Why I Want to Sell You the Holy Grail for $25,000: Because I Want to Help You!

Last week, a couple friends asked me to sit in on a call to a systems seller who goes by the name David Gunas. They wanted to learn more about his system, which he claims mathematically beats baccarat.

Gunas claims after playing several thousand live shoes with his system (he says he plays daily), his player’s advantage is around +10%. Moreover, he claims to be working with a programmer who tested his system with computer simulations to yield long term expectancies of around +6%.

He claims not only will his system work for baccarat, but any other near-50/50 game such as roulette and craps as well. He claims students have paid him over $100,000 to learn his system, but being the nice guy that he is, would offer it to us at the bargain price of $25,000.

After asking him a few pointed questions regarding the mathematics of his approach, I quickly determined that a computer simulation of it could not possibly have yielded the long term expectancies he claimed.

In fact, his core betting procedure, which he only very reluctantly offered us an example of, is not at all original. It is exactly the same one Stetson Bailey explained in the introduction of his book Win $1k Per Day At Craps, and is very simple: Start at, say, 10u, and upon a win, go down 1u; or upon a loss, go up 1u. It is simply a D’Alembert with a base bet higher than 1u. When I first learned it from Bailey’s book, I immediately ran a computer simulation of it, and conclusively determined for myself it does no better in the long run than simply flat betting.

However, Gunas tried to convince us with the sloppy, broad hand-waving of a used-car salesman that the modified D’Alembert guarantees +1u for every win-loss pair, and that he was able to design an even more powerful system by adding money management rules and differential (net) betting procedures to it, what he calls hedging across multiple columns.

I challenged him with some very basic questions which pointed to the obvious mathematical flaws in his approach, for example, based on the reasoning of my previous post Why Any Progression Must Fail For Negative Expectancy Games In the Long Run, but rather than even trying to offer reasonable responses, he evaded them with statements that made no sense (“You’re just proving my point!”), or by becoming extremely defensive (“I don’t need your money, so why don’t you just hang up!”), or by trying to turn the tables and putting me on trial (“You’re just another one of those crazy skeptics who believe baccarat can’t be won!”).  When pressed for rational explanations for his extraordinary claims, he completely fell apart.

I make a very reasonable proposal to systems sellers such as Gunas:

Agree to hold the price of the system in escrow at a reputable institution (e.g. those used for real estate and other large financial transactions) pending the outcome of long-term computer simulations of the system.

For full transparency and objectivity, the computer simulations should be performed independently by both parties, and both sets of results can then be objectively reviewed to everyone’s full satisfaction. This eliminates the risk on the buyer’s part, since his money is guaranteed to be safe in the event the results do not support the claims of the seller, in which case, the value of the system is worthless anyway, so the seller also in principle does not lose anything (except his reputation) either.

In Gunas’ case, he should jump at the opportunity, since supposedly, he has already performed the computer simulations. If he is confident his numerical results are accurate, then he should not fear this litmus test, but gratefully without hesitation accept the chance to prove its true worth.

However, when I proposed this to Gunas, he balked and accused me of being one of those crazy skeptics who have nothing better to do than prove the game can’t be won, that testing his system over even a few thousand shoes was an unreasonably large number.

I reminded him that a few thousand shoes is realistically what a professional would play in about a year. In reply, he scoffed at the idea of someone playing his system professionally to make a consistent living, even though that is what he is supposedly doing and what he is offering to teach others how to do. After all, with a +6% (heck, even a +0.1%) system, any rational person should utilize it as often as possible, since the more he plays, the more he will be assured of winning in the long run!

What really tickled me was his answer to my question, “If you really believe you have a way to beat baccarat long term, why are you selling it at any price?”

His answer: “Because I like helping people.”

Right … people who will pay you tens-of-thousands (or supposedly over $100K) first.

If I truly had a positive-expectancy system to beat baccarat and other near-50/50 games and truly wanted to help people, the last thing I would do is sell it to anyone at any price, if for no other reason than to keep the secret away from the casinos themselves, who would overnight change the rules to nullify my advantage if they recognized it as a legitimate threat to their bottom-line.

