Unlocked: GIGABYTE Marines

There’s one thing in my personal view since the first day I became a coach till now, I have always observed everyone and come to a belief: That there’s another way to play this game. I have failed with many teams, but I have never stopped believing in this. So coming to MSI, all I wanted to do was to prove that there’s indeed a different way to play this game. GAM’s playstyle in my opinion, You can say from an outsider’s view, GAM is very risky and careless but to us, we surely know what we’re doing because we have been training hard.

Before MSI, we were under great pressure from the press and the Crystall Ball community.

After our success at MSI, we have earned more appreciation and defied all the doubts about our strength. And of course, we were delighted then. Especially since we lifted all the pressure that was upon us for the last six, seven months. Because my performance at MSI wasn’t good… I felt like If I did better, GAM could have gone further Like they could have made it to top 4 or even top 3 and proceed to the next round.

When we came back I was feeling very guilty… And wanted to release myself from the stress. Deep down inside, I’d always wanted to prove that… The poor showing at MSI was just because I was new and I could actually do better than that. So I want to compete again and to join a new team different from GAM. To show that, I am gonna perform my best.

The time I was at Saigon Jokers with Archie, QTV, Junie, Safety, and others we had the best conditions that one could find in Vietnam’s League of Legends. Because they provided us with Korean coaches, gaming house, great food and the best support for their players. We asked ourselves if we would ever be able to find a place aside from Saigon Jokers that is just as good. The first person to leave and also the most important person in Saigon Jokers was Junie. He had led and paved the way for the whole team and eventually QTV, Archie and I also left Saigon Jokers. Our main goal then was to create a team that could compete with Saigon Jokers because we wanted to disprove that… we could achieve success only at Saigon Jokers.

That was the initial goal that we pursued quite aggressively when we established what has become Gigabyte Marines today. To me, GAM… the name GAM is like my brain child and its members…the players of GAM are like brothers to me … like little brothers in the family. The latest change in GAM happened last July. At that time, I, Tinikun, Optimus and Archie sat down and discussed as the team has gone through a big change and we also suffered from a massive failure.

Then we all agreed that… We are going to spend the next 7 months ahead to put everything in. we can call it “All-in” I told Tinikun that this would be our last “all-in” Tinikun agreed with me even though he was thinking of giving up. 7 months we spent together, all for one goal we were bound as brothers and faced many problems.

Nobody wanted to leave. When everyone has the same goal and never gives up, I knew they would never give up on me either. They first pick Kassadin in 3 games They played 7 games, 4 of which Kassadin was banned. The other 3 games they first pick Kassadin First pick at the 2nd round on red side but not blue side. Meaning if Cassiopeia is first picked, they counter with Kassadin on red side So we can flex and pick Kassadin But why do we have to ban Varus & Ashe? To make them play Jhin They will play Jhin Remember if you see them in a bush, just beat them up!

Just fight them and then Levi will cover. We cannot hesitate for a second because we know for sure Levi will be there to cover. The first thing about Archie is that despite his look, Archie is actually a people pleaser. You can ask him for any favor. He appears nonchalant but if anyone in the team is feeling down, he will be the first person to come and comfort them. Always.

Actually it is Archie who acts the most like a parent to this team. Archie has switched between many different positions. Like the way I’ve described him as a person, Archie always tries to please everyone. So he has played as Marksman, Support, then Top-laner Whatever position that the team is missing, Archie will try to be the solution regardless of the disadvantages it may cause to him personally.

His constant change of roles is damaging his career. And he receives a lot of criticism from outsiders. But the thing is I always believed, is that Archie is the best player in Vietnam. And I can confirm that: The day Archie quits professional gaming, I’ll quit coaching in Vietnam. When Archie turned around 4 – 5 years old… Me and my wife we both have to work, there was nobody to take care of him.

We didn’t want him to wander around the street, so we sent him to a game store so that people there could keep an eye on him You know back then there were a lot of bad people like drug addicts we didn’t want him to get influenced by those people. You know, he was really good at gaming. He was asked to compete in a tournament in Hanoi.

The prize could be as high as 50 million VND (~2200 USD) And if he wins, he will get paid. He was so good that everyone loves him. Back when we usually go to Thuan Kieu Plaza. You know? In District 5.

When he was around 11-12, we took him there The moment he saw the game zone, he would come straight in. He would always stay in there while I’m busy shopping. Then came this boy, who was pretty famous in district 5 came in and started playing with him. I stood behind and watched them play.

A boy from District 5 versus a boy from District 10. Then… my kid beat the crap out of the boy from District 5 in the game. He never knew where my kid came from He looked at Archie – A total stranger from District 10. He was completely tilted. I felt, ah, this boy is no match for Archie.

And so at that time I knew that my kid has a talent. Normally I have to train so I’m not at home But everytime I get to go home and see my dad watched every match I played it’s a huge motivation for me because he has spent time to watch me play every week and I really appreciate that. My mom doesn’t know much about the game but she asks my dad if I win or lose after each match how did I perform? she cares about my results and that really touches me.

I think GAM’s style is very aggressive All of the members have very high individual skills and confidence. They also have Tinikun who is an excellent coach. I think he will help me a lot in training and improving myself. When I first joined GAM, I was reprimanded a lot by coach Tinikun. But that’s how I learned to be more demanding on myself. I have known Tinikun for quite a while… since 2012 when he was working for Garena Vietnam.

The most special thing about Tini that makes him become such a great coach is that once he determined to do something, he would put all his time, his mind and effort into it. And he will push it to the limit. That’s the best thing about Tini and also his greatest strength as a coach. Secondly, his way of thinking. and his detailed oriented mindset that is far beyond most of coaches that I’ve met He’s very special. Ever since MSI, people have seen us as the best candidate for the championship But I didn’t think so My team has gone through some drastic changes Other teams in Vietnam have changed as well and have leveled up themselves So we need to try harder to keep our championship unlike what people said, that we are strong and we can easily win this.

