Monthly Archives: July 2012

Natalie Wood and Me at the Sahara

One might think that sitting through a Don Rickles show would be enough excitement for one night. I was right down front with Gil and Nikki when Rickles approached. This night I was in black slacks, black turtleneck…with an orange Alpaca ‘golf’ sweater…the one with the full sleeves that gathers at the wrist.

Rickles started right away. “Who’s this, Billy Batson ? Let’s see if he’ll change to Captain Marvel. Shazam, Shazam.” He started to gesture wildly !

I  left the lounge at the Sahara, like 500 others. We had just experienced the assault that was Don Rickles.

Leaving the Sahara, you stepped on a sensor and the 2 glass doors swung out, away from you.

I had triggered the sensor, stepped out past the open doors, and realized I’d forgotten something. Instead of continuing out and coming back through the entrance doors, I stopped, and turned, and found my face about 18 inches from Natalie Wood’s beautiful face…She and a girlfriend were tipsy, close in step behind me.

We were stopped cold. I was stunned. Nothing was coming to me. We were frozen as close as lovers. After an incredible pause, she spoke..

“That’s right.”  She did not have to say “It’s me.”

By her look, she was suggesting I was not ‘seeing things’, that this was the high point of my day.

She could tell by my muteness and wide-eyed confusion, I had seen “Rebel Without A Cause”, 25 times.

She was remarkably beautiful. She was Natalie Wood. She moved me aside with one finger, like we were in a movie and she had super powers.

I was still standing on the sensor, holding the doors open, when she turned back to look at me – her face brightly smiling, like she had just enough Chardonnay.

To make sure I saw…she made an exaggerated wink !  Something in me sensed she would turn around and come back to get me…Take me along on her adventure for the evening.

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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Memoir


Play Perfect Blackjack

Obviously, there have been hundreds of books on the subject. Since I’ve read most of them, I felt comfortable designing a process using all the best points – and a few conclusions of my own.

For example; There is a perfect way to play, but not all will want to dedicate the time.  So..Fine.  We won’t get anal about it. We’ll discuss variations…keeping in view – The Perfect Process.

We will include here, some verbatim information from some of the best sources. Credits will appear somewhere within.

This is about playing perfect Blackjack.  Playing the same way every session.

Knowing the perfect play for every hand based on the outcome of millions of hands played.

The Basic Strategy

Basic strategy simply consists of knowing the correct play in each of the 550 possible combinations of hands that can arise at the table, and making that correct play each and every time. In practice, this reduces the house edge over the player to under 1%, and if the player is lucky enough to be playing in a casino with the right rules, basic strategy may even give the player a small advantage.

For any given player hand and dealer up card, there is an optimal strategy: the action that will yield you the most earnings (or least losses) statistically.

Basic Blackjack Strategy dictates the best action for a combination played directly off the top of the shoe, with no knowledge of other dealt cards (i.e. no card counting).

Under these constraints, there are about 300 critical plays to be memorized in Blackjack:

27 two-card player hands times 10 dealer up cards (2 to 9, tens, and ace). The player hands are hard 8 to 16 (9), soft 13 to soft 20 (8), and pairs (10). Hard hands less than 8 are always hit, and you always stand on hard hands over 16.

Using perfect Basic Strategy all the time will minimize the casino’s margin of profit to as low as 0.5%.  Players who don’t use basic strategy are giving up as much as 5 or 10% of their money to the house!

The following Basic Strategy table is for a four deck shoe 

Amazon free book promotion

Today, and for the next 5 days… Amazon is running a free book promotion on my first book, “Stealthy Blackjack.” Please download your own ebook copy and write a review, if you have the opportunity. Amazon looks favorably to promoting authors who have some account activity.
This is an unusual book due to the way the unique ’21’ system works with the story-line.
If that doesn’t pique your interest and curiosity—how about the way Parker, the Nevada musician comes in contact with celebrity performers and beautiful showgirls.
The promotion is from February 29, 2016 through March 4.  Here is the link:

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Memoir


Big Vinnie and the Morning Offering

We were on our feet having Morning prayers when he would finally arrive. At first, Sr. Dorothea was quick with a stern reprimand, but, as the days wore on, she wore down.

“Mr. Presto. Mr. Presto. Mr. Presto.  Oh, fuck it !”

This was winter in NJ. The classroom at CCHS had a coat ‘room’ the length of the back wall. A series of doors, side by side…When you opened one door – they all opened, with the most disruptive clatter !

“Mr. Presto. Mr. Presto!”

I believe that she came to some reconciliation when she realized he was extremely bright, good-intentioned, and, this would not stop.

Among other things, this was for my benefit. I found great pleasure in our morning exchange. He would enter the room and over the drone of the Morning Offering we would exchange our ritual greeting.

“Morning, John.”   “Morning Vince.”

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Memoir


Kay Mertz By The Phone Booth

Gloria had approached me a few days before to call my attention to Kay Mertz. Gloria had a good ‘view’ in her job as waitress at Carr’s Corner. I had a crush on Pat Mahoney so everything else was a blur.

I did consider what she said…Kay was definitely ‘mooning’ over me. I started thinking about her. She was a beautiful redhead. Her Camden Catholic HS jumper appeared to be custom tailored, but it was just she was so shapely.

We were all at Carr’s Corner, as we were every day after school. There were two booths and a number of stools at the counter.

The booths were full, as was the custom. There was a lot of chatter. Gloria was delivering an order to a booth when she eased up to me at the counter.

“Be discrete. Look over to the phone booth”

The phone was behind me over my right shoulder. I tried to catch a quick glimpse and caught the gaze of Kay. She really could not look away. I caught her.

We were friends..part of the same gang. We went to all the dances and regularly danced together. We even danced some slow songs where you are holding each other close. We always managed some small talk during this time. That’s what we all did. None of us was a great romancer. This was high school, after all.

Seeing her today was different. She had also caught me.

I did not make a conscious decision. I just slowly got up and moved toward her. She watched as I approached. I could see on her face how she felt.

My hands went first to the top of her hips, then slid up to her waist. I leaned in to whisper but she thought I would kiss her cheek. She had moved her arm up around my shoulders and as I whispered I felt her fingers, gently, at the back of my neck and head.

I joked, softly in her ear, “I seem to be under a spell. It came over me when I looked at you just now.” She had always been kind of shy but was quick to joke back.

“Then it’s working..”

This unusual whispering embrace, in full-view of all, pitched the chattering din to sudden silence…And then, everyone erupted! All at the same time, so it was difficult to make it all out.

“Way to go, you two.”

“We’ve been waiting forever.”

“She’s been waiting forever.“

We were both kind of shy. We couldn’t speak over the exclamations, but she had a beautiful, embarrassed smile.

Kay Mertz

Kay Mertz was a shapely young red-head                                                                                                                                   Her feelings for me had been wide-spread                                                                                                                                       I think of her now                                                                                                                                                                        but my thoughts won’t allow                                                                                                                                                         To imagine a time on her bedspread

Kay Mertz and the Musician

Kay Mertz was a winsome young beauty                                                                                                                                      An attractive and amiable cutie                                                                                                                                                When she reached out to me                                                                                                                                                     I declined don’t you see                                                                                                                                                             I was crazy and stupid and flutey

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Memoir


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