MIT Blackjack player to speak at SDSU


Mike Aponte is a world-renowned blackjack player, gaming consultant and trainer. Aponte, who will be speaking in the Performing Arts Center Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

Aponte was the leader of the MIT Blackjack Team, a high stakes card-counting team that legally won millions at blackjack using mathematics and an entrepreneurial approach. He was one of the main characters in the New York Times bestseller, Bringing Down the House, which inspired the major motion picture, 21.

In addition to being one of the MIT Blackjack Team’s most successful players, Aponte was also responsible for recruiting, player development, strategic analysis, trip coordination and establishing team rules and policies.

In 2004, Aponte won the first ever World Series of Blackjack championship, and in 2007, Mike became the first and only blackjack player ever to be featured on a Topps’ trading card.

After entering semi-retirement, Aponte became heavily involved in non-profit work, tutoring and mentoring high school students. For five years Mike directed an after school program in the Washington DC area with the mission of helping young people achieve higher education. He has been recognized with several honors for his work with youth, including the national community service “Points of Light” award.

Aponte conducts seminars on professional blackjack, speaking events for universities and private companies, and has produced a suite of instructional products that teach the mathematics of blackjack and card counting. He has also acted as a consultant in the gaming industry in both the U.S and Canada, helping casinos optimize their gaming operations and providing statistical analysis.