So I think we have to work hard to stay as the best in the country. After MSI, Levi, Optimus and other members as well as Tinikun received many offers from other teams around the world with very good deals. At that time, I didn’t know what would happen if my team splits up I spent lots of time thinking but the choice is theirs. After several times asking them if they want to go and discuss what it would be like to work abroad and them talking to their family I got all the same answers that they don’t want to leave. They even questioned me back if I was trying to sell them.

I just said “There are some teams that want to have you” and they asked me “Are you going to sell me?” The sentence I like the most from Tinikun was… Tinikun said that… “I don’t know if I’m getting paid well here today…” “but I know for sure that when I’m here…” “Whatever happens tomorrow, Linh would never abandon me.” That’s the sentence I like the most from Tinikun. During the time I’ve coached Gigabyte Marines, about proud moments, when we played at MSI or when we became champion at GPL, I didn’t feel proud nor content. Even while playing right on stage, I turned to Optimus and asked him “Why am I not feeling anything?” But the moment when I felt the most proud… was the time when our manager, Linh, updated his facebook status “We are the champions!”

I felt immensely proud. Even though it was only a Vietnam championship. But it made him very happy. I felt so proud because he was the one who convinced me to go back to GAM meaning he put all his faith in me.

So when I saw that I had not let him down, I felt proud. That was the only moment when I felt proud. GAM worked really hard and always tried their best in practice And they want to make it the furthest they can They sacrificed a lot of things: family, friends, and girlfriends… So they can concentrate on going far to make their dream come true Seeing them make it happen and achieve what they want, I feel more eager to join GAM and together with them achieve that dream. What makes GAM special compared to others is when one join GAM… They’re not just athletes doing a job to get paid, They’ve got to put themselves in GAM’s position and share the same goal.

They may also have to let go of their egos to be able to integrate into GAM. Each individual in my team has his own personality but I’m trying to connect everyone together as brothers GAM represents professionalism, unity and passion. A year ago, no one believed GAM would go to the Worlds Championship but now GAM has proven their strength at MSI, and won a direct seed into Worlds for our region. This is something that a year ago very few people could imagine. So what I want to show to myself as well as other members in the team is that after GAM, in whatever we’ll be doing next opportunities will come when we put enough will and efforts.

Top 25 PC Strategy Games

Opening our list of the Top 25 PC Strategy Games is Crusader Kings II The first entry on our list takes us back to the pivotal moments of European history. Jumping from various timelines, expand your reach as a Crusader King and take over the fragmented realms of a once chaotic nation. This strategy game may discourage you for its ludicrous amount of DLC’s, but it’s not everyday you can simulate your dynasty while defending your lands from the Mongol Horde. It receives a PlayScore of 8.60 24. Total War: WARHAMMER II Creative Assembly’s latest touch on the Warhammer franchise takes you to even greater lengths with a promising campaign of exploration, conquest and expansions across The New World.

Divided by two distinct gameplay elements, balance turn-based strategy with tactical real-time battles in titan-like battles. Critics praised the game’s overwhelming design and complexity. It receives a PlayScore of 8.62 23. The Banner Saga 2 Stoic’s Award-winning adventure game returns with more bold leadership decisions. Lead your brave Viking warriors in the treacherous landscapes of a beautifully handcrafted fantasy world. Import your saves from the previous game or craft your own expedition team to survive its world. Use your head in complex tactical battles and make difficult choices along the way, but this time, for greater consequences. It receives a PlayScore 8.62 22. StarCraft II: Legacy Of The Void A game that helped shape the future of Real Time Strategy games. Blizzard’s crowning jewel and a well-loved classic.

Legacy of the Void is the third and final expansion pack of their long-running RTS. Stand in the middle of a galactic war and experience new stories and features. This standalone expansion was widely praised for its improved mechanics, fast-paced gameplay, and immersive story. Even until now, the game is running pretty well with an active E-Sports community. It has a PlayScore of 8.63 21. Mount & Blade: Warband Lead your men into battle and set your eyes on the throne of Calradia. Manage your legion of brazen soldiers because it’s a sandbox enthusiast’s playground. This standalone expansion pack from the epic Medieval warzone thrusts you into the battlefield with clashing swords and galloping horses. It receives a PlayScore of 8.67 20. Invisible Inc. Klei Entertainment’s success with Don’t Starve drove them to make a new IP. One that takes players on a tale of espionage, set in the neon futures of 2074. Working for a private intelligence agency, take control of the organization’s best agents mounting a counter-attack against a corporate invasion. Pick from a team of 10 unlockable agents and customize each of their builds as you play through each of their randomly generated levels. It has a PlayScore of 8.65 19. Door Kickers How does it feel to be a SWAT Team Member? Picture Rainbow Six Siege in a top-down fashion and there you have it. Select from its five distinct troopers that provide you with the best course of action every time you blow things up. Use stealth to mask your sound, or improvise along the way. Make your move carefully because the levels are hard, as is real life SWAT operations.

