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Blackjack Two man EMFH team

Discussion in 'Blackjack Forum' started by KewlJ, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. KewlJ

    KewlJ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
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    Location:
    Las Vegas
    When I started writing this post, I mistakenly thought we were half way through the year and intended to share a bit of how my year was going, but it turns out May is only the FIFTH month of the year, not the half way point. I guess this shows that you don't have to be able to count (months) all that well to be a card counter. :rolleyes:

    So very briefly, I ended 2016 on a bit of a 'back slide'. After touching the million dollar mark in career earnings, in late September and again, a week later, in early October, I spent the remaining 3 months on a bit of a negative variance run and finished 2016, more than 30k off that (meaningless) million dollar milestone. Early in 2017, I went on a positive flux run and went back over that mark. During the last month, including a horrible blackjack trip east, I have once again been sliding down hill as far as blackjack. However my two partners and I hit a low 6 figure score on a machine (non-blackjack), which still has me very significantly ahead for the year and above that meaningless milestone that I have been straddling.

    But that isn't what I really wanted to talk about, although slightly related. Since my younger brother began his blackjack career, in 2015, I wanted to partner with him. He kept turning down, what is really a good offer for him.... and beneficial to both of us. I think he was afraid, he wouldn't live up to expectations.

    Well, he agreed to partner our blackjack play at the start of this year, so we formed an (E)very (M)an (F)or (H)imself team. This is different than the blackjack teams of MIT, the movies and books. It is NOT a call-in, spotter/big player approach. What it is, is two or more players playing separately, at separate table, separate casinos, can be near by or half the world apart. But they combine results.

    The benefit of the EMFH team is that it smooths out results, variance and those nasty swings that I have occasionally written about. I have had (4) different negative swings that lasted 6 months in my 14 year career. That's what you are trying to eliminate and minimize. The idea is that when one partner is going bad, in the midst of one of those negative flux periods, the other will hopefully be going well or more stable. Even in the rare event that both are going bad for a while, you still get to that "long run" faster. And that's really what it is all about....getting to the long run at which point the swings are less meaningful.

    One of the 'pitfalls' of the EMFH team, just like any other blackjack team is "trust". Trust, was the downfall of many of the big blackjack teams. Blackjack is a game of huge variance (swings) and distrust is a human nature. When things are going bad, you tend to think the worst...."hey someone is skimming". For this reason I have turned down opportunities, real good opportunities to be involved in several teams and always remained a solo type player, or at times one partner, my spouse.

    The reason, I am willing to partner with my brother is because I have complete trust in him. I hope and think, he does me as well. And THAT is the key. If you are going to form a team or partnership, and usually the partners combine bankrolls, you need complete trust. I would recommend a close family member or longtime friend. The saying goes that you shouldn't mix family and business, but because trust is so very, very vital, I think this is the exception. I mean that's assuming you really trust your family member. If you have a sketchy brother or cousin...steer clear. :D:eek:

    I think the reason my brother finally accepted this offer is because for the last two years it seemed every time he was running bad, that I was running good, and vice versa. So we are not at the halfway point as I thought when I got the thought for this update, but 5 months in it is working just as planned. My bro is running a little ahead of EV or expectation, for the year and my recent downturn now has me a little under EV for the year. And so far, when one has been in a little downturn (as I am now) the other has been winning. Just the way it is supposed to work. Of course in this particular year, we both have the benefit of having been 2 of the 3 partners in that machine play score mentioned earlier, so that 'pads' both of our stats for the year.

    So that is the two man EMFH team, for those that didn't know about it or how it works. And by the way, in my opinion, the EMFH team works best as a 2 or 3 man operation. Any more than that and you just are inviting trouble with that trust issue. Humans and distrust is a very powerfully inbred thing. You really need to stick to one or two people that you really trust.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Talmadge likes this.
  2. SplitFaceDisaster

    SplitFaceDisaster New Member

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    Good words of wisdom. I`m sure the partnership will greatly reduce stress levels when one person is having a bad downswing. You`re probably pretty immune to it really getting to you after the length of time you`ve been in this game, but still I would think that every bit of stress that can be taken off is really important and contributes to a better well-being.
     
