06/11/2019 | 53 Minutes
Colin is a professional blackjack card counter, an occupation he landed on after combining his math degree with a book he read at Bible Camp. He provides training, resources, and a community for card counters through his online program, Blackjack Apprenticeship – teaching others to think like an investor, not a gambler, and that blackjack, unlike every other casino game, is a strategy where past events actually impact future outcomes. Live your life transformational, not transactional, and look forward to future outcomes with hard work.
PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL TICKS
Alignment - actually aligning every aspect of your life or time with your goals. The freedom to pursue the more important things in life and spending a more efficient amount of time making money. Aligning his time, energy, and resources to his values and what he believes is worth pursuing in life.
Teaching his network and building a community of card counting Christians. his team was featured in a documentary, Holly Rollers, The True Story of Card Counting Christians. If casinos are beating gamblers for 1 million dollars a day, can this team beat the casinos for a thousand dollars a day?
Further, teaching his kids about the potential impact they can have on the world. As a family, they support many causes to stop child trafficking, and instilling other missionary work ideas as part of their family mantra. Serve because they have resources that others don’t and watching his kids ‘get it.’ Seeing them succeed.
Make every decision planning for a positive result, planning for a positive impact on his children and family. Expecting that the great will win out.
Teaching the idea of expected value - It's the foundation of card counting, but also a way to see nearly all decision making in life. It's what separates gamblers from investors.
Colin’s got a book coming out, ‘The 21st Century Card Counter’ published by Huntington press. He wrote the book he wanted to write, and then approached the one publisher through which he wanted to publish.
PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL TICK OFFS
Manipulation - Whether it's casinos manipulating gamblers through their marketing/practices, corporations/investors using money and power to manipulate laws/markets to their advantage, or manipulative people in general.
Thinking like a gambler. Obviously this mindset is rampant in casinos, causing people to make horrible decisions that affect their lives. But the same kind of thinking causes poor decision making in business, personal finance, and more.
Money with out purpose
CONNECT WITH COLIN
Ben: [00:00:00] Ready for Skype no problem. So I'm been over here in the pink again. I mean starting with the origin story - I mean at what point at what point in your life do the you stand up and say you know what Mom "I'm going to count cards and that's well my dears here's the here's the trick you go out and count cards and then you tell your mom later see I like this.
[00:00:26] I like this already. This is good. Card counting is like a mix between chess and Extreme Couponing.
[00:00:41] You're listening to Ticked a series that explores the motivations and frustration of driven individuals.
[00:00:53] Colin: [00:00:53] I'm Colin Jones and I'm a professional card counter find out what it is about beating casinos at their own game. That makes me tick.
[00:01:05] Hello Colin how are you?
[00:01:17] Hey, what's up? Everybody? Welcome to another episode of The Ticked podcast. You got Ben here, and Curtis. And today we're interviewing a gentleman named Colin Jones. Now Colin is a member of the Holy Roller Blackjack Club in the queue. We call it that he was featured on a documentary film called holy rollers, but he counts cars and blackjack he does and he's created a course.
[00:01:41] He's got a website all this kind of stuff and I got to be honest the first time we received an email from him. A little nervous to even open it. I was like what prince in Egypt wants my money? It's a good moment. But I am excited to today Ben to listen to a little bit more of the how and why Colin does what he does.
[00:02:04] I I don't know very much about what but it seems to me like card counting is generally a fairly repetitious rote memorization type activity down. That's from a perspective but I'm curious to hear how that has enriched his life or or helps has helped in other ways. Yeah my biggest question going into this is how do you make a living off of this?
[00:02:32] Also everything I've seen about card counting comes from from movies like 21 where I think that they are. Living in fear of being shot at any minute sure. I have a very slated stigma with card counting and what media has portrayed. So I've got a lot of questions for him around just why he does what he does.
[00:02:58] Sounds good. Let's get started so call and thanks so much for joining us on the ticket podcast today. Yeah. Thanks so much for having me when you first reached out to us. My first question was was how is this? How is this the thing how is professional card counting a thing? I want to ask you to right off the bat.
[00:03:15] How did you get started in card counting? Sure. Well, that's kind of to question how it's a thing. Yeah. Oh, yeah, it's a good cause that car. So Blackjack is the only game in the casino where past events actually impact future events. So most of gambling is based on the fallacy that past events impact the future.
[00:03:38] So if you throw a number on the the craps table, you know the thought of like, oh, well, I'm running hot on sevens or you know. Oh, I just threw a 7 so I'm not going to ask the same with roulette of like oh well red is hot or black is hot or you know, hey Red's been hitting their for black is do and all of that's not true because it's all independent events.
[00:04:02] The the roulette wheel doesn't care what the previous role or spin was and same with the dice they don't care but in blackjack, it's a bunch of cards that are dealt will say six decks of cards and if a card is dealt that card won't. Dealt again until they Shuffle. So it actually does that the previous hand of blackjack does impact the future in the sense that once cards are removed.
