"As a gambler, I’ve noticed that Americans might also be obsessed with predicting their presidential races, but they often rely on pundits whose name recognition far outstrips their accuracy. Gamblers can’t afford to be wrong that often: Political prediction is a genuine game of skill, with serious research going into the effort—and serious rewards for the gambler who gets it right." [more inside]
A Life On The Line: For four decades, other gamblers have tried to be Billy Walters while investigators have tried to bring him down. And for four decades, the world's most successful sports bettor has outrun them all.
For 38-year-old Rubalcada, being at the M is a pleasing trip down memory lane, a visit to his primary workplace throughout 2010 and 2011. Back then, he had nearly $1 million in his account at the M. Dressed in slacks and a sport coat, he would saunter in and bet six figures a week on NFL and college games. He was, M Resort staffers say, one of the sportsbook's "bigger guys" -- a high roller who could afford to bet very, very big.[more inside]
But he wasn't that at all.
In fact, Rubalcada was a faceless grunt in the most successful gambling enterprise of all time.
Two player limit hold 'em solved, say University of Alberta researchers. You can try it yourself here. Poker (at least this variant) now joins such solved games (solved games previously) as tic-tac-toe, connect four, and checkers. [more inside]
Cleveland Scene takes a look at the paranoid and obsessive life of a mid-level bookie.
A new academic paper digging into presidential betting in the final weeks of the 2012 election finds that a single trader lost between $4 million and $7 million placing a flurry of Intrade bets on Mitt Romney—perhaps to make the Republican nominee’s chance of victory appear brighter.[more inside]
Saltybet.com is a ridiculous unending tournament of pirate Mugen (previously) characters from across a wide spectrum of games (and fan-made creations as well) duking it out while thousands of onlookers bet fake money. [more inside]
Meet The World's Foremost Quantitative NBA Sports Bettor: Raconteur and humorous tweeter Haralabos Voulgaris
Popular “prediction market” Intrade is shutting its doors to US Customers, following a suit (filed post-election fortunately) by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Some see this as inevitable, given their history of dissembling to regulators. Other (predictably) see it as another restriction of internet freedom. [more inside]
Unlike other forms of match fixing, spot fixing does not affect the final result, only specific events within a game. Last year, in a cricket match at Lord's between England and Pakistan, three Pakistani cricketers and one agent 'conspired to cheat'. Following the decision [PDF] at Southwark Crown Court today, all four men will face prison time ranging from six to 32 months. It is the first time this charge, brought in under the Gambling Act 2005, has led to a sportsperson's conviction. [more inside]
Daily Racing Form: from nags to doping! Horse racing is one of the oldest pastimes, with wagering on the nags following closely after. Betting intelligently requires either a good eye or an available record of past performance. Originally a Chicago newspaper, this periodical gives the tout the inside scoop on past performances. The monumental digitization of this paper brings a new light on racing sport. And they're off and running...
Grantland's Bill Barnwell is writing an ongoing series demystifying sports gambling for the newcomer. His first two subjects: how to bet the middle and teaser bets.
for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat
Mario Vargas Llosa wrote poems when he was young. His father famously responded by sending the boy to military school—where he spent two ghastly years, gathering inspiration for his first novel—La Ciudad y Los Perros, published in English as The Time of the Hero. The military burned a thousand copies of the book and Vargas Llosa's infamy was secured.Mario Vargas Llosa, who once ran for president of Peru and once punched Gabriel Garcia Márquez in the face, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, meaning Ladbrokes dodged a bullet. [more inside]
Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
Need to settle a dispute with a friend, but don't want to flip a coin? Try Diabetting, a new way to settle decisions using the most-recently-updated blood sugar readings of a Type I diabetic web developer.
Nate Silver, the proprietor of the fantastic electoral projection site FiveThirtyEight.com, notices that the presidential betting market on Intrade is behaving very oddly: "[S]ome individual trader or some small group of traders are shorting all the Obama contacts in bulk and resetting the entire market. The markets then organically climb back upward until the rogue trader strikes again six or eight hours later." [more inside]
It's celebrity award season. I'm curious as to who people think will get the next few. Personally, I'm going to go with Jagdish Bhagwati for Economics and Oxfam for Peace. I've got no clue on literature. Place your bets. Who are your hot picks?
Osama bin Lotto [Flash.] What's your bet on when bin Laden will be captured? Some oddsmakers suggest the last ten days of July. I think the winner should get 22 pounds of tinfoil, and the runner-up some cologne.
Trading on the Future of Terror [LA Times] The war on terrorism has come to this: The Pentagon is setting up a commodity-style market to use real investors — putting down real money — to help its generals predict terrorist attacks, coups d'etat and other turmoil in the Middle East. You can sign up here to bet on suicide bombings.
The Sports Book of Virtues (not) By Bill Bennett. "I believe in a strong family unit and doubling down on 11."
Bookies taking bets on the location of the next suicide attack against Israel. "Betting on Eilat, a Red Sea resort that has not seen any violence during the past 21 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, is a long shot at 17-1, while often-hit Jerusalem was given odds of 1.5-1."
World-wide obsession I am told these sports betting sites are readying themselves for an onslaught of World Cup Soccer traffic never seen in history. Will you play? Does it make the sport uplifting or uncouth?
Pick Your Winners For The Oscars: UK-based Blue Square gives you the odds. So how would you bet a virtual $100? And how much would you stand to win?(That is, if you could do the maths...)