Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hitting the Bad Beat Jackpot

I've been playing poker on the internet approximately 20 hours per week for three years. I play an average of 100 hands per hours or 2000 per week. That's 104,000 hands per year or over 300,000 hands in three years. One of the reasons I play is to win the Bad Beat Jackpot. The jackpot is hit approximately once very 300,00 hands. The question is whether or not, because I have played over 300,000 hands, am I due to hit the jackpot.

This is a mathematical question regarding probability theory. The academic mathematical view would be that the fact I have not hit the Bad Beat in 300,000 hands does not affect the probability for future hands. In other words on every hand I am a 300,000-1 shot. Although I might be a little out of control in this area, I don't think I agree with this. It seems logical to me that if the laws of probability are going to hold up, they have to equalize the situation at some point. If you flip a coin and it lands on heads twenty times in a row, at some point in the future more tails are going to have to come up to make it 50-50 heads vs tails. Although it also might be true that more tails came up in the past and this is equalizing the 20 heads.

I got a letter from my insurance company stating that that there is a 26% chance that my house will be completely flooded one time in thirty years, the life of the mortgage. Does that mean that every year it doesn't flood there is a greater chance it will flood in the next year? If it doesn't flood for 25 years should I be concerned that there is a high probability it will flood in the next five years. Mathematically, the answer is no, unless weather patterns have changed.

One of the ways to look at reality is through mathematics. Every event that you can imagine has a probability of occurrence attached to it. There is a probability that you will find your soul mate in the next 30 days. There is a probability that you will find an attache case filled with hundred dollar bills. There is also a probability that you will be struck by lightning or get a parking ticket. There is a probability that you will be laid off or that you will find a new job. Every event that can possibly happen has a probability of happening.

Can you influence the probability of an occurrence with your mind? Can you increase its probability or liklihood through your thoughts? If you can than there is a reality that is higher than mathematics. It is this reality that is at the core of most spiritual and religious beliefs. It is this reality that we are just beginning to understand scientifically. It is this reality that I believe will enable me to hit the Bad Beat. I think I better get back to poker before I miss my chance.

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