The 2023 Blackjack Hall of Fame nominees:
Colin founded and co-managed “The Church Team,” one of the largest and most prolific card-counting teams in the 21st Century. In 2008 Colin began building BlackjackApprenticesh
BJA’s secretive and infamous boot camps have sold out for the last seven years and counting. Colin authored The 21st Century Card Counter: The Pros Approach to Beating Today’s Blackjack and continues to be the voice and leader for the next generation of card counters.
John Gwynn, Jr.
Blackjack theorist extraordinaire, John Gwynn, Jr., taught computer science at Sacramento State University, where he often worked with fellow Sac St. instructor, Peter Griffin. Gwynn authored several papers on blackjack, including Experimental Comparison of Blackjack Betting Systems, with Armand Seri, which defined the power of various blackjack point counts. Gwynn published work on the randomness of casino shuffles and strategy for pai gow tiles, while also contributing computer simulations in collaborative efforts with Griffin. He was a frequent contributor to Blackjack Forum, where he co-authored “The Floating Advantage” with Don Schlesinger, and was a mainstay presenter at the National Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking.
Maria “The Greek” – WINNER FOR 2023
Maria is the co-founder and one-time manager of “The Greeks” blackjack team.
Having quit their day jobs as very successful New York Attorneys, she, her brother and highly respected colleagues formed the largest single group of players in history; at one time she simultaneously managed scores of individual players.
She recruited only the top talent, having the most notoriously difficult set of tests required to pass in order to get onto the team. Additionally, Maria’s team won countless millions utilizing a “slash and burn” technique in which BP’s would wade into the middle of a game, often betting table max. Needless to say, each BP didn’t last long, but the enormous bets resulted in some of the largest card counting wins in history.
An extraordinary businessperson, she utilized her business acumen, extraordinarily high I.Q. (even among the best of the best) along with common sense to guide the most successful single Card Counting team this Century.
Along with being a master at Sequencing and Tracking, Maria is also the only woman to have ever won the coveted title of “World’s Greatest Blackjack Player” at the Blackjack Ball (even in the days that arm wrestling, chip shuffling, card tossing and more were among the 11 events at the final table : )
Starting in 1981, Billings enjoyed a blackjack career that included many of the usual suspects (counting, shuffle-tracking, steering, etc.). In addition, he traveled the world as one of the very early computer players, and was instrumental in pioneering advanced non-counting methods of getting an edge. Many of these exploits are recounted in his book, The Ultimate Edge. Roulette was next, taking over where Doyne Farmer and the Eudaemons had left off and succeeding in a way that had to be seen to be believed. That adventure can be found in his latest book, Follow the Bouncing Ball. Over the course of a 26-year career Billings has played in over 500 casinos on six continents, and has been thrown out of some of the best of them.
Norm is the foremost blackjack software developer in the world today, and his line of Casino Vérité products has come to be known as the quintessential tool for analyzing virtually any problem associated with the game of blackjack. The incredible graphics and the realism of the practice modes of CV have received the highest praise from the thousands of satisfied customers who have honed their skills on this magnificent product.
Norm has made a great many of his computer studies and applications available free of charge on the Internet, and you will be amazed at the sophistication of his analyses, as you visit his website, at www.qfit.com. A consummate programmer, Norm is an industry legend, who continues to provide computer simulations and studies to answer problems on his blackjacktheforum.com site, while continuing his blackjack research. His two volume Modern Blackjack is perhaps one of the most original and comprehensive treatments of the game in print, and represents hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of computer-generated insights into the game not to be found anywhere else.
Rick Blaine, known throughout the elite blackjack circles as “Night Train,” is a skilled, disciplined, and winning blackjack player. Rick has taken professional play as a part-timer to new levels, while staying under the radar.
During his career as a high-powered executive in the financial world, Rick was introduced to winning methods in the 1980s. While traveling worldwide, Rick mastered the art of expense-free play by combining business trips on Corporate America’s dime with profitable casino visits.
After being recruited onto an existing high-stakes blackjack team, Rick learned the ins and outs of team play. That experience, along with his managerial expertise prompted him to organize teams since the late 1990s.
Sharing his unique insights, Rick authored Blackjack Blueprint: How to Play Like a Pro … Part Time, which many consider the most comprehensive book on the game.
At the annual Blackjack Ball in 2015, Rick “Night Train” Blaine won the intense competition to claim that year’s title of World’s Greatest Blackjack Player.
Night Train is still active, and due to his low profile, is often sought out as a player by high-stakes teams.
“Bob” Loeb is a criminal defense lawyer, law professor, successful card counter, and has been a lawyer for the AP community for over 25 years. He is the co-author, with I. Nelson Rose, of Blackjack and the Law, the original book that covered the legal issues of card counting, countermeasures, barrings, arrests, searches, chip and cash seizures, civil forfeitures, taxes, Indian gaming, and Internet gaming.
Bob first became an advocate for APs in a case involving a bogus airport seizure by federal authorities of over $100,000 from a Tommy Hyland team member. Since then, Bob has represented dozens of players in cases, resulting in the recovery and return of over 1 million dollars illegally seized or which casinos have initially refused to redeem.
He has defended AP’s against numerous serious criminal charges. One case involved five defendants who won 1.2 million dollars in machine play and who were charged with a total of 84 counts of cheating, computer fraud, computer tampering, theft, and structuring. At trial, he obtained findings of not guilty on all 84 counts. He has also defended criminal charges for Hole-Carding. Despite one misdemeanor conviction in a tribal court, he has won every Hole-Card case he has tried in state courts.
Bob has also been a consultant with attorneys on several civil and criminal gambling cases in several states, and has been an expert witness for Bob Nersesian in a case regarding the right to play anonymously. He has fielded hundreds of calls from the blackjack community over the years, counseling them at no charge on their legal rights in casinos.