Book Report: Blackjack Autumn

Nobody can go anywhere so why not read a book? Snickers99Poker is back with another book review. Blackjack Autumn: A True Tale of Life, Death, and Splitting Tens in Winnemucca. Author Barry Meadow, a blackjack card counter, embarks on a 60-day trip with $8,000 in order to play blackjack in every casino in Nevada. This book came out in 1999 and he went to just under 200 different casinos. Here’s Snickers99Poker’s review.

I guess I kinda liked part of Blackjack Autumn. I enjoyed the backstories of some of the casinos and of the issues he came across while traveling. What I didn’t like was his incredibly bad humor. I assume it was humor:

  • …will be uglier than a porno movie starring Roseanne
  • …as popular as Jerry Falwell at a Gay Pride parade
  • …not much more likely than Mister Rogers being caught in a Watts cocaine bust
  • …wind up in worse financial shape than the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • …wasting more of my time than a Munsters marathon

Those are a few that appear in the first 16 pages. The book is 249 pages. I started skipping sentences that started “It’s like…” just to skip over the bad jokes. There has to be at least 100 of these awful one liners and they get very aggravating.

Oh The Life Of A Card Counter

Of course he plays the “woe is me” blackjack counter card. Oh casinos don’t want us. But we’re good for the game. Here’s some numbers. Wouldn’t casinos rather…

I don’t play blackjack, let alone count cards but he seems to win. A lot. The book says his story is true though. Just seems like he goes through this losing streak of hands at a table and then “suddenly” (he uses that word fairly often) the deck turns good and in four hands he wipes out his losses and even wins some. How about that.

Do As I Say?

One of the reasons I don’t play blackjack is because I don’t want to be yelled at for “playing wrong.” He mentions early on how it doesn’t matter in the long run if someone **gasps** takes the dealer’s bust card, but then later in the book he says something to someone who “played wrong” and cost him money. And he lets us know when there’s a really bad player at the table, and sometimes makes fun of him.

He says early on that it’s senseless to blame the dealer for bad cards, yet later in the book he wishes he had a gun to shoot one dealer and wanted to poison another.

Is That Important To The Story?

I hate it when someone tells a story and feel that it’s necessary to mention the race of the person when it has nothing to do with the story. He does this at least twice, mentioning someone was a black dealer and someone else was a Chinese dealer. Really? I mean, the book is from 1999 so maybe it was a different time.

I finished Blackjack Autumn just to finish it. I didn’t really want to. This book won’t be put back on my book shelf, it’ll find its way into the yard sale pile. Maybe you’ll like it better. Maybe I can sell you my copy for a buck.

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