[00:04:29] Those cards won't be dealt again until they Shuffle and so someone over 50 years ago. His name is dr. Ed Thorpe a very brilliant mathematician said hey, what's going to happen if these kinds of cards have already been dealt and that was the premise that led him down the road of figuring out card counting how that ties into my story is that.
[00:04:50] I graduated college with not a whole lot of ambition, but a math degree and a fret a friend actually at bible camp said hey, you're a math guy. Check out this book. I'm reading it was a book called professional Blackjack at bible camp you have so enjoyed before so so in between Genesis and exodus.
[00:05:15] Yeah, you're hitting up of card counting. Yeah, basically, yeah. Yeah, he was he was like kind of in the poker and so that you know, let him to a bookstore where he's looking at, you know poker books and then he sees sees one that talks a little bit about card counting and and let him down that Rabbit Trail and he told me about it loaned me the book and and I thought hey I'm a math guy.
[00:05:39] I could probably do this. That's a follow-up question to all of this is what was that conversation? Like with your with your parents. Well, they were missionaries that makes it all the more even better or did they or they overseeing the Bible? No, no, they were in Guatemala. They built a feeding Center in Guatemala.
[00:06:01] And my mom was a nurse practitioner working in a village and I was Newly Weds, you know kind of punk rocker trying to start a band and then I'd been working at Red Robin and substitute teaching a little bit and thought hey, maybe I could replace Red Robin with this card counting thing and it all kind of Grew From there well, I thought hey, I'll prove this I'll actually implement it be effective at it makes the money and then nobody will be concerned about me being in casinos, but that was a little naive it was worse to say hey, Mom and Dad. [00:06:40] I've been saying all this time in casinos beating them, but they weren't they were not relieved at all when I told him that. They're pretty concerned. But after enough time, they saw that you know, I was under control the mob wasn't going to you know, bury me in a shallow grave and they came around what are the legal ramifications or the legal loopholes in which your you're navigating pursuing this passion and this professional the same time.
[00:07:13] Well, it's perfectly legal to use your brain in a casino fortunately. Okay, so, you know, it's what we're doing is perfectly legal. This is this is why I tell people I tell people card counting is like a mix between chess and Extreme Couponing. So it's I have friends that really reside with that extreme couponing side.
[00:07:34] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I've I have a friend and she's you know, you got to her house and she's got pantries full of. You know toothpaste and you know cereal and whatever that she got basically for free those chlorides life is yeah exactly multipack. Hey that stuff adds up. So so it's you know, it's like chess and that it's a game of strategy and skill that can be mastered but it's like Extreme Couponing in that it's kind of based on this loophole that casinos when they created Blackjack they weren't thinking about how the previous cards are going to impact remaining cards before they Shuffle they just you know had a game that had a built-in Advantage not realizing that people could kind of use it against them. Well, you know 99.99% of people that play Blackjack are they're losing their shirt, but just like extreme couponers. There's this tiny [00:08:29] Subsection of people that take the time and energy to figure out how to use it to their advantage. So we're not doing anything illegal, but, you know a grocery store could say to my friend. Hey, you're taking so many Clorox wipes from us forgive costs that we're just gonna have to say no more no more coupons for you in the same way a casino can say Colin, you know, no more Blackjack for you and that happens.
[00:08:54] I am interested in. How like the process of how this works do you go in with a team? Are you a one-man band walk me through day or maybe a night at work. I mean would just walk me through a regular day. Sure. Well, yeah 99% of what I've done is so low. Yeah, I might be a part of a team, but it's more for the camaraderie and pooling resources.
[00:09:27] Then it is about going into a casino as a team. That's just not you know, that's kind of in in the movies, but it's not really all that necessary or sufficient. So so how it works is, you know, go to the casino play Blackjack until I either feel like going home or until they tell me they don't want me playing there anymore.
[00:09:47] And then I move on to the next Casino or I had home. Is that lonely? Yes. Yeah, it definitely can be which is why you know, I've primarily played a part of teams because when I got into it I told you a buddy like loan me a book and and I pursued it but I had so many questions and it was it's like I just want someone else to talk to about it.
[00:10:12] And so I was calling him 10 times a day and pretty quickly. You know and it was only for him to so yeah pretty quickly. Maybe two months in it's like hey, let's just throw our money together and do this together. And that was you know, I've always preferred that to be in it with someone else nowadays, you know with the internet most of the professional card counters.
[00:10:35] I know they have a good network of people that they can, you know text or call or whatever to make it less lonely when I'm I'm an introvert when I'm in the casino. I just do my thing and it really doesn't get too. But at the end of the day, I might want to text someone and and just you know be able to get it off my chest what however it went good or bad.
[00:10:57] I'm curious calling a how the transition from vacation bible school to we would like you to leave Colin goes and just like what that I mean, is that a generally a nice conversation. They just come over and say actually you cost too much get out of the building or how does how does that go? Yeah.
