Al Francesco Team
Al Francesco's, aka Frank Salerno, is a professional gambler; the famous card player whose hobby has changed into the career in his early age in Indiana. His percentage of winnings at casinos is amazing - almost every time he set at the gaming table - he won.
In California, since 1963, Al got familiar with a book written by Ed Thorp (Beat the Dealer). First tries of using the Thorp's system were really difficult for Francesco, but due to the period of more thorough learning and practice he could bet any casino dealer. With this knowledge the player spent a year and a half at different casinos earning quite good money. Then it was a long eight years period of abstention from gambling as he was barred at many casinos.
One more appropriate counting system came up when Francesco paid heed to methods of Lawrence Revere. That brought the player back to game. However, it lasted not really long time as he still appeared to be unpleasant visitor for many casinos.
The team concept was developed in 1971 by Francesco after he observed the game of his brother - a talented card counter who was playing blackjack at Lake Tahoe casino. So, Al got the idea of team strategies during the game. Since that time he created his own team, which included the Big Player and six card counters. All members were qualified and well-trained and each of them knew all rules and strategy concerning acting in a team play.
Move of the Knight
For a quite long period of time the team successfully earned money in different casinos until one thing had happened. Al Francesco had a few pupils trained by him and all of them were smart people whose skills and material welfare grew very fast. One of them was Ken Uston, who had written The Big Player book. This book has put an end to these guys` "profession'' since the author had revealed all secrets, peculiarities and special tricks of the team. Lots of team members couldn't forgive Uston, but Francesco took it calmly. In the long run, all existed further teams were exposed in a similar way.
One more try
The 90's brought some novelties for Al who collaborated with Arnold Snyder with the aim to form the card-counting team - Craps. However, for unknown reason the team existed one year and even during this period couldn't make enough money.
However, Al Francesco still remains to be the man, who played a huge role in gambling world and did an incredible contribution for blackjack players and fans. Many talented card players and card counters had followed his idea of team play and late formed blackjack teams.
Since that time Al Francesco only has implemented his passion in a horse racing. In 2003 the guru has became an official member of Blackjack Hall of Fame.