INTERVIEW WITH JOHN CHANG (aka Mickey Rosa, MIT Team)
By Joe Pane
Joe Pane is a skilled advantage blackjack player, and an experienced tournament player who has won lifetime over a million dollars in blackjack tournaments, including his recent first and third place finishes in tournaments sponsored by the IP in Biloxi, MS. Joe is the #1 ranked tournament player in the country and was named 2007 Player of the Year by Las Vegas Advisor publisher Anthony Curtis. In Joe's last 11 tournaments in 2007/2008, he made the final tables eight times and won two of them for an impressive 73% final table appearance rate with just over $225,000 won in the past 12 months. Joe is also the Assistant Director of Tour Operations for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour (UBT, as well as the Team UBT Coordinator. His peers consider him to be one of the strongest blackjack tournament players on the circuit.
Editors Note: John Chang has been known by casinos and the public for over 20 years
What did you actually think of the Movie 21, as far as how close did it really come to what you guys experienced in being the now famous MIT Team?
The movie reminded me of the truth, in the way that a spy might be reminded of what he does by watching a James Bond movie.
Prior to becoming a key member of the MIT team, how experienced were you in the strategy of the game?
I knew nothing about blackjack before MIT. In 9th grade, a classmate told me he wanted to write a program to play blackjack. I asked him why, and he told me it was because you could beat the game for money in a casino. At 14, that didn't interest me much.
How long did it take for you to become comfortable in the strategy of the game and proficient in counting to be able to play as a member?
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