Blackjack Hall of Fame: Big Names of 21
All professional blackjack players nowadays and even plain amateurs know about Blackjack Hall of Fame - a legendary institution which is dedicated to most prominent figures in history of blackjack - players, book and strategies authors, thinkers. In all cases those people made an invaluable contribution into development of blackjack game and ways of beating it in casinos. They are not just professional blackjack players - they are legends of gambling world.
The Hall of Fame itself is located at Barona Casino, California, San Diego. The abovementioned casino turned out to be quite a smart one and it offers to Hall of Fame residents lifetime warranty of food, beverages and room in exchange of their agreement not to play ever on Barona Casino tables.
Hall of Fame was launched in 2002, and it comprised a fixed number of 21 professional blackjack players who suit to be elected as residents for their outstanding achievements, research or analysis in blackjack world. It was founded by a group of top players who offered nominees themselves, and also voting from the Internet was available. The first 7 members were elected on the Blackjack Ball 2003 - a cultural and professional event which is held every year for the best blackjack players in the world. The next ones were elected during few following years and
The first candidates being elected on Blackjack Ball were:
Edward O. Thorp - a brilliant mathematician who was the first one to publicize his priceless research in strategies of card counting, and is still considered to be the father of all modern card counting strategies, because all of them are based on his book "Beat the Dealer". The book is a Bible for any card counter and is considered to be legendary in blackjack world.
Al Francesco - a man who had enough strength and wit to make out a practical advantage out of Edward Thorp's theory. The obstacle was rather serious - after appearing card counting specialists and the first serious winnings the card counters were just forbidden by casinos to play at their tables. Al Francesco solved this problem by making a team out of a several card counters and one Big Player - the winnings remained stable, but it was quite difficult to understand that exactly card counting strategy took place.
Ken Uston - a highly professional specialist, which was a member of Al Francesco's team until going his own way - creating a team which played against casinos and also winning a glorious victory in New Jersey Supreme Court against Atlantic City casinos - which resulted in a legal barring of of casinos to ban card counters.
A lot of other successful professional blackjack players and theorists appeared in Blackjack Hall of Fame later, but concerning its original members you should read at the corresponding section.