If you’ve ever wondered who the real-life inspiration was for Mickey Rosa’s character in the best-selling book “Bringing Down the House,” you don’t have to go much farther than John Chang to find the answer. John has been a member of the MIT Blackjack team ever since he was a student at the university, and he swiftly rose through the ranks to become one of the most accomplished managers the team has ever had.
What John Chang has to say about blackjack may be summed up as follows: “There is a lot of stuff in blackjack that is useful in other aspects of your life.” It takes a lot of intelligence and guts to evaluate a game and then really put your money on the line. To effectively manage a team, you need to be present and have the capacity to interact with different types of individuals.
Maintaining one’s composure and staying the course are prerequisites for dealing with adverse changes.
Relationships Within the Family
When John was a kid, his family moved quite a bit, which was difficult for him. He has past experience living in a variety of suburban areas in the states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. John’s parents both have advanced degrees in their respective fields of study; his father has a doctoral degree in chemical engineering, while his mother holds a master’s degree in the same field. His sister attended both Stanford University and Harvard University for her education, and she finally became an orthodontist who has her own business.
It was expected of John to go on in the traditions of his family. After achieving a high level of success in high school, he was admitted to MIT, and it took him about 10 years to get his degree there. John lacked the drive to attend any of his courses, despite the fact that he has the intelligence to complete the assignments. When his family found out that he spent a significant amount of his time playing blackjack, it’s reasonable to assume that they were less than thrilled about it.
The Beginnings of My Time Spent Competing on the MIT Blackjack Team
The beginning of the MIT blackjack squad can be traced back to 1978, which is the year when Resorts International was established in Atlantic City for the first time. J.P. Massar, a graduate of MIT, and Bill Kaplan, a graduate of Harvard Business School, served as managers at that period. They attracted students from a variety of colleges, including Harvard, New York University, and Princeton, in addition to MIT.
After seeing a poster on a bulletin board that said “Make $300 Over Spring Break,” John Chang got his first taste of card counting. The sign was posted at the casino where he worked. At that moment in time, $300 was a sum that he found to be rather alluring, and as a result, he chose to attend to the meeting. It has come to light that the gathering in question was in reality a recruiting event for the MIT blackjack team. In spite of the fact that John had only a limited understanding of blackjack, he reasoned that since he was already there, he may as well try his hand at card counting.
He was a member of the MIT Blackjack team, and over spring break they took a trip to Atlantic City to play at the Claridge Hotel and Casino. He was instructed to place a wager of $5 when the count was +1 and a wager of $10 when the count was +2. Even if to him right now this doesn’t seem like a significant amount of money, back then it was more than enough to make him feel uneasy. In spite of the fact that it was his first attempt, he managed to complete his first twenty-hour session with a remarkable level of success.
After completing his studies at MIT, John went on to get a position as a Senior Software Engineer at Kendall Square, where he now spends his weekdays. He would spend his weekends traveling with the club and take on either the role of a gorilla or a large player depending on the situation. He was able to adjust to the notion quite fast and rapidly became used to the fact that he would be required to make enormous bets, often wagering hundreds of dollars at a time. When he placed a stake of $1,600 at the Desert Inn, he won $8,000 in a single hand, which is considered one of the professional highlights from his early days.