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Famed Blackjack ‘Card-Counter’ to Speak at Penn College

Mike Aponte'21' to be shown on campusMike Aponte, the leader of the M.I.T. Blackjack Team a group of college students that defied the odds and legally won millions of dollars playing “21” will make a free public appearance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

Applying an ingenious spin on the mathematics of card-counting, Aponte and his colleagues from Masschusetts Institute of Technology and other colleges turned blackjack into an innovative and lucratic business venture. The group’s exploits captured the public’s imagination in the bestselling book, “Bringing Down the House,” and in the movie, “21,” which co-starred Kevin Spacey and (as a character partially based on Aponte) Jim Sturgess.

Behind the glitz and glamour of high-stakes casino gambling, however, are the business and management principles employed in the formation and startup of the team itself. While providing an exciting account of his blackjack career, Aponte also will address the entrepreneurial spirit and the importance of determination, integrity and finding one’s true passion as hallmarks of a happy and fulfilling life.

In conjunction with his visit, the college’s Student Activities Office has scheduled free showings of the movie at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14; and 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 all in the Academic Center Auditorium.

For more information, visit online or call 570-327-4763. For more about Penn College, visit on the Web, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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