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HOW AND WHERE IT BEGAN:

LACK OF DISCIPLINE LEADS

TO DESTRUCTION-Part 5

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, and in his book, "Youíve Got Heat." 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."

Editorís Note: This is a continuation of a story about M.R., one of Ralph Strickerís Big Players (BP). The time-frame was mid-1990ís.

I called M.R to discuss our trip to Foxwoods Casino. He told me he had been playing almost 3-4 times a week there to "test the waters." I expressed my displeasure with him, saying that he should have consulted with me concerning this new venture. He said that he had built up a rapport with certain personnel and executives at the casino because he had a business that the casino wanted to do business with (at least a segment of it). They were giving him junkets, such as golf and hunting trips. He said that he has become very close with certain higher ups there and they treat him very good.

M.R. went on to tell me that he gets two-bedroom suites, free food, and gifts from Foxwoods. Although he never stays overnight at the casino, staying in the comped suite during the day allows him to relax and have his family stay while he plays.

After this conversation with M.R., I decided to make a trip to Foxwoods and look over the scenario he painted for me. I drove to Foxwoods since it was only about a three-hour drive from my home and it was all interstate highways.

I met M.R. in the lobby and he showed me to my suite. It was a two-bedroom suite with a living room, sauna, wet bar (I donít drink), in other words, the works. He told me to "get settled and then Iíll introduce you to one of the executives and get you a playerís card." "This will allow you to charge anything you want," he said. I told M.R., "I donít want a playerís card that will have my name and information etc. on it." M.R. responded, "It will not have your real name on it and you wonít have to show any identification such as a driverís license, etc." I was finally satisfied with this arrangement and felt a little less uneasy.

We made plans to play that evening so I had some time to take a nap and eat supper before starting to "work." M.R. said, "Eat in any restaurant you want or you can order food to the room." He also told me about a bar and lounge for High Rollers on another floor, where I could have breakfast, shrimp, and other goodies all day. 

I went to the HR room just to be acquainted with the surroundings. The room was magnificent. The view over looked the side and back of the casino and the ambiance was refreshing.

We met around 8pm and started at a $100 minimum table...

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