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Blackjack Competition Attracts the Pros

20 January 2004

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Connecticut Day: "Blackjack professionals, who usually go to great lengths to avoid detection, are "coming out" at Mohegan Sun this weekend for the World Series of Blackjack, an event that will be televised nationally.

"Players will compete in the Wolf Den Saturday and Sunday for a grand prize of $100,000 and bragging rights to the title of World Blackjack Champion. The seven-show series, hosted by San Diego Padres announcer Matt Vasgerian, will air on the Game Show Network at 10 p.m. Mondays beginning March 15.

"…Skilled blackjack players — who count cards to gain a slight edge over the casino, then bet big when the cards are hot — often try to conceal their identifies from casino officials. Card-counting is legal, but once casino managers spot a professional, they might tell the dealers to reshuffle the cards more frequently, limit the bets players can make or ask them to leave.

" [Max] Rubin, who hosts an annual, top-secret Blackjack Ball for an exclusive group of card-counting friends and is one of nine members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, said about 15 of the world's best players are expected this weekend. The $250,000 prize pool, world title and opportunity to appear on national television apparently are worth the risk.

"…The blackjack tournament is a rare occurrence where a casino knowingly hosts card counters…"

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