[00:11:22] Well the transition for me was, you know, I probably play. I don't know a hundred hours before the first time. I was asked Jesus not play Blackjack anymore. So it because I was getting very small amounts. It wasn't it could have been a couple hundred hours. The first time it happened. It was very validating.
[00:11:40] It was like a Rite of a rite of passage. Yeah, you're like, yeah boy. Oh, yeah. No, I was I was pumped it was it was really fun. I remember, you know being all you know feeling really justify, you know, I said hey, You've made it to play here. Yeah. Yeah, and I still asked him for if I could get a comp to meal and I remember sitting there eating a comp to breakfast on the casinos dime and you know complaining to the to the guy that brought me my bacon and eggs saying they won't let me play I guess I'm just too good or whatever and but it's it's generally.
[00:12:21] They're fairly professional about it. You know, I'd say 90% of the time they just say, mr. Jones We've evaluated your play and you're too good for us. You're welcome to play anything else but no more Blackjack, but there are the times where you know, they're they're not as friendly about it and I've been cussed out.
[00:12:39] I've been you know surrounded by 15 security guards, like I'm some threat, you know, sure like they think I'm going to dart back to a blackjack table and play one more hand of blackjack before they can stop me. It's kind of ridiculous, but. A lot of it casinos. They just do that to intimidate Churchill for counters.
[00:12:55] Yeah. Yeah. I think they just take it so personally and so yeah, they try to intimidate intimidate card counters, but I know I'm not you know, I think my personality I don't mind kind of doing things that people don't like if I feel like it's I'm not doing anything unethical and I mean if anything I love taken by a casinos.
[00:13:18] Hmm. So question that I have is his his this passion of yours ever conflicted with the personal moral of yours. No, I yeah, I have some regrets with how I've done it. So I got asked man. I don't know maybe five years ago. I got asked by a conference that is basically a conference for Casino surveillance people -
[00:13:41] They said hey, will you come and speak and I didn't even realize I was the keynote speaker until I was done speaking and they're like, well, that's it folks. But wow, they said they said hey, well, you know when you speak of this thing at a first sight I was like no way and then and then. Talking to someone and he was like, well, you could you know, say you want to talk about whatever you want to talk about.
[00:14:02] And so I said hey, can I talk about what I want to talk about and they said they asked what it was and I shared and they let me actually speak at this thing. But one of the things is that I wanted to really kind of persona fi card counters to you know to casinos sure give up and and and it doing that I you know kind of publicly apologize to them for for, you know, not seeing Casino employees as people.
[00:14:26] Just seeing them as. Means to an end and so, you know, I really changed that. I don't know 10 years ago. Where when I'm in a casino. Yeah, I want to take their money. But the dealer The Pit Bosses like I want to treat them with respect and dignity and kindness, you know, if they if they say they don't want me to play that's fine.
[00:14:46] I don't mind at all. I don't, you know, throw a fit or anything, but I want to treat. You know, I would just say in the same way at a grocery store. I want to treat people with respect. I want to do that in my professional life and there's one time very early on where. We were basically the casino screwed up and they gave us something worth thousands of dollars that they didn't mean to it.
[00:15:10] Was these kind of like kind of it's almost like coupons like a grocery store coupon, but these things are worth thousands of dollars to us and I took it and because they handed it to me and the next time I went to that casino a lady comes running, you know, she's like the casino manager and she's like you owe me, you know, these these coupons and I just left and I felt really bad about that.
[00:15:32] I wouldn't have done that if you know if a grocery store or you know, if I would have gone to a store and the a. Gave me more than they meant to and ask for it back. I would give it back. And so that was something you know, I felt but you know, honestly that was before card counting. I used to work at Red Robin and I would like give my friends free drinks and you know, so what I what waiter hasn't done that.
[00:15:57] Yeah, so I actually I actually contacted Red Robin like ten years after the fact and apologized and said, hey, can I pay back? You know, I like calculated. I'd taken by probably stolen $1,000. The free strawberry lemonade from Red Robin and I said, hey, can I can I pay this back and she's like no you don't need to do that.
[00:16:15] But you know, really appreciate you being willing to and I said, well, yeah, I don't, you know having run a business now, I understand what it's like on the other side. It's not free free stuff. So those are a couple regrets. Hmm interesting the Lemonade's are bottomless though. If I recall it possibly 250R begin with sharp.
[00:16:38] Yeah, I frequent the lemonade counter at the Red Robin. Yeah, you got paid for that first one. That's it. That's it. Yeah, I like one of the things that you mentioned in your form that makes you tick and that's alignment aligning every aspect of your life time with your goals. And it sounds like through this journey.
[00:16:58] Of reconciling with Red Robin and examples like that. It feels like you're kind of moving more and more toward this place of alignment. Can you speak to us a little bit about what it is about alignment that makes you tick, you know, I think a lot of people they hear that would you know, I beaten casinos for money and it's like well isn't that greedy and you know, the money was never the thing the thing was like the freedom to pursue.
