Meet “mark_k”, a Skilled Card Counter and Proud BJA Member

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mark_k, a BJA member, on his journey with blackjack. Here are the questions we asked him and the detailed responses we received.

1. How did you get into card counting?
I listened to a radio program on “This American Life” about blackjack that featured “The church team”. After listening to the program I searched for the Holy Rollers on Netflix and afterward I looked up BJA on the internet. I read most everything I could from the site without being a member and decided to join. I figured I had wasted a lot more money than that playing craps.

2. How long have you been counting cards?
I joined BJA in February 2014 and attended boot camp the following June and went live in July 2014.

3. How long did it take you to trust your skills? How do you know you’re any good?
It took me about 6 months before I trusted myself. As far as if I’m any good, my wife used to tell me good luck when I would go to play, now she tells me not to come home until I win.

4. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced/had to overcome?
I would say the biggest challenge is patience, and what I mean is to stick to your plan that fits your ROR and bankroll.

5. Any advice you would give to others? Anything you wish you would have known?
The best advice I can give is this, don’t become complacent. Stay on top of your game. I still practice 1 to 2 hours per day. I wish I had known how rough the emotional roller coaster was going to be.

6. Any highlights of your career so far? What’s your favorite thing about being a card counter?
The best thing about being a card counter is knowing I have the advantage over casinos.

7. What’s the most you’ve ever won/lost in a day? How did that feel? How did you respond?
My biggest win (so far) 59 units, and the biggest loss 38 units. Like everyone says, the loss is more memorable.

8. Any memorable story(stories) you’re willing to share?
I was playing heads up $25 double deck. The dealer is destroying me, feels like this goes on for an eternity, and he’s practically begging me to quit playing. I eventually come out on top.

9. What’s your favorite advantaged play have you done in your life that didn’t involve blackjack or casinos?
My family owns two businesses, and about 5 years ago, we took the opportunity to do some financing for a rent-to-own company. By the time we have completely drawn out all of our money in another year, for every $1 invested, we are getting $4 in return.

Mark_k has had an interesting and successful journey with blackjack. If you enjoyed this interview, you might also want to check out the forum post that mark_k won the Post of the Month Award for titled “Rookie Lessons Learned Along the Way.”