View Full Version : To Howard Lederer

04-14-2002, 05:53 AM
Howard. It never occurred to me that you would mind the story being posted. If it had, I, of course, would not have posted it.

I guess the main reason it did not occur to me, was that everybody at the table thought it would be kind of cool to post it and an objection from you did not occur to them either. The second reason it did not occur to me that you would object was because "Jim" had already announced that all but one of the players he asked agreed with him and he was going to unilaterally call the bet off whether you liked it or not. Thus posting it was sort of a freeroll for you. From the early returns it looked like two out of three agreed with you (including two out of two lawyers) leading me to believe that you would have been glad this was put up.

I did not mean to imply I talked to you personally about it. More importantly I did not mean to imply that you had inside information. No way did I mean to do that. In fact the comment you took issue with was made to help rather than hurt your side. Namely that part of your reason for making the bet (i assumed) was that you doubted the Bellagio would not go to great lengths (through comps or whatever) to keep from being embarrassed. Thus a million dollar guarantee could be considered just one of those enticements that you were hoping for.

Given that "Jim" had already told many players about the bet and could have just as easily posted it as me I don't think I did anything wrong by letting my forum readers in on some common knowledge stuff going on at the Bellagio. It would have been wrong if I posted the situation innacurately, thus I hope I have corrected any perceived innaccuracies with this post. Still to be polite, I should have asked you first, and certainly would have had the bet involved real money.

04-14-2002, 06:24 AM

$10,000 is not real money? Can i have it if the bet is off since its not real? I know Howard is rich but $10,000 is still real money.

04-14-2002, 09:02 AM

My understanding is that your main gripe with Sklansky posting the story is that the whiner you made a bet with is referring you to the lack of 100% unanimous agreement here, to distract you between the moment when his mouth is opening, and the moment something heavy should be hitting his skull.

But that is not Sklansky's error, it is your error for making a bet with such a whining weasel. What are we all supposed to do, wear soft slippers, and hold the sun at 75 degrees in the sky, lest a momentary distraction tilt your counterparty more irretrievably into welching? Since when did some remote person's behavior become relevant to your chances of collecting?

And then you have the dumbness to accuse Sklansky of telling the story wrong, which implies that if he had told it different we might have reached 98% in favor of "bet stands," in which case you could have used it as leverage on the welcher, which of course still wouldn't work. So all you achieve is conceding to the welcher his leverage of the 2% or 50% or whatever, instead of just punching him.

If you want to hire the forum as thugs, if only in an intellectual sense, to beat your weasel into submission, then do so openly. But to say that we are somehow responsible, by the stories we tell, to influence the behavior of your whiner, is ludicrous.

Since when was this ever a bet on what people would say on 2+2, or if they would find out? Was that ever implied at the outset?? Some form of arbitration may have been implied at the outset, but it certainly wasn't this, and you make yet another error by suggesting what happens here is relevant.

If your weasel is so fragile, and fluttering with the breeze instead of with the bet, YOU need to whip him into shape. Stop losing the verbal debate, and just collect. Let him buy his way out for $7,000.00. He can't welch without talking you into it!

In my own immortal words, "If ya ain't carryin' a bat, then ya ain't carryin' a bet."

(Or, "Don't make more bets that you have bats...")


04-14-2002, 10:47 AM
You know how it is, $10,000 here and $10,000 there, and sooner or later we're talking about real money.

04-14-2002, 11:55 AM
The trick, Howard, is not even whether the bet should be off or not.

The trick is, whether if a similar factor had gone his way, if you would have attempted to call the bet off.

If you would not have, then allowing him to creates a hidden asymmetry. 50% of the time neither will call it off, 25% of the time he'll call it off, 25% of the time you won't call it off.

And so what he is doing is creating for himself free money at your expense.

I see dumb people doing this all the time, trying to convince you they welched because they are dumb, not because they are evil. They try to convert the fact that you two obviously had two different takes on the bet - or else no disagreement would have occurred - to the fact that they didn't understand what they were betting on, or didn't know what they were betting on, at the time the bet was made.

So it may even be true that you believed yourselves to be betting on two different things. But, since after the fact it is clear that you would have paid had it gone the other way - meaning he would have made money off his own misunderstanding without anyone being the wiser - he now has to gut it up and lose a symmetric amount on his supposed "misunderstanding."

Meaning, you have to collect when his misunderstanding is exposed, otherwise, he has robbed you when it isn't. Course, given your inclination to allow the bet to mutate into a bet on the opinion of some strangers on the Internet, Howard, I am not sure it wasn't symmetric, that you wouldn't have done the same thing.


04-14-2002, 11:10 PM

Thank you for responding to my post. I must admit that I was pre-steamed before reading your post online, because, in "Jim's" words, the replies to your post were running 75%-25% in his favor. Last night I counted, and got 19-6 in my favor (I did not count multiple replies from the same poster). So I don't know were he got those numbers. But, seeing as he doesn't read the group, maybe CardNut was giving him the reports.

I probably would not have cared at all if "Jim" hadn't tried to use the group to bolster his argument. The only thing that I still object to was the indirect misquote. I am out of town, and would have talked to you in person at Bellagio. Any real anger that came out in my posts should have been directed toward "Jim" not you.

Still mildly annoyed at you though ;-),

Howard Lederer

04-15-2002, 08:06 AM
Well, since Jim Beam wanted to use the counts in favour/not in favour from responses here, then he will undoubtedly pay you up for the bet now, will he? 19-6 in your favour now. Oh, btw, he should have paid anyway, so make it 20-6.

You can repay me my 2 cents later:)


04-15-2002, 08:34 AM
See, that way Jim Beam can add in yet a third binomial tree to get back to even, which Howard wouldn't have if the first branch went against him.


04-15-2002, 09:42 PM
I'm one of the lawyers that thought the bet should stand, however, I think its crazy that we are arguing about it here.

We really don't know how many of those posters were really seperate people, any more than we really know that I'm a lawyer. I might be a turkey stuffer trying to impress you all.

What a bunch of buffoons like us on a potentially anonymous forum say doesn't really mean anything.

Don't bet with welchers. Its an expensive lesson, but if it saves you more down the road its $10,000 well spent.

04-16-2002, 12:49 PM
Sklansky: You are in real trouble when eLROY starts defending you. lol.