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What to Do and What Not to Do

Before, During, and After a Blackjack Tournament

by Joe Pane

Joe Pane is a skilled advantage blackjack player and an experienced tournament player who has won over a million dollars in blackjack tournaments. Joe has continued his overall tournament accomplishments with a recent 2nd place finish in the Las Vegas Hilton $100,000 Dice Tournament, and his multiple recent cashes in poker tournaments in the 2009 Wildhorse Resort and Casino Spring Poker Round Up held in Pendleton, Oregon, and also at Binions and Treasure Island in Las Vegas. Joe is also the Assistant Director of Tour Operations for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour (UBT), as well as the Team UBT Coordinator. He is co-host of the radio show, "Queens vs. Kings Ė Itís All About Position" on His peers consider him to be one of the strongest and most feared blackjack tournament players on the circuit. You can try to pit your tournament skills against Joe on UB as he can be found there playing their one table blackjack tournaments. Stop by and say hello to him.

We all know that to win a blackjack tournament many things have to work in our favor as you advance from one round to another, striving to make the final table where all the money awaits you. We also know that your cards have to cooperate because itís not easy to win a four to five round tournament without a little help from the blackjack gods. Skilled players are aware of the need to hit a hand that basic strategy says not to, and they are always prepared to double down on hands ... even a hard 19 if necessary ... in order to advance further in the tournament. Their skill will recognize these situations when they arise, and then the fate and outcome of their hands are in the hands of a higher source.

I cannot teach you all the skills needed to become a top tournament player in such a short article, but I can share with you things that you should and shouldnít do before, during, and after a tournament to help you reach the winners circle more than the average player. Hopefully this information will start you on the road to becoming a skilled and money-making tournament player.

First off remember this: your edge in blackjack tournaments is achieved by putting together multiple small edges and optimum plays, and when they are all put into your tournament tool box and used properly, this will have you standing head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Now letís get started.

Letís have a look at some of the things you should be aware of even though they may seem insignificant at this time, and they may not even come into play in every tournament you play, but having them in your tournament tool box is paramount for continued success. They are listed below in no specific order of importance (they all have value)...

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