blackjack and horse handicapping pro.
Wally Simmons is yet another legendary professional gambler who started with card counting in casino blackjack games but soon moved onto more advanced techniques, including shuffle tracking and ace location. Wally wrote his own shuffle-tracking software and was using computers to beat the casinos before most players even knew about simple card counting systems.
And, like so many of the most talented gambling pros, Wally moved from analyzing and developing methods of beating casino blackjack to writing software for beating the racetracks, where he also, according to sources that should know, made millions.
Years ago, Wally used to have an annual Super Bowl party at his Vegas home, invitation-only for pro gamblers. All the major blackjack teams would be in town for the Big Game weekend, as the crowd conditions in the casinos were perfect for pulling off big plays at the tables. But on that Sunday afternoon, everyone would show up at Wally’s place to watch the game.
What really made this party extra fun was that many of the players would go around the sports books buying up prop bets, which they would then sell or trade at the party. If you’re not familiar with Super Bowl prop bets, the casinos have been making a fortune off them for years. You can bet on just about anything that happens during the game, from which team will win the coin toss, to who gets the first score, to over/under at the end of each quarter, to interceptions and fumbles and field goal misses and penalties to individual player’s performances, etc. So, watching the game with a group of gamblers who have bets on virtually everything that happens was crazy. At any moment, someone would be screaming in joy or yelling at the TV in anger because of weird bets won or lost.
Wally was the man who first took 2019 Blackjack Hall of Famer Rob Reitzen under his wing when Reitzen was just starting out as a card counter in the early 1980s. When Reitzen was elected to the Hall of Fame, he spent much of his acceptance speech praising Wally and thanking him for being so generous with his knowledge.