Ultimate Blackjack Tour

The Ultimate Blackjack Tour recently held the Battle of the Superstars, a competition where some of the world's best blackjack and poker players competed for $100,000 in prize money. The winner was Robert Williamson III, beating Kenny Einiger, Hollywood Dave (who is well known throughout the blackjack world and hosts a number of card events on television) and Annie Duke, who placed fourth in the event.

The final six players competed in elimination blackjack, followed by No Limit Hold'em poker. The event will be broadcast as part of the second season of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.

Absolute Blackjack

Following suit in the latest trend, Absolute Poker is the most recent online card room to offer blackjack in addition to poker. I find it kind of strange that they don't offer a play money game though - you can only play for real cash. What is even more amusing is that their website answers such questions as:

What is Blackjack?
What does it mean to "Hit"?
How do I use Insurance?

Seriously folks, if you don't know the answers to the above questions, you really, really, really shouldn't be playing it online for real money.

DVD Alert: Andy Bloch's Blackjack

Expert Insight has released Andy Bloch's new blackjack card counting DVD, Beating Blackjack With Andy Bloch. In case you aren't aware, Bloch was a member of the famed MIT Blackjack Team featured in Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down the House before he became known to the world as a professional poker player.

You can view a clip of Andy's DVD at the Expert Insight web page via this link.

In further Andy news, he and Phil Gordon will be hosting the 'Las Vegas Academy' seminar in Vegas on June 24th of this year. Early registration cost is $199. Phil will be discussing NLHE techniques while Andy teaches Blackjack strategy. More info on this and registration details can also be found at the Expert Insight website.

(image: ExpertInsight.com)

PartyCasino World Blackjack Championship

As we all know, the PartyPoker.com Million V cruise featured a Limit Hold'em tournament that made Mike Schneider an instant millionaire. Less publicized though was the PartyCasino.com World Blackjack Championship, also held onboard the MS Westerdam.

Tucker Keeling, a 38-year old from Oklahoma took down the championship and won $113,000. According to various reports, Keeling was diagnosed with ALS, a motor neurone disease, back in 2001 and was given between 2 and 5 years to live. I'm glad to see he is still beating those odds. 

Reader Poll: Do You Play Online Blackjack?

Carrying on with our blackjack theme, here is a quick poll to see what the masses think of online blackjack. Please choose the answer that best reflects your opinion.  

Do you play online blackjack?
Yes, often
Just a few times
Once but never again
Haven't, but want to try
Never, and don't ever want to

Click the 'read' link below to find out how you can win a chance to play in the 2006 World Series of Blackjack

QUICK REVIEW: Bringing Down The House

Bringing Down The House CoverWith the recent outbreak of blackjack fever hitting around these parts, I thought I'd share my thoughts on blackjack's answer to The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King. So you can all relax, I'm talking about Ben Mezrich's awesome 2003 book about the MIT Blackjack team, not the Queen Latifah/Steve Martin, uh, comedy.

"I try to control my breathing as I stroll through Logan International Airport. Terminal C is buzzing and chaotic, an over-air-conditioned hive of college students escaping Boston for a long weekend. I am dressed like everyone else: baggy jeans, baseball hat, scuffed sneakers. But in my mind, I have as much chance of blending in as a radioactive circus clown. There's enough money hidden under my clothes to buy a two-bedroom condo. And to top it off, there's $100,000 worth of yellow plastic casino chips jammed into the backpack slung over my right shoulder."

From the first page, you know that you're in for a hell of a ride. Ben Mezrich takes you inside that world we all dream of visiting when we go to Vegas: The Rainman Suite, High-Class Strippers and Call Girls, hundreds of thousands of dollars thrown around like white chips during Chowaha at BARGE, and the thrill of not just winning, but consistently winning big.

Bringing Down The House is a great and quick read. It achieves the perfect balance of geekery, intrigue, and excitement, and will make even the most dedicated non-blackjack-playing poker grinder want to try counting their way to a big rack of chips.

Poker Pro
Andy Bloch is one of the more well-known former members of the team, and when I discussed the book with him at last year's WPT Celebrity Invitational at Commerce, he told me and Poker Geek that he was pretty unhappy with the book, because it only told one particular version of one particular story. Poker Geek and I encouraged him to write and sell his own story, because, seriously, man. (Seriously, man, while often working with great success on me and my friends, failed to work with Andy. We'll try Dude!  and its variant, dude, seriously, next time we see him.)

There's a great excerpt from the book in WIRED 10.09 called Hacking Vegas. If you're not racing out to buy the book after you've read it . . . well, that's just one more thing we don't have in common.

Bringing Down the House
is now out in paperback, and there's a movie script in development. Ben's newest book, which I have but haven't read yet, is called Breaking Vegas.

Win a Seat to the World Series of Blackjack

AOL.com and GSN - The Network for Games have teamed up to produce a new blackjack hub which will go live in April. The site will feature free game play, tips from professional blackjack players, and exclusive video content from the 2006 World Series of Blackjack.

Also, between now and February 8th, players can enter to win one of eight prizes, each of which will award an eight-day and seven-night trip to Las Vegas to compete in a satellite tournament for the WSOB. The top two players will move on to the main event, where a total of forty players will compete for a prize pool of $1 million dollars.

You can find out more information about the sweepstakes and the World Series of Blackjack through the following links:

World Series of Blackjack - What's It All About?

Over the past few years the World Series of Poker has made a huge name for itself due to the rising popularity of the game, the immense prize pools, televised tournaments and recognizable pros. It is hard to go to a store without seeing poker paraphernalia; cards and chips, shirts and caps, even coffee mugs - all emblazoned with poker logos.
Sitting back quietly in the wings, patiently waiting for it's time to shine has been the World Series of Blackjack - an annual event which brings together some of the sharpest minds and brightest talent to be found in the gaming world. They don't have to wait any longer though - they have now arrived.
Anyone who has ever played a blackjack tournament knows it takes a lot more to succeed than simply possessing the ability to count to twenty-one. Players spend years practicing the game, honing their skills, learning strategy and mastering betting techniques. 

Continue reading World Series of Blackjack - What's It All About?

Time to Double Down - It's Blackjack Time!

It's Blackjack Week at Card Squad! To celebrate the upcoming World Series of Blackjack, we will be featuring blackjack tales, trivia, strategy, instruction, polls, and whatever else we can come up with - along with our regular poker news, stories, and tournament information.

Stay tuned, we have lots more coming soon!

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