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Is it possible to write books and still be a serious player?
There is discussion on Green Chip that poses the question whether "fame" and "serious" play are mutually exclusive. Authors of bj texts were included in the "fame" category. Although I can only respond based on personal experience, my thoughts may help shed some light on this provocative postulation.
It’s been nearly 30 years since I wrote Turning the Tables on Las Vegas. During this time I have continued to be an active blackjack player, averaging about 500 hours a year of high-end play. I've continued to use many of the principles discussed in Turning in my regular play. I cannot recount a single instance where my earning power was compromised as a result of the content of this book.
Certainly, my bj winnings dwarfed the royalties received from the book. On the other hand, the book earnings were a steady source of income for 20 years, rather like rental income, or dividends from stocks. At the time I wrote the book I was convinced that its contents would not affect my bj earning potential. I still have the same conviction. So in at least this instance, the writing of the book and bj earnings were not mutually exclusive.
Burning the Tables was written about 25 years later. Despite the fact that specific cover plays are discussed in detail, I have experienced no personal repercussions from the casinos. Yes, I've modified the cover I use in my play, and I didn't reveal everything, but I doubt this makes a difference.
I once observed an Asian couple (counters) using a version of the Ultimate Gambit as cover. They were black chip players. They always stood on 12 vs.2 and 3 and always stood on 16 vs.10. Aside from these, they played perfectly. They varied their bets up and down irregularly (in Asian fashion), but got it out there when the count was right. It took me quite a while to work out that they could really play well. Needless to say, the casino didn't have a clue.
The reason I write books is to provide current and aspiring bj players with guidelines for winning play that won't affect me personally as a player. Very few casino personnel have read my books, and those that have, have probably long ago forgotten. It’s gratifying to hear from players who don't know that I write books, how books I wrote enabled them to make a living from bj.
Bottom line: I think it’s possible to write books (under a pseudonym) and be an active high stakes player. Having said that, I don't think this is the norm for many bj authors.