The MIT Blackjack Team consisted of current and past students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), plus some other top colleges.
Who was Bill Kaplan?
They were led by a chap called Bill Kaplan, who was a Harvard graduate that had an interest in Blackjack due to reading books about card counting.
He was not actually the original founding member of the MIT Blackjack Team, but he was the one that turned it around to make a profit.
Who was JP Massar?
JP Massar ( also known as Mr M ) was a Mathematics student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His interest in gambling started when he read a book called “ How to Gamble if you must “ He got a few students together, and they started the original MIT Blackjack team. They had a few wins but were overall, not incredibly successful.
In 1980 JP Massar and Bill Kaplan met at a Chinese Restaurant, and JP Massar asked Bill Kaplan to join his team to observe their mistakes. Bill Kaplan spent a weekend with them to observe the mistakes they made and then decided to join.
He set about making it a serious business which meant putting in place a formal card counting and betting system. The new MIT Blackjack team started operating on the 1 August 1980.
It turned out to be a successful team for ten years, and investors received high returns. However, Bill Kaplan was eventually banned in many Vegas casinos, so he had to stop managing the team.
JP Massar formed another team with Johnny Chang, which was successful for two years until it also had to close down as the casinos got wise to their tactics and banned them too.
Where are they now?
Bill Kaplan is currently running various property businesses, and an emailing solution Company whilst JP Massar plays Professional Poker.