Meet “levimich”: A Skilled Card Counter and Member of the Blackjack Apprenticeship

We had the opportunity to ask BJA member “levimich” about his blackjack journey. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him in person, and he will be attending our upcoming Blackjack Bootcamp. But before we get to the interview, we wanted to share what levimich’s teammate had to say about him: My most profitable Advantage Play was teaming up with him, and although he is 4 years younger than me, I look up to him in a lot of ways. For the longest time, I studied him and wondered why he manages to win so much more frequently than me, even though we play the same way. And I started to see why… Even with advantage play, this game still hinges a lot on variance, but you still have control over creating situations that help you overcome it faster. That’s when I noticed how well he handled himself in a casino compared to me. He has the dealers on his side, so they could cut it thinner and easily get reserved tables to maximize his rounds/hr. And he plays until he’s hungry, tired, or backed off. It doesn’t matter if he’s up $5K already, he keeps playing. He’s the type that never knows how much he’s up until he’s back in the room to count it…The kid’s a winner and is going to go far in life, and I thank God I was able to find him before a more professional team took him in. On top of that, he’s just a good person. He’ll always get employees gifts and food with his comps, every time we pass a homeless person he wants to give some money. In Phoenix, there was a dog in the road and he stopped the car to grab it and we called the cops to put it in a safe shelter. I am not making this up (photo attached). Needless to say, he’s a great teammate and there are no shortage of stories he could tell to help other BJA members. I know we’re all likely interested in card counting to beat the game, make money, and do something exciting. But at the end of the day, we’re all people. And when we look back at our lives and card counting careers, being a good person is way more important than being a winning card counter.

Without further ado, check out his story below!

How did you get into card counting?
My older brother introduced me to blackjack when he took me to the casino a few months after I had turned 18. My friend and I got hooked and started going to the casino pretty frequently to play. Our goal was always to double our $20-30 or whatever small amount that would last us at the $5 table was. We seemed to do well most of the time and we loved playing the game. After that, playing blackjack with chips at the casino became playing with pennies on my apartment floor for several months. I pretty much quit gambling and went back to the casino when I was ready.

How long have you been counting cards?
I have been counting cards for about two years now, about a year and a half playing full time.

How did that feel?
I had a day where I was up about 3k or so. I was about to call it quits but wanted to play a little longer because the conditions were so good at this casino. When I went back to play, I lost about 8k back on the lower limit tables. Then went to high stakes and at one point I was down a little over 20k for the day at the lowest point before I made a little bit back. I had started playing at 2pm and they backed me off around 6:30am the next morning. It was really annoying having no chance at winning my money back there. I am planning revenge on that casino though. You have to be prepared for the swings you will have and always be prepared for the worst. Tomorrow’s a new day and you’ll get the money back soon enough if you keep playing. My biggest session win so far is 11.5k. It’s hard to book large wins without drawing extreme heat or being backed off before you can make more.

Any memorable stories you’re willing to share?
Here’s a funny one… I was at a casino on the gulf coast at about 3am. My teammate had been trespassed there the day before and we were flyered all over town, so I knew it wasn’t going to last long once I sat down. I parked on the street outside and went in to play. In 2 DD shoes, the heat turned on and I was about to get backed off. I overheard the pit boss say to the manager that he already called security. I just laughed and called out to them, “so do you guys just want me to leave now? Or…” They had the security guard escort me out. He was bothering me for my name but I wouldn’t give it to him. Once we got to the car he asked me one last time for my name. I told him “Sorry,” …