CALCULATED BETS SKIENA PDF

A computer scientist and gambling enthusiast, Steven Skiena bares his discoveries and explorations in using computer simulations as well as modeling techniques to scientifically predict the results of jai-alai games resulting in an increased stake by more than five hundred percent in a year. He gives an account of the role of Mathematics in gambling and how math models are used in political polling. He also gives his take on the future of online gambling. The book also reveals computer predictions that were utilized in different sectors, including sports and politics. Read Calculated Bets to unravel the science behind gambling and the mathematical concepts that run the predictive results of games and surveys About the Author Steven Skiena wrote several books, including The Algorithm Design Manual. He co-founded the Chief Scientist at General Sentiment, a media measurement firm run by his sentiment analysis system.

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In addition to describing his betting system, Prof. Skiena frequently digresses into various topics of mathematics and computer science which have some relevance to the betting system. In so doing he brings academic topics to life, showing, in the words of Mark Balestra, "how mathematical theory extends far beyond the academic boundaries in which so many of us attempt to contain it". In order to explain the mechanics of his system, Skiena gives his readers a crash course in jai alai; I will try to summarize only the very basics.

The game is played in an indoor court somewhat like a squash or racquetball court, only larger. Instead of racquets, curved baskets called cestas are used; the ball is small and hard, and can fly up to miles per hour. Rather like tennis or racquetball, a player wins a point when he forces his opponent to misplay the ball.

Eight players or sometimes, eight pairs of players compete in a sequence of head to head contests points. Initially, player 1 plays a point against player 2, with the other six players waiting in a queue. The winner of a point plays the fellow at the front of the queue next, while the loser goes to the end of the queue.

It continues in this way until someone has scored eight points, and this person is then declared the winner. Second and third place finishers are also decided using a complex tie breaking system. A variety of bets are possible, the most popular being the trifecta, a bet on first second and third place finishers in order. Of course, the earlier players in the queue have a distinct advantage, as they will tend to have more opportunities to score points before the game ends. To minimize this advantage, every "point" or volley starting with the eighth counts double.

Player 8, for example, is guaranteed to win the entire match by winning his first four volleys worth two points each. One might think that this doubling rule would make for a relatively fair game. To determine the relative advantages of the different starting positions, Skiena constructs a computer simulation of one million jai alai matches using theoretical players of equal ability. It turns out that players 1 and 2 retain a distinct advantage over the rest of the field, and are almost twice as likely as player 7 to win the match.

Amazingly, the most frequently occurring trifecta is nearly times more likely than the rarest one Real life jai alai players, of course, vary in ability. First Skiena constructs a mathematical model of jai alai matches between players of unequal ability, and in so doing he digresses into interesting discussions of functions, curve fitting, correlation and other topics.

He describes how he built a parser for WWW files to automatically read the results of past matches from the internet into his computer.

The one minor complaint I have regarding this book is the way it is marketed judging from the back cover, at least. The marketing blurbs suggest that this book can teach anyone, even a mathematical novice, how to money betting on jai alai. Calculated Bets is an inspirational tale far more valuable than advice on how to make a quick buck or two.

Calculated Bets should hold great appeal to a wide range of readers. More sophisticated readers will be mesmerized as Skiena finds ingenious ways to make connections between familiar topics and demonstrates convincing applications of mathematical theory.

As a reader of MAA Online, I think it is fair to say that there is a high probability that you will love this book. Andrew Perry andy perry. The table of contents is not available.

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Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling and Mathematical Modeling to Win

In addition to describing his betting system, Prof. Skiena frequently digresses into various topics of mathematics and computer science which have some relevance to the betting system. In so doing he brings academic topics to life, showing, in the words of Mark Balestra, "how mathematical theory extends far beyond the academic boundaries in which so many of us attempt to contain it". In order to explain the mechanics of his system, Skiena gives his readers a crash course in jai alai; I will try to summarize only the very basics. The game is played in an indoor court somewhat like a squash or racquetball court, only larger. Instead of racquets, curved baskets called cestas are used; the ball is small and hard, and can fly up to miles per hour. Rather like tennis or racquetball, a player wins a point when he forces his opponent to misplay the ball.

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Calculated Bets

Prediction Company was founded by two physicists who did some early work on chaos theory. The company was founded to build predictive financial models that would drive trading in various markets e. After reading The Predictors I was was fascinated by the idea that market models could be used to predict stock prices, at least to a degree better than chance. The Predictors was carefully reviewed by the staff of Prediction Company to make sure that very little useful information was provided on the techniques Prediction Company used to build models. If I had read Calculated Bets I would have had some idea of how predictive models can be built and tested. He is also the author of The Algorithm Design Manual. From reading his books he seems like a wonderful teacher and I wish I had a professor like him when I attended college.

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