Spin the Wheel

Alan Woods

 Alan Woods

Alan Woods was a legend in the gambling Industry. He gambled professionally in Australia and Hong Kong and was considered by mathematicians to be the biggest gambler in the world.

He mainly focused on Blackjack and Horse Racing and worked with Bill Benter and Zeljko Ranogajec during his gambling career. He pioneered quantitive gambling by betting on Hong Kong horse races and gave Bill Benter the idea to bet on Horse Racing in Hong Kong.

Alan Woods Gambling Career

It’s by no means an overstatement to say Alan Woods was the gambler who started the horse racing betting. He did not place bets on gut feelings; instead, he decided to use the same algorithms that were successful in financial markets and made a fortune on horse racing. He did not develop this unbeatable strategy by himself, he had a team of advantage gamblers who collected data, and one of his partners was Bill Benter.

Their first year was catastrophic; the gambling duo lost more than $120 000, and it was one of the reasons the duo split. After the split, both gamblers went on to make hundreds of millions in the years to follow. He is known for his tremendous wins in betting on horse races but initially reached legendary status through card counting. He retired in 1982 to focus on horse betting in Hong Kong.

At the time of his death, his estimated net worth was AU$670 million. What many do not know is he used his gambling money for the greater good by investing in mental health research. Moreover, he donated millions of dollars to the Philippines to build orphanages, hospitals and schools.


Alan Woods left a considerable gap in the gambling world with his passing in 2008 from appendiceal cancer. He will always be known as the mathematical genius from Australia who used his super IQ and principles of quantitive gambling to win millions on Horse Racing.



Mask Up!

The MIT Blackjack Team

 The MIT Blackjack Team are a group of ex-students and students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and other leading colleges. The founding member is Bill Kaplan.

This diverse Blackjack team were well known for their card counting techniques and more sophisticated strategies to beat casinos at Blackjack globally. They operated successfully form 1979 through to early 2000.

How it Began

In late November of 1979, a professional Blackjack player contacted one of the students in the card-counting group by the name of JP Massar who became known as Mr M. He proposed that they target Atlantic City Casinos where it was illegal to ban card counting.

In 1980 JP Massar heard about Bill Kaplan, a Harvard MBA graduate who had run a successful Blackjack team in Vegas for three years. He then set out to bring him on board. After observing the team, he decided to join. However, he made it clear that it had to operate as a serious business. This meant having a formal counting and betting system, strict training and detailed tracking of all casino play. The new MIT Blackjack team started on the 1 August 1980.

It was a successful team, and investors achieved an annualized return above 250%. Bill Kaplan eventually had to fall back and stop managing the team, as he could no longer show his face in any casino. He then decided to concentrate on his growing Real Estate and Development Company.


The MIT Blackjack team dissolved and players went their separate ways forming different teams. The original team may be gone, but never forgotten. Moreover, there were movies loosely based on their conquests like the 2008 film “21”, and Bill Kaplan actually appears in a cameo in the background of this movie.