HOUSE OF PANE:
ONE CRAZY DAY IN THE LIFE OF A
PROFESSIONAL BLACKJACK PLAYER
by Joe Pane
Joe Pane is a skilled advantage blackjack player, and an experienced tournament player who has won lifetime over a million dollars in blackjack tournaments, including his recent first and third place finishes in tournaments sponsored by the IP in Biloxi, MS. Joe is the #1 ranked tournament player in the country and was named 2007 Player of the Year by Las Vegas Advisor publisher Anthony Curtis. In Joe's last 11 tournaments in 2007/2008, he made the final tables eight times and won two of them for an impressive 73% final table appearance rate with just over $225,000 won in the past 12 months. Joe is also the Assistant Director of Tour Operations for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour (UBT, as well as the Team UBT Coordinator. His peers consider him to be one of the strongest blackjack tournament players on the circuit.
When a player decides their skills are honed enough to make a living playing blackjack, their daily lifestyle schedule becomes much different than the normal schedule of most professionals. Most folks, if not all, would envy the daily schedule of a professional blackjack player because they really have no set schedule, no clock to punch, no boss to answer to, and they have unlimited sick and vacation days they can take whenever they want.
As one who enjoys this profession, I can tell you itís the greatest job in the world (or at least I think so). For starters, you get to play a game where you have the advantage over the casino. You know that the blood-sucking casinos are in the gaming business as long as there is no down side on their end. They want to bust every uneducated sucker that walks into their casino, while throwing out every player that has a brain tucked under their baseball hat.
(Note to all up-and-coming blackjack advantage players: lose the baseball hat cause itís the first clue to a casino suit to take a closer look at your play. Now if you happen to be in Las Vegas during the early part of December when the rodeo is in town, then by all means get yourself a cowboy hat cause that is the only time a hat will work with your new found job.)
My normal schedule as a blackjack professional is to wake up at the crack of noon every day (thatís one of the perks of this job, no alarm clock to set). But the story Iím about to tell you about this crazy day of mine had bad vibes from the early stages. Read on and you'll see why.
The story begins with me actually going to bed at a somewhat normal hour on a Monday night. It must have been 11:00pm when I hit the pillows, which by the way, is way out of the norm for me since I usually donít go to bed any earlier then 3:00am on most nights, and all my friends know that. So when I was rudely awakened by a text message at 2:45am, it was no big deal to the sender, who just assumed I'd be up to read it. But on this night, this was not the case
With one eye half opened, I searched for my beeping phone that was alerting me that I had a text message. The phone was somewhere in my bed and it took me a while to locate it. When I finally found it, I read the text message from Micky Rosa (yes, that's the same Micky Rosa from the famous MIT Team, whose character is played by Kevin Spacey in the new "21" movie that was just released in movie theaters this past weekend).
The text read: "Call me about going out of town to play a blackjack promotion."...
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