[00:17:25] What's more important. You know the idea that I could spend rather than you know eight hours a day at a job. I couldn't stay and I could spend a couple hours in a casino and get the same amount of money and then spend that time on something that seemed more important to me. So similarly, you know my goal with I've got a wife I got six kids.
[00:17:48] Actually my goal is to really align my time my energy my finances with with my values. With what I believe in and what I want out of life and I don't just want that for myself. Like that's what really excites me. My goal isn't because now I spend much more time teaching other people how to count cards.
[00:18:06] My goal isn't just to see a bunch of people make money and be like rich and miserable. My goal is to see people use it for something meaningful, you know, whether that's spending time with people they love whether it's you know, serving others or giving back or spending. You know investing in the future or whatever it is that they're passionate about that's those are the things that I care much more about than any sort of Finance Financial or personal success.
[00:18:35] I really like that call and I'm I'm interested if it at any point you've ever felt that just a touch like Robin Hood in this in this journey. There's there's some definite correlation in Crossover with what you just shared. Yeah, I mean I think you know, so I ran this Blackjack team it was friends of ours most mostly friends [00:18:59] We'd met through church. They that we taught how to play whose love all of this. I know. Yeah. Yeah. So there's actually a documentary called Holy Rollers the true story of card counting Christians. Yeah about this team that we ran and it that team won a little over three million dollars, but. It was you know friends of ours and ourselves and we definitely waved the banner of David versus Goliath, you know, usually knows are the big bad Goliath and where the little man they've got the you know, a lot of the casinos in Las Vegas are making a million dollars a day and we're going in there saying hey, can we, you know beat them.
[00:19:39] They're beating gamblers for a million dollars a day. Can we beat them for a thousand dollars a day, you know and. And you know when you get to understand how casinos operate you know, you definitely see them as the you know yourself is the Robin Hood. You know not just taking from the rich but you know, it's Robin Hood was stealing from the rich.
[00:20:07] We're beating them at a game that they're saying. Come beat us and we're saying, okay. We'll come beat you yeah, and we're doing it, you know, so it's a little bit we're not stealing we're playing the game they offer fairly with our brains, but but definitely, you know, it's not just it's not stealing its not from the rich.
[00:20:24] Yes, they are rich, but it's from Rich from really exploiting. People a loop, you know when you see their marketing and when you hear the stories of what they do to keep people that are compulsive gamblers coming back, you know, there's stories of casinos. Taking people's entire inheritance and continuing to fly them out to get them to keep gambling and then suing them after the people are bankrupt saying hey, you gambled we loaned you money after you lost everything you had you lost the money we loaned you.
[00:20:56] So now we're suing you like it's really sick and we're saying hey, you know, we're going to come in here and we're going to beat you at your own game, and it feels great to do it. Thank you. I am curious. What things do you do with your time now Colin? I'm as the with the time that you've earned outside of teaching others six kids.
[00:21:17] That seems like a boatload of well done. And yeah, well done great work, but where where have you reallocated that time for for alignment or other reasons? Yeah, sure. Well, yeah, definitely, you know, like I think my kids are a part of the future and I want it. I want to see the world be positively impact.
[00:21:45] Sorry. That was a timer to have my third grader do her math flashcards. Perfect. I'll start the first step the first counting cards. Yeah, that's right. You know, I think I have a direct impact. On the character and you know the belief system of my kids and I want to see them have a positive impact.
[00:22:10] I kind of feel like, you know there they have a chance to have a really big impact on the world and I want to invest in that beyond that, you know, my family is involved in trying to stop child trafficking. So we do fundraising and and something that's you know, we care about and we're trying we're trying to do.
[00:22:32] We'll follow in my parents footsteps footsteps and do missions work. So we've been to Guatemala as a family and we've been to India as a family and we're going to try to go to Mexico this this next year as a family and and just, you know be on the ground trying to love people trying to help meet their needs and you know serve because we have so much, you know, we want to love and serve people that don't have all the resources.
[00:23:02] Is that we have. Great Mmm. Yeah talk to me a little bit about teaching and you kind of killed this up a little bit and that you're not so much on the frontlines of counting cards anymore. You're kind of helping to teach. But then also there's this there's a side of teaching your kids and getting your third grader to do our math flashcards.
[00:23:24] So so what is it about teaching? How long have you been doing it? And why is it something that fuels you? Yeah, well, my dad was a teacher and. You know, he would get he would get cards from students or former students. That would it could be 15 or 20 years later and he would get a card that says, you know, mr.
[00:23:45] Jones you really had a huge impact on me and it was really really meaningful to see that and I. Studied math in college not for any good reason other than I didn't have to read books or write papers. So it was a good tip good fit for me, but actually graduated there. It was like I did take two extra classes to get a teacher's credential and you know, I substitute taught a little bit and was like, yeah this isn't for me but then within two years I'm running a blackjack team that my primary responsibility was teaching other people how to do it and and I realized I loved it like I really enjoyed.
