International Gaming Institute Scholar

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An International Gaming Institute Scholar is a gambling researcher or gambling professional who has created noteworthy contributions to the field of Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, other gambling games, or to the sociology and psychology of gambling and risk taking. It is presented every three years to outstanding scholars in conjunction with The International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking organized by the International Gaming Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Individuals are nominated by the staff of the IGI and then named from a finalist list.

The 2016 Scholar, in conjunction with the 16th Triennial The International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking was Les Golden of Oak Park, Illinois. Golden is a professional blackjack player and columnist for London-based Bluff Europe,, Gambling Online, iGaming Business, and Jackpots Review print magazines. He is the author of the 2017 release, Never Split Tens (movie), Never Split Tens, a biographical novel based on the life of blackjack researcher Edward O. Thorp. He has also published technical articles on gambling in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, including the prestigious The Mathematical Scientist.

The cover of the book "Never Split Tens," a biographical novel by Les Golden of Oak Park, Illinois, based on the incredible true story of blackjack scholar Edward O. Thorp. The book contains a comparison of blackjack systems, an acting primer into camouflaging being a card counter, and an extensive biography of Hi-Lo developer Harvey Dubner.