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Thread: New Book: The Perfect Bet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Atlanta area

    Default New Book: The Perfect Bet

    I really loved Fortune's Formula* by William Poundstone, and this could be another of those most excellent treatises...

    *discussed here - https://www.blackjackinfo.com/knowle...aradigm-shift/

    In The Perfect Bet, mathematician and award-winning writer Adam Kucharski tells the astonishing story of how the experts have done it, revolutionizing mathematics and science in the process. From Galileo to Alan Turing, betting has been scientists’ playground for ideas: dice games in sixteenth-century bars gave birth to the theory of probability, and poker to game theory (mathematician John von Neumann wanted to improve his game) and to much of artificial intelligence. Kucharski gives us a collection of rogues, geniuses, and mavericks who are equally at home in a casino in Monte Carlo as investigating how to build an atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project. They include the mathematician who flipped a coin 25,000 times to see if it was fair; the college kids who gamed the Massachusetts lottery to yield millions of dollars in profit; and the horse-betting syndicates of Hong Kong’s Happy Valley, who turned a wager on ponies into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

    With mathematical rigor and narrative flair, Adam Kucharski reveals the tangled history of betting and science. The house can seem unbeatable. In this book, Kucharski shows us just why it isn’t. Even better, he shows us how the search for the perfect bet has been crucial for the scientific pursuit of a better world.

    Excerpt -

    It’s not just scratchcards that are vulnerable to scientific thinking.Traditional lotteries do not include controlled randomness, yet theyare still not safe from mathematically inclined players. And whenlotteries have a loophole, a winning strategy can begin with somethingas innocuous as a college project.
    In 2005, another plan started to take shape in the corridors of MIT's Random Hall. James Harvey was nearing the end of his mathematics degree and needed a project for his final semester. While searching for a topic, he became interested in lotteries.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    This was a really good read. I was the first person to check out this book from my local public library.

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