Sunday, October 24, 2010

Physicists and Poker

A rather amusing article on physicists and poker. I didn't think physicists, or at least, some of them, have such affinity towards poker.

But a little research revealed there are a lot of poker-playing physicists, some of whom are pretty serious about the game.

Physicist Michael Binger placed third in the 2006 World Series of Poker, winning $4 million. Two others, Michael Piper and Liv Boeree, competed last spring in a tournament in San Remo, Italy. Piper placed fourth, and Boeree won, racking up $1.6 million. Ouelette's husband, CalTech cosmologist Sean Carroll, entered a Chicago tournament in 2004 and, to his surprise, met three other poker-playing physicists, including Harvey.

I suppose the game of poker is one thing, while other gambling games at a typical casino is another. The latter tends to have odds very much in favor of the house, so anyone with any sense of chance and probability will know that sooner or later, the house will get the better of you.



sandycharm said...

that's cute

Emil said...

I disagree with the statement about gambling games such as casinos. In fact, anyone with a sense of chance and probability knows that there are not only averages, but there are also standard deviations. Lotteries say that if you are prepared to stand the quite probable risk of losing a small amount, you have the much smaller chance of actually winning big. This is not necessarily irrational. The fact that the long-term *average* is biased towards the house is not necessarily relevant - only to the extent that it increases that probable small loss a bit.