Search - Breaking Vegas (History Channel) on DVD

Breaking Vegas (History Channel)
Breaking Vegas
History Channel
Actors: Joseph Phong Dao, Bud Watson, Joe Boyd (III), Gary Lucy (II), Catherine Kresge
Director: Bruce David Klein
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 30min

Studio: A&e Home Video Release Date: 07/01/2008 Run time: 75 minutes Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: Joseph Phong Dao, Bud Watson, Joe Boyd (III), Gary Lucy (II), Catherine Kresge
Director: Bruce David Klein
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/29/2004
Original Release Date: 05/09/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 05/09/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Creating a business to outsmart the casino business
W. Chen | Medellin, Colombia | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I heard about this story sometime ago and while I wanted to learn more, I didn't think it justified spending the time to read the book. Pleasantly surprised, I found that a DVD version of the book was available. I originally thought it was just a few students getting together and using their brainpower to outsmart the casinos. I was surprised to find out that it was actually a business, complete with financial statements, training program, recruiting, and investors.

The video does a fine job of recreating the circumstances on the initial formation of the company/team and onward to its later incarnations where apparently substantial lasting success was achieved after learning from some early mistakes in the initial formation. Interviews with the security company that casinos use worldwide to work the system in their favor are also shown. The video gives you an idea of just how sophisticated the casinos are in stopping card counters and the like. The gambling isn't just confined to the US but also various locations around the world. These are also shown in snippets.

If anything, you learn that it is possible to outwit the system, but a substantial effort must be put in to do it. For the regular folk who don't have the brainpower/time it is heartwarming to see that it can be done."
Review by Chiprocks
Loyd E. Eskildson | 05/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I just watched the world premiere of Breaking Vegas on the history channel. All I can say to you who have not seen this, is that you will find yourself entralled by the story. For years I have been hearing about the M.I.T. Kids and how they got away with there methods in outsmarting the casinos. away with it until greed within there own group and poor managment brought about their demise. It was just a hoot to finally hear about the true story about the legend. I for one, even though I taped it off of the History Channel, will buy the DVD when it comes out."
Making a Business out of Beating Vegas!
Loyd E. Eskildson | Phoenix, AZ. | 10/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Breaking Vegas" is an excellent business case study that includes product development, staff recruitment and rewards, and training. "Mr. M" conceives the "how to," building upon the earlier work of Ed Thorp ("Beat the Dealer") at UCLA, using his computer and statistical analyses skills to play blackjack. A partnership was formed to raise $1 million, with the net distributed 45% to Mr. M., 45% to the financial backers, and 10% to the players.

Players were recruited via fliers posted around the M.I.T. campus. Trainees first had to master card-counting in a noisy environment full of distractions, then memorize a number of rules covering when to hold, split, or take another card. Then it was on to adding another strategy - signaling to another player when the deck was favorable so he/she could join in and bet heavily. Since the "big player" always gambled heavily, and the rest only played minor amounts, it was hard for the casinos to see that (banned) card-counting was being employed.

After further refining their skills at the nearby Foxwood Resort, it was off to Las Vegas. At first the players reveled in their winnings and comps; however, eventually the casinos' detective service followed the group around the world and pieced their methods together. Other tip-offs came from players sometimes using their real addresses to sign for comps, and leaving behind a pamphlet detailing their strategies. Life then became increasingly sour for the players as they were banned from more and more casinos around the world - sometimes even encountering threats of physical violence. Disguises brought little benefit.

At that point a "perfect storm" developed - increasing harassment from casino management, decreasing player morale over the harassment and their relatively low share of the winnings, and a long run of bad luck. (One player alleged that the "bad luck" was caused by the players lacking incentive to play well.)

Thus, after less than 2 years the partnership enterprise folded, with a winnings-to-date record of close to zero. One of the original recruits then started his own team, using most of the same original approaches except for eliminating the investors - players provided their own stake. This group was successful for several years and netted about $4 years.

An interesting, sometimes even exciting, video."
Love it!
Siri R. Damerow | 05/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've showed this movie to my AP Statistics class for 3 years in a row and the students love it. They totally get into it. It's informative and entertaining."