John Chang is the team leader for blackjack card counting.

If you’ve ever pondered who inspired Mickey Rosa’s character in the best-selling novel “Bringing Down the House,” look no further than John Chang. Having been a member of the MIT Blackjack team since he was in college, John soon became one of the most accomplished managers the team has ever had.

John Chang has the following to say about blackjack: “There is a great deal of information in blackjack that is applicable to other aspects of your life. Intelligence and bravery are required to analyze a game and then place a bet. Managing a team requires presence and interpersonal skills.
Confidence and tenacity are necessary to withstand negative fluctuations.

Family Relationships

When John was younger, his family frequently relocated. He has lived in numerous New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania suburbs. John was born into a highly educated family; both of his parents hold advanced degrees in chemical engineering. His sibling attended Stanford and Harvard before becoming an orthodontist with her own practice.

John was anticipated to follow in the footsteps of his family. After excelling in high school, he was accepted to MIT, where he spent nearly a decade before graduating. John was intelligent enough to complete the assignments, but he was never motivated to attend class. Upon learning that he spent so much time playing baccarat, it’s fair to say that his family was less than thrilled.

Early Playing Experiences on the MIT Blackjack Team

The MIT blackjack staff dates back to 1978, when Resorts International opened its doors in Atlantic City for the first time. Former MIT graduate J.P. Massar and former Harvard Business School graduate Bill Kaplan were the managers at the time. In addition to MIT, they recruited students from Harvard, New York University, and Princeton.

John Chang’s first encounter with card counting occurred when he saw a sign that read, “Make $300 Over Spring Break.” At that time, $300 was a very alluring sum, so he decided to attend the meeting. The meeting turned out to be a recruitment session for the MIT blackjack team. Even though John knew very little about blackjack, he decided to give card counting a try since he was already there.

During spring break, he traveled to Atlantic City with the MIT Blackjack team to play at the Claridge Hotel and Casino. He was instructed to wager $5 if the tally was +1 and $10 if it was +2. Even though he does not consider this to be a large sum of money now, it was enough to make him feel uncomfortable at the time. His first twenty-four-hour session was filled with ups and downs, but he performed exceptionally well given his inexperience.

John eventually matriculated from MIT and began working as a Senior Software Engineer at Kendall Square during the week. He spent his weekends traveling with the team, swapping roles between chimpanzee and star player. He rapidly adapted to the notion that he would be required to place large bets, frequently wagering thousands of dollars. One of the early milestones of his career was when he wagered $1,600 on a single hand at the Desert Inn and won $8,000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *