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Blackjack player wins $6m + $5m + $4m... smart cookie!

Discussion in 'Business, Investment and Economics' started by Timmy, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Timmy

    Timmy white swans need love too

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    The Man Who Broke Atlantic City
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...ho-broke-atlantic-city/8900/?single_page=true

     
  2. basilio

    basilio

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    Good find. Fascinating story with it's insight into how casinos try to find the whale punters who will lose enough money. And good to see the tables were turned.
     
  3. prawn_86

    prawn_86 Mod: Call me Dendrobranchiata

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    isn't there a thread about this somewhere on ASF??
     
  4. Logique

    Logique Investor

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    If he's not a card counter, it will be interesting discover how on earth he managed this. Has the guy got x-ray vision or something? $15 Mill USD is a bit more than dumb luck.
     
  5. Gringotts Bank

    Gringotts Bank

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    Great story, thanks.

    The most interesting part I find is this:

    "He was neither nervous nor excited".

    If you could apply that to trading, would surely help.
     
  6. Timmy

    Timmy white swans need love too

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    Agree. I was nervous and excited just reading the article :D

    Check this out, discusses it:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...ho-broke-atlantic-city/8900/?single_page=true
     
  7. robman

    robman

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    Great read, it may inspire some gambling on the weekend for those who feel like they now 'know more' about black jack and the idea that 'if he could do it, so could I'. When Monday hits, they'll realise how mistaken they were.
     
  8. robz7777

    robz7777

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    I would hope that not many expect to go into the casino in an attempt to make money.. I know I walk out ecstatic if I break even!! :eek:
     
  9. Glen48

    Glen48 Money can't buy Poverty

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    I am ecstatic if can walk out..
     
  10. village idiot

    village idiot

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    depends if you're playing poker or one of those other mug's games
     
  11. barney

    barney

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    LOL .... funny:D .......

    I deduce from that comment Glen that you must be quite well off .... who can afford to get smashed at Casino prices:p:
     
  12. Glen48

    Glen48 Money can't buy Poverty

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    Or being hurled by the bouncers. I having one thing money can't buy... poverty .
     
  13. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden

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    He had a lot of luck, I wouldn't put it all down to skill. In that description of one of the hands, he drew four 8's in a row - that comes from luck, not skill.

    I remember going to the casino with my friend and he played blackjack. He played about 20-30 hands I think. On about 7-10 occasions, he got 19 and stood, thinking he was safe. But every single time the dealer beat that by getting either 20 or 21.

    He was not a happy boy afterwards.
     
  14. Logique

    Logique Investor

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  15. Gringotts Bank

    Gringotts Bank

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  16. craft

    craft

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    .

    I can’t believe the casinos handed him a positive expectancy. With enough capital and enough range in the bet limit you are set. Keep the bet size small enough when you are betting your own stake to ensure that you can play enough hands for the expectancy to come through and then when you are betting with the house money bet big so that the natural randomness in 49.75/50.25 accuracy pays off big for a winning streak. Eventually he had to hit the house limit and they locked his gains in for him.
    Notice the article was silent on how many times he had stopped himself out – presumable at the 400K mark. He is more famous now but not necessarily that much more wealthy – depends how soon into the strategy the randomness went his way.

    Whether it’s gambling, trading or investing, the long term ‘lucky’ always have the maths on their side.
     
  17. cynic

    cynic

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    The only thing that surprises me about this event is the fact that the Casinos actually allowed it to happen.

    I can remember half a dozen security staff materializing behind me whilst I was testing one of my favourite probability theories at a SIC BO table. I couldn't understand their concern given that I was only a few chips in front at the time!

    Upon reading some of the posts in the Storm thread, it would seem that there have been a number of Financial Advisers/Planners who actually succeeded in selling poverty to their clients.
     
  18. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden

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    Care to share that probability theory?:)
     
  19. cynic

    cynic

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    As many of us are already aware, the casino industry is not a charity, hence, mug punters are welcomed. Professionals, however, are well advised to find a way to stay under the radar if they wish to succeed. Over the years, I've had friends express interest in the possibility of extracting a living from casinos. I generally try to alert them to the difficulties they will inevitably encounter if/when they succeed in their quest for a profitable edge. Unfortunately, some things need to be experienced before they are to be readily believed. The shortcomings of probability theory and casino circumvention mechanisms are amongst the things that gambling aspirants seem incapable of acknowledging (sans direct experience).

    There are definite flaws in the (advertised) implementation of probability theory within casino games. When using relatively unbiased equipment (wheels, dice etc.) the equal probability of each outcome is based upon millions of continuous repetitions, so humans ( and casinos alike) generally only get to experience a small snapshot within the full spectrum of probabilistic outcomes. Additionally, the ability of the player to vary their bet (subject to table limits) also introduces a further dimension of uncertainty for the house. If all outcomes had to be backed uniformly on every repetition, then the house might maintain its profitable edge. Whilst the argument that things will approximately smooth out over time may have some justification, it could hardly be expected to guarantee maintenance of the somewhat scant 3% edge in daily casino operations.

    The ability of card counters to vary their bet is one of the particularly apparent examples of the inefficient manner in which probability theory has been implemented within the gaming industry.

    ASFers with a calculator on hand may wish to calculate 37 raised to the power of minus 3. That was the probability of a certain roullette player losing every single chip placed on the roullette table during one of my visits to the Adelaide casino. I observed said player using a somewhat creative system of inside bets (corners, lines , splits etc.) where every number was covered except the green zero. I thought it rather curious that this number chose to be so accommodating to the house by eventuating for 3 consecutive spins! Of course no government (no matter how much revenue might be at stake) would allow a casino to have undisclosed mechanisms in place ensuring their profitability - so it must have been a coincidence! Needless to say, after witnessing said event (and having had a statistically similar experience a couple of years prior), I decided to desist from betting at the roullette tables. I do occasionally bet on the big wheel (but only in opposition to the larger bets of other players).

    As for my favourite probability theory, it's not rocket science, but it is controversial, and I've found that devotees of conventional mathematics often dispute my theories vehemently or (if I'm lucky) simply smirk and politely nod. So my preference for now is to withhold it from public scrutiny.
     
  20. jimmyizgod

    jimmyizgod

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    have a decent bankroll, go to the roulette table and

    1)bet X on black.
    if you win, bet X on black. if not go to 2)

    2) bet 2X on black.
    if you win, go to 1) if not, go to 3)

    3) bet 4X on black
    if you win, go to 1) if not, go to 4)

    4) bet 8X on black etc etc
     
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