content top

Basic Statistics, or What Are The Odds I’m Getting Super Powers.

Basic Statistics, or What Are The Odds I’m Getting Super Powers.

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook: You know in movies, when they wash a spider down the drain and it crawls out from that little overflow hole at the top of the tub? That just happened while the girls were in the bath. Only in real life, it didn’t kill anyone or give them super powers.   She later admitted, in response to disappointment that she had flushed the spider: Next time I’ll give it a shot at a bite and we’ll find out if I live in a horror movie or a superhero movie. (Or the harrowing tale of two children being taken from their insane mother, who allowed spiders to bite them in hopes of super powers for them.)   and Super powers are more likely than poison anyway, right?   It was at this point I felt compelled to chime in. Being someone with a “mild superpower” I am uniquely qualified to answer this question. It’s 50/50. Either it happens or it doesn’t. Two possibilities, one outcome. Basic statistics.   In fact, I had answered a similar question years before on a poker forum, so the heavy lifting had already been done.   A member asked: What are the odds…of losing 3 SnGs in a row to your opponent making a full house on the river when you get it in with a flopped straight, flopped trips, and top two pair.   I replied: 50% either it happens or it doesn’t. 2 possibilities, 1 actual outcome. 1/2 = .5 or 50% coincidentally that’s the same probability of it raining tomorrow where you live.   I thought it was reasonably well written response, but apparently it caused some confusion (statistics and probability theory tends to have that effect on people) as someone claimed that it would NOT be raining where they were tomorrow.   I tried to set him straight and cope with my failure as a teacher and communicator.   It wasn’t until the next day that all was set right with the world. Yesterday I recieved this IM from [name redacted to protect the innocent]: “time for the dreaded commute. 50% prob I make it home. I do or I don’t ”   It’s moments like these that make teaching so rewarding. There are few feelings in this world more rewarding that seeing a student fully and completely grasp the material that you are imparting.   So, I have decided to introduce another concept from basic stats and probability.   Probability lesson part 2: Conditional Probability   Now there are certain situation where you will encounter outcomes that are dependent on SOMETHING else happening first.   For example:...

Read More

Making $180 an Hour or Why I’m Going To Win a Kindle and You’re Not.

Making $180 an Hour or Why I’m Going To Win a Kindle and You’re Not.

The one thing someone can say to drive me nuts, when they find out I play poker, is “So you like to gamble?”   It’s less that “I like to gamble” and more “I love finding situations with positive expected value (EV)”.   And this is one heck of a plus EV situation.   So a friend of mine, Megan Squires, recently released a book that she has written called Traced: Part One of The Outlier Chronicles.  I’m only a couple of chapters into it and, so far, it’s kind of a cross between 1984 and Twilight, except without the demeaning attitude towards women that Stephanie Meyers infuses into her writing.  And lame vampires. No lame, sparkly vampires in Traced either.   I should take this opportunity to let everyone know there’s a bit of exaggeration in my “picture review”. I have no idea if it’s true. I assume it to be true, but can’t prove it since I didn’t read the entire Twilight Saga.  Anyway, I digress.   One of the things that Megan is doing to help spread the word about her book and get some followers on Facebook, is holding a raffle for a Kindle.   At the moment, the expected value (EV) on this raffle is incredible.  Each person can earn up to 6 entries for doing a couple of simple things that won’t take very long to complete (become a fan, leave a comment on her blog, and tweet about the giveaway).   The raffle ends on this Saturday (October 20th) and there are currently 70 entries.  This means 10.67 people have entered.  I kind of wish is had been 10.5 people instead. Obviously there would have been one less entry and, as an added benefit, I’d get to crack a bad Nirvana joke. I have 6 of those 70 entries, so currently I have an 8.57% chance of winning the Kindle. With a retail price of $69.99, my EV at the moment for entering the raffle is almost $6.00 ($5.999). When you consider that the time it took to enter MIGHT have been 2 minutes from start to finish that gives me an hourly rate of $180.   That ain’t bad at all. 😀   So whatever you do, don’t head over to her page and enter the raffle. The more of you that enter, the more it’s going to kill my EV. *****   This also got me to thinking that I seem to know a lot of authors.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention a book that came out last year and that I had a small part in helping with.  My friend’s Katie Dozier and Collin Moshman released an...

Read More

We Don’t Need Their Scum

We Don’t Need Their Scum

or:   How I learned to stop worrying and love the bounty.             *****   This is actually a repost of a blog I made earlier this year that somehow got lost in the innerwebz during the transition to teammoshman.com.  Rather than just do a simple repost of the initial blog, I decided to try something a little different with it.   So, below is the original blog post as it was written (with a few minor corrections that were bugging me) and you can see my little experimentation by hitting play.   *****   I was browsing the TM forum the other day when I saw that someone had asked a question regarding the effect of the KO bounty in the KO SnG’s on Stars and if he needed to adjust his strategy when playing KO’s vs regular SnG’s.   I quickly replied that the short answer was yes.  The bounty for the KO gives stacks that cover you more incentive to call and thus they SHOULD be calling you wider.  This also implies that you should tend to call a little wider as well when you have someone covered.  But the extent of my thinking had been “If it’s close, call because of the bounty”.   That changed when another poster asked, “how does the bounty change your EQ of the tournament?  because winning a KO in the early phase is not the same that winning it on the bubble.”   Crap.  Now I have to think.  *sighs*   Then it dawned on me that someone probably has already done the heaving lifting in how to model the effect of the bounty.   TO THE CLOUD!                     Sure enough some had worked out how to figure out the equity.  Like my personal hero always says:                           So, with a big ole tip of the hat to statmanhal over at =4, we’re going to take a look at the effects of the bounty in a couple of scenarios and see what we can see about the effect on the bounty.   Case 1:   It’s the first hand of a $5.50 non-turbo SnG ($5 to the prize pool and $.50 rake) and you’re in the BB.  Blinds are at 10/20 and it’s folded to the SB who open shoves for 1500 chips.   Now let’s assume that the SB is someone that we are friendly with and frequently discuss strategy.  He’s a cheeky little monkey with a strong sense of whimsy and has told us that if the...

