How to Make Millions in Four or Five Years

8 May 1995

while ago, my neighbor, Morris, went to a free blackjack mini-lesson. Afterward, he fronted a thousand bucks to take the maxi-course with his wife, as a team. This was REAL! This was IT!. The Gamma system, based on complex computer correlations. Practically guaranteed to win. Anyone could master it. If not in the usual eight lessons, keep coming for more. No extra charge.

Rose, already a consistent blackjack winner with basic strategy, wouldn't go. Morris approached me. First, so I'd reimburse him half the tuition. That failing, for free since he'd already paid and needed a team-mate. Out of curiosity, I agreed.

The system was elaborate. We tallied high vs low cards, of course. Then, we bet according to the "count" and to what happened previously to our hand, our team-mate's, and the dealer's. Compounding the confusion, every week we got a new tutor with different rules. When I pointed out inconsistencies, the reply was to the effect, "We refined the system based on new research."

It didn't take long to decide this was hokum, so I told Morris I was quitting. Hating to see a grown man cry, I added, "would you feel better if I got you some money back?"

I didn't know if I could get him a refund. Dave, the head honcho, was no slouch. The plan was to question whatever the tutor said, becoming such a nuisance they'd offer a rebate to get rid of us. I was hoping for a result such as, "Since you're unhappy, we'll give you a refund if you want to drop out. You've had four sessions, though, so we consider 50 percent reasonable."

The day came. The instructor tried to answer my questions but soon got over his head and said, "I'll check with Dave and tell you next time."

OK. Another week. We entered the lobby. There was Dave, on a rare break from the free mini-lesson circuit. Spying us, he called, "Boys! Good to see you. I hear you have questions. Let's talk."

"It worked," I thought. Wrong. Dave launched into a two-hour high-speed double-talking snow-job, complete with flips though piles of old computer print-out alleged to be the work of a well-known professor at a famous European university. Nothing made sense, but Dave kept "our talk" under control by never pausing long enough for me to say "boo." I perceived pronto he wouldn't part with a penny.

Heading home, I was gloomy. I'd been KO'd by a sucker punch. Morris was elated. "Weren't we lucky," he bubbled, "that Dave was there tonight to explain it all to us in person?"

Dave eventually folded his gaming college because he had a better idea. Blackjack teams. He put up nothing, took a cut of all winnings, and walked away clean from losing games.

Now, team play has been replaced by a venture to finish a computerized sports handicapping system (Dave says most "technical aspects" are already solved). "Neural nets," the newest notion in "artificial intelligence," will be used to weigh everything from weather forecasts to who needs Cruex that day. The prospectus shows $5000 growing to $46,582 in sixteen baseball days, even with a few losses, using results to make legal bets in Nevada. "Believe it or not," Dave states, in four or five years "you could be up millions of dollars." Solid citizens can join for just $1500 per year. And only members can get the inside dope.

"If you consider that our neural network predictive analysis programs are far beyond present casino capabilities," Dave comments, "we would be complete idiots not to devote all our time and money to these programs." And the President would be a fool not to use them to predict how alternative actions will affect his shot at having a veto sustained, not to mention chances for world peace and prosperity. But, I'd best stop here, or we'll soon be arguing whether the universe is chaotic and therefore indeterminate. Just remember what Sumner A Ingmark, songbird of the sports book, once said:

To operate a sting most slickly,
Find patsies keen to get rich quickly.

Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.