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The Massachusetts Insitute of Technology Blackjack Team

On March 19th, 2008, MIT alumnis like Mike Aponte and David Irvine tell about the peak and downfall of their career as card counting experts in the game of blackjack at a meeting in MIT as a movie based in their own experience is set to debut in theaters. The blackjack movie "21" was shot on MIT's campus. The "21" movie and the HBO series are based on the best-selling book made by Ben Mezrich, "Bringing Down the House", whose characters are based on the students that are a part of the MIT blackjack players.

The skill of card counting gives players the opportunity to set the probability against the casino depending on the cards that have come out of the shoe and to wager big when cards are favorable to their cause. After the mit blackjack team won a lot of money, casino facilities like in Las Vegas began to think that the team is using card counting to win in the game. Aponte and Irvine commented that it became more difficult to disguise their faces because casino officials started to become familiar who they are.

The MIT team is also winning too much cash for it to be pass as only luck. Despite the fact that card counting is not unlawful, a lot of casino facilities do not like the method and often barred well-known card counters from entering casino facilities. Aponte was a member of the original MIT blackjack team, which is also known as the Strategic Investments and operated quietly.

The MIT blackjack team was forced to disband after a member leaked to casino officials the names and in-depth information about the members of the team. The problem did not stop the students from continuing with their activities. Ten dedicated members made a new team and used a stricter training regimen for the team members. It is also more of a team effort this time around compared with Individual effort before.

The newly formed team also used body signals that allowed two team members to communicate effectively while playing inside a casino and sharing the work made the whole thing non-suspicious to casino officials.


Thursday, April 24 , 2008
Emma Green