  3. BUZZARD

    BUZZARD Member Lineage to Founders

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
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    Occupation:
    INDEPENDENT PRODUCT DEVELOPER
    Location:
    Clifton Colorado
    Inside a family is hard enough. Outside a family forgedaboutit. Very rare exceptions. Calvin da hood was a rare exception. Actual name was Calvin Hood. Big scare from knife fight on his face. Looked like fake you put on Halloween , but Calvin could not take his off. ER doctor must have been drunk. Was in a diner one afternoon, Calvin, who I did not know at the time, was playing Bingo pinball machine. Odds maxed and going for extra balls. Asked me if I could get him $10 nickels from cashier. Was about to ask him if his legs were broke, looked down and saw metal legs of pinball machine were on the toes of his shoes. Did not look like steel toes either. Like a hustler, so I got $20 and said, pay me back if you win. Went across street to poolroom. Half hour later Calvin showed up, gave me $130 as he cashed out at $260, Fast forward 10 years, Calvin gets back from Vietnam, living in flophouse, working part time on moving truck. Me and Ronnie F sponsor him on prize money bowling team. Give him $20 or 30 a week when we see him. Wins league and get $5.000 a man. This is 1966. $100 a week is a good paying job. Right after then Calvin went over to the dark side. Got married, got a full time job, house in suburbs. DAMN
    Fast forward 4 year, Ronnie F and wife splt, she moved in with PA State Trooper. Trooper broke Ronnie's nose in fight. Shortly afterwards Troopers house burned to ground. Heat from cops but that's all.
    Fast forward anotjher year. Me and Ronnie in Chinese food restaurant. In walks Calvin to pick up to go order, We slink down, not wanting to mberass Calvin, Suit and tie, manager name tag. Damn, how the mighty have fallen. DAMN he sees us, comes to table. Tag up old times, Ronnie tells about Linda leaving him, Calvin says he heard. Ronnie says he is just glad the Troopers 2 kids were not injured in fire. Straight Face, dead in the eye, Calvin says " Aww Ronnie . I waited until they were on the school bus " Took his to go order and went !
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Junket King likes this.
  4. Talmadge

    Talmadge New Member

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    Thanks for that detailed description kewlj. I can understand how beneficial the EMFH team can be when you are now combining twice as many hands played giving the variance and math a speed up process of working itself out.
    Is your brothers top wager now at the same level as yours? IIRC the last update you gave about your brother, you mentioned his top bet was about half that you play. I enjoy reading your updates on how things are going and look forward to your half way point of the year report :)
     
  5. KewlJ

    KewlJ Active Member

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    Thanks Talmadge. I don't anticipate doing a hallway report, since I just sort of mistakenly did a 5 month report. My goal isn't to give monthly updates, just to share a bit of the variance/roller coaster ride, that card counters experience, because I think that part of the game is least understood by newer players, at least until they have gone through those cycles a few times and come out the other side.

    You are remembering correctly Talmadge. Last year (2016) which was my bother's second year of full-time counting, I set his top wager at just about half of what I was playing. This was a bump up from his first year of low limit play, which was sort of a practice run.....Spring training....' get your feet wet and learn how things work.

    When my brother agree to a partnership at the start of this year, I set his top wager and spread to the same as mine. This allows for maximum benefit of the concept of the EMFH team, which is evening out variance. You could still play an EMFH partnership with players generating different amounts of EV. This often occurs when one player is putting in more time than the other. But it is easiest and works best if both or all partners are sharing the load evenly.

    Even setting our betting level to the same level and putting in about the same amount of time, I should be generating more EV because of a couple advanced things I do, like tracking two tables simultaneously, the one I am playing and a neighboring table, and immediately jumping to the better opportunity. I don't even know what this technique is worth. :confused: If you could track two tables simultaneously and jump to the better opportunity 100% of the time you are playing, you should damn near double your EV, doubling your max bet opportunities and reducing the negative smaller bet wagers.

    But, unfortunately I don't get to employ this technique 100% of my play. :( Many of the smaller, local type casinos might not even have 2 blackjack tables open. And if they do, it might be crowded. You can't jump to the better opportunity if there are no seats open. Crowded conditions can also mean players are blocking your ability to see the cards on the second game. If the game I am playing is heads up with the dealer and he/she is dealing reasonable fast, I also probably can not employ this technique. So I don't know what percentage of time I actually employ this. My guess is somewhere between 25% and 33% of the time.

    Based on that guestimate, I should generate 25-30% more EV than my brother based on the same amount of play, so rather than a 50/50 split, we should probably split somewhere around 57/43 or 56/44. But I decided not to do that. I haven't even shared this technique with my brother. I don't want to encourage it right now. At this point, I just want him concentrating on counting one table accurately and trying to learn what is and isn't tolerated and what generates heat. If we generate 150k EV from card counting (which is the goal) and I have actually generated 85K and he has generated 65k and we split it 75k/75k, I am more than OK with that. :) Plus we each get a 1/3 share of non-blackjack income earned with a third partner.
     
  6. Mickey Crimm

    Mickey Crimm Well-Known Member

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    I've done similar with an ex-friend. We would go on road trips together and work the short term advantages. We would hit a town, he would work the slot parlours on one side of town and I would do the other side. We were in phone contact all day telling each other what the play was, what the expectation was, and if we made a big score, etc. We kept pocket notebooks where we wrote down what we won or lost on each play. We chopped the win 50/50 at the end of the day and split the price of the hotel room.

    We trusted each other 100% on the money. But it got to where we couldn't get along in other ways so the partnership ended.
     
  7. Scotchtape

    Scotchtape New Member

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    Excellent game at Mandalay Bay currently
     

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