[00:24:22] I enjoyed it. So whether it I got that, you know through my dad or whatever. I enjoy the process of explaining something and seeing someone have success with it is just super rewarding and definitely enjoy, you know, imparting knowledge or or wisdom or life if you know valuable life lessons on my kids.
[00:24:48] Sure, just out of curiosity. How what does practice look like? How do you like? Can you give us a 10,000 foot overview of how you teach someone to count cards? I made it. Is it just repetitious. Is it about how to how do you do that? Well, yeah, it's definitely repetitious. You know, the first thing I like to do is give people the Paradigm Shift of How It's very we think very differently than a gambler.
[00:25:14] And so that's kind of like Step One is it could involve deconstruction for people that have any of those gamblers Tendencies are it's amazing how pervasive it is, you know, even in regular everyday life, you know when you understand kind of it's called The Gamblers fallacy, which is part of a larger idea.
[00:25:34] Called apophenia. It's like people are very bad at pattern recognition and make things up. So it involves some deconstruction and teaching people to think like an investor rather than gambler, but then it's a lot of repetition. There's there's basically a way to play that you have to master its kind of a chart and that takes, you know will say 20 to 40 hours to just get you know mindlessly perfect at it and then the next step is learning how to count cards and that might take another, you know, 40 hours to get mindlessly perfect.
[00:26:06] And then you've got to do these two skills together and then you've got to learn how to bet and it generally takes people around 200 hours to become at the professional level. And so it's not for the faint of heart but 200 hours that you know, that's nothing compared to like getting a college degree or something like that.
[00:26:26] So someone can crank it out in a few months if they're motivated and you know, even in a month or two if they're highly motivated. I've got a question to kind of go back a little bit in time. You mentioned thinking more like an investor and less like a gambler. What do you for those of us in the room who don't understand like me.
[00:26:47] What's the what's the investor mindset as opposed to a gambling mindset? Yeah, well, there's a mathematical principle called expected value and you know, everything is based on that and that's the same in investing in other ways. And so, you know, let's say we flip a coin. The odds of flipping a coin of it being heads or tails is 50/50, right?
[00:27:16] Yeah, but it's never going to land on its side right is never going to land half heads half tails and so it's the result is going to be either heads or tails, but the expectation is 50/50 and if you flip that coin, let's see if flip it and you get heads some a gambler might say oh. Okay. This one was heads there for the next one is more likely to be Tails.
[00:27:39] But the reality is every flip of the coin regardless of the past is 50/50 scratch and yes, so if you flip heads. Ten times in a row the next flip of the coin is 50/50 heads or tails if you flipped heads a hundred times in a row. The next flip of the coin is 50/50 heads or tails. However, if you flip a coin infinite times, you're going to end up with 50 percent heads 50% tails and so we make our decisions based on the expectation not based on what happened the last time.
[00:28:12] Whereas gamblers and I don't just mean in casinos. I mean people that try to oh, yeah, that's a stock Churchill Downs. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Yeah or even on the stock market, you know, like the there are tons of people that think they can beat stocks and they're and they're not they have negative expected value, but they think they're going to guess it right, you know, so so we as cars we've calculated our.
[00:28:41] Our expectation are mathematical expectation down to the penny and we play the odds regardless of anything else regardless of if we're winning or losing regardless of the dealer regardless of if it feels like a bad unlucky day or other players at the table are playing poorly. None of those things affect our expectation and we follow we follow that we trust we trust the map has this idea of expected value has it made you.
[00:29:11] Personally just like this crazy motivated person always looking more to the Future and not so much the past decisions. Yeah in a sense. I mean, I think that you could look at a lot of decisions in life in terms of you know, what's what's the expectation of this decision and you can look back, you know, you could make a decision and it works out poorly.
[00:29:34] But if you look back you say, you know, I actually made a good decision. It just didn't work out a fact that we call it variance, you know, it's not actually like you're an unlucky person but you know, you could make a business decision that six out of 10 times it would work out and so it was the right decision to make but four out of 10 times.
[00:29:51] It's not going to work out and you know, I think that it goes outside of business even in terms of relationships and you know, like hey, Are the decisions I'm making in my marriage or with my kids or with my friends are those the kinds of decisions that over a lifetime are going to work out towards the positive, you know, or or am I thinking like a gambler and just kind of like, you know, just hoping to get lucky in living a life that doesn't have positive, you know expectation as sound so nerdy and so mathy, but you know, Wicked there's a way I could live with my kids that is, you know, a net negative in terms of the decisions I make but I just hope it works out.
[00:30:38] That's not the way I want to live my life. I want to make every decision calculate thinking hey is this gonna have a positive impact on my relationship with my kids on their character in on who I'm teaching them to become. mmm. as. As you've done that Colin are there are there moments in your life where you catch yourself in The Gambler mindset and not an expected return.
[00:31:05] Well, yeah, I'm far from a perfect father husband, you know or friend so I make all sorts of selfish decisions. You know it in that sense car cane is a lot easier because there's a chart that tells you exactly how to play and there's a card counting system that tells you exactly how to Batten all that stuff life doesn't have that but there are you know, I want to make decisions thinking about hey, what is the impact of this rather?
