Every great gambling story involves Alan Woods, the mathematic genius who gained the upper hand in the Blackjack game because of his proficiency in dealing with numbers. He made his fortune out of using mathematical skills to play Blackjack. Here is a story of how Alan Woods left a valuable legacy in the world of gambling.
His Early Life
Alan Woods was born in 1945 in New South Wales, Australia into a well-off family. His parents were the owners and managers of a news agency, a cordial factory, and a hotel. Alan had everything materialistic that he wanted growing up. Allan was introduced to solo whist by his father while still young. Solo whist is a plain trick card game, almost the same as the bridge game. Alan could play solo whist with his family most of the time and became very good at it. It was through solo whist that Allan discovered that he was a real mathematics genius.
After graduating high school, Alan Woods joined the University of New England, where he studied mathematics. He dropped out the final year before he could complete the course because he registered low attendance and low grades.
The debut of Alan Wood’s gambling spree
Alan ‘s college roommates introduced him to the world of gambling. Occasionally, during the weekends, they would encourage him to accompany them to the nearby casino. Alan did not have a hint about how casino games are played, and he needed to figure out what to expect; at first, he was overwhelmed by a lot of table and slot games and needed an idea of which one to choose. Alan decided to try out poker first because of his little familiarity with the game. Poker rules proved too complicated for him, and the competition was too stiff for him to keep up.
Alan lost a lot of money at the casino playing slot games, and he realized that luck was off his side. His parents cut off his funding, and at the time, he could not keep up with the losses at the casino. Alan decided to replace his time at the casino with walks to the race tracks. He made a first bet on horse racing and was surprised to be a lucky winner. Afterward, Alan shifted his focus to horse race betting; unfortunately, his losses were way too many compared to the wins. He gave up on horse racing for a while.
Alan wood’s marriage life
Alan met Meredith, a beautiful young woman who was the daughter of his parents’ business partners. The two fell in love, and by 1972, they were ready to tie the knot. Everything happened so fast, and immediately after they married, Alan and Meredith Woods started having children. They gave birth to two children, Antony and Vicky.
Alan ‘s marriage fell on the rocks when he could not keep up his job as he would always sleep at work or get to work late. This became an immense strain in saving his marriage because they started fighting more often, and their house developed into a hostile environment. After seven years of marriage, Meredith left Alan and took the children with her. Alan struggled to keep up with life after the divorce, so he went back into gambling for comfort.
The Blackjack king: Alan Wood back to gambling
A friend introduced Alan to card counting in Blackjack. Alan set out to practice for several weeks; when he was sure of his skills, he decided to play at an actual casino table. His first shot at Blackjack was a great success. He walked out of the casino with several thousand dollars from the win. Then, Alan Woods applied for a job at the Wrest Point casino as a house-of-age calculator for all their games. Woods demonstrated his tactical mathematics skills and was just the man for the job. In fact, he could do the calculation twice as fast as Wrest Point casino expected.
Wood grew a personal interest in the house edge on the blackjack game. He saw that the 0.7% that he had calculated when four decks were in use gave him a gain over the house. He got more and more determined to play Blackjack and win money. Initially, what started as a divorce comforter and a hobby became an addiction.
He started playing Blackjack frequently at that point in time; he spent six months in Las Vegas playing Blackjack every single day, morning, noon, and night. After six months in Vegas, he collectively won over $100 000. He set out to other parts of the world to play Blackjack. Some of the countries he visited are Hong Kong, some parts of Europe, and Australia.
The big wins in the Blackjack game drew a lot of attention to him, so most casinos started to recognize him. Alan Woods resorted to disguising himself to avoid being thrown out of the casinos. He started wearing wigs, fake mustaches, and glasses, and he even got his hair dyed just to hide his identity. The disguises could not keep him from being thrown out of the casinos. Eventually, he gave up Blackjack and decided to take a new course.
Horse race betting, again?
Alan Woods gave horse racing a second chance shortly after quitting Blackjack. He moved to Hong Kong, where he worked with Bill Benter and Zeljko Ranogajec, who were professional gamblers at the time. Together they were trying to devise a way of making correct and accurate predictions on the outcomes of horse races. Alan developed computer software that would determine the chances of winning based on the track of the race, and the weather conditions at the time of the race, among other factors. The software was developed with many algorithms and complex calculations, which Alan Woods came up with. After two years, the software was a great success, and it could actually predict wins. The team made so much money before they parted ways due to financial wrangles.
The end of an era…
Before he died, Alan Woods was very generous with the fortune he had built. Alan channeled thousands of dollars to Mental Health research because he was concerned about the mental health of some of his very close friends. He donated a lot of money to orphanages, schools, and hospitals in the Philippines. In the early 2000s, Alan was diagnosed with appendix cancer and spent his remaining days in the comfort of his home. Alan died on January 26th, 2008. He is remembered as one of the most successful gamblers in the world, who earned over 500 million dollars throughout his gambling career.