Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

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Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, May 26, 2005

He gets paid for this ?

So you want to know the probability of a hand winning ? Two things you can do. Ask the expert ; he'll work it out by hand and give you the wrong answer before the month is out.

Or go to twodimes and find that it's really 34%. In twenty seconds.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Pete B said...

As the good doctor might say, marvellous.

The true wonder is not just that Paul gets the amazing figure of 45% (or that he had a gut feeling that it was about 40%), but that he makes 451 winning hands for the J8 of spades out of 990 possibilities, and then concludes that 451/990 equals 45%.

The J8 has 335 winning hands. I couldn't be bothered to go through the tortuous mathematics employed by Paul, but one glaring error would appear to be the use of 52 cards in the maths rather than 45.

Taking a quick mathematical rush-through, if we renumber the possible combinations as (52*51)/2 rather than (45*44)/2, we see that we get 451/1326, or about 34.0%. One wouldn't expect the figures to be right to 6 decimal places, but this appears to generate the correct result as near as damnit.

Perhaps he would be interested in my offer of six-to-four on this "45%" shot. Run it through a couple of hundred times, and that should pay for the next rip to Vegas.

Nice one from Paul there....


I was on the train home today and a couple of guys were talking about gambling and, yes, online poker. One guy had ventured into the Ladbrokes site, playing 15c-30c I think (well, that's what he said. Do they offer that?) I doubt that he had the first idea about poker, but he seemed to have enjoyed himself.

Perhaps the good times have a few years to run, after all.


Pete

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has to be the best Samuel article ever! The whole thing is genius. Thanks for posting it, or I would probably have missed it. I am trying to think of a way he could top this but am coming up blank. Surely this has to be the one to bow out on?

Butch

8:36 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

That's the thing Butch, I was going to leave him alone but I really think he's taken it to a new level !

Andy.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont forget to check in on our other favourite internet poker expert;

http://www.poker-in-the-uk.com/Tournament_Diary_May05.html

steve

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Guy Bowles said...

Andy,

Incredible article and new low for Paul. How he dares publish this sloppy thinking is quite beyond me.

Lets enumerate his mistakes.

1.State that you audience doesn't like bad beat stories and tell one.

2. Mis-record the hand. He states the Ts will make a straight flush. Not with his board it won't! We must assume that the 7c is really the 7s and hence the 4s is really the 4c. (This matters as now the missing 4 is also a flush card)

3. Calculating the odds of a gutshot straight (ie; a non-spade ten plus opponent doesn't hit his redraw. This can be achieved in 3x27=81 ways (not the 102 ways given by Paul). Paul's mistake is in missing that the non-ten card must also not be a spade. Why? Because this makes a flush and he's about to calculate the chance of making a flush separately. A classic piece of Samuel's double-counting.

4. He then goes on to calculate the flush draw incorrectly! There are only 7 spades left to hit, not 8. The 4 makes quads and the T is the straight flush case considered earlier. Hence this should be 7x30=210 possibilities.(Again somewhat different to Paul's 296)

Incredibly he has calculated his first two cases correctly. I suspect this is because even his random approach will occassionally hit on the correct answer.

Thus we have 44+9+81+210=344 ways to win. 344/990=34.7

5. He doesn't check his answer!!!!! (using any of the on-line resources to do so.)

6. Despite endlessly calculating odds on hitting outs and clearly devoting huge amounts of time to considering and debating these matters he still has no intuitive feel for the correct answer.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez guys, it was a rounding error, OK?!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Anon,

It was a bit more than that but Guy has expressed the real points very succinctly in 5) and 6)

Nonetheless, as Steve reminds us, there are worse around, so I'm happy to lay off Paul unless he can raise the bar still further, which would be difficult.

Andy.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, do you, like me, hope our mark continues on his downward spiral? Its sick i know, but nothing saddens me more than seeing a big win logged in that poker diary. His play is atrocious, he bemoans bad luck, rigged sites and others 'bad' play and worst of all he has a poker book out and runs some kind of poker school! Fuck me gently. And he overcharged me for ripped off WSOP DVDs. Out of interest - have u met him? Is he going to the WSOP this year?

steve

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Calculating the odds of a gutshot straight (ie; a non-spade ten plus opponent doesn't hit his redraw. This can be achieved in 3x27=81 ways (not the 102 ways given by Paul). Paul's mistake is in missing that the non-ten card must also not be a spade. Why? Because this makes a flush and he's about to calculate the chance of making a flush separately. A classic piece of Samuel's double-counting.'

Actually that wasn't his mistake here he did exclude the 10s. His mistake was that he didn't subtract from 45, rather than the 52.

so 3* (45-16-2) = 81.

He does this correctly in step 1.

To be fair very few poker writers could attempt to do this sort of anlysis and he comes close, but it's not good enough and of course his logic is often flawed. This example isn't THAT bad, just the answer is. There have been other examples of flawed logic by him, but his deductions here are ok. Exam question 5/10.

As for strahan and Samuel, they aren't alone are they? There are plenty of 'experts' who struggle to make the grade.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Big Dave D said...

The real problem with the whole exercise is that a guy who has played as long as him has no "feel" for what the right answer might be. In holdem the only hand that has a reasonable chance against trips is a str8 flush draw. Which is a fact most people who have been around 4 a bit should know. Instictively, nearly even money on that match up should feel wrong.

Interestingly, Paul S has now ammended the article, Ministry of Truth style. So I think you guys are all mistaken :)

gl

dd

3:15 PM  

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