[00:31:34] Then mindlessly, but yeah, I mean no shortage of bad decisions that I've made a chart of the four out of ten or the six out of ten depending on which side of the fence you're on. Yeah. Yeah professionally for you. You started running the black jacket Prentiss ship. Can you tell us a little bit about how long that's been going?
[00:31:56] What exactly is the format? Yeah, it actually has been going on for a long time. We started it at the height of the Blackjack team that we're running. I don't exactly know why I think there was always this sense of we don't want to be running around beating casinos forever. And so we had started other internet businesses.
[00:32:19] We you know invest in some real estate and this was kind of an idea of hey, we're good at this, you know, maybe we could. Put our training behind a pay wall online and people might be interested in paying for it. And we got a little bit lucky that that some people were interested in it and it's developed a lot it started out as just a simple video course and kind of a members forum and over the last.
[00:32:44] 10 or 11 years we've developed, you know, really a awesome community of people like-minded people and fortunately for me people that care for each other and you know care about each other more than just taking money at casinos, but we've also developed a lot of software betting software training software and you know, we have a thing that's like Yelp for card counters.
[00:33:07] So, you know the rules of every game in the country and stuff like that. Hmm as you're rolling out the Blackjack apprenticeship. First of all, I was surprised to hear that. It's been going for like 11 years is that when is that? When the Holy Rollers contact you to be in the documentary are at what point did those two kind of things interact?
[00:33:27] No, I think the documentary was already being filmed, okay. And I you know, I don't know it wasn't my idea to start Blackjack apprenticeship. It was two other guys. It was the guy that I got in the car cane with and then other guy that's really smart entrepreneurial friend and it was like Hey, what if what if we tried this and and we knew that 21 the movie was coming out so it's sort of like, hey, can we get this website up and running before the movie comes out because there's going to be a lot of people hmm you with questions online and yeah, we kind of road that way for a little.
[00:34:01] But then it turned into the you know, the long game of just me putting out good content online and people they're searching for it end up finding it eventually and one more question down this thread tell us about the book that has it been released by Huntington press. No, it's it's I mean, yeah, it's going to be out any any week now.
[00:34:24] Okay, it's like the final the final, you know running through it before it goes to the printers. But yeah, that was I don't know just something I thought about for a long time writing a book and and I finally had a friend that said hey, you know, why don't you do this? I'll help and he's a very strong writer and editor and so I felt like hey, I've got this.
[00:34:48] Or system and so yeah wrote it and approached kind of my dream publisher. That was the only publisher. I approached. I figured if they didn't want it. I just self-published. But but they they were excited about it. And so I can't believe you know, the guys that put out some of the books that got me going with card counting are now going to be publishing my book.
[00:35:10] Well, so that book is called the 21st century card counter. Yes, and is a kind of a instructional book a how to does it offer some of the same things as you do in your course or what's the angle of the book? Yeah. Well my friends advice was he said Colin write the book you want to write and I didn't many want to write Memoirs.
[00:35:31] That's good. No ice. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it definitely was it made a lot easier to do. I just kind of outlined you know, what are the things I like talking about or instructing or whatever and then I try to fill it with as many of my best stories as possible. So it's not a memoir but if there's a story I have that can help lead towards instruction, you know, I would I would use it.
[00:35:54] So I think of it more as like a guidebook because now people have access to the internet there's. You don't need something that has every little detail people are already going to be searching on Google and YouTube about card counting if they're interested, but there's a lot of misinformation online.
[00:36:14] So I wanted something trustworthy that someone interesting card can could say okay. I can trust the the advice in this book and hopefully be inspired and I put interviews with about 12 of 12 good friends of mine that have all had a lot of success with this just so it breaks. Breaks up the content and inspires people a bit and just says what this looks like how to do it effectively and there's like Blackjack books from over the years, but the game has changed and the way we approach it has changed.
[00:36:47] So I want something that really applies to the way we've had success with it over the last decade. What would you say is like your current alumni or your network or the people that you've kind of been in contact with through this course? Yeah, so I mean, like I said, there's a pretty strong community on our website and we also do these live.
[00:37:07] I just got back a couple days ago from from one. But the these kind of live seminars in in Vegas and you know, there's about 20 trainees that show up for for, you know, Hands-On. But the really cool thing is there's always a half-dozen to even a dozen, you know former students that now come to just to help out they'll come in they'll help with the dealing sessions.
[00:37:33] They'll share their stories. They'll give advice and it's been really really cool. I didn't expect that part when we started the business, but you know, these people have also become very good friends and I care deeply for them and and I could tell that they care deeply for the community. And for myself and as you see this community come together, what does that do for you?
[00:37:57] Or do you have like that proud dad moment. We are like, oh look at all my students like graduating or whatever. You mentioned that seeing people succeed something in your professional life. That's really kind of help. Keep you going. So is it is it these face-to-face events that does that or kind of explain that a little bit for us?