The Biggest Strategy Game This Year

The game was supposed to be released on Mac last year, but the devs noticed a bug at the last-minute in the code of the macOS version of Frostpunk. So, as soon as they fix this bug, the game will be ready for us. It’s great to see developers showing such care for the Mac platform taking their time to deliver a highly polished Mac version. That is always better than a broken game, am I right? – [Voiceover] Or this hope that makes us grow. – [Narrator] Number five is Slay the Spire. This game was in early access for quite a while. However, only in January this year, it became a full release experience. This is a really great game and it’s even better because it’s really well optimized for Macs, especially for Macbooks. It doesn’t matter really which Mac you have, this game will run on it. You can craft a unique deck, encounter bizarre creatures, discover relics of incredible power, and you can slay the spire, as the title of the game says. The graphics of this game are not outstanding, but what is is the gameplay. It is incredibly addicting and when you start playing, it is very, very difficult to put this game down. Number four we have Total War: Three Kingdoms. In Spring 2019, Three Kingdoms is being ported to Mac by Feral Interactive. It’s the first time we will explore ancient China as a theatre of conflict. Players can choose from a cast of 11 legendary warlords and conquer the realm. Recruit heroic characters to aid your cause and dominate your enemies on all fronts; military, technological, political, and economic. I don’t know anything else about the Mac version in-terms of its Mac requirements, but I expect it will be quite demanding. Three Kingdoms is coming to macOS shortly after the Windows release on March 7th, 2019. Number three is WarCraft 3: Reforged. Coming in December 2019, Warcraft 3: Reforged is a complete re-imagining of the original game. On the games website, it has confirmation that a Mac version will be available.

Everything has been rebuilt from the heroes, units, cut-scenes, and environments, and it offers modern multiplayer matchmaking. At the core, this game will play like the original, which is a good thing I guess, but the devs aim to rebalance the gameplay so it fits more into the modern age. The original Warcraft 3 was one of the most popular and beloved strategy games back in the day on Mac computers, and on Windows, I guess, so I’m super excited for fans of the original and newcomers to get their hands on this new edition. – Damn it, Uther. As your future king, I order you to purge this city. – [Narrator] Number two we have Total War: WARHAMMER II This game was released in November 2018 by Feral Interactive, but I still wanted to include it on this list as it’s a really good new strategy game for Mac. Feral used the Metal 2 framework, which means it’s a well optimized for the Macs that support it. Players can choose from four iconic races from the world of Warhammer and mount a campaign of conquest to save or destroy the new world. Warhammer 2 offers hundreds of hours of gameplay that mixes turn-based strategy and huge real-time clashes on the battlefield. Be warned, this game is very demanding, so it’s best played on Macs from 2016 and up. – [Voiceover] Their waves will break upon us. Turn back the flood. – [Narrator]

And finally, number one we have Imperator: Rome. Releasing on the 26th of April 2019, Imperator: Rome is officially coming to Mac according to the game’s official website. It’s going to be the newest grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. The game is set in the centuries from Alexander’s successor Empires in the East to the foundation of the Roman Empire. You’ll be managing your population, investing in buildings, roads, defenses, keeping an eye out for treachery, planning battle tactics, trading, and it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. It’s looking to be a really solid grand strategy game for us guys. Its requirements have been released, but they could change over time, but anyways, so far I believe this game will be best played on Macs from 2015 and up. – Has our republic ever known such abundance? – [Narrator] 2019 is shaping out to be a fantastic year for strategy games on Mac. If you’re into this gaming genre you should be very happy. Let me know in the comments what do you think of these games? Anyway, thanks for watching. Leave a like if you found this video useful and subscribe for more videos about Mac games.

 

Top 10 Mac Strategy Games of 2019

There are some great strategy games to be played on your Mac in 2019. Let’s see what’s on Starting at number 10 we have Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus. Great news, in February, this game became fully supported for macOS. These Warhammer 40,000 series is not shy about coming over to our platform, that is for sure. In Mechanicus, which is a turn-based strategy tactical game, you take control of the most advanced army in the Imperium, known as the Adeptus Mechanicus, hence the name of the game. The game is full of decision making, which actually affects the outcome of a mission you are undertaking. You can customize your army, control them, manage resources, and discover new zimpler deposit casinos in canada.

Mechanicus is quite a demanding game, so it’s best played on Macs from 2015 and up. Number nine is Tropico 6. Coming very soon to Mac computers on the 30th of March 2019, Tropico 6 is that latest game in the series. On Steam, a Mac version has been confirmed. In Tropico 6, players can prove themselves once again, as a dictator or peace-loving statesmen on the island state of Tropico and can shape the fate of their own banana republic through four distinctive eras. There are some new things here like managing extensive archipelagos, building bridges to connect islands, and new means of transportation and infrastructure, and there are some more new things here, too. I know Tropico 5 had mixed reviews out there, so hopefully this new game can improve on where it may have been somewhat of a let down previously. (cheering) – Fellow Tropicans, thanks to me, Tropico is an undisputed paradise. – [Narrator] Number eight we have Phoenix Point. Arriving in September 2019, Phoenix Point is from the creator of X-COM. On the games FAQ page, you can see that a macOS version has been officially confirmed. It appears to have a very similar gameplay style to XCOM, but this time, it has a darker and creepier look and atmosphere.

Phoenix Point will offer turn based tactics and world-based strategy against an alien menace. There will be huge boss battles, soldier development and customization, new weapons and equipment, destructible environments, and heaps of diverse missions. I remember I found XCOM 2 be very challenging, but in a good way, guys, in a good way, so I’m hoping Phoenix Point keeps this as a strong aspect of the game. Number seven is Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI: Gathering Storm. This is the second expansion to Civilization VI and the developers of the expansion say that the game is more alive than ever before. The expansion brings environmental effects, such as volcanoes, storms, climate change, floods and droughts. Plus, there is heaps of other new content here also, seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, nine new buildings, five new districts, two new city sets, nine new techs and 10 new civs have been added. Phew, that’s quite a lot. Remember, this content requires the base game in order to play and it’s best played on Macs from 2014 and up. Number six we have Frostpunk. Some time later in 2019, Frostpunk is going to be ported to Mac.

