Interview with Author of "BlackJack Domination"

Asatar's picture
Rank: Senior Neanderthal | 4,264

This is Part One of an interview with Derek Sutta, author of the ebook 'BlackJack Domination' which is a fully comprehensive and interactive guide to learning to count cards. Co-authored by an MIT wizard who has been the main inspiration for several casino films and a blackjack player who has won over $100,000 in blackjack at casinos to date.

Derek has helped run a startup, completed an MBA, worked in strategy consulting and now works in business development.

Tell me a bit about the background of yourself and Open Air Publishing
My background is probably quite typical of what you would see on Wall Street Oasis. I went to a top private university in the US, studied Economics and went on to do strategy consulting. I then helped run a startup before going to Wharton business school.

I got into card counting while I was doing consulting and just fell in love with the mathematics of it. It's almost entrepreneurial. Quite a traditional path I guess. Currently I'm doing business development alongside authoring. I actually wrote the book while still in business school. I contacted Open Air Publishing just for some friendly advice on the best way to market my book and how the publishing business worked and they loved our content so the whole act of getting published turned out to be quite easy for me.

Why did you decide to take the risk of starting your own company rather than join an existing one?

I was in a startup in 2009 when the economy was pretty bad so things weren't great in terms of being at a big company; the projects weren't super interesting, the bonuses weren't great so if there was a time to take the risk, for me personally that was it. It was just great to get something off the ground and felt right.

If you're not tied down to anything I still think it's a good time to try and get your own company off the ground but it's a very personal choice and has to be right for you. It doesn't make sense for me to do it again right now.

What are some of the main obstacles you have to overcome when working at a startup?

Figuring out what's most important and figuring out what to do with downtime - knowing how to prioritize and how to be productive all of the time. New stuff constantly comes up and you're still working on some of the old stuff and you have to decide how to shift your focus. You don't have a boss telling you what to do so you have to make all the decisions yourself.

Would you recommend doing an MBA for people looking to start their own business? What about in general?

In general yes, for me it was great. Again it's a very personal choice and it depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you don't have an idea it can be a great way to meet people. If you already have a business plan and know what you want to do, take that money you'd put into business school and just invest it in the company. It really is entirely down to personal circumstance. You'll find a lot of business people at business school but not very many technical people so you'll grow your network in one way but find holes in another part of it.

Stay tuned for part 2 next week where we discuss the ebook industry, card counting and blackjack. For more information on the book visit http://openairpub.com/book/blackjack-domination

Comments (8)

Sep 26, 2012

Fuck the 6:5 !!

Used to count back in college days. Made decent money but it is a serious time investment. Most of the hard work is finding good games or tables that don't bring much heat.

Were you on Wongs site?

Sep 26, 2012
blackthorne:

Fuck the 6:5 !!

Used to count back in college days. Made decent money but it is a serious time investment. Most of the hard work is finding good games or tables that don't bring much heat.

Were you on Wongs site?

Very accurate

Sep 26, 2012

Thank you Asatar & Derek for getting this up, good stuff, much appreciated

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Sep 26, 2012

Derek,

If you're recruiting players, I'd love to join. I've been looking for an opportunity like this for a while. Graduating this spring, so employers don't have their hands on me yet. I can pass the checkout process in my sleep.

I'd take you over wall street any day.

PM me.

Haters gonna hate

Sep 26, 2012

I thought counting cards was a huge pain in the ass these days, since they shuffle so many decks together and don't deal down to the last card?

I just play poker...I play really low stakes and might be able to maintain a win rate of $15 an hour (before the move up in stakes that I'll probably be doing in the next couple months, once the sample size of my win rate has grown some more)

Sep 27, 2012
JDimon:

I thought counting cards was a huge pain in the ass these days, since they shuffle so many decks together and don't deal down to the last card?

I just play poker...I play really low stakes and might be able to maintain a win rate of $15 an hour (before the move up in stakes that I'll probably be doing in the next couple months, once the sample size of my win rate has grown some more)

We go into the actual specifics of card counting in the next interview (same time next week!).

Nebular:

Is it me or does $100,000 seem to be not that much? At least not book worthy enough.

There was some rich guy who made like millions off it at some damn casino.

If you walk in with $100 and leave with $100,000 that's pretty good :) If you go with $1,000,000 then it's not so good. All depends on how much you start with!

Sep 28, 2012
JDimon:

I thought counting cards was a huge pain in the ass these days, since they shuffle so many decks together and don't deal down to the last card?
)

The number of decks in a standard shoe game (6) just means it takes longer to obtain a favorable shoe. And even though they don't deal down to the last card, there is still a significant advantage that can be obtained with a whole deck cut out. This is referred to as "penetration". A game with excellent pen is what counters look for (usually 1 deck or less on a shoe game). double and single deck games are much more volatile and also subject to greater scrutiny from the eye in the sky. Big money counters usually stick to shoe games, which they consider safer from detection.

Haters gonna hate

Sep 26, 2012
Comment

Pages