[00:38:18] Yeah. Definitely. I mean, I don't know if I have a proud dad moment. I kind of just feel lucky to even be a part of it. But yeah, seeing these people having success at you know, this thing that I stumbled into, you know, 15 years ago. It's a yeah, it's really exciting and I. Even learning from them they're finding new, you know new techniques or new ways to you know, get the edge over the casino.
[00:38:46] And so I just feel fortunate to be a part of it. I feel really honored to be able to kind of provide Community because like I said, it's a cool group of people there. They're like math nerd enough that I can relate to them. But they're also you know just good a lot of really good caring people that like taking the casinos money.
[00:39:10] It's really interesting calling as you as you talk and I'm grateful that you've shared so many of your thoughts here. It's evident in the way you speak about others that by contrast from from an objectivity for anyone who was inside of a casino to the way that. You care and are concerned with with the success of others now just even generally outside of this circle professionally that that you have a.
[00:39:43] A deep. Hmm. Well, you have a consistent and thorough investment in others that that's that that's a central piece of who you are talk about the rewards that you feel from that investment or from the how is it in Rich to your own life putting the success of others before your own? Yeah, I don't know.
[00:40:11] I guess I don't think of it that way putting I mean, I feel like a responsibility for anybody that I you know that you know, I've got core values and and like a mission statement for the business and I really want every person that comes through the business to leave better off than when they found it and sometimes that means someone emailing and saying, you know.
[00:40:36] Hey, I love gambling. I want to do this to me saying whoa. You probably shouldn't get into this. And the best thing you could do is, you know, like stay out of casinos, you know, if that's if that's going to be the most, you know, impactful thing for the person. That's what I'm going to say. But but for any of the people that have been through our training like I want them to be better off.
[00:40:56] I don't want them to come in, you know, make some money and and then you know, like money money doesn't. Necessarily solve problems. You know, it's really just a tool a resource it can it can destroy a life as easily as it can further a life. So, you know, I want I don't want to see people come through and make a bunch of money become.
[00:41:20] Rich and miserable. I want people to come through and find alignment with their lives and what their goals and when that happens is I just feel a responsibility to you know, give whatever I can give to the people and and I definitely benefit personally running the business, but I benefit even more so relationally through running the business.
[00:41:42] Like I said, it's good people and I enjoy. Giving giving what I can but I also receive just a ton from from from this group of people. One thing that I will say that surprised me from this conversation is. In full transparency this may or may not make it onto the final edit. But when we first got the email I thought it was like a spam email and I was nervous.
[00:42:11] I was like, oh man, I don't I don't really know. I don't know how comfortable I feel going kind of diving into this right and then Curtis and I Tasha are like let's let's do this. Like it'd be really fun to meet him and interview with him and and it's been really enlightening for me. I think you've changed kind of my perceptions a little bit on on.
[00:42:30] Card counting I think all we hear are the 21 movies of the world, you know, and and you see that you see the police get involved in someone gets arrested or whatever and they get kicked out and it and it feels like oh like its kind of this. What I would happily inquest. Yeah. Yeah exactly very much a rebel Quest but you've given it some different light for me in my eyes.
[00:42:55] Do you find a lot of people approach you with this same kind of mentality that I have? Yeah, I mean so as I've had to explain it a million times over the last 15 years, you know, sometimes sometimes I'll just start a conversation off and say. Three things one is perfectly legal to you know, you're not going to get pistol-whipped in the bowels of the casino.
[00:43:21] And and because that's what people think. Yeah, and then three, you don't have to be a genius. I'm not that smart. You know, it's just learning a system and I feel like saying those three things kind of seems to answer the three biggest misconceptions like that. It's illegal. It's know you're like would be eating.
[00:43:42] To add a game be illegal if you're using your brain, no, of course not you know and if casinos were to detain you against your will you got a six-figure settlement on your hands? It's not illegal to go in there and play the game they offer, you know, and and then yeah, none of us are the MIT guys are were legitimate Geniuses.
[00:44:04] I've met some some of these people and they're a lot smarter than me. But you know feeding the game really is about having the discipline to. Skills and then just just use it. Hmm. I'm curious calling just as you say that where else is that discipline visible in your life boy. I don't know I mean.
[00:44:29] I guess I haven't thought a whole lot about it. But I think that I think a lot of people you interview would say the most valuable things. They've done have not been easy. You know, I think meaningful things rarely are easy and there's everybody in a casino is trying to get rich quickly. And it just doesn't work.
[00:44:51] It's not just in casinos. How many scams are there out there that are people just trying to get rich quick and trying to you know, find a shortcut. Well card counting is in the shortcut one of my friends the way he puts that I think is really brilliant. He says it's a hard way to make easy money.
[00:45:08] So it's hard but you know, the money is good, but it's hard. It's in a lot of people burn out from being car cars because it's not easy. It's not easy money. So I think it's just you know reinforce what I think we all know, which is that meaningful things are rarely easy Mmm Yeah, I don't ask that question.