Roulette assist – Long statistics

These statistics are calculated based on the long term results. It means that the numbers they show do not come from a single game but from all of the previously played games (unless the filters are used). The long term statistics Dozens + Columns makes the calculation in the same manner as the tables in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the games.

The tables show how many times the successive dozens/columns fell in all the games.

For example, the dozen 2 fell nine times in a row in one case, the dozen 1 fell five times in a row in three cases, the dozen 2 fell five times in a row in one case and so did dozen 3. The column B fell five times in a row in three cases of all the games and column C fell five times in a row in two cases. The number of all spins and number of all games are here. The long term statistics Red/Black makes the calculation in the same manner as the table in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the games. The table shows how many times the color Red/Black fell in a row in all the games. For example, a red number fell seven times in a row in two cases, a black number fell five times in a row in one case and a red number fell five times in a row in five cases.

The number of all spins and number of all games are here. The long term statistics Even/ Odd makes the calculation in the same manner as the table in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the games. The table shows how many times Even/Odd fell in a row in all the games.

For example, even fell seven times in a row in one case, then even fell four times in a row in four cases and odd fell four times in a row in eight cases. The number of all spins and number of all games are here. The long term statistics Low/High makes the calculation in the same manner as the table in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the Canadian casino games.

The table shows how many times Low/High fell in a row in all the games. For example, high fell ten times in a row in one case, then low fell seven times in a row in three cases and high fell seven times in a row in two cases. The number of all spins and number of all games are here. The long term statistics Numbers makes the calculation in the same manner as the table in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the games.

The statistics shows which numbers followed the fallen numbers in all of the games. For example, we can see that the number 36 followed the number 2 three times, the number 18 followed the number 2 two times, while the number 32 followed it once. Moreover, the number 12 followed the number 31 two times, while the number 14 followed it once.

The number of all spins and number of all games are here. The long term statistics Circles makes the calculation in the same manner as the table in the statistics of a single game but it uses all the results from all the games. The Statistics show which numbers fell in all the games as well as their quantity and the quantity of the parts of the roulette wheel. For example, we can see that in all the games the number 0 fell 45 times, the number 8 fell 44 times, the number 14 fell 32 times, the number 27 fell 32 times, the number 5 fell 29 times,…

The total amount of the numbers fallen into specific sections of the roulette wheel is available. The number of all spins and number of all games are here. Several filters can be found at the top of the statistics.

These filters can help to look up certain game or show a list of the games which are of particular interest to the user. The filters are: date (from), date (to), croupier, table, casino, sorting by the newest/oldest games and sorting by the roulette type, i.e. French/American.

Online Poker Techniques

Since online poker is like the real-life poker, the previous patrons of online casino homes can engage in alongside the personal computer techies. Who says you cannot educate an aged canine new technique? The video game of Internet on the web poker is as hip and popular these days because it was many years in the past.

Now the upcoming query is how will Net on the internet poker make me sufficient cash? The response is simple, by participating in on line poker. Never be concerned. This just isn’t a scam. You’ll be able to seriously double your earnings by playing World Wide Web online on line poker rather than heading off the “brick and mortar casino” houses.

There are no secrets and techniques to it. Just perform good and also you will likely be positive to double your winnings with the on the web poker-online event is more than. That may be, except lady Luck decides to pass you by.

A different advantage of taking part in World Wide Web on the internet poker would be the raise in amount of hands you can play. The common on line casino household had a seller and could only perform 30 palms each hour. Once you eliminate the human weak spot in the equation and add in technologies in World Wide Web on the net poker-online, there is certainly a dramatic increase in the volume of fingers performed because of the vendor. An online holdem poker recreation can deal 60 to eighty palms each hour!

This can be fundamentally the gambler’s dream appear accurate. Internet on the internet poker user-friendly, it is also a professional’s recruitment arena. How did that take place? Nicely, just about every yr on-line internet poker rooms hold their annual tournaments termed satellites. And instead of just successful money, the winners can get an entry to real-life poker-online tournaments and participate in inside the World Collection of Poker-online Event.

Thanks for reading this article, I hope, you have learned something new. I really enjoy sharing my passion with you. Be sure to check other articles about games and casino. Stay tuned for new materials. Be responsive with your game and your money, Good luck, and don`t forget to have fun!

Gambling Influence on World

Gambling has been around for thousands of years, and some believe that gambling helped develop the fields of trade and economics. Different types of gambling have come and gone, but the industry continues to thrive. While some have moral obligations to gambling, it is a source of entertainment for many. Further, a small percentage of gamblers actually make a living through gambling. The advent of the Internet has transformed gambling around the world. Here are a few ways that the Internet and gambling seem to be a match made in heaven.

Both professional and amateur gamblers are interested in gambling news. Finding news related to gambling in the past, however, was difficult, and there were few publications that discussed gambling. The growth of the online gambling blog, however, has demonstrated that there are a large number of people who are interested in gambling, and gambling news can now be easily found in search engines. Further, an online gambling blog can also serve as a place for gamblers to discuss recent news surrounding gambling, and some websites have thriving communities.

Sports gambling has been popular since the glory days of horse racing, but the Internet has caused it to take off. With tools for tracking gambling lines and real-time game reporting, the Internet has made sports gambling far more accessible for gamblers. While exact numbers are difficult to find, most experts report that sports gambling becomes more popular every year. In the past, sports gamblers had to take a trip to Las Vegas to place their bets; today, bets can be placed over the Internet.

The biggest change to gambling, however, has been online casinos. While they cannot replicate the experience of sitting down at a poker table, online casinos allow gamblers to hone their craft and, in some cases, make significant sums of money. Online casinos are not without controversy, and the legal status of online casinos is disputed in some regions. Further, online casinos make it difficult for compulsive gamblers to stay away from their expensive vice. For those who enjoy gambling responsibly, however, the Internet has allowed them to gamble even when they cannot afford a trip to an actual casino.

