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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. His peers consider him to be one of the strongest and most feared blackjack tournament players on the circuit.

Before Sept 2006, there was never a blackjack tournament ranking system, but when All In Magazine decided to devote one-half of their magazine to blackjack with the real focus being on blackjack tournaments, the powers at the magazine wanted to have a player ranking system just like the poker tournament community has.

Anthony Curtis, who was the editor for the blackjack portion of All IN, formed a group of tournament players who submitted their ideas on how the first ever ranking system should work. The group was formed from some of the top tournament players that were respected by the community, and whose previous tournament accomplishments were well documented in this very same arena.

The players that put together the ranking system included: Anthony Curtis, Kenny Einiger, Blair Rodman, Ken Smith, and I (Joseph Pane). Blairís help was immense as he was able to bring some of the mechanics of the poker ranking system over to the blackjack side, and most of the meetings on this took place while we were in Aruba during the first UBT Tour stop. His input made the level of buy-ins not shaded towards the bigger buy-in events (which was the groupís original direction), and Blair told us that would punish the players who didnít have a sufficient bankroll to play larger buy-in events, and that would make our original plan on how to rank the players tilted in the wrong direction. This is the formula that was used: all buy-ins from ($99-$499) were multiplied by (1); Buy-ins from ($500-$999) were multiplied by (.85); Buy-ins from ($1000-$2499) were multiplied by (.70); Buy-ins from($2,500-$4,999) were multiplied by (.55); Buy-ins from ($5000-$9,999) were multiplied by (.40); and any tournament with a $10,000 entry and up had a (.20) multiplier

All tournaments with buy-ins from $99 and up that were open to the public would be the only ones that counted in the ranking system. Any casino could have their tournament sanctioned by All In if they were willing to allow all players to play and submit the tournament results to All In. The only tournament that qualified under these guidelines that was not included was the Palms Casino weekly UBT Blackjack Tournament, the main reason was it would not be fair to players not living in the Las Vegas area who could not play every week like the Las Vegas locals could, and the second reason was the Palms was not willing to have someone on hand every week to record the results and submit them to the magazine.

So it was the Buy-In (weighted) X Number of Entrants X Position of Finish (weighted)

1st Place received .31 of total points available

2nd Place received .23 of total points available

3rd Place received .18 of total points available

4th Place received .10 of total points available

5th Place received .08 of total points available

6th Place received .06 of total points available

7th Place received .04 of total points available

All Semi Finalists would receive Ĺ of the amount of points the last place finisher received.

This seemed like a fair ranking system that would benefit all players no matter how many or how little tournaments they participated in or level of buy-ins they chose to play. Points were only awarded for Semi-Finalist and above. You earned no points for just playing as some had originally suggested when we had other members of the community look over our plan and asked for their feedback before we went public with the groupís original template.

We were not aware at the time of putting this together that...

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