[00:45:28] I mean, I think it's evident raising six kids is no feet for small ambition. I think the idea of going to do service work. I mean I have been in in Guatemala and India and neither of those countries are easy to navigate socially or legally to get work done that is good work takes a lot of effort and time to put that to put that on the table.
[00:45:59] So I see a couple of these pieces that you know personally, but but I'm just in I was just. It is to your thoughts around where else those patterns of behavior have have made their way in your thoughts were great. I appreciate it. Yeah, Colin what's down the road for you? You mentioned something that professionally makes you take as mastering new skills.
[00:46:25] So I'm curious to have anything else in the works. Are you just improving upon your current ability? What's down the road with six kids? I'm not. Outplay and casinos much these days. Yeah, but through running Blackjack apprenticeship. There's no shortage of new skills. You know, I've been able to learn from you know, search engine optimization to growing an effective YouTube channel to product development, you know, managing developers and all that stuff, which is a lot less sexy than you know going into a casino like James Bond and and taking their money, but to me, it's all rewarding learning that new skill.
[00:47:03] And and to me it's like the life cycle is learning it implementing it and then I love talking teaching others about it. So sometimes I get. You know go to a conference and teach people what I learned about growing a you know, growing website traffic or conversions or things like that that are pretty also nerdy like card counting, but maybe maybe even more so call him before we wrap up.
[00:47:28] Is there anything that maybe we didn't cover that you wanted to mention for the episode? Well, I was thinking, you know, one of the things you guys brought up a few minutes ago. It made me think about my buddy Drew. He and his wife played our Blackjack team and then he went on to be really successful in the business world and and he said he learned somewhere, you know, you can do things in a way that's transactional or you can do things that are transformational and you know, Card counting is really a pre transactional thing, but it's the relationships that can be transformational.
[00:48:07] You know how we treat people as we go about the mundane parts of our Lives, you know, maybe you're not in a casino at a blackjack table all day, maybe but you're in. Odds are you're in some sort of workplace? And you know, do you want to do it just to know where the transactional that you you get something out of them and they get a product or service out of you or do you want to do in a way this transformational and that definitely really resonated with me and how I want to run my business but also just go about my life.
[00:48:37] I love that. That's great. That was really really beautiful. Well said I just ripped it off from Drew most most good things are not. Channel yeah, so we include a bunch of information around this interview and everything on our show notes and that's ontic podcast.com. But but Colin water some Channels with which people could get in contact with you.
[00:49:05] You have a Instagram profile or a YouTube channel or Whatever ways that people could follow you. Yeah. What are you yeah. Yeah, we have a YouTube channel. It's bja videos for blackjack apprenticeship. Yeah, we put out weekly videos on YouTube and then you know, we have a Weekly Newsletter. We put out through black that people can sign up for on on Blackjack oppressive.com.
[00:49:26] And for people that are interested in card counting. We have a mini course, like I said, it's as much. Changing someone's Paradigm as it is the nuts and bolts but definitely gets into the nuts and bolts of card counting and then the book is going to be wherever you buy books, but you can also find that at Blackjack apprenticeship.com.
[00:49:46] Awesome will make sure to include all those links. Yeah, and then just again called. Thanks. Thanks for your time. Yes. Yeah. Thank you guys great conversation for me been very rewarding. Oh good. Well, thank you guys. This is a lot of fun. Colin mention the idea handful of times about expected returns and just going into decisions in life with the perspective or construct that all meaningful rewards take work and We've recently in our backyard have some strawberry bushes that have started flowering strawberries aren't ripe yet. But Luke my two-year-old son. He doesn't know that he recognizes them as strawberries and he eats them right off the vine. Well before their red and I think that what it's a good metaphor for me of my takeaway from Collins comments today is just to be more thoughtful about.
[00:50:49] My approach to work to decisions in life with with the concept or with at least the end in mind that where where were headed will invoke the journey that we end up on and that sometimes you got to wait a little bit longer before you get a red berry. Mmm. I like that. That's that kind of makes me think about his comment around.
[00:51:16] Transformative or transactional mmm and thank you to call in by way of his buddy drew that is now a part of my thinking as well trans transformative or transactional where the way that I interact with with colleagues at work the way that I interact with podcast guess the way that I interact with you Curtis hosting the podcast.
[00:51:37] Can I make my my moments more transformative and less transactional? I think that's great place to end. Yeah, perfect. Well, thanks everybody for listening to this week's episode and don't forget to all your friends. Like all good podcasts. We have a website. You should check it out. You can rate and review the show on iTunes or anywhere else you listen to podcasts and if it's going to be less than 5 stars. Shoot us an email with your ideas on how we can make the show better. We'd also love to be your friend on social media and speaking of friends
Curtis: If you heard something that inspired you this week or just made you laugh share this episode with one friend after all the world needs a little more light. Have a great week and stay ticked.