Online casinos are open any time of the day that you choose to play so there is always a time especially when you really want it. Online casino is very promising when you think about convenience, entertainment and even gambling.

Learn More About Downpayment Strategies

The top online casino sites have downpayment strategies to offer you. What you decide on is of crucial value, given it can keep your entire money’s future at any online casinos. By way of some online casinos like Casinoslots you’ll even anticipate no cost gambling establishment signup bonuses by means of the effective use of bonus rule downpayment strategies. In fact, online casinos are describing to drive numerous downpayment strategies, like people that will give you no cost signup bonuses to those who would make use of them. Most typically you’ll notice that elizabeth-wallets are the types financial strategies who supply these no cost video slot game titles and no cost bonus unique codes on a regular basis, even so alternative gambling establishment downpayment strategies could have signup bonuses accessible to increase a performer’s downpayment and maximize his cash to ensure a player isn’t less than money in order to wager on the sort of gambling establishment game he or she chooses.

The thing that makes the top us games so appealing for gamers? Could it be the equipment and lighting, the glitz, the glamor, the music, the noise of the coins falling in to the pail following successful a totally free video slot game titles lottery jackpot. Is it? Is always that all there is certainly? For most gamers all the marketing and advertising jokes aren’t ample. You can the free refreshments as well as the scorching toddler sellers which nevertheless will not cut it for the kids. People, specifically knowledgeable kinds, want far more out of their gambling encounter. They need as a way to be happy as if time ceased after they walk into an e-casino lobby. It does not constantly operate prefer that however they do want to try out that sensation.


If some US claims would actually lobby in the legislature to legalize casinos on the web completely they’d have the ability to pay back money they owe and create a growing number of helpful the city. Taking into consideration the sort of cash that the multi-high dollar business just like the us online casinos business would shell out, several would depart their moral constraints apart and know that it is a company that can’t be refused. Free video slot game titles information mill giving many cash to many claims in order to position rules that will enable the crooks to run freely. The talk because of this is on as well as the news report about it matter practically on a regular basis.

Concept: Card Counting for the Rest of US

I have an admission to make: I, Phill Provance, am a die-hard poker fan. SO when the GP crew asked me to check out Hollywood’s most recent portrayal of my favorite pastime, “21,” I was f#$&in’ stoked. There I sat, munching my popcorn, slurping my soda, watching five heroic MIT students take Vegas for all she’s worth. And, I must say, it was probably the best $50 I ever made.

But let’s not get confused here. The real reason I went to see “21” wasn’t to review it on its aesthetic merits. No, the real reason was to determine how realistic its card-counting info was and, for another thing, use it as a jump-off to teach you, my beloved public, a thing or two about counting itself.

Now, to answer the first question: yes, the card counting shown in the movie is accurate. The problem, however, lies in the fact that, main character Ben (Jim Sturgess) explains it a little too fast—presumably to keep up the narrative pace—and unless you wait for the DVD, you might not catch it all or might get the impression that you really do have to be a rocket scientist (or at least a robotics nerd) to make sense of it.

This is true to some extent, insomuch as most successful card counters are able to do the “simple math” of determining probability in their heads, really, REALLY fast. There is hope for those of us not smart enough to go Ivy League, though, because math like anything else can be practiced once it’s understood. And wouldn’t you believe it, card counting’s not nearly as hard to understand, as it seems.

Before we get into it, though, you have to understand that card counting is a science, not a magic wand. It gives the counting player a marginal edge over the casino, but it is never entirely exact. When you watch, “21,” and hear about similar real-life scenarios, it might seem like these wiz kids win every time. Hollywood, of course, tends to dramatize things to make them more exciting. And the real fact of the matter is that counting is merely an educated guess; learning to do so will never make you win all of the time, just most of the time.

The way it works is that a card counter considers the number of cards in a deck (52) or “shoe” (i.e., a chute with multiple decks in it, ranging from 4 decks—108 cards—to 8 decks—216 cards). At the same time, he considers how many high-value cards remain in the deck based on what he can see on the table and what has already been played. Because Blackjack allows you to see the most number of cards of any casino-run game, it’s the best game to count in. And because the game’s betting options can expand the edge a counter has in the long run (See: Section III, “Simple Math”), it is doubly ideal.

Bonus Offers at Skrill Casinos

Skrill casino bonuses offer a great way to play different games with bonus funds, get familiar with the games and then start playing with real funds to win prizes. Bonuses offered by skrill casinos are a great help to new players who’re also new to the world of online gambling.

Skrill Casinos offer a range of bonuses to their players with different offers available to new players as well as for specific games. Presently, the casino is running a special skrill casinos bonuses offer which runs on Tuesdays all through the month of February. There are eight Bonus Cards to be given away every Tuesday and players can end up with a £10, £20 or a £30 Bonus Card if they play Live Casino Blackjack.

The Bonus Games run from 18:00 to 20:00 on Tuesdays in April and players can participate by placing a bet at one of the Live Blackjack Tables labelled ‘Blue Square VIP’. New players visiting Live Casino, who deposit and play at Skrill Casino, are eligible for a £25 welcome bonus. To avail this bonus, players have to deposit £25 and wager it x30 playing either Live Blackjack, or Live Roulette or Live Baccarat. Once this requirement has been met, the casino will credit the account with £25 bonus within 72 hours.

Newcomers to the skrill casino who register and make their first deposit of £5 to £100 are eligible for a 100% deposit match bonus up to £100. Players are required to wager their deposit 20 times on permitted games, the details of which can be checked at the casino.

