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Education of a young card counter

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(@iruleforum)
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So I want to share a recent experience of a young professional card counter, still very early in the learning process of what it takes to be a professional card counter. I think and hope some young players (and maybe some others will find this useful). This young card counter is my brother, who moved to Vegas 2 years ago after graduating college.

So last year his first year of full-time play, I set my brother up with a small 5 figure BR and set him off playing very low stakes, $10 games spreading 1-8, while he began to gain some experience and learn about what is and isn't tolerated. You can't make any real money at this level of play....maybe 10k EV if you play enough. And that is just about what my brother experienced, EV and actual earnings of just about 10k. Unfortunately he spent about 12K. He made the fatal money management mistake of over-spending during times he was going real strong. So at the end of year his starting 10k BR had dwindled to 8k, even though he earned close to expectation. It was a lesson learned situation.

So moving forward, at the start of this year, We re-set his game plan to playing a little higher stakes, green to light black. This is a little less than the green to mid-black stakes that I play and have played for half dozen years now. Basically the only difference is his top wager, is about half of mine. I did this so he would avoid drawing a lot of attention and heat while he eased into a slightly higher level of play and making a little more money. We estimated his EV for the year would be somewhere in the 30-40k range depending on just how much he played.

So he gets out of the gate strong and has an amazing first half of the year, running better than 3 times expectation, with actual earnings of better than 60k vs expectation of about 20k. He is on cloud nine and has visions of buying a condo just off strip or downtown. I am trying to advise him to be cautious, that his first 6 months of 2016 was way above expectation and things would 'adjust'. I was not wishing a negative or losing period, but things just had to adjust one way or another. You just don't continually win at 3 times expectation.

Learning how to deal with these not so great periods, whether losing periods or just stagnant periods where you are putting in the time but not winning much is one of the most important lessons of a professional player. It's easy to play when you are winning...a little harder when things aren't going your way. You have to learn and have the mentality to handle this.

So....only 8 days into the second half of the year, and things have swung bad for my brother. He lost about 13 thousand for the week and included in that was yesterday, his first 5 figure losing day of his career as he lost 10k. This is a figure I wouldn't expect at his level of play and as we talked through it, I think we both learned that he made some huge mistakes as far as chasing loses and over-betting.

He is kind of down right now, but this is a major lesson in the education of a card counter. You either learn to properly deal with the losing as well as the winning, or you don't play professionally. Although he is really questioning everything right now, I have great confidence he will survive and emerge stronger from this important lesson.

In the mean time, he is thinking maybe he isn't in such a hurry to run out and buy his own place. 


   
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(@iruleforum)
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I had to learn the same thing on machines. I called it "Investing all my money in cash." LOL. The bigger my bankroll got the more and bigger, much more lucrative, plays I could work safely. There was no worse feeling to me than finding a big fat juicy play....but not having a big enough bankroll for it. I hated to walk away but I knew the ROR was to high. So I quit blowing money on stupid stuff and started investing it in cash.


   
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(@iruleforum)
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Thanks for share your experience of a young professional card counter.
It is really very resourceful and informative...


   
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(@iruleforum)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 73
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Thanks for the thread and the honesty. I would have thought card counting, although obviously not an exact science, would been more stable with the drawdowns. Just shows what I know about it.


   
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