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Las Vegas casino bosses hated him so much Edward O. Thorp, Dunes casino that would have hired former Mafia
This is a good story
Las Vegas casino bosses hated him so much Edward O. Thorp, Dunes casino that would have hired former Mafia to kill him.
The reason? Former professor of mathematics at MIT invented the art "card counting" card counting to obtain an advantage against the house at blackjack.
He now reveals the whole thing in a discussion with the New York Post.
It was one night in 1964. After refusing several free ****tails, asked, finally, fatigue, coffee. "I drank and I lost my concentration. I could not count," he says reporter. "Clearly, I was stoned. I have helped friends to go, I went and eventually I came." The teacher had dilated pupils that after high-dose pills.
The next day, Thorp was blacklisted at the Sands, where he was fired when he was already starting to play and the extra $ 2,500. He took his car in the casino parking lot and went home in Arizona with his wife. "We descend a steep slope and crashed throttle. We reacted rapidly descending gears, I pulled the handbrake and then shut off the engine," he says. "It found that it had walked to the car to accelerate only at a time."
Thorp was not in Vegas for money, he says in the book of memoirs A Man for All Markets. He just wanted to prove impossible. "All my life I was an independent thinker. When someone tells me that a casino game can not be beat, I wonder why. In fact, some games in some circumstances can be beaten."
He sensed a mathematical model to beat the game considered indomitable, blackjack, based on books that came out of the package. He spent a year to demonstrate through computer simulations that increase the amount of bets players when the package remained more than ten books and many aces will have an advantage against the house. In 1961 he presented the discovery at a conference of mathematics. "I did not want to show them that practical," he says. "But when casinos have made me an idiot and Washington Post wrote that my gimmick is a hoax, I lost terribly."
Thorp traveled to Vegas and a period of three years won $ 25,000 at blackjack, for which he was locked in all casinos in the State of Nevada. "When you're very lucky, the casino does not want you there."
"I had fun trying to invent a method to beat the game," says Thorp. "But I got bored playing for hours in the casino." As a result, in 1962 he published his book Beat the Dealer which reached bestseller, with over 1 million copies sold.
Thorp now lives like a nabob in his home in Newport Beach million. After the affair with blackjack, he used his talent on Wall Street. While he was a professor at the University of New Mexico, has designed a "rating probabilities of events in their market and speculation." In 1969 he opened a highly profitable investment fund "produces 20-25% per year. It was a kind of counting cards, just as there's no risk to anyone break my legs." Major investors like Warren Buffett have worked with him over time.
Now he has 84. "I lived and live in math. I find information, calculate and usually find a way to truth."
Thorp is any mathematician's hero. As well as developing card counting as described in his book Beat the Dealer, he also independently developed the Black-Scholes Options Pricing method in finance.
Black and Scholes (and Merton) got the credit for this since they published it, while Thorp had discovered it earlier, but had kept it a secret in order for himself to profit with it in his hedge fund!
re: Poker & the "hero man " man beats a math blackjack
That's a great story about Thorp.
There's a great documentary on Amazon (the US version at least) about the mathematician Claude Shannon who also become involved with Thorp's gambling. I like the fact that so many math guys were willing to take on Vegas!
I used to play blackjack when I was much younger, like mid 20's and after reading 1 very good book, I began playing using a simple counting system to vary my bets when the remaining deck(s) were high in face cards and aces. I never made any real profit but I enjoyed myself. I remember playing at one casino in Vegas where I was asked to leave because I was counting cards. I asked them to ban me officially, which they did at my request. I had my photo taken and I was given a photocopy of the card with the details of the ban on it. It says under "offense" 86 CARD COUNT. This was back in 1985. Still have it as a souvenir. lol