Rather, I’d use the system myself to quickly become the richest person in the world (by using it in the financial markets, rather than in casinos), then donate to existing charities or open up my own charities, and keep funding these charities indefinitely.

Selling a (supposed) holy grail helps no one but the seller.

Disclaimer: The betting strategies and results presented are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Gambling involves substantial risks, and the odds are not in the player’s favor by design. The author does not state nor imply any system, method, or approach offers users any advantage, and he shall not be held liable under any circumstances for any losses whatsoever.

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49 Responses to “Why I Want to Sell You the Holy Grail for $25,000: Because I Want to Help You!”

  1. dave im glad you brought this up i texted him a month ago not that i wanted to learn his method just to get a angle on this guy becuase alot of people wher bringing his name up he told me 7500 over the phone or 30 thousand to fly me to his house he does have some videos on utube he has some dr promote his methods on forums some guy post on bf that him and that dr are scammers and that he watched them play and lose gunas i guess used to be a pro golfer people need to understand stop buying systems read books and play what you can afford i still get a email from him testimonials from his clients go figure

    • Thanks, Steve, always great hearing from you.

      Yeah, that’s funny about the doctor who’s supposedly a happy client of Gunas. It’s just too easy to run scams like these. Story as old as time.

      Sadly, there’s little we can do about it other than try to encourage people to think carefully and rationally.

      Dave

  2. I have seen Gunas and his “team” play many times. I have been on the same table with Gunas and watched him leave that table in disgust after losing. I have also seen him and other members get wiped out. Gunas is a very demonstrative player and gets very upset when he loses, frequently storming away.

    While it is not unusual to lose to variance with ANY method one has to question such reactions if one is confident of one’s long term positive outcome since losses are just part of the game.

    • Thanks Archer!

      Wow – I had no idea you knew Gunas personally. So, thanks very much for sharing your real-world observations about him.

      Dave

      • Unfortunately I do know Mr. Gunas personally and Archer’s account of how Mr. Gunas’s behavior at the tables are right on (most of times pissing off the dealers and the other patrons). I have had the miss fortune of being suckered into purchasing his system and flying out to his home to show it to me. 2.5k for the system and lost 1k at the casinos trying out his system (Gunas lost the same amount of money since we had a shared bank roll). After leaving in disbelief that I through away 3.5k and a weekend I tried playing it in practice mode on several live casinos at home. In overall the system that he thought me lost for the most part.

        He did show me an excel file with hundreds of simulation on his computer. I only looked at several that did show some wins. Which made things that much more convincing. However when I said he could play from home using a blank spread sheet on live casinos he quickly dismissed the idea. I would have thought this would be the way to play his system because it is quite an ordeal to compute the next bet. When we were in the casino he had a hard time keeping up at an average speed of the hands being dealt (half the time missing the bet or making calculation mistakes).

        I do half to say his wife and family were very nice people which made him that more convincing.

      • Thanks for sharing your experience, Steve, and I’m very sorry to hear you got scammed by Gunas. Yeah, conmen are always very nice … That’s how they gain your confidence.

  3. honeybooboo Says:

    It is common knowledge that this guy is a hot head and somewhat of a nut case. I don’t think he is firing on all cylinders.

    I guess he is somewhat infamous for golfing barefoot? Clearly something isn’t wired right in his brain.

  4. I have this system. It is complete junk. I am the programmer that tested this system. It ended up tens of thousands of units DOWN on just the Zumma tester books. He would not refund me my money, even though he guaranteed it would beat Zumma. The guy is a snake oil salesman, and a real ass. Stay away from him.

    • Hey Roy,

      Wow – thanks for the report and warning!

      Yeah, Gunas made it sound like you were all excited about verifying the grail and even programmed an app to automatically calculate the decisions so that you could play all day online. What a pathological liar!

      So sad that scum like him get away with preying on decent folks.

      You should post his method at the forums to get back at him!

      Dave

      • honeybooboo Says:

        Just don’t post a actual copy but to be safe post a system that you thought of in your own words, wink wink…

        but yeah this Gunas guy needs to be humiliated.

