The MIT Blackjack Team

A group of students and past students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were known as The MIT Blackjack Team.

Who was the Leader?

Bill Kaplan, a Harvard graduate, turned the MIT Blackjack team into a thriving group, even though he was not the founder.

From a young age, he was a keen reader. However, he had a fascination with Blackjack, and more specifically, with card counting.

Who was the Founder?

Mr M ( His proper name was JP Massar ) was also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student studying mathematics. He also had an interest in gambling due to reading 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 here and there but were not particularly successful in the long run.

JP Massar and Kaplan Join Up

In 1980, JP Massar and Bill Kaplan met at a Chinese Restaurant where JP invited Bill to observe their errors. After spending a weekend with them observing, Bill decided to join. He gave it a serious try, and it became a thriving enterprise with many investors wanting a slice of the action.

The new MIT Blackjack team started operating on 1 August 1980.

It was a successful team for ten years, and the investors were pleased with their returns. However, Bill Kaplan became too well known and got banned at most of the Casinos in Las Vegas. He had no choice, and had to step down as the Team Manager.

After Bill Kaplan left, JP Massar joined forces with Johnny Chang. They did well for two years until they also got banned from the Vegas Casinos.

What happened to them?

JP Massar now plays professional poker, while Bill Kaplan runs a property development company and an email management service.