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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, June 2003, #41

Rich McKelvey is an experienced blackjack tournament player. He is well known and respected in the blackjack tournament world through his columns in Blackjack Confidential magazine. McKelvey is the founder and president of Executive Limousines (based in New York City) with over 225 employees and service to 450 cities around the world.




In a prior article, I wrote about the importance of having a plan before you begin play in a tournament. This may sound like common sense to many players, but how many actually think about a plan prior to playing? Not many! That's why you see a lot of the same tournament players advancing round after round in a lot of tournaments (they are the ones with a plan).

Here's an example of what I mean. I recently returned from playing in the $300,000 World Championship of Blackjack event at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. I have played in this event since it started three years ago. Since I had previous knowledge of this tournament action, I set my plan to start my betting with mid-sized, $400 wagers for the first ten hands (the tournament minimum/maximum betting limits was $100 to $2,500). This strategy worked well and I didn't have to make any adjustments to my plan. In fact, I breezed through the first round as the chip leader and advanced to the second round.

The second round calls for a different plan as it most often does. The reason is because you are now playing against competitors who have knowledge of the first round action, and a good idea of what it takes to advance. I was anticipating an aggressive style of play in the second round and decided I would take the low road with $100.00 bets for the first 15 hands. This way I would be able to adjust my bets with 10 hands to go. I was correct in my guess - most players came out swinging with big bets (the average bet for the first 15 hands was $600.00).

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