    • honeybooboo Says:

      I know what that feels like. Being the victim of a conman. Makes you wonder how some people can sleep at night.

      • Yeah, I’ve taken the bait a couple times myself. I think we all have.

        The lure of sweet lies is still sweet!

  5. I was on that call with you. I agree with all of the comments posted here. One thing I thought was unusual about the videos was that if he was making SO much money, why would he demonstrate the thing at a kitchen table with a baccarat felt covering using cheap poker chips? If I really wanted to make it look believable I would have rented a nice place with a REAL baccarat table and really nice clay chips (I also own a poker supply company) and you could fleece your sheep much easier. What I hate more than a crook is a “dumbs” one (This quote is from Grady Wilson on “Sanford & Son”).

  6. I have yet to buy a system where the seller was not lying. And I have bought many. And it is not like I buy every 5 dollar system out there, I usually look to see if a system supposedly beats at least 100 000 decisions. I bought a system from a man named Pedro Calvete that supposedly beat 1 million spins. Now the man was actually pretty nice and helpful (I had to translate the system and his emails) but my tests showed it was a long term failure. I even contacted the programmer of the system, Clement Patrick. He just sent me a graph of 1 million spins saying that the system could fail 1 million spins, and then profit the next. I did not buy this explanation, since if a system fails 1 million spins flat betting, it will also fail the next 1 million spins as well.

    I have been screwed on Ebay as well. A man claimed he had a system that beat 10 million spins. Well after I tested it (long term failure) and showed him the results, he never got back to me. Luckily I did a paypal dispute. I have never lost a Paypal dispute/Credit card chargeback for a system that lies about its performance. And I have done a few.

    I think the games really are impossible to beat. Unless I am missing something.

    Great blog David. You are doing an enormous service to people, and I really like you. Keep up the superlative work.

    • Thanks for your honest sharing, Roy.

      The only way a computation would show a positive result is if the procedure being tested actually changes the underlying odds in the player’s favor. That can happen in blackjack, because the decisions are not entirely independent. But in baccarat, all decisions are independent, at least without insider knowledge of the shoe composition. So, played perfectly fairly, a simulation of a baccarat method is bound to always yield negative results.

      Ask yourself when you’re considering testing a system, does its procedures change the underlying odds? If not, you won’t have to do the actual simulation to know what the result of it would be.

      Hope that helps some, and keep up the good work.
      Dave

  7. Remember Dave. You are my go to go if I ever do find the grail!

    🙂

  8. honeybooboo Says:

    Roy, if you’re still out there, did you ever test any of Ellis Davis systems?

  9. No, I never did test any of his systems.

  10. I recently spent four hours at Mohegan Sun playing with Gunas…this is where he takes all his “students”. I also played alongside many of the cast of characters whose “testimonials” appear on his website.

    He even brought mom and dad along …

    He espouses a very risky, high stakes approach to the game, not at all like his “10-dollar bill” YouTube videos, but with an escalating $$ progression which can quickly escalate into betting 20+ units a hand.

    Naturally, like any “system” , his wins it’s share of hands …but when it loses, look out below!

    My advice is to stay far, far away from DG and company.

    PS. – Dave, I met you in PA ( before your Atlantic City trip…) Still playing NOR and doing just fine with it!

    • Thanks, Kevin, for sharing your observations.

      Glad to hear you’re had better luck with NOR than I had. I wonder how many in our PA seminar had similar good luck as you did with it.

      Of course, as I recall, you have your own methods of play, which are actually diametrically opposed to what Ellis does. Either way, in the end, it doesn’t matter. You’ll win when he loses, and vice versa, just like you were the only one to win on Friday night when all he could do was lose. Likewise, Saturday night was a better night for him.

