As I made my way out of the Disneyland Park to meet up with both of my parents and my grandfather outside of the Rainforest Cafe in the Downtown Disney area, I realized I should have just gone over to Tomorrowland and gotten on the Monorail to ride over to the Downtown Disney area. What I ended up doing was heading back to the main entrance of the park, exiting through the entrance plaza, passing through the exit of the security check lines, and then having to basically walk the entire distance of the Downtown Disney area because I forgot the Rainforest Cafe was on the far side of the Downtown Disney area. And I also forgot it’s parked right next door to the Monorail station.
Normally I don’t mind the walk but after having done the previous day at Knott’s Berry Farm and all morning in the park in close to 100 degree heat, my legs were starting to get rashes from all the walking, so I was a bit sore by this point in the day. I was surprised I made it over to the Rainforest Cafe before my parents and grandfather. The Rainforest Cafe is near the parking lot and I was coming on foot from the middle of Disneyland and having to walk through the entire Downtown Disney area just to get there. I didn’t end up having to wait too long though, it was just a matter of trying to find a somewhat shady spot as the mid afternoon heat was really starting to take its toll.
Continue reading Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 2)
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The new movie “21” has just hit stores on DVD and Blu-Ray disc from Sony Pictures. As a dealer for a casino, I was interested in seeing a Hollywood glamorized version of what I do for a living, and I was not disappointed. Granted the perspective of the movie is a loose retelling of M.I.T. Blackjack Team story of how they made and lost a fortune card counting at the blackjack tables of Las Vegas. And the story is about the card counters, not the dealers. In any case, while the plot takes tremendous liberties with the facts for the sake of making an entertaining story, the premise is simple, that students from M.I.T. who are good with numbers spend their weekends away from campus moonlighting as high rollers in Las Vegas. They work as a team and take Las Vegas for hundreds of thousands of dollars through card counting and team work to stay under the radar.
The group employs disguises and fake names and ID cards to become different people every time they go. Profits get split and everyone stays happy. Of course, cockiness sets in and trouble sparks as one member of the team gets jealous of the new guy because the new guy is outperforming the former star of the team. Then as the new guy starts to build up his confidence, he too is unable to escape the temptations of gambling and starts to ignore the rules of the team and continues to squander away on tables that have grown cold and past the time to stop playing on that table. It becomes a race against greed and being caught. The outcome of the story resolves itself through backroom deals, begging for forgiveness, and even more blackjack. To know how it resolves itself, you’ll have to check it out.
Now as a dealer, there was some amusing aspects about the film that really only people in the casino industry, specifically table games, and fans of Las Vegas would notice. One of the things I found amusing was that for all the scenes at real tables in Las Vegas, that all the cards used are canceled cards which you would never find being used on tables for real money. If you aren’t sure how cards are canceled, when you pay attention to the movie, look closely at the edges of the cards, where two of the four corners of the cards on diagonally opposite sides of the card are rounded while the other two are more square. This becomes especially apparent when the dealer places his face-up card over his face-down card and the corners don’t line up cleanly. Continue reading 21 Movie Makes Card Counting Entertaining
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