MIT Team: 1990s
The MIT Blackjack Team grew and developed during the 1980s. However, there were many ups and downs during the decade and the players did receive success but there were many players who had quit the team due to the pressures.
During the 1990s the second phase of the team started.
In 1992 Massar, Johnny Chang and Bill Kaplan decided to take advantage of a new casino that opened in Connecticut. They formed the Strategic Investments group that same year for beginning the recruitment of the members. The limited partnership raised a million dollars for them which was quite higher than all of their initial teams.
To make most of this opportunity, they began recruiting new members for the team. Soon enough, there were more than 80 players in the group which included several players from MIT as well as in other locations. Sarah McCord had joined the team in 1983 and was made a partner in the company, she became responsible for training and procuring members for the team.
During the 1990s there were more than 30 players who played in different casinos simultaneously in various countries including in the casinos of Canada and the islands. There had never been such team work and game play throughout the world. The profits soon started materializing and the heat too.
Many members of the team were soon identified and were barred from the casinos. The team continued to recruit new members to replace the ones that had been banned. Eventually, the casinos hired investigators and formal teams and realized the connection of the banned members to MIT.
With several of their best players being banned from the casinos, the teams spent fewer hours on games and more on just managing the enterprise. The partners then decided to end Strategic Investments in 1993 and paid off the money to the players and the investors. Andy Bloch who was part of the MIT blackjack team, decided to start a career in poker, and has won more than $2,000,000 at live poker tournaments.
After the dissolution of the company some players split off and made their own blackjack teams:
Mike Aponte along with two others players from the team made their own team known as the Reptiles and Semyon Dukach made his own team which was called the Amphibians. These teams performed exceptionally well with investments being sometimes more than a million and more than 50 players being members of the team. However, by the end of 1990s the pressure again resulted in several players quitting the team, and eventually the teams came to an end.