Al Francesco - The History Behind the Man
How It All Started
Al Francesco, also known as Frank Schipani or Frank Salerno, started his career in professional gambling in Gary, Indiana, his hometown. Here, he played games like Greek Rummy and won almost all the time. In fact, he won so much, he made around $5000 every year.
Beat the Dealer
After Al went to California and read "Beat the Dealer" by Ed Thorp in 1963, he decided to go to a casino for the very first time to try his luck at blackjack - with the Ten-Count system in mind. Unfortunately, he ended up getting a headache because of the difficulty of the system and left after only 20 minutes. At home, Al merely ended up studying some more. He went back to the casino after mastering the system and ended up beating the dealer, as the book had promised. After 1 1/2 years, Al started to get banned from casinos, which made him stop playing the game for 8 years.
His First Comeback
It wasn't until he stumbled upon the Advanced Point Count system by Lawrence Revere that Al started to play blackjack again. This didn't last longer than a month, though, because casinos started to harass him again, making him stop playing. This is when Al realized he needed to come up with a much better way of playing blackjack.
His Second Comeback
By 1971, Al began to play with teams consisting of seven members: a big player and six counters. Al ended up recruiting his own team members, each of which were taught the basic strategy and the Advanced Point Count system. Once Al felt like they were prepared, they would all sit at various tables to count cards and make small bets. If the count became favorable, each counter would try to signal their big player to join the table. He would then bet huge until the count became unfavorable again, after which he would simply leave. By doing this, Al's teams won millions in just several years' time.
Ken Uston was one of Al Francesco's recruited and trained blackjack players. Unfortunately for their entire team, Uston ended up revealing all of their secrets in a book called "The Big Player", which was published all over the world in 1977. This publication effectively killed Francesco's teams and Uston became hated by a lot of these team members.
Practically every successful team of blackjack that appeared after that book's publication used Al's concept for their attacks. In fact, this approach is still used for profit today. Al Francesco, however, has now retired from the world of blackjack and now dabbles in other interests, like sports betting and horse racing.