Over the course of a few months last year, blackjack player Don Johnson took three Atlantic City casinos for $15 million.

Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly revenue of Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino. Not long before that, he’d taken the Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million. Here’s how he did it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/the-man-who-broke-atlantic-city/308900/2/?single_page=true

How 3 Poker Players Used Their Winnings to Build Their Startups

Given the similarities between poker and starting your own company, it should come as no surprise that poker pros are drawn to the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Here are the stories of how three poker pros used their skills, daring attitudes, and even winnings from the game to build companies:

http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/how-3-poker-players-used-their-winnings-to-build-their-startups.html

Connected Neighborhoods

I moved into a young neighborhood with lots of kids and families. Someone clever took the opportunity to make a Facebook page for all the neighbors to organize events, warn others of suspicious activity, looking for lost pets, and post baby sitters jobs etc..It made everyone feel more connected.

Most of us are often in need of babysitters, pet watchers, and various odd jobs.  It’s very convenient for teens and retired people to post their availability for different types of tasks. Our neighbors are your natural customers. And when I’m looking for a real estate agent, or a mortgage banker, it would be nice to know your neighbor is in that business too.

Neighbors could organize discounts for various services, from raking leaves, to window washing, to pool and lawn care, to house cleaning.

TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood.[1] Users name the task they need done, name the price they are willing to pay, and a network of pre-approved TaskRabbits bid to complete the job.

https://www.taskrabbit.com/

It is based on the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors.”

March Madness Stats

There’s no escaping the buzz about sports and data and March Madness. Here are some interesting tips.

1)  look at wild-card players vs teams, is a better way to go when “predicting upsets. Try to garner information from the games you’ve watched over the past several days.

2) Last 5 years, of the 2 of 20 Final Four teams,  had a winning streak of 10+ games (2010 Butler, 2013 Louisville). Of those 20, 7 of them were no better than 6-4 in their 10 games prior to the Tourney. So it appears that last 10 games are not a great indicator. Last year, both Michigan and Syracuse were 5-5 in their last 10 entering the Tourney and reached the Final Four. So historical performance may not be a good trend to analyze.

3) Don’t pick your favorite team to win it all.

4) Shooting percentage on three-point field goals is the most frustratingly unreliable statistic in basketball. I think it’s a crap shoot.

5) Location and Timing.  If  an underdog  West Coast team playing an early afternoon game against a favorite East Coast team that traveled half way across the country…   would you shy away from that upset pick? Maybe for every mile traveled – 3 hour time difference = less time played.

Maybe statistical brackets based on proximity to the location where the game is being played might be a good trend to look at. Maybe not.  It’s not a perfect predictive model, but if the game still feels like a coin flip, this is a data point that could be valuable.

We don’t have the sabermetrics that baseball has, but there are a lot of data points out there to consider. Check out what the experts are saying with the Predict-O-tron..http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/march-madness-predict-o-tron