      So, continued best of luck to you,
      Dave

      • Subsequent to our PA seminar, I came to the conclusion that for me, NOR works best by playing a shoe with a betting approach that simply focuses on keeping track of the greatest disparity between PvsB, OvsR and OTBLvsTBL

        I keep a running “tally” of each metric as the shoe progresses, and adjust as the shoe unfolds ( betting on the greatest disparity)

        Nothing works all the time, but this approach seems to work well for me most of the time..in most shoes, one of the disparities will stand out above the others…Ironically, Keith and Ellis wrote about this very approach back in 2009 ( before I knew of their forum), and long before they “repackaged” it as NOR.

        Now I know how the blind squirrel must have felt…HA!

  11. I helped market Dave’s system for a couple of months & believed in him & the his system. I tested his methods over 800 shoes and found that his method doesn’t hold up very well as the draw downs can be quite severe and the swings can be very wild. I know of at least 8 people that have bought his system or worked with him that are very dissatisfied with the method & want nothing to do with him anymore. Dave has financially hurt alot of people so beware if you get caught up in his marketing hype & baccarat fantasy .

    • Is it as complicated as it sounds? It seems that he is playing four different patterns and playing with the pattern and against the pattern at the same time with differential betting. Seems like a headache.

      • Dave has more methods than Carter has pills.He even purposed a 7 player team playing 4 patterns each all diffrent from each other. You bet it would be a real pain to execute but worth it if it worked anywhere near he claimed.

      • If he’s setting up the team so that it’s his bankroll that’s at risk, and paying the players either by the hour or with a piece of the pie, then count me in! 😉

    • Thanks for the honest report, G Evans –

      Unfortunately, he’s as active as ever marketing his system as the Answer to Baccarat. Gunas really needs to be locked up.

      • I agree,the question remains locked up where? I think Dave believes in his own lies & belongs locked up in an asylum. I sure hope the word gets out about him because he should be out of business . His baccarat is a failure in my eyes. Any suggestions as to how to accomplish this?

      • Yeah, I know a few other lunatics just like him, though they don’t charge nearly as much as his exorbitant fee.

      • Any suggestions as to how to accomplish this?

        From my experience, people are much more eager to hand over their hard earned money to someone like Gunas to be fed sweet lies than heed for absolutely free the bitter truth.

        The thing is, even if you put away someone like Gunas, there’s 10 others who’ll immediately take his place, and they will have no problem finding an endless line of eagerly willing marks.

      • But here are some more practical suggestions:

        * Consider submitting your story to the fraud and scam reporting sites and agencies, for example, ripoffreport.com, the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Attorney General’s Office, etc., and encourage the other victims to likewise submit reports of their own. This will get his name into the search engines, and when someone searches for his name in the future, they will have a better chance of being warned by your reports.

        * You’ve already taken a great step by commenting here. If you’d like to write a more complete account of your experience, feel free to submit it here, and I’ll happily post it as a “real” article post to help warn others.

        * If you have good legal resources, consider suing him. Another scammer notorious for running major baccarat scams through Craigslist and baccarat forums finally got prison time for his misdeeds thanks to a class action lawsuit. Actually, I think the state’s Attorney General prosecuted that case, because they received so many complaints about him. So, certainly report your case to the Attorney General of your state.

  12. […] simulation, system, system seller, testing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own […]

  13. Barefoot Dave is a scam artist ! He took me for $$$$.
    He plays at mohegan sun usually on Tuesday evenings. All his testimonials were written by the so called genius himself.

    Don’t believe his bullshit ! In the long run his system does not produce profits…it is all garbage!

  14. I do have the system from this man. It has no merits at all. A every other system it relies on getting a favorable time, most of the time.

  15. I was considering talking with this guy and I’m so glad I found this site. I just Googled his name and here it was. You are all protecting others by posting your comments. Thank you!

    • virtuoid Says:

      You’re welcome, JJ. Glad to hear we saved you from that scammer Dave Gunas, but sad to hear he’s still scamming.

  16. Lucky, i found this website this is what he email me today.

    Good Afternoon,

    After you read through it all, if you are still interested in moving forward and learning more feel free to email me and we can set up a phone call.

    Respectfully,
    Dave

    ———————————

    Baccarat Information Letter and Testimonials.

    Fact: We have a winning method.

