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. 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. 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.