Francesco (aka Frank Schipani, Frank Salerno) invented the concept of blackjack team play and created
the persona of the Big Player. With his ingenious ideas, Al and his
teams were able to use
card-counting strategies to win millions of dollars at
blackjack without being detected by the casinos.
is one of the most highly respected blackjack players in the history
of the game and is responsible for teaching Ken Uston the art and
science of counting cards. Ken once said to Arnold Snyder: "I owe
everything to Al. He really might be the greatest blackjack player
there ever was."
Al is primarily known to the general public
through Ken Ustonís books as the mastermind who created the "big
player" (BP) team concept. Al started his first blackjack team in
the early 1970s, and until Ustonís first book,
The Big Player, was published in 1977, Alís teams were totally invisible to the casinos and extracted millions of
dollars from them.