REAR VIEW MIRROR STRATEGY FOR ELIMINATION BLACKJACK
by Joe Pane
Joe Pane is a skilled advantage blackjack player and an experienced tournament player who has won over half a million dollars in blackjack tournaments. He competed in the World Series of Blackjack in 2005 and finished first in a monthly qualifier in the Las Vegas Hiltonís Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament. He also was selected to play in the inaugural Ultimate Blackjack Tour and recently played in the UBT tournament stops in Aruba and St. Kitts. He participated in the beta testing of the UBT software (www.playubt.net), he actively contributes to the message boards on www.blackjacktournaments.com, and he also writes the column" House of Pane" in the All In Blackjack magazine. His peers consider him to be one of the strongest blackjack tournament players on the circuit.
Iíve been playing in blackjack tournaments on a full time basis since 1998 so my education on how to play blackjack tournaments with an edge is not something that I just learned yesterday. As a matter of fact, up until two months ago there was a firm, set way to play in blackjack tournaments that advanced 1 or 2 players after a set amount of hands.
The way most pros played these traditional tournaments was to always look ahead at the players that they trailed most of the time starting from hand 1 and subsequent hands. Most tournament pros would never make a bet other than the required minimum bet; essentially, they would almost put their betting on cruise control for a good portion of the tournament. They also would not panic if the table leader got a max bet lead over everyone, as long as the player was still making large bets.
Here is what I mean by a max bet lead. This when a player has a lead in chip count that equals what the max bet is or greater. Suppose the tournament format had a minimum bet of $100 and a max bet of $1,000. If you had chips totaling $3,000 and the player who was leading the table had $4,500 in chips, the leader would have more chips than a max bet lead over you ($1,500 to be exact). If these chip totals were reversed, then you would be the leader with more than a max bet lead.
A max bet lead is something that you should always strive for, or at the minimum, a Ĺ max bet lead if a full one canít be achieved. But most pros will not risk their chips early in the round trying to get that lead. They are more comfortable letting the other players self-destruct, and acquire their leads in a different way, which is to let the other players bet their chips into negative situations early in the tournament.
PATIENCE (I canít emphasize the word any stronger) was...
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