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HOW AND WHERE IT BEGAN:

SITUATION CHANGE

(BUT NOT REALLY)

by Ralph "Silver Fox" Stricker

 

Ralph Stricker has been a successful professional blackjack player for many years. He is the developer of the Silver Fox Card Counting system and author of "Silver Fox Blackjack SystemóYou Can Count On It." Note: This is the system that BJI contributing writer Barfarkel uses and mentions in his BJI trip reports. In his articles for the BJI, Stricker describes his blackjack career, specifically how and where he started playing, teaching, and managing blackjack teams, as well some personal experiences that affected him along the way. He is one of the blackjack legends described in the book, "Legends of Blackjack."

Note: This is a continuing story of Ralph Strickerís life as a successful blackjack player and teacher. See prior BJI issues for the previous articles in this series.

I decided that I would move back to NJ (from Florida) in order to be closer to my two sons and daughter. I moved to Absecon, NJ, a town located about four miles from Atlantic City. I felt that the town was close enough to the Atlantic City casinos and also the Philadelphia Airport in the event that I had to fly either to play elsewhere or teach blackjack.

It wasnít long before the word spread that I was back in N.J. and I started receiving phone calls and visits from former students and individuals who were interested to study blackjack with me. I also was invited to do a weekly cable television show which involved discussing a variety of subjects. Calls also came from players that I had taught in Florida and who were interested in investing in big player scenarios. Also my former students in the South Jersey area were interested in forming a team and asked my assistance to run it. So it seems that my "situation" had not really changed all that much.

I decided upon selecting two or three of these opportunities, particularly those that did not take up most of my time. I agreed to the weekly cable TV show since it was only a one hour show and I figured I didnít have to do much preparation because I would have guests on each week. In fact my very first guest was a commissioner on the AC Casino Control Board. My next guest was Milt Campbell, who was the youngest person ever to win the Olympic Decathlon event. He also played for the Cleveland Browns football team. Jerry Williams, the talk show host from WRKO Radio in Boston, was also a guest. I really enjoyed doing the show and I had some great guests.

Next scenario was being "hired" by two Big Players from Florida, whom I had previously met while living there. One was the distinguished psychiatrist Bert C. and the other was Harold N., who was involved in the junketeer business. Harold was also a very successful travel agent and, as a result, he was very well versed running junkets. He also had studied blackjack with me and was an excellent player. Both Bert C. and Harold N. had experience as BPís since we had had a few playing experiences while I was living in Florida.

The last opportunity that came my way was for me to continue teaching blackjack and also doing radio and TV appearances in the Boston, Miami, and New Orleans markets. I did three radio shows in New York City with Bob Grant, who was at that time the top talk show host in the metropolitan area. I now felt that I had the best of both worlds ... playing and teaching (without any commitments). I was able to teach whenever I chose to do a show and play using the BP scenario whenever I felt to do so.

One of my first playing trips using the BP (I was the counter), was in Santo Domingo. Harold N. had booked quite a few junkets previous to our meeting, and this was an excellent opportunity to use his influence with the casinos to help us stay under the casino radar (i.e., in them not spotting us as a team). Bert C. also booked himself on the same trip through Harold N.ís travel agency. (When I wasnít playing "for" Harold N., I was playing "for" Bert C.) We spent five days playing in Santo Domingo and had a very profitable trip.

At last I felt on top of the world as I didnít have to worry about being "made as a counter" and I had two BPís that followed orders and signals impeccably. We decided that our next trip would be to Las Vegas. Letting Harold N. make the arrangements was a burden off my back and I was able to stay where I wanted and then arrange to meet them whenever they decided to play.

 Next Month: A funny story that happened in Las Vegas.

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