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Subject: To John Harvard, Another Low Probability Event

An Observer
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Date Posted: 16:14:37 10/01/18 Mon
In reply to: An Observer 's message, "Re: Harvard Basketball Recruiting -- And A Highly Coincidental Poker Game!" on 17:23:09 09/21/18 Fri

John Harvard,

These days, I don't expect to convince anybody of anything on any forum.

But have I at least explained the mechanics of the AI system to the point where we can agree that no Ivy basketball team (or any Ivy team in any sport ex-football) has their average team AI score evaluated against a school standard?

That is, Tommy Amaker does not have to maintain a higher score than Steve Donahue and, if permitted by Bob Scalise, Amaker can go lower. Harvard is not by rule at a disadvantage relative to Penn in basketball.

Do we at least agree on how the mechanics work?

Following up on my story about the father of the Ivy basketball coach, he got into a poker hand where the flop was Ace-Queen-Ten with no flush draw. The father bet, his opponent raised all-in and then the father called for his entire stack, flipping over his hand to show King-Jack, the nut straight.

The opponent flipped over Ace-Four, for top pair with a terrible kicker. Fortunately for him, the turn and river went Four-Four, giving him the full house. When all the chips went into the pot, this guy was less than a 1% probability to win.

Low probability events happen all the time, much more than our intuition believes. Our minds underestimate the likelihood of low probability events. Just something to consider when people talk about the inevitability of Princeton winning the title this year.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: I like the poker reference

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Date Posted: 16:44:08 10/01/18 Mon

last time I played at Foxwoods I had straight flush draw after the flop so I went all in, thinking of opened ended straight draw, flush or straight flush would likely appear and I would clean up, obviously I went down in flames

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: I like the poker reference -- Straight-Flush Stories

An Observer
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Date Posted: 20:39:54 10/02/18 Tue


Later in the same game with the father of the Ivy basketball coach, I folded Ace-Five of Hearts pre-flop after somebody raised before me. That's the kind of hand I'll often call with, but the table was so aggressive I was afraid it would be re-raised after me.

The flop included Ten-Nine of Hearts. Then the turn came Eight of Hearts. There was a bet, a raise, a re-raise all in and a call. There was not a pair on the board, so I was starting to really regret not playing my Ace-Five of Hearts. Had I stayed in, this would have been nearly a thousand dollar pot. Just as the sadness started to really seep deep into my "heart," I thought to myself, "With all that aggressive betting, is it possible that one of these two guys has the Jack-Seven of Hearts?"

Sure enough, one of the players flipped over the straight-flush. That is only the third straight-flush that I've ever personally seen in my life.

The first two took place within one week of each other back in 2006 at the weekly game at my company. I held Ten-Six of Clubs and filled it on the river. A week later, there was another one, prompting one of my co-workers to shout, and I quote verbatim, "Oh my God, a straight-flush! I have never seen a straight-flush in my entire life! Well, except for the one An Observer got last week."

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