    We play it every single week. My wife Julie and I need no jobs. We simply play baccarat at Mohegan Sun casino and Foxwoods Casino in Ct where we live each week. We also play online where they feature live baccarat with human, real time dealers so it is a fair game. We go to Atlantic City many weekends to get to a new venue so we do not ever over do it at our huge Connecticut casinos.

    We go to Vegas 6 or 7 times per year to play with clients that fly in from all over the globe to learn our method.

    Our premise is this….

    When you focus on bet size differential, as opposed to bet selection (which for the record is completely meaningless), you start to use math as a way to create a consistent return in a random game such as baccarat.

    When we have one column which we call the “core”, and that columns wins and losses end up at say 37 wins and 37 losses for a shoe, we earn EXACTLY 37 TIMES THE DIFFERENTIAL. So when we use the template of $60/$10 it means we bet 60 dollars on the first hand that our method calls for and then we vary each wager by the exact amount of ten dollars, either higher or lower than the previous hands wager according to our parameters.

    So a fifty-fifty average outcome of 37-37 produces a profit of $370.00.

    Let’s look at a bad outcome for the core. Say 32 wins and 39 losses. To get to this result, the core had to have several losing streaks. It is physically impossible to end up 7 units behind 50/50 without successive losses obviously.

    So here is where our formula shines. The second column that we employ to “hedge” against a potential bad outcome for the core, gets to PROFIT from the groups of successive losses that the core suffers from. So we see every single shoe and every single day, times where the core has say 5 losses in a row and it thus loses perhaps a 40, a 50, a 60, and a 70 dollar bet. While this occurs though, we have column two winning (at the same time) a 70, 60, 50, and a 40 and a 30 dollar bet. Now consider that we play multiple columns every day for our living. What do you think happens for column three when column two is on a bit of a winning streak? You guessed it! It piles on and simply bets with the second columns bets, which compounds our profits when things are going our way!

    So we end up with an amazingly complex set of inter related hedges which over 3500 plus shoes played and or tested have created PROFITS in 87% of these shoes.

    When one column wins 5 or 6 or 8 hands in a row, the profits are multiplied or compounded by the multiple column hedges which we have created.

    And more importantly……..

    When one column loses 5 or 6 or 8 hands in a row, the losses are mitigated and oftentimes turned into large profit sections through the application of our multiple hedge formula, in that we have three or more columns WINNING more than the first column which is losing; during this temporary losing stretch.

    In summation, our methodology wins more than it loses.

    If you want to win more money than you lose, you have come to the right person.

    We can talk more later on today if you are available. On the phone I am better able to answer your questions and to discuss a few options for you to purchase our system and to get started with your own baccarat income stream.

    As far as price goes, we have sold our system for $30,000 to people that wanted to get multiple people trained and wanted live training, either we fly to them or they fly here to our casinos here, or we meet in Vegas and teach them there.

    If we are talking a simple email and phone training for you and say one other person, we could go $7,500 for the entire package and it includes 12 hours of live personal training.

    Much more to discuss obviously, but taking the time to get to know us and learn more about our formula could be a very wise decision for your financial future. We won’t be selling this to too many more humans. Its time to focus on just playing our creation at higher levels and to stop responding to the hundreds of emails we are currently receiving each month.
    ————-

    Seriously i didn’t understand how his system will work ?
    we need to tell people out there stay away from the scammer David Gunas Jr.

  17. Unless a method can work in good, bad and the ugliest sessions alike, it is not even playable. Endless progression, be it positive or negative is not a key. Most of the notable system sellers that I know use reverse engineering to find a weak data or weak bet to prove their point.
    I put up an open challenge on my blog where I asked all so-called randomness experts and system designers to beat the worst bet of Zumma of American roulette. It is pertinent to mention here that number 3 of zumma testers book that has 15k spins of american roulette recorded, performed very very bad and it had merely 329 hits in 15,000 spins. It has both kinds of bad dispersion
    1. bad long stretches having no hits like 250 spins no hit; and
    2. bad average strike rate in overall i.e. 329/15000 or 45 spins for 1 hit.
    You can see the entire debate here: http://albalaha.lefora.com/forum/category/introduce-yourself-open-challenge-to-all/
    If you see graph of this bet, in flat bet, you will be shocked to see the continuous downfall of bankroll, throughout the 15k spins.
    If someone can beat that with a systematic and mechanical manner, within a reasonable table and bankroll limits, I will consider him a person having a real and workable method.

