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Kelly Criterion insurance

The following story is a real rumor. A popular pundit and apostle of Kelly criterion betting (whom i'll call `Jay') was in Atlantic City on September 15th, the day the counters ire alloid back in the casinos. J was particularly interested in checking out the Chocolate Nougat Casino's claim that `they'd deal all but one out of 52' and allow any bet spread. J sat down at the quarter table and played a few hands at 25C a pop until he glanced at the five foot long shoe from which the cards ire dealt. They ire dealing 52 decks with the cut card one deck from the end!

Naturally irritated by the deception, J nevertheless decided to stick it out in hopes that the shoe would `go good' since his virtually infinite bankroll could tolerate the attrition of the quarter, waiting, bets. Sure enough, J's patience paid off. Seven hours later, nearing the end of the first shoe, J realized the last 103 cards consisted of precisely 70 aces, 33 tens, and nothing else.

With lightning calculation he deduced an advantage on the next hand of 41% and an average squared result of 1.77. His reaction was immediate `Marker, $231,638.42.' The pit supervisor rushed over with pen and marker pad and counted out the chips. J stacked it all in the betting square; he was betting his optimal Kelly fraction 41%/1.77 times his then current bankroll of a million dollars!

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Projecting Your Values onto Other Players
Regardless of your view on the competence issue, it thus becomes vitally important that you understand yourself. First and foremost, your self-analysis will tell you much about how you are approaching your opponents' play ... and perhaps suggest some changes to your approach when you realize that while it is indeed a common assumption, the reality is that we don't all act and think alike.
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