In the May, 1997 issue of Esquire magazine, the feature article was titled “Fleecing Las Vegas.” That article describes a weekend the Esquire reporter spent with Rob Reitzen, during which, using a technique Rob calls the “Hammer,” he won $500,000 from Caesars Palace at their blackjack tables.
The Hammer, as described by the Esquire writer, is a combination of card counting, shuffle tracking, ace location, and card sequence memorization. I must imagine that Rob allowed his real name to be published because he had personally decided that he was done with playing blackjack himself. At this point in his life, Rob had a large team of players in casinos all over the country.
Rob was a cofounder of CORE, a California corporation that “banked” the blackjack games in many of the new Native American casinos that had opened all over the state. The Indians, as it turned out, did not have sufficient funds to bank high- stakes blackjack games, so CORE provided their own bankroll and their own dealers to the Indian casinos, and basically paid the Indians to rent the tables. In this sense, Rob was literally playing both sides of the blackjack tables, making scads of money with a team of players, and just as much acting as the casino bankroll in California’s Indian casinos.
In more recent years, Rob developed a hold’em poker strategy that was so successful that he hired and bankrolled a team of players to follow his instructions to the letter in playing online. His players won so much money from the Full Tilt Poker site that they were banned from the site, accused of being computer bots, and the site refused to pay them. Later, Full Tilt was closed down amid accusations of fraud, skimming and bad bookkeeping. Rob never did get paid.
Not that he needed the money. This poker project was just a side trip for him, compared to the other schemes he had going. He’s played on computer teams with both Keith Taft and Wally Simmons (back when computers were still legal). He ran “card steering” teams in Reno and Las Vegas, card counting teams, shuffle tracking teams. Through the years, Rob has done it all, and he’s made a fortune doing it.