Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Most Famous Blackjack Player in the World Profiled by One of the World's Greatest Journalists

David Wagner, who's currently in the thick of an A-to-Z blogging challenge, steered me to The Atlantic's profile of Don Johnson, the most famous blackjack player in the world. I'd never heard of Johnson, because my knowledge of gambling and casinos is limited to Las Vegas and surrounding areas by choice, being that I will be home in Henderson in the next few months, with easy access to Las Vegas. I've learned a little bit about Atlantic City by way of Super Casino: Inside the "New" Las Vegas by Pete Earley, which, in writing about the history of Mirage Resorts, along with the history of Circus Circus Enterprises, has a few pages about casino mogul Steve Wynn's experience in Atlantic City, running the Golden Nugget, as well as Las Vegas initially losing huge chunks of revenue when casinos opened in Atlantic City, since east coast Vegas visitors didn't have to go far for a casino.

The profile is impressive, about someone who has studied blackjack closely, and not by card-counting. When I started reading it, I didn't even see who wrote it. But at the bottom, there was "Mark Bowden is a national correspondent for The Atlantic," and I should have known. Bowden is one of the greatest journalists in the history of journalism. He not only can find the story, but can unearth details that few other journalists even think to write about. His books are much the same way, with attention fully focused on those he writes about. He is merely the tour guide, subtly pointing out to us what we should know, not having to jump up and down and wave his arms wildly to do it. When he does refer to himself in a story, it's for the story, not himself. And whatever he writes, you can be sure that you'll be grabbed and held tightly to the story from the first word to the last.

Read about Don Johnson, and pay no attention to the journalist behind the curtain. He's all about the story, and you will be too.

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