Read More

The Problem with The Math of Holdem

The Problem with The Math of Holdem

I really do like Collin and Doug’s book The Math of Holdem.   I still haven’t finished it, but  that’s mostly cause I’m trying to read like 17 books at once and keep getting distracted.   But I do think it overlooked a very important, albeit recent, contribution to the world of mathematics and how it affects the poker world.   How can we poker players reasonably be expected to delve into the mysteries of the poker world without a thorough understanding of this equation?     I expect to see an addendum in the second printing.   *********   Feel free to bounce over to teammoshman.com to leave comments on the cross...

Read More

Why does the pig have to be you?

Why does the pig have to be you?

I do need to get off my butt and write up part 3 (or more) of my Vegas Vacation recap, but I’ve been swamped and haven’t had a chance.  I did feel the need to write something so I’m taking the opportunity to showcase a couple of incredibly nerdy things that I like and think you should too.   The first is obviously The Micros.  If you haven’t watched the series then stop right now, Taylor Caby would not approve.  Go fire up Youtube and remedy that immediately, if not sooner.  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s probably not for everyone.  If you’re not knee deep in the online poker world then many of the jokes are going to fly right over your head.  My favorite moment though was in Episode 5.  I’ve chatted with John Wray, one of the co-creators of the series, on twitter and we both expressed a deep affection for the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer.  So when Pierre the Flamingo Hat tells our hero, “Don’t move until you see it.” I actually LOL’d. Now I told you all that so I could show you this.  One of the fans of the show decided to make Lego mini figs of the characters.  Poker, cartoons AND LEGOS!!!!  It’s like the perfect melding of some things I love.       Rose in action   The Micros prototype     I just love the creativity of these.  And following her on twitter it was awesome to see updates about finding out the melting point of legos and see the creation in almost real time.   *******   A couple of weeks back I was out of town for the wedding of one of my best friend’s daughter.  I’m not a huge fan of weddings, but I wasn’t missing this one.  In part because a few years back my friend and his family moved to the East Bay Area (a place I love) and it was a good chance to see and hang out with them again.  Even if it was going to be only for a short period of time since I knew that they were going to be swamped with wedding related stuff most of the weekend.  My other ulterior motive was, of course, going to see a couple of baseball games when not actually at the wedding.  I finally got to see Brandon McCarthy pitch and for the A’s to score enough runs for him to get the win (something they’ve struggled to do all season, especially when he’s been on the mound).  And Sunday’s game was not a day to show up late for the first pitch. ...

Read More

Vegas Vacation – Part 2

Vegas Vacation – Part 2

Golfing with Team Moshman   When we last left our intrepid hero, he was getting ready for an o’dark thirty tee time with a few Team Moshman people.   Wednesday was the long day.  Started at 5:30am so we could make it to Angel Park Golf course with enough time to hit a few balls on the range and be ready for our 6:50am tee time.  Now in the weeks leading up to the trip I spent hours on Skype with HotJenny314 talking about golf and how excited she was.  I later found out why.  She had NEVER played a full round before.   This was going to be fun.   Knocking the ball around at Angel Park   So the two of us, along with Simon and Louis headed over and teed off just before 7am.  As we were leaving the first tee, the group behind us had a player smoking a cigar.  Being the huge fan of smokey treats that I am, I ask what he was partaking.  Turns out it was a cigar from a local shop (the Las Vegas Cigar Company) and the owner was playing in the foursome.  He graciously offered me a cigar, which I light and smoked while playing the front 9.  It was an excellent cigar, and with the shop being located near the airport, I know where my first stop will be next time I’m in town.       Before I got out there Katie and I had talked and figured that a good plan would be for her to get an inexpensive starter set of clubs.  The thinking was that with club rental at one of the local courses it would only take a couple of rounds to “make up” the cost.  Even if it turns out that she didn’t like the game and playing she’d easily be able to sell them and not be out much.  The key thing was that she wanted them to be pink.  We did a little research and found her a pretty decent set for a reasonable price…and it was pink.     The biggest thing for me when playing is to make sure I’m having fun and enjoying the group I’m playing with.  I couldn’t have asked for a better three people to play with.  I do think Katie was a bit surprised when the cart lady came by and we got two Newcastles at 8:30am.  A good beer, a good cigar, good friends and great scenery…everything I love about golf.     The nice thing, as bad as we are at the game (I tend to score in the 120’s when I’m not counting all my...

Read More
content top