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UltimateBet.com Black Jack Tournaments
Elimination Blackjack is the new tournament style blackjack game available from UltimateBet.com. The tournaments have 7 players competing to have the biggest stack of chips after a specific number of hands. After 8, 16, and 25 hands, the player with the least number of chips is eliminated from the tournament. A bluffing element has also been included in this version of blackjack, called a "secret bet". Once every round, each player is allowed to make a secret bet, so the other players will not know how much that player is risking on his secret bet.
The Ultimate Bet version of Elimination Black Jack uses six decks and shuffles every hand. Card counting and perfect strategy are not the crucial factors in strategy for Elimination Blackjack; bet sizing is the important skill in these blackjack tournaments. Currently the tournaments are only available in lower stakes games with a $5.50 buy-in, but larger buy-in's will surely be available eventually.
The launch of the Elimination Blackjack tournaments at Ultimate Bet is in preparation of their sponsorship of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour on CBS, which airs on September 16, and features Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, and Antonio Esfandiari. (You'll probably see plenty of ads for UltimateBet.tv, which is their free play site.) The prize in that tournament is $1 million. (It's interesting to note also that there is a legal dispute currently regarding the trademark and copyright of these types of blackjack tournaments between the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and GSN, the Game Show Network.)
The 2006 Ultimate Poker Classic in Aruba, which is sponsored by UltimateBet.com, will feature Elimination Blackjack tournaments also. They're offering seminars and actual tournaments and qualifiers from September 23 through October 1. The main event will be the Sunday UltimateBet Aruba Blackjack Classic Championship Finals, which will air nationally on CBS. We've included the complete schedule for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour below for your convenience:
Online casinos who offer blackjack tournaments are rare enough, and few will be able to compete with the huge player base that Ultimate Bet has access too. A couple of online casinos who also offer blackjack tourneys include Global Player and BJ21.
A good resource for blackjack odds and tournament strategy, and in fact, any casino game tournament strategy, is Stanford Wong's book Casino Tournament Strategy. Ken Einiger recently released a book with specific strategies for Elimination Blackjack called Play to Win.
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