Skrill Casinos have offered a £10 Casino Plus Bonus, available to new and returning players who download Casino Plus. Players who haven’t downloaded the casino have to download the casino and open an account and make their first deposit of £10 or more. There is a x3 wagering requirement and players have to play their deposit three times to release the £10 bonus.

Card Counting: Blackjack 101

Blackjack has few similarities to any other card game insomuch as you are not trying to build a hand (as in poker), but simply trying to get a total number of points greater than the dealer’s but less than 21—hence, the game’s street name and the title of the movie. Each of the cards has an individual point value, and these are added together to determine what your entire score is. The following point values are standard for all blackjack variations:

K—10
Q—10
J—10
10—10
9—9
8—8
7—7
6—6
5—5
4—4
3—3
2—2

You might notice that the “A” (or ace) is excluded from the list above, and this is for a very good reason. An ace, you see, is worth either one point or 11 points in blackjack, depending on which makes the better point total. If, for instance, your hand is A, 2, 10, 3 and 4, the ace will automatically be worth one point because otherwise you would have a total of 30 points and would lose. If, on the other hand, you have a K, A after the opening deal, you’ll want that Ace to be worth 11 points and hence have a total of 21—a winning hand known as a “blackjack” or a “natural.”

The other thing to note is that there are no suit rankings in blackjack. If, for example, you have blackjack and the dealer has blackjack, the outcome after both you and the dealer reveal your “hole” cards (or cards dealt face-down) is called a “push,” considered a tie and your bet will be returned to you sans winnings.

As for the standard progress in a game of blackjack, the dealer first shuffles and prepares the decks. This is called the “start of the shoe” and is the point at which most casinos will allow a player to enter a game. There are two main reasons for this rule: one, that a particular card-counting system, known as “Wonging,” depends upon a player entering a table mid-shoe when the odds are in his favor (more on this later); and two, that players neither counting nor using basic strategy—you know, the real idiots who believe that if they rub a pregnant llama’s behind they’ll get better cards—will superstitiously leave the table or get majorly pissed if the “flow” of the deal is interrupted. (Note: Regardless of how idiotic a superstitious player’s reservations about a mid-shoe buy-in, if a casino allows them, it is polite to ask if you may join, if nothing else but to avoid a punch in the nose).

Once the deck(s) have been shuffled, all players participating in the next game must pay a buy-in. This is an initial bet that you must make before the dealer will deal you any cards. To some extent, the amount you bet is up to you, but it must fall within the limits posted at the table. Limits themselves fall into two types, the “upper-“ and “lower-limit,” kind of like a floor and a ceiling to the amount you can bet—e.g., at a table with a lower-limit of $25 and an upper-limit of $50, a player may not bet more than $50 or less than $25 at any given time.

 

Blackjack Tips

Only after all players sitting at a table have had a chance to pay a buy-in (and therefore signal that they’re in for the next deal) the cards are dealt, with the dealer dealing each betting player one card beginning at his left and “sweeping” across to the right, then dealing himself a card and returning to the left to repeat the process a second time.

Depending on which type of deal is being offered, shoe or “pitch,” the nature of the deal itself varies: If the deck is in a shoe, the cards are dealt face-up and a player may not touch them, while if it is a “pitch” game—meaning that the dealer holds two decks in his hand and deals from them as opposed to from a shoe—the cards are dealt face-down and players may hold them as if they were playing poker. After the deal, the action begins at the dealers left. Each player who was dealt in has a chance to appraise his cards and make one of several decisions (see how many you can pick out that Ben and his crew used in “21”):

  • Hit: (Signaled in pitch-style by scraping the cards against the table, and in shoe-style by tapping the table with your finger)* The dealer deals you another card; this can be done until you “bust” (i.e., go over 21 points) or until you have five cards without going over at which time you win in some formats.
  • Stand: (Signaled in pitch-style by sliding your cards face-up beneath your bet, and in shoe-style by waving your hand horizontally over your cards) Nothing happens. You now go into a showdown with the dealer.
  • Double Down: (Signaled in both variations by placing a second bet beside your original chips and sticking up one finger—no, not that one) You increase your wager to up to twice the original amount, and the dealer deals you one more card. A typical play for those who either feel lucky—or know what’s coming next. (Note: any double down that is less than your original bet is called “double down for less”—just thought ya’d like to know).
  • Split: (Signaled in both variations by placing an additional bet beside your original chips and sticking up two fingers) You double your wager and have each card in your original hand become the first card in two separate hands. More often than not, you can only do this if your opening hand is a pair (i.e., two cards of the same rank/number). You can continue to split as long as you continue to be dealt pairs, though in pitch games, there’s usually a limit of four splits because of the number of matching cards in a deck.
  • Surrender: (Signaled by making a karate chop over your bet or just saying “surrender”) You poon out, give up and the house takes half of your chips for their trouble.
  • Buy Insurance: (Special: before the action) In American-style blackjack, if the dealer has an ace showing after the second deal he will offer the players insurance before the action begins. A player can buy insurance by placing up to half his original bet on a special spot in front of his seat, marked “insurance.” Usually insurance is a 2:1 bet, so if the dealer does end up with blackjack, the player who doesn’t push will lose his original bet but win back its equivalent because of the insurance. (See Section IV, “Bits and Pieces” for more on this).
  • Even Money: (Special: before the action) Kind of like insurance for the dealer, “even money” means you just got dealt a natural and the house is willing to pay you 1:1 to muck it. Sometimes this is a good idea, and sometimes it isn’t (See: Section IV, “Bits and Pieces” for a more detailed explanation).

*By the by, you MUST signal no matter what action you take because casinos record these hand motions in order to determine what actually happened in contested play. They, therefore, require that all players use them. Sorry, bub, you ain’t got no choice in the matter.

