Ken Smith developed an interest in playing blackjack early in his life; however he only became active in the game of blackjack when his home state of Mississippi legalized casino gambling in the 1990s. Up until then, riverboat gambling was extremely popular in Mississippi. He began participating in blackjack tournaments in 1994 at the age of 30 and since then has been traveling around the United States in order to compete in more tournaments. To date, he has won over thirty first place prizes in blackjack competitions and has become known as somewhat of an expert in the game.
He has certainly become known as a leading expert on blackjack strategy and tournament play, both through his personal success in the game and through articles that he has written. He began writing in 1995 for "Blackjack Confidential" magazine, focusing on articles related to tournament strategy. The magazine he began writing for is no longer in print, but the articles that he has written can still be found in Henry Tamburin's e-mail newsletter. He has also written articles for "BJ Insider."
In 1998, Ken founded a company called "Bayview Strategies LLC," which began by doing website design and game consulting. He has a site of blackjack theory and strategy at BlackjackInfo.com. The site features a unique blackjack basic strategy engine customized to the rule parameters you input. It also includes blackjack rules and a strategy trainer and blackjack player interviews, with such players as Stanford Wong, Zengrifer and "MIT" Mike Aponte. It also features an active message board and a newsletter, which is published irregularly. Blackjackinfo.com also has a sister site about blackjack tournaments and another related site regarding slots. Ken's sites are the number one Google sites for blackjack and he has become very well known through them.
Ken also appears in televised games. He began by playing on Game Show Network's "World Series of Blackjack." Although, he finished in a disappointing sixth place in that game, he continued to appear on television. He played in Las Vegas Hilton's Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament II in 2004, which later featured on the Travel Channel. He performed better in that tournament, but still did not win. In 2005 appeared again when he played in the World Series of Blackjack 2005, which showed on the Game Show Network. He continues to play for televised competitions. When asked how he handles the stress of trying to win a seat at the finals of a tournament, Ken replied "it is all about practice. I have been to so many tournaments now in the past 15 years; I just take it as another day at the tables."
Ken is said to be, not only one of the leading experts in the game of blackjack, but also one of the nicest people and players in the blackjack industry.
Between tournaments, Ken is writing a book on blackjack strategy and contributes frequently to online message boards on his various websites.
Ken lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he enjoys reading, astronomy and is a classical guitarist.