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Posted by gehrig on 4 March 2004, at 3:58 p.m., in response to Re: positive progressive betting systems..., posted by TOM MYERS on 4 March 2004, at 2:14 p.m.
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my first trip to lv was soon after thorp's first edition came. the book stirred some attention within a group of chess playing friends. before that, those guys were hustling cheap chess games, giving shopping center exhibitions, playing backgammon/hearts/bridge for food/gas money.
this was before caesar's was built. thorp about 1962; caesar's late 66 as i recall. armed with a bad i.d. and a trip bankroll of rarely over $300, usually $200, i would work the joints. "strip rules" were the norm...s.d., s17, $1 minimums, occasionally das. surrender first appeared when caesar's opened with the first shoe i'd seen on a 21 table. it was a 4 deck game. my favorite dealer was stanley foo, a then, elderly chinese gent. dealers were all male though the stardust introduced female dealers to las vegas.
my best session with stanley was an entire, swing shift. i bought in with $20 and ground the game for 8 hours with lots of coca colas and trips to the w.c. since it was a dollar game (real silver dollars, not today's "tokens"), a fair tip was 25 cents to the beverage server. though the clad dollars had come out in 1964, at least half of the coins in the racks were the earlier, non-clad coinage. a friend accumulated thousands of those and later scored big when the hunt boys manipulated the silver price. when stanley went off shift, i walked with $125. for years, stanley would remind me of that in his inimitable accent. later, stanley was semi-retired to the big 6 game. last i heard, about 20 years ago, stanley was in a rest home.
stanley was important to my card counting studies since he was very slow. initially i used thorp's ten count. later, about the time caesar's opened, "revere" came out with his plus-minus, advanced plus-minus, and point counts. each time i began a new count, i needed a slow dealer...forgetting the old card values and indices, using the new ones.
once at caesar's, when i moved to a nickel/s.d. table (from the one dollar shoe games), a dealer rotated to "my" table who usually dealt on the $100, s.d. game. this was a tall, heavy, balding cuban fellow. as my norm even today, i tried to chat up the dealers for "inside" info. the cuban stated that he shuffles early "whenever he sees a lot of small cards come out". this was the late 60's or early 70's, thus "preferential shuffling" is nothing new.
bit of trivia: the early caesar's dealer medallions were pure gold and highly coveted by the dealer staff.
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