  18. DAVE IS A SCAM, CROOK, CONMAN…….I got taken for a ride by him
    Dave,

    Been over a week since I left the USA and your no show is very surprising. After you had my money in your pocket, and went off with your girlfriend, (and conveniently sending me a text message about going to hospital, I was in the hotel, the least you could damn do was call me), the least you could do is refund my monies you had taken from the table………….I lost $2000.00 on Tuesday. ON WEDNESDAY YOU PLAYED WITH MY MONIES AND NEVER RETURNED A PENNY AFTER LEAVING THE TABLE………….

    I HAD PAID YOU FOR THE SYSTEM…….which was to be several hours via Skype. We did not even do 2 hours….check your Skype

    I had to bring monies so I could make a profit whilst you “teach” me., and you was going to play with me to show me how. No one piggy backs on other players, and leave with their monies………….when I lost you did not refund me my losses, but when I won, you saw it fit to vanish with your girlfriend.

    Instead you won with my monies and than vanished.

    Please use the following banking details to do transfer of the $3000, of my money, you left with from the table.

    Regards,
    H

    • virtuoid Says:

      Hi Heston,

      I’m so sorry to hear you were conned by Dave Gunas. Yes, I knew right away when I heard his spiel that he was a rotten con man. I understand what you went through, as I’ve been conned myself by scammers like Gunas. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, just like you, that no one – NO ONE – can beat baccarat consistently, and anyone who claims he can is either lying or simply ignorant. This is not just an opinion, but a mathematical fact, as my blog entries demonstrate.

      Hopefully, it didn’t cost you too much to come to this knowledge, and hopefully, you are now wiser. Please never fall for a con man like Gunas again, not just in baccarat, but in any other type of scam involving promises of guaranteed big returns with little risk. Scammers like Gunas are actually minor, small-time hustlers, and there are plenty of other big sharks out there, even those that are accepted by society (e.g. “wealth managers,” “brokers,” etc.). In the end, all they want is your money, and they have no problem taking it from you, if you let them.

      I hope you will quickly recover from your loss, and take this experience to motivate you to help others avoid being scammed by the likes of Dave Gunas.

      Take care,
      Dave (ImSpirit)

  19. Thanks god I was about to purchase his system, hell no.
    His system seems many people are making easy money.
    I am glad I found valuable reviews sharing on this website.
    Thank you, guys.

    • virtuoid Says:

      pomush,

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad we were able to help you avoid getting scammed by that snake!

      Best,
      Dave

      • Anything on this seller?

      • Scam for sure!

      • Well, he gave out his number and everything. I don’t know how people can scam other people for so long. You figure a few people would report them and have them arrested. I just didn’t believe it when he said that he can win flat betting.

        He blocked my comments on youtube. I hate scammers just as much as anyone else. He’s selling it for $500 discounted. $750 regular price.

        You figure someone who can do it wouldn’t inconvenient themselves by waiting 24/7 on the phone. I read desperation in between the lines of what he is saying. Brought it up to him and that’s when he blocked my comments.

      • Hi Kelvynn,

        It’s quite possible he doesn’t even know the limitations of his system himself. I think the “well-meaning scammers” are like that – they are scamming without even realizing it.

        As for giving out personal phone numbers, every system seller I know does the same. Ellis left his personal phone number several times in comments here at ImSpirit. Mark Maverick advertised his personal number on forums. And Tony Lango always includes his personal number in his Craigslist ads. Same with David Gunas, the subject of the post above.

        These folks want people to engage with them, and they always come across as ultra sincere and honest, wanting the best for their clients. So, it may be that they are of the type who simply don’t know any better, although in Gunas’ case, it is very clear he definitely is consciously scamming people.

        Best,
        Dave

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