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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Blackjack Player an Ace at Tracking Cards and Running Track

6 May 2009

It really wasn't that long ago that Ryan Board, a native of Crown Point, Indiana who now makes his home in downstate Illinois, was making a name for himself as a star athlete in track and field at North Central College in Naperville.

He was an all-American in the 10,000 meter run in 1996 and 1998, the year his team captured the national championship.

While he still holds an interest in running, his primary focus these days is teaching people not only how to play blackjack, a game which always held his fascination, but how to play it on an expert level.

Frustrated by losing sessions playing basic strategy, he dedicated his time and efforts to learning how to count cards. After honing his skills with countless hours of practice, he embarked on a successful trial run at Chicago-area casinos.

After that he gained the confidence to take his winnings to Las Vegas, where he proved to be so proficient that he attracted the unwanted attention of the supervisors and surveillance cameras.

"MGM Grand threw us out after a few weeks," Board said. "They told us that we were too good. They said that the only reason they let us play there as long they did was because they were trying to figure out exactly what we were doing."

Board soon leanred that while excellence in sports leads to awards, excellence at blackjack leads to banishment.

Finding himself an expert player with no place to play because his mastery of the game made him an unwelcome casino guest, Board turned his attention to sharing his knowledge with others. He launched a website, www.championshipblackjack.com, and wrote a book, Whack 'Em Blackjack: Card Counting Made Easy, which is now available at amazon.com.

"I want people to learn how to play and I want them to know they've got a chance," Board said. "It's a very beatable game."

Board now travels the world conducting seminars on card counting, offering individual instruction, and making appearances on TV and radio programs discussing a skill that must be practiced under the radar.

"Actually every now and then I get calls from the casinos themselves asking me to teach the staff about card counting," he revealed.

Board's system really is nothing new, but it's a technique which demands unswerving concentration and an investment in time that many people cannot afford. He presents it in concise, easy-to-understand fashion.

"When I started out I really played 'tight'," he said. "If it was a negative count you wouldn't see me at the table betting. I'd wait for it to come back, or go for a walk, or whatever. At the beginning I only played when it was good, so there was a lot of table hopping."

Because of his reputation, Board finds it difficult to walk into a casino and play these days.

Which begs the question: Do you want to take the time to become an expert card counter, only to find yourself unwelcome at casino blackjack tables?

The answer is yes, only if you don't become greedy. The size and fluctuation in the amounts of wagers are what draws attention to players who count cards.

Board also gives instruction on how to avoid detection by combining counting with an evasive streak betting method.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp