How card counting may have brought down FTX
If you’re in the business world, you may have seen some similarities between this and gambling. Of course, a good business person will only take educated risks and the aim is to grow and secure success. The reckless business person is more likely to treat it all like throwing a die and just hoping that all comes good. You can’t help but have seen the news of late with the downfall of the FTX crypto exchange.
From what we’re starting to learn, it appears that some risky, almost gambling-like, decisions may well have forced the company over the edge. It certainly appears that both a love of blackjack and poker may have played a part. Whoever would have thought that one of the biggest news stories of 2022 would find itself being linked back to some classic casino games?
FTX crypto exchange – A look at Sam Trabucco
Trabucco was, until recently, the co-CEO of a company called Alameda Research. This organisation is a sister company of FTX. What’s also known is that Trabucco is a gambler and he’s a huge fan of both blackjack and poker.
It was in August 2022 that Trabucco surprised us all by stepping down as co-CEO. The picture that’s starting to emerge is that he may well have been behind some rather risky maneuvers and that these may well have come back to bite FTX.
Prior to his resignation from Alameda, you would have found Trabucco in the thick of the gambling world. Earlier in the year. He was a part of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He’s also known as being a fan of card counting when playing blackjack. The question that people are asking is if he took his blackjack strategies and tried to apply them to the business.
There are gamblers out there who refer to their wagers as investments. They do all that they can in a game to bring down the house edge and tip things in their favor. Investors are known to always be on the lookout for an edge and it appears that this may well have been how Trabucco ran his business.
What gambling strategies were used by Trabucco?
Trabucco certainly wasn’t shy when it came to his love of gambling. He was also more than happy to share details of his strategies. Whether this was all about bragging or genuinely assisting others is open to interpretation but what can be said for sure is that he shared all of this information on his Twitter account.
His posts spoke in detail about his poker playing. Specifically about knowing when the odds of a win are at their best. He states that what separates the average player from those that make it is the ability to identify when those winning chances are there. As well as when it’s right to start to bet more. Then he posted a great deal of information about how he plays in a poker room. And then he moved on to talk about blackjack.
Starting of by telling us what we all know: that blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around. He then moves on and discusses the subject of card counting. He certainly appears proud of the skills that he’s developed and openly brags that he may have got himself banned from three casinos.
The truth is that what he reveals about card counting is nothing earth-shattering. In fact, we’ve covered this in more detail ourselves. However, what is interesting is how it makes you stop to think how Trabucco may have applied the same strategies outside of the casino.
The relationship with FTX crypto exchange
Alameda Research, where Trabucco was co-CEO, had close ties with FTX. While Trabucco certainly demonstrated how skillful and sharp he was in a casino. It appears that he couldn’t quite pull off the same in the world of business.
Despite his abilities with poker and blackjack, it appeared that Trabucco read the risk all wrong with his day job. That being said, a recent tweet also makes you wonder if he was even any good as a gambler. His post, while in Las Vegas read “I should stick to trading”.
As it stands, the issues that Alameda experienced are still being explored. Much of the detail is yet to come out but what is known is that the action taken at this company played a significant part in sending FTX. As well as 130 related entities, to the bankruptcy courts.
What is card counting?
For those of you who have yet to come across the term. It’s worth taking a moment to explore just what card counting is. It’s worth knowing that this is a skill that lowers the house edge and gives you a huge advantage when playing blackjack.
Card counting is something that casinos fear. It’s not illegal but casinos realize that it works and they don’t want their players using this strategy. If you get caught you could be asked to leave a casino. You could even be banned. That’s perhaps why Trabucco has found himself banned from three casinos.
If you want to learn how to count cards, and you should, then you’ll find that there are several methods. What you have to realize though is that learning any of these takes time and this is certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme. There will still be ups and downs with your game and card counting will not mean that you win every time that you take your place at a blackjack table.
What you do get with card counting is a small edge but this comes over a period of time. You need the bankroll and the patience to stick to the strategy and to benefit from it. While Hollywood movies may make it all look easy. And can win you a fortune in seconds, the reality is a little different. That’s not to say that it’s a strategy that you should avoid though!