Semyon Dukach - A Game as a Life

Semyon was born in 1968 in Moscow, but in 1979 he moved to the U.S. After completing his Bachelor's Degree at Columbia University he went to earn his Master's Degree in Computer Sciences.


In the process of education Semyon got involved in blackjack trainings. He says himself that it was not that difficult to learn how to count cards, and in one of the interviews he says that after visiting the first time MIT blackjack team trainings he discovered for himself that it was that very thing which would never make him to be bored - because like other MIT students who became professional players in result, he liked the mathematical way of solving the problems in blackjack.

Semyon also says that mathematics is a science which can be trusted to - whatever happens and undependable on the circumstances, mathematic remains reliable and is a platform which won't let you sink in case if you count on it. And that's why mathematical principles which underlie all kinds of card counting and other methods of advantaging in blackjack seemed so familiar to him and took his attention.

Professional Blackjack

Since 1992 Semyon Dukach was the main player of one of blackjack teams of Strategic Investments, a big team made by former leaders of MIT - J.P.Massar, Bill Kaplan and Johnny Chang. Semyon enjoyed big cash that he and his teammates won at the casino, and after Strategic Investments ceased its existence Semyon continued to play in casinos with a few former members of his team.

From 1994 Semyon lead a blackjack team called Amphibians, and those remaining people who stayed aside made a team called Reptiles, which were led by Mike Aponte.

Semyon about himself

During his blackjack career Dukach gave quite a lot of interviews. In some of them he shows himself to the public as a fully pragmatic and challenging person with a good sense of humor. Mostly he tells about how he and his team managed to avoid casino security and the treatment of casinos to card counters, which already became a topic for a lot of jokes and anecdotes.

Among funny facts in his career Semyon remembers how he entered the casino and disguised himself using his appearance as Nikolay Nogoff, a Russian arms dealer. He tells laughing that he never said he was an arms dealer, but it was supposed in that way.

Up-to-date life

Now Semyon Dukach is considered to be one of the most known blackjack experts, you can often see his interviews online and on TV at blackjack cultural and professional events. He also provides seminars for those who want to learn how to win in blackjack.

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