by ‘The Babe’
‘The Babe’ is a Tournament Blackjack winner. As a serious casino player in the 60’s and throughout the 70’s, he specialized at grinding low to mid stakes blackjack action out of Nevada Casinos, while keeping a low profile. During that time, he wrote, copyrighted, and sold his own book, "Beat Blackjack, Simplified". He entered his first tournament in 1981, and has undoubtedly, played in more major Blackjack Tournaments than anybody. He has cashed in for more than $600,000, and continues to compete today, with two major titles to his credit this year.
Note: The Babe recently competed in the Ultimate Blackjack Tour. He advanced to play in the finals which were held in Hollywood.
All you blackjack players, Listen Up! Now is the time to take the game you like to play and move it into the world of tournament competition. Tournament Blackjack is set to explode. Why now? . . . . . . . THE ULTIMATE BLACKJACK TOUR!
I had the privilege of being on the set of the very first final round of the "Ultimate Blackjack Tour", filmed a few days ago at CBS studios in Hollywood. Now, I’ve been on the short end of hyped-up sales pitches and their subsequent disappointments as much as anybody. So I showed up with a little excitement, but very low expectations. Was I surprised? Truthfully, I was not prepared for this event. It literally dazzled me!
Years ago I was on the set of many motion pictures and T.V. shows. Most of them were independent films with very low budgets, but some were large scale movies. One was "The Dove", produced by Gregory Peck. The difference between low budget vs. large scale movies is like fast food and gourmet meals - the end product usually reflects the time and energy put into it. Time and energy is to a large extent dictated by the budget, but it also can be determined by the dedication and planning of those involved.
The producers of this event have obviously gone ALL OUT. Talk about planning! They came up with an all new and innovative tournament format (see Henry’s article for a summary of the format). They even held a special practice tournament this past summer for the crew to film to get a feel for the format and to optimize the production of the show. There were 63 participants in the practice tournament. A test like this is expensive and it shows the resolve of the producer to get everything right.
The filming of the first final round ran three times longer than expected. The fact that this was allowed to happen tells me that all involved was determined to make this show the highest quality blackjack tournament ever produced. For example, the set on CBS sound stage 36 that was used to film the tournament is almost indescribable. It was a real light show in itself. In fact it was better than any set I have seen on any poker show to date.
Couple all this with a truly enthusiastic live audience and two guys that really know their stuff, the ace television blackjack veteran, color commentator, Max Rubin, and his talented, young, good looking, play by play partner, Mati Morelejo and you get a reliable formula for a very exciting and entertaining series of tournament show for viewers.
This first season of Ultimate Blackjack Tour pitted blackjack veterans and tournament blackjack veterans against poker superstars. The poker stars were given a crash course in this tournament format, so don’t count them out. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, they are fearless and they have the experience of ‘going all in."
Nowadays everybody loves poker stars and with their participation in this series, this tournament has all the makings of a huge hit. I will wager that those present for the filming of "Gone with the Wind" were no more impressed than I was this week. (No, they didn’t allow me on that location!)
How does all of this affect you? Simple! What the future holds is UBT satellite tournaments. For a small entry, you will be able to win your own way in the next UBT Television Finals. The poker shows have used this technique to turn the World Series of Poker main event from a 600 entrant tournament to 6,000 in just a few years. Who knows how many will show up for it next year? The best news is that there are more blackjack players in the world than poker players; so the numbers should increase exponentially for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour. The future of Tournament Blackjack is NOW!
To all of you who have not yet entered the world of tournament play, let’s get going! If you are not sure how or where to start, pick up a copy of the new book, "Play To Win", authored by Ken Einiger, the World Series of Blackjack Champion and a contributor to the BJI (book is available at discount from the BJI online store). You will find everything you need to get you armed and ready to play confidently in blackjack tournaments. And last, but not least, do not forget to renew your subscription to this newsletter. The BJI is where you always find the best tournament blackjack insights from the best tournament blackjack players.
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