In most versions and permutations, the dealer deals the first “house card” (the cards he deals himself) face-down, and after the action has passed through all betting players and returns to him, he reveals it. Often, you’ll find that the dealer will also hit before the game goes into a showdown. This is because house rules generally dictate that if the dealer’s hand is 17 or less, he must hit. If he busts, all the players who haven’t done likewise win. If not, his revealed hand is compared in a showdown to each of the players’ hands. The highest hand wins, unless a player and the dealer both have blackjack in which case there’s a draw (See: “push” above).

Really, that’s all there is to know about how blackjack works. There are, however, a few finer points to keep in mind when you approach your first table. If you’re playing in Europe, for instance, the dealer will not deal himself a hole card until all the players have played their hands. Other times, a dealer’s hard natural will automatically trump a player’s, which can be devastating to say the least. The only way to be sure of what you’re getting yourself into when you sit down at a Blackjack table—as well as payout rates for straight bets, doubling down and splitting—is to ask. John Law says a casino has to tell you what its rules are if you ask, and doing so will help you make sure you’re sitting down at the kind of table you can actually win at.

Turning the Tables – Section II: Roulette Tips

Other things to note about American Roulette include the use of “checks” and “buy-in minimums.” For its part, a check is a non-value token used only at a roulette table in place of regular casino chips, with each player receiving a different colored stack to help delineate his bets from the other players’. Often, there is a minimum amount of money you can spend on checks at one time (i.e., the “buy-in minimum”), but you can assign your checks whatever individual worth you want as long as you bet the “table minimum” (or the least amount of money you are allowed to bet on one proposition). You could very feasibly, for instance, buy in for checks worth a penny each. The only determining factor is whether the table has enough checks of one color to accept that denomination.

If you do decide to buy in for checks at a lower or higher denomination than the basic table minimum, the dealer will take one unused check of you color and a “lammer” (a small metal or plastic disk with a value printed on one side) and stack them on a rack on or near the wheel. This lets him know how much your checks are worth when you cash out, which you must always do because checks have no monetary value away from the table that issued them.

Some American Roulette tables will also allow you to bet regular casino chips or cash as long as no other player is betting with the same bill or chip denomination. Essentially, this is only a matter of crowd control because American casinos don’t want a fight erupting over whose money’s whose. If there are no more check colors to go around, you must always ask the dealer if you can bet this way so he can make sure no one else is using $5 bills or $25 casino chips. However, we highly advise you don’t do this so since many systems require a ratio of bets on multiple propositions and high-value denominations tend to make maintaining these ratios difficult.

Finally, some American Roulette tables in Atlantic City (and only in Atlantic City) have what’s called “Surrender.” This rule dictates that whenever a player loses an “even-money outside bet” (i.e., those that pay 1-1) because the ball landed on zero or double zero, he only loses half his bet. This reduces the house advantage on even-money bets to 2.63 percent, and gives many systems a decided edge over the house. However, before you go praising the Donald for his magnanimity, keep in mind that most boardwalk casinos have higher minimums than anywhere else in the U.S., making some betting systems nearly impossible.

Turning the Tables – Section I: Wheel of the People

As the oldest version of roulette and the form most English speakers are familiar with, we’ll want to cover Double-Zero (or “American Roulette”) first. This version includes 36 “inside numbers” (i.e., the black and red numbers from one to 36) and two green pockets on opposite sides of the wheelhead that represent the house numbers, zero and double zero.

Its “number sequence” (or the order in which the numbers appear on the wheelhead) rarely varies from casino to casino and is standard for all Double-Zero wheels outside the U.S.: 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14 and 2.

The original intention of the Double-Zero wheel’s inventors was that no “inside bets” (or bets placed on the inside portion of a layout) would result in an uninterrupted series of wagered numbers on the wheelhead. Because of this, the numbers on an American Roulette wheel do not follow each other in numerical order. Yet the designers were by no means mathematical geniuses, and as a result, you can cover two whole quadrants on the wheel by making only three “double-street” bets (See: American Roulette bets chart below).

The following pictures depict scaled representations of an American Roulette table and the wheelhead itself. Take a moment to look them over and see if you can pick out the three double-street bets mentioned above:

As you can see, there are three inside bets on an American Roulette layout that, if placed at the same time, cover two uninterrupted segments of eight numbers on the wheelhead. These three bets are the special double-street on the 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3; the double-street covering 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12; and the double-street covering 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. This type of betting is called contiguous betting, and we will explain it in fuller detail in “Section VI: Breaking the Wheel.” Suffice it to say, however, American wheels do have their week points, and for some systems players, that 5.26 house advantage can work in their favor.

 

As for the bets on an American Roulette layout, there are essentially 10 types with several propositions for each. In general, all American Roulette bets have a 5.26 percent house vig, except the special double-street or “Basket,” which gives the house a whopping 7.9-percent edge. For this reason, it is generally called the “Sucker Bet.” (But as we’ll see, it can have its uses).

Card Counting: Bits and Pieces

As promised, we’ve pocketed a little extra truth here at the bottom of our Blackjack extravaganza, just to keep you that much more on the cutting edge. Before we were talking about insurance and even money and whether you should go with them. Well, the answer is, unequivocally — MAYBE.

If you haven’t mastered counting yet, you’ll ultimately lose with insurance because about a third of the time the odds are against you. A similar concept is at work for even money, as well, inasmuch as you only gain from it if you know that the next card down the shoe is bad news. Meanwhile, casinos know—since let’s face it, they’re not idiots—that you’d have to be counting to win at these bets. So take a tip: use them ONLY to throw the counting equipment off through losses.

