Modern-day blackjack legend Ken Smith was born in Mississippi on November 16th, 1964. He developed an interest in blackjack early in life but became more active in the game when his home state of Mississippi legalized casino gambling in the early 90's.
In 1994, he participated in his first real-life blackjack tournament. He became hooked after that and routinely travels all over the country looking for tournaments to compete in. And even though he's only been competing professionally for about ten years, Ken has already racked up an impressive tally of over thirty first place finishes.
In 1995, Ken began writing articles dealing with tournament strategy for Blackjack Confidential magazine. Between these excellent articles and his performance as a player, he has quickly gained a reputation as a leading expert on tournament blackjack play.
And although Blackjack Confidential is no longer in print, Ken's work can still be found on a monthly basis in Henry Tamburin's email newsletter.
In 1998, Ken founded Bayview Strategies LLC. The company was formed with the intention of doing game consulting and website development. In 1996, Ken had begun sharing blackjack theories and strategy on his personal homepage, but as the internet grew he moved the site to its current home at Blackjack Info. The site continues to be one of the leading sources for blackjack information, as well as its sister site about Blackjack Tournaments. His slots site is also great.
With the huge success of the World Series of Poker, networks were scrambling to find the next big thing in the gambling world. Tournament blackjack began to receive increased exposure, and Ken was one of the first pros sought out to play in these televised games.
First up was the Game Show Network's World Series of Blackjack. Ken started out strong, winning at the initial table and then advancing to the final round. But fate didn't smile on Ken that night and he lost a critical hand near the end of the match, finishing in a disappointing sixth place. Ken, undeterred, dusted himself off and prepared for the next challenge.
That challenge would come in the form of the Las Vegas Hilton's Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament II in May, 2004. The tournament, later shown on the Travel Channel, featured all the excitement that one would expect from a high stakes game of blackjack. Ken came out strong and quickly advanced to the semifinals.
Then, one winning hand away from moving to the finals, Lady Luck once again dealt Ken a critical loss. He was knocked out of another televised tournament, but such is the life of a gambler.
Next up for Ken was the World Series of Blackjack 2005, which aired on the Game Show Network in January 2005. Although he played well, Ken fell short at the end of the round and failed to advance past the first table.
Between events, Ken is working on a book on blackjack tournament strategy. He also remains a frequent contributor to the online message boards on his websites.
Ken resides in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and is an avid reader (two favorites being The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien and A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin), astronomer, and classical guitarist.
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