1. David Spence
    April 17, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

    Great post, Blake–all excellent points. I’m sure you had more in mind and just chose the most important, but one that I think is worth adding is

    5. Having an “act”
    In the wise words of Holdaway, “If you ain’t a great actor you’re a bad actor, and bad acting is b***s*** in this job.”

    I’m not saying you should completely be yourself at the tables, but a lot of AP wannabes have an “act” that is so over the top or otherwise unbelievable that I think it does more harm than good. Unless you are a truly talented actor, I think it’s better to just turn the volume up (e.g. being outgoing) or down (e.g. being logical) on select aspects of your natural personality rather than try to get too creative.


    • Kingscracked5277
      April 27, 2017 @ 1:11 am

      To add to your excellent list and David’s addendum:

      6.) For some reason AP’s can’t help but shuffle their chips (or do other tricks with them that require a lot of dexterity and hand-eye coordination) like live poker players do while on a play. Squares simply don’t do this while at the table, regardless of their bet size. When I’m out scouting and I come across someone doing this at a table, it seems like 80% of the time I just stumbled upon a play. It can not only out you to the pit, but to your competition as well.


  2. Blake Phillips
    April 17, 2017 @ 2:34 pm

    David, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I agree so much that I already have a longer piece on this exact topic in the pipeline! Stay tuned…


  3. Evenbob
    April 17, 2017 @ 7:42 pm

    I don’t understand why talking to the pit is never on any of these lists. If you want to blend into the crowd, talk to them. It’s human nature that once you have somebody pegged, pigeonholed, they kinda disappear to you. Once you engage a few pit people, you blend in more.

    Last week a pitguy had his hair in a bun. I asked him if he liked it, if he got comments on it, how he gets it cut to make it do that. He enjoyed me asking, people are vain. Talk about them, pay attention to them. Women are the easiest. I ask them if their husband hates them working in a casino, if they used to be dealers, if they miss it.

    Once they see you as a person, you disappear as an unknown quantity. They pigeonhole you, it’s a natural instinct. You’re the nice old guy, or whatever.


    • Blake Phillips
      April 17, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

      Good point, and agreed. “Look Like a Civilian” could fill up another article entirely. Step one: slow the game to a crawl with new buy-ins every 10 minutes.


      • LC Larry
        April 17, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

        “Step one: slow the game to a crawl with new buy-ins every 10 minutes.”

        Make sure it’s all $1’s & $5’s. 😉


    • Lee Jensen
      April 18, 2017 @ 5:21 pm


      One potential negative in talking to the pit like you describe is being memorable. Inevetibly, you are going to be unwelcome places you play (if you have an edge, and make money from them more specifically). The less memorable you are, The more likely you can return with a different look at a later date.



  4. Ryemo
    April 17, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

    I love the blogs! I’m definitely guilty of some of the “AP tells” lol. I’ll be working on that from now on! Great stuff and keep up the great work!


  5. samuel dudorich
    April 22, 2017 @ 1:35 am

    i was playing at Caesars a long time ago and i happened to wander past their gift shop. it offered a baseball jacket with the name and logo of Caesars all over it on the front and back. it was a little bit expensive and i didn’t buy it but i thought to myself ‘what a great piece of clothing for cover. who but a completely idiot would walk around with this jacket blatantly advertising his high regard for this casino?’


  6. WRX
    April 24, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

    “Pulling it out of your wallet is even more so. Be normal.”

    Unfortunately, until the government starts printing $1000 bills again, the working bankroll I need won’t fit in a wallet.

    But having a big wad or wads of bills in a pocket or pockets is surely an improvement over repeatedly taking bank straps out of a Wong bag right at the table.


    • Blake Phillips
      April 25, 2017 @ 8:27 am

      I carry a slim wallet that can easily fit $3k in large bills with no problem. Ideally, I can pull from this initial buyin and run up a chip stack, but if this amount taps out, I may take a bathroom break to replenish it. Usually when players take a lammer and come back with cash, they’ve been at the ATM. I think this setup looks similar. I agree, though: if you can’t realistically play from your wallet, cash in the pockets is the way to go, with the caveat that APs are notorious for having neatly banded and organized packets of money at the ready, usually in separate pockets to facilitate record-keeping. If you must go the cash in pocket route, I’d suggest keeping it all together, if possible.


      • Marco Polo
        May 18, 2017 @ 12:04 pm

        If you’re at the casino with a trustworthy girlfriend or wife, you can look like king of the degenerates “borrowing” chips or wads of cash from her purse right at the table. I don’t mean dig into her purse without permission, but make it appear like you’re tapped out and beg her right in front of the pit boss. I did this once because it was difficult to carry more than $30k on my own, just as WRX explained.


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