Repeat Until Rich: A Professional Card Counter's Chronicle of the Blackjack Wars

Overview

A deliciously wry, edge-of-your-seat memoir about making a fortune from counting cards.

Filled with actual bad guys, chase scenes, and high stakes, Repeat Until Rich is an intoxicating, unprecedented view of the dangerous allure of living off the cards and by one's wits. At twenty-four, Josh Axelrad held down a respectable but dull job on Wall Street. Then one night, a stranger at a cocktail party persuaded him to leave the nine- to-five behind and pursue an unlikely dream: the ...

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Repeat until Rich: A Professional Card Counter's Chronicle of the Blackjack Wars

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Overview

A deliciously wry, edge-of-your-seat memoir about making a fortune from counting cards.

Filled with actual bad guys, chase scenes, and high stakes, Repeat Until Rich is an intoxicating, unprecedented view of the dangerous allure of living off the cards and by one's wits. At twenty-four, Josh Axelrad held down a respectable but dull job on Wall Street. Then one night, a stranger at a cocktail party persuaded him to leave the nine- to-five behind and pursue an unlikely dream: the jackpot. Taut, atmospheric, and written with clarity and wit, Repeat Until Rich presents a darkly hilarious account of ditching the mundane and entering the alternative universe of professional blackjack-with all its intrigue, adventure, and cash.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143118855
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,361,898
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Josh Axelrad played blackjack professionally for five years and poker unprofessionally for one. A graduate of Columbia College, he languished briefly in investment banking before he turned to cards. His personal win as a card counter, at $700,000, has left him eighty-sixed from the finest casinos in Vegas and around the United States. His subsequent losses at poker (exceeding $50,000) have cost him credit privileges at the Internet’s most reputable poker rooms. A commentator on the casino industry for National Public Radio’s Marketplace program, Axelrad also performs at Stories at the Moth in New York and has been featured on the award-winning Moth Podcast.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Card Counting and more...

    Repeat Until Rich is a chronicle of professional black jack card counting but it is also (and importantly) much more than that. It is also a story of redemption, a coming of age story and a story of Recovery and the things about one's self that we have to admit in order to live up to (in the case of author, Josh Axelrad) one's prodigious talents. To realize that the unconscious exercise of talent can be a type of seduction and escape.

    Axelrad could have been writing about himself when he writes of his youthful impressions of his step-Uncle, Eric, "He claims to have spent ten years, until he was thirty, utterly adrift, selling jewelry at fairs as a wandering hippie, but then he went to law school. He told the story in a way that made law school sound as if it took him four weeks. Then suddenly he was rich...He went from hippie to kazilionaire. He made it seem effortless, random." But as young Axelrad wonders, ..."there must have been more to him than that."

    Like his Uncle Eric, Axelrad self presents in a way that can leave you scratching your head at his life of card counting but in this very moving memoir courageously shows us that there is much more to him than that.

    This is the story of a young man who became a very good writer, and in the process, (you can imagine him cringing at the sound of this), grew up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fumbling and Bumbling Towards a Semi-Related Ending

    As some others have posted in their reviews, the first 70 to 80 percent of the book is highly entertaining. This portion deals with the cover issue of counting cards in blackjack. However, after this section, the book jumps three or four years in time to a point where the author has abandoned the apparently profitable blackjack (without much of an explanation), and the book starts to discuss his problems with both online poker and with trying to write the book (that we are reading) for which he has received a sizable cash advance (he has received $85K, which is only a portion of the total he is set to receive). He chronicles his adventures in Gamblers Anonymous, though this comes across as insincere as he only counts his poker as a gambling problem (not the black jack that he abandoned without reason).

    One other small issue that I had with the book is that he alludes to the events of September 11th as drastically changing his life, but the only examples he gives are fairly superficial (travel restrictions and so forth). It seems to me that if you're going to bring 9/11 up in that context, you should write a little more specifically about it; as it is, it seems like a cheap shot at provoking an emotional response in the reader.

    In any case, it's a fun read for most of it, so I suppose I'd recommend it if you're interested in counting cards or blackjack, or if you're interested in stories about the little man striking it rich. However, it is probably telling that I was very pleased that I had only checked this book out from the library and had not purchased it. Overall, it is an easy but somewhat frustrating read as it changes courses mid-stream.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    It is always good to know where you are in a shoe

    I am no gambler. I never have been and do not plan to take that splippery serpent down the Snakes and Ladders board. But then again I did love Fight Club and I have no interest in having my head beaten to a pulp, and enjoyed Heart of Darkness and do not plan to follow Marlow up the Congo in search of insanity.

    In a similar vein I loved Repeat Until Rich. The author is clearly an expert in his field (gambling for profit), and with the less than subtle, sarcasm of a battle hardened New Yorker tells his evolution from being a fresh-faced, dreadlocked 21 year old wanting to prove his mettle to a leather skinned, heat hungry pro card player, being chased through casinos the length and breadth of the country.

    As I say I have never been interested in gambling, and my one trip to Las Vegas ended with no more than $20 pumped into a one armed bandit, but the style of the writing, the author's candor, and the enthralling and exciting tale kept my attention.

    I highly recommend this book to wannabe card counters, and true story lovers alike.

    Five stars. And I cannot wait for the movie.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    BAD ENDING

    THE FIRST 75-80% OF THE BOOK IS GREAT. HIS ANECDOTES ON CARD COUNTING ARE VERY GOOD. WHEN HE GETS INTO SELF PITY ABOUT HIS GAMBLING ADDICTION THE BOOK BOGS DOWN. IT WAS WORTH READING, THOUGH MOST OF WHAT HE DISCRIBES IS NO LONGER DOABLE DUE TO RULES & LAWS CHANGES.

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    Posted March 27, 2010

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    Posted September 10, 2010

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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    Posted July 15, 2011

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