Joe Pane is a retired Brooklyn police officer and one of the most accomplished blackjack players in the world. He is a veteran of over 500 blackjack tournaments and has won over half a million dollars during his career. Joe is known as an excellent chip counter who excels in the final hands of tournament style blackjack. Currently living in Las Vegas, Pane writes for the Blackjack Insider website and is the co-host of the live radio gambling show Be In Action (where he discusses upcoming tournaments and gives tips for tournament play).
He was featured on Season 2 of the World Series of Blackjack, competing against Rene Angelil, Katya Underhill, "Hollywood" Dave Stann, and Kevin Blackwood. His banter with "Hollywood" Dave was roundly considered to be a high point of the show's second season.
While he is an accomplished blackjack player, Joe Pane is also skilled at articulating various blackjack tips and strategies. Below, I have paraphrased some of his expert advice. No doubt, it can be of benefit to any blackjack player regardless of their level of experience.
Joe Pane made headlines when he filed a lawsuit against Green Valley Ranch Station Casino, in which he claimed to have been banned from casinos and gambling tournaments due to being depicted as a cheat on a gambling reality show.
The suit stems from a specific episode of the Discovery Channel series "American Casino," which depicted Pane playing in a high-end blackjack tournament at Green Valley Ranch. Earlier that day, he had participated in another tournament for locals, and he was asked to sign a release form so that he could be taped for the show.
He claimed that he was told the show would "spotlight the fun and excitement of a blackjack tournament" and that "his play at the table should be boisterous and he should exhibit braggadocio throughout his play." But the suit went on to claim that casino management intended to "paint Pane as a cheater, an undesirable, and someone who dirties up games." The producers of the show were also named in the suit.
Pane claims that the show was highly edited in order to make it appear that he had somehow slipped into the high-end tournament. He said he was labeled a cheat to spice up what would have been an otherwise ordinary episode about a blackjack tournament.
Since the episode aired, Pane has been kicked out of Las Vegas casinos and barred from more than one blackjack tournament. "My whole life has been in law enforcement catching bad guys," Pane said. "And now I'm being treated like one."
But despite these troubles, Pane is still highly respected in the gambling community. Recently, he qualified for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, which you can catch on Saturdays at 2 P.M. Eastern on CBS.
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