Monday, March 31, 2003

Game theory in war and poker

A compelling article in the Boston Globe "The Poker of War" details how mathematical game theory applies to both Texas Hold’em Poker and military strategy. (Hat tip to Arts & Letters Daily)

From Sports Night:
Jeremy Goodwin: Natalie, listen to me. You've lost a lot of money to me tonight. You're basically gonna be living the rest of your life on a charitable donation from the Jeremy Goodwin Foundation. Take the hundred bucks back and fold.
Natalie Hurley: Scared?
Jeremy Goodwin: I've got a straight, you've got three sevens.
Natalie Hurley: You don't have a straight.
Jeremy Goodwin: Look at me. I'm not lying to you. I have a straight.
Natalie Hurley: How do you know I don't have a big house.
Jeremy Goodwin: A FULL house. Dan already folded the six you needed, and I have the other one. You don't have a house of any sort, you don't even have a pup tent. You've got trip sevens, and I have a straight. I want you to trust me right now. I want you to say to yourself, yeah, I've dated a string of jerks in my life, they were stupid, they were mean to me, but maybe this one's different. Maybe I should take a chance and not adopt the break-up-with-him-before-he-breaks-my-heart strategy. I want you to remember that when I started liking you, I didn't stop liking tennis. And I want you to know that I don' t think there's a woman in the world that you need to be threatened by, no matter how glamorous you think she is. But mostly, I want you to trust me, just once, when I tell you, you have three sevens, and I have a straight.

He had the straight.

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