Anthony Curtis has the ability to support himself quite well as a casino customer. He also has the ability to support himself quite well doing things other than bucking the casinos. Curtis is making rational decisions as to how he uses his time. There is more upside potential in doing things other than trying to beat casino games. Curtis is willing to invest time using his blackjack skills to earn money, but only if his hourly expected win rate is high enough.
Curtis is not unusual in that regard. Many of us have the skills to win money at blackjack, but also have other enjoyable ways of earning money. If a casino wants us to demonstrate our blackjack skills, all it has to do is pay double on naturals for bets up to say $500, or something that has equivalent EV. Then you would see that, yes indeed, Anthony Curtis is a professional blackjack player.
Anthony has been successful in many areas of life. He was a sprint champ in high school and a good rugby player. He's been a winner in gambling, both at the tables and in the publishing field. He is sharp, but most of all is a hard worker who never was afraid to put in a little foot work to find the best deals and games.
I don't personally know how Curt did as a player, but he certainly had the aptitude. As for me, other than large teams, I feel I was as successful as any individual player that I knew during my era. Of course there may have been players I wasn't aware of, but I did quite well and that is why Curt gave his recommendation.
What SW is saying is that although one can make a living playing advantage blackjack, it is also true that many people, including myself, can and do make a better living doing something which is more enjoyable. As a consequence, I do not play as much as those who choose to make it their primary source of income.
...someone other than Curtis. Judging from his writings he knows rather more about advantage play than most of the stick-in-the-mud counting types I think you have a problem with.
I have no idea why he no longer gambles seriously but I am fairly certain he could be a big winner if he chose to return to the baize.
Guys like you just keep saying "well gosh, why would I ever play full-time when i could just do so much better as a lawyer". And I still have to wonder, would you actually say the same thing if you were a player talented enough to make 7 figs continually (which you clearly are not) from the casinos and work less than you do now. Only you can answer that.