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Old 03-03-2019, 04:21 AM   #1
Mason Malmuth
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Need a Historian to help Me

Hi Everyone:

I'm putting this both here and on our "News, Views, and Gossip Forum." I need a historian to help me with a book project. The tentative title of the book is A History of the World From a Gambler's Perspective, and I'll give equal status to the historian who becomes the co-author.

To qualify, the historian must have a legitimate degree in history and, of course, an advanced degree is even better (but not required).

For those who don't know, I have already written some of this material in my book Gambling Theory and Other Topics, and want to pick up from there. That means rewriting some of this material and adding much new material (and I already have a number of ideas for the new material).

Obviously, the book is over titled but the idea is to find people and events where someone took a clear gamble that follows precepts which those of us who understand poker/gambling well will immediatelyrecognize.

A couple of chapters include how Robert E. Lee used poker tactics to defeat George McClellan and The Army of the Potomac during the Seven Days battles early in the Civil War. Another topic would be how Sir Francis Drake used sound gambling principles to defeat the Spanish Amada, with another topic being how General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoynne, due to a complete misunderstanding of gambling tendencies in most people, lost a large portion of his army early in his campaign that contributed to his defeat at "The Battle of Saratoga." And there's lots more.

Additional topics can include the best NFL bet ever – Super Bowl IV (not III); David versus Goliath and how poor Goliath never had a chance, the luckiest man who ever lived: Hernan Cortez, better to be lucky than good: Braxton Bragg at the Battle of Chickamauga, and so much more. And I’m sure there are a whole lot of other events that would qualify.

If interested, either post here or send me a PM. And it will be a few months before I can get to work on this.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:46 PM   #2
campfirewest
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

I'm not a historian and can't help, but you might look into doing a chapter on Yamamoto. He was supposed to be a successful gambler at a lot of games including poker and no doubt applied that type of thinking to his war plans. His strategy and approach to the Pearl Harbor attack and beginning of the war with the US could be an interesting subject. He had made it clear to his leadership that he thought that to have any chance of winning they would have to score an early knockout, and he came up with a high risk plan that gave them the best chance of doing that with the resources they had available.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:26 PM   #3
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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Originally Posted by campfirewest View Post
I'm not a historian and can't help, but you might look into doing a chapter on Yamamoto. He was supposed to be a successful gambler at a lot of games including poker and no doubt applied that type of thinking to his war plans. His strategy and approach to the Pearl Harbor attack and beginning of the war with the US could be an interesting subject. He had made it clear to his leadership that he thought that to have any chance of winning they would have to score an early knockout, and he came up with a high risk plan that gave them the best chance of doing that with the resources they had available.
Hi camp:

Years ago we did a book titled PokerFarce and PokerTruth by Ray Michael B. that had a chapter on Yamamoto. And yes, he was a poker player.

However, in WW2, the real gambling was done by Nimitz at Midway.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:05 PM   #4
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

Good luck with this Mason.

Alcibiades is a very interesting character if rather unknown from long ago. He was good at playing people/groups/nations off each other and was a significant general in the Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BCE; he switched sides in that conflict, twice I think. An intelligent person and natural gambler his doings were very convoluted so probably not conducive to the book you are contemplating.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #5
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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Good luck with this Mason.

Alcibiades is a very interesting character if rather unknown from long ago. He was good at playing people/groups/nations off each other and was a significant general in the Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BCE; he switched sides in that conflict, twice I think. An intelligent person and natural gambler his doings were very convoluted so probably not conducive to the book you are contemplating.
Hi Zeno:

Actually, this sounds like someone who should be looked at. Usually the question with someone like this was did he set up his strategy so that there were multiple outcomes, thus producing a large standard deviation relative to the expectation? When that happens, gambling is involved.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:53 PM   #6
rivercitybirdie
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

not a historian myself but sounds like great idea.

one that comes to mind is that canada's reichman family (orthodox jews from hungary by way of north africa) made a huge bet on NYC real estate in mid-70's when city was going bankrupt. they were considered crazy but they were right........... and then they got killed on building canary wharf in london in early 90s (late 80s), although that was more complex than buying NYC real estate.

completely unrelated... but i always thought game show analytics and math would be great fun subject for 2p2

idea of "free rolls" is interesting too. or imbedded options....... in real world situations

george soros bringing the bank of england to its knees.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

not sure this qualifies but wall street and TARP... moral hazard.

if things go well, i make a fortune....... if things go badly, the government bails me out and/or i start over on the "moral hazard" in a new job
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:17 PM   #8
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

Mason, this sounds fascinating. I am genuine looking forward to hearing more about this and hopefully reading the end product when available.

-JEFKVE
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:08 PM   #9
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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Mason, this sounds fascinating. I am genuine looking forward to hearing more about this and hopefully reading the end product when available.

-JEFKVE
Hi jefkve:

Thanks. Hopefully the book will be out in about a year.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:13 PM   #10
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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not sure this qualifies but wall street and TARP... moral hazard.

if things go well, i make a fortune....... if things go badly, the government bails me out and/or i start over on the "moral hazard" in a new job
Hi river:

TARP might be worth thinking about, but not in the way you suggest.

If no TARP, are you gambling that the whole economy collapses? With TARP, are you gambling that some large companies may now become even more reckless thinking that they're too big to fail?

Sounds like a little like a poker play where your decision on a hand is to take a lost by folding, but not as large a loss (in EV terms) if you keep playing.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:01 PM   #11
rivercitybirdie
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

one that might be simiilar to poker is HFT..

HFT is high frequency trading.. and Michael Lewis Flash Boys suggested that quick electronic traders were effectively front-running large orders by giant financial institutions. they were doing it through fast technology so wouldn't have been illegal.

anyway, in old days, it was harder to do because NASDAQ (NYSE?) had 1/8th spread whereas now i think it's .01 tick. so if you want to get ahead of a huge institution buying at 20, you can stick in bid at 20.01 vs. 20.125 before. to make profit before, stock had to trade at 20.25. now you can make nice profit at 20.04. and of course if you are wrong, you can sell at 0.01 loss vs. 0.125 loss before.

not sure how this worked exactly but the SOEs bandits took advantage of the market makers in the old days. basically market makers had no way to quickly increase offers 1% across the board when something very position happened (that's a hypothetical example.. not realistic)... this is not analogous to poker, just poor access to technology leading to stale bids/offers.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

Hi Mason,

I am pursuing a graduate degree in European history at CU Boulder right now. I am a specialist in Tudor England, and more specifically privateering and the naval war against Phillip II. Let me know if you are still looking; the idea seems like a good one.
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:51 PM   #13
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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Originally Posted by Worm31187 View Post
Hi Mason,

I am pursuing a graduate degree in European history at CU Boulder right now. I am a specialist in Tudor England, and more specifically privateering and the naval war against Phillip II. Let me know if you are still looking; the idea seems like a good one.
Hi Worm:

Thanks for the offer but I have already come to an agreement with another historian. See the thread in our News, Views, and Gossip Forum for more information.

Thanks again and best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
Lapidator
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Re: Need a Historian to help Me

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Originally Posted by Worm31187 View Post
Hi Mason,

I am pursuing a graduate degree in European history at CU Boulder right now. I am a specialist in Tudor England, and more specifically privateering and the naval war against Phillip II. Let me know if you are still looking; the idea seems like a good one.
#smallderail

Worm,

Maybe start a thread in this forum about this topic. I'd be interested in this.
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