An interesting compilation of factoids from “21”/The MIT Blackjack Team

image The folks at Chasing the Frog put together a really nice list of Q&As from the movie “21” to help clear up what is true and what is false about the movie.  They go over who each of the characters in the movie really were in real life as well as where they are now.  There are also videos from John Chang, Jeff Ma, Mike Aponte, & Bill Kaplan.

More interestingly though, they answer some questions such as:

  • Was an MIT professor really the leader of the Blackjack Team?
  • Did Ben really join the blackjack team to earn money for med school?
  • Had the real Ben lost his father?
  • Was the romance in the movie real?
  • When did the real story take place?
  • Did Fisher really recruit Ben Campbell to play on the team?
  • Did everyone on the real MIT Blackjack Team attend MIT?
  • Who bankrolled the MIT Blackjack Team?
  • Did the team really use code words to represent the count?
  • What blackjack book is Ben reading on the airplane in the movie 21?
  • Where is the secret underground casino in Chinatown?
  • Were the former MIT team members upset that the movie didn’t reflect their mostly Asian ethnicity?
  • Did team members stuff money down their pants to get past airport security?
  • How do the former team members feel about the movie’s inaccuracies?
  • I heard that much of Ben Mezrich’s book is exaggerated and untrue?
  • Did Ben really lose control at the Red Rock and cost the team $200,000?
  • Is the Laurence Fishburne character based on an actual person?
  • Did any of the team members ever get beat up by casino security?
  • Did the MIT Blackjack Team ever use strippers to cash out their chips?
  • Did team members ever drink, visit strip clubs, or play slots during the trips?
  • Did a team leader steal $315k from a player after the player lost $200k by playing carelessly?
  • Did Ben really hide his winnings in the ceiling of his dorm room?
  • What is the most that the team ever won on a single trip?
  • What is the most that the team ever lost on a single trip?
  • Did the MIT team play at other locations besides Las Vegas?
  • Do any of the former MIT Blackjack Team members have cameos in the movie?
  • I heard that one of the players dressed like a woman to fool casino security?
  • Are any of the real life players featured in the History Channel documentary Breaking Vegas represented in the movie?
  • Are there still blackjack teams at MIT?
  • Were the campus scenes shot at the real MIT?


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