Now, a graphic breakdown to show you why insurance, like in the non-poker world, doesn’t actually pay:

Score Player buys insurance Player does not buy insurance
Dealer: blackjack
Player: no blackjack
Player loses the original bet, but wins 2:1 on his insurance bet, which was 1:2 of the original bet.
Losses and gains even out to 0.
Player loses 1:1.
Dealer: no blackjack
Player: wins
Player wins the original bet, but loses the insurance money.
The player wins 1:2 of the original bet.
Player wins 1:1.
Dealer: no blackjack
Player: same as the dealer
Player loses the insurance money.
The player loses 1:2 of the original bet.
Player pushes.
No loss or gain: 0.
Dealer: no blackjack
Player: loses
Player loses the original bet, and loses the insurance money.
The player loses 3:2 of the original bet.
Player loses 1:1.
Even money
Dealer: blackjack
Player: blackjack
Blackjacks even out, but the player wins 2:1 on the 1:2 of the insurance money.
The player wins 1:1 of the original bet.
Player pushes.
No loss or gain: 0.
Dealer: no blackjack
Player: blackjack
Player wins the original bet at 3:2, but loses the insurance bet of 1:2.
The player wins 1:1 of the original bet.
Player wins 3:2 of the original bet.

Smyth Scores at Poker Million VII – SPOILER ALERT!!

Friday, BoylePoker.com pro Marty Smyth left London $1 million richer after beating out six other finalists at Ladbrokes’ Poker Million VII. Smyth’s win crowns two prior final-table attempts at the Poker Million pot and brings his total career earnings to over $3.5 million.

The day began badly for Smyth when his A, K crashed against Liam Flood’s pocket poppas. The loss cleared all but $15,000 of Smyth’s chips, sending him to short stack and instantaneously causing books to offer 100:1 odds against him.

Soon, however, the Belfast native turned the tables on Flood by pairing up kings and sixes against the chip leader’s suited 4, 5. When he then knuckled out Svein Neilsen on a second run of kings and sixes, it was clear that Smyth’s bout of bad luck had broken, and books began scrambling to re-fix their calls.

Heads-up saw Smyth facing Eoghan O’Dea – son of Irish poker god Donnacha O’Dea – with both men going tit-for-tat in a blind-stealing stalemate. Finally, though, Smyth’s date with Fate proved too overwhelming for O’Dea, who called the Belfast native’s shove on Q, 9 (o) only to have his K, J(o) cracked by a pair of queens.

After the match, Smyth was more than willing to credit his fortunate draws with the win.

“I can’t quite believe it still,” he said. “I thought I was gone when I lost most of my chips early in the tournament.

“I like to think I played quite well, but certainly, after that big hand (against Flood) lots of things went my way.”

Yet, whatever the case, the win has definitely clinched Smyth’s position as Boyle Poker’s premier front man – with all that the post implies.

“Marty is a poker legend,” Boyle Poker head Paul Spillane said in a press release. “Boyle Poker (is) proud to be associated with such a unique poker talent.”

Poker Million VII Final Results:
(Place – Player – Prize)
1st Marty Smyth – $1,000,000
2nd Eoghan O’Dea – $250,000
3rd Ciaran O’Leary – $175,000
4th Liam Flood – $130,000
5th Kevin Allen – $100,000
6th Svein Petter Neilsen – $75,000

The Latest Gambling News

Webzine Network World reported Monday that the United States Tennis Association blocked access to online-gambling sites during last summer’s US Open. According to the webzine, the organization used St. Bernard Software’s iPrism Web-filtering system to prevent the event’s 21,000 credentialed participants – including players, guests and journalists – from accessing Internet-betting sites.

The move reportedly came in response to a 2007 betting scandal involving Russian player Nikolay Davydenko. According to USTA Chief Information Officer Larry Bonfante, the organization intended to avert similar scandals at the 2008 event.

“We didn’t want people at the event to have access to gambling sites,” Bonfante told Network World. “Even if it’s just the perception, we just didn’t want people to have access… so we bolted it down.”

The USTA cited “ease of installation” and “flexibility in reporting” as the two qualities that sold it on using iPrism at both the Billie Jean Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows – where the annual Long Island event takes place – and the organization’s headquarters in White Plains, N.Y.

Still, according to Bonfante, there were some 17,000 attempts made to access online-gambling sites during the two-week event.

“What the rationale there was for all this, we don’t know,” Bonfante said.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office announced Friday that it is investigating over a dozen Korean baseball players in connection with illegal online gambling. According to the Korea Times, officials suspect 12-14 current players, as well as one-time player and television personality Kang Byung-kyu.

The Koran Times reported that the current players are members of two local teams and that some of those suspected by prosecutors are national stars. Authorities allege that the players gambled more than W1 billion ($677,048) playing online baccarat on illegal sites run by Korean nationals abroad. The Won (W) is South Korea’s national currency.

Officials say the sites in question are not the same as those they suspect Kang of using. Kang – a retired baseball player and host of the country’s popular “Vitamine” TV show – is one of 130 Korean nationals summonsed because of their connection with an illegal baccarat ring in the Philippines.

Prosecutors say Kang sent nearly $1.2 million to the ring, whose four operators earned approximately $100 million over an 18-month period.

Both accusations are the result of the National Police Agency’s crackdown on illegal Internet gambling in September and October, in which it rounded up over 1,681 people. Police say that 113 of those arrested operated the 729 gambling sites they shut down and that the other 1,568 were either gamblers or operated online currency exchanges.

Prosecutors plan to question the 12-14 unnamed players, saying, “We found that one player who had won a large sum stopped gambling after receiving a message from the site operator saying, ‘We believe you have cheated. If you continue gambling on our site, we will let your team manager know that you gambled here.’”

The Korea Times indicated that KBS, the network that airs “Vitamine,” is seeking to replace Kang with another host.