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MIT Blackjack Team Member Gives Up The Goods

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 30th September 2005 9:24am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


Explosive laughter from alumni and students filled 10-250 while an amused voice with a Russian accent revealed his secret card-playing schemes that earned him millions of dollars. “At one point I had a casino convinced that I was an arms dealer. That was one of my favorites,” he said.

These words came from the mouth of Semyon Dukach SM ’93, who once walked the halls of the Laboratory for Computer Science like countless others. But while many graduates’ claims to fortune are through technology startups (Dukach himself has founded three), this MIT grad’s fame was accomplished by doing the impossible – taking millions away from casinos in Vegas and other exotic locales, all using blackjack and simple math.

Dukach’s tale is possibly the stuff of MIT students’ fantasies — laden with sex, enormous sums of money, alcohol, and high risk. And here he was, back on campus walking through the Infinite Corridor, ready to explain how he did it. The person he originally told was none other than Ben Mezrich, a Harvard graduate who had already written “Bringing Down the House.” That book, which remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for 59 weeks, revealed the story of another blackjack team from MIT that made millions. The methods Dukach and his team of three other students used, though, were more advanced, invented from within, and shared with fewer than a dozen people. Mezrich’s newest book, “Busting Vegas,” describes Dukach’s sensational tale with as much brilliance as his first Vegas novel.



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