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#6
01-09-2005, 12:50 AM
 BruceZ Senior Member Join Date: Sep 2002 Posts: 1,636
Re: Agreement reached, poll unnecessary

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Guess it's time to pay up.

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Not so fast, Cowboy.

It comes down to what you bet on.

If you bet that you knew how to calculate, every time, the correct drawing odds with two cards to come given x number of outs, you win.

If you bet that you could provide a proper, correct, and accurate mathematical proof of your method that would survive the technical scrutiny of mathematicians, you may have lost.

This is my interim ruling with final decision withheld pending clarification of what you made a bet on.

- TomBk

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You're correct that it came down to what he bet on, and we determined what he bet on based on his own very clear description of the bet from his original post:

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Here's the bet. An acquaintance bet me that I don't know how to calculate how flop outs correspond to odds. For instance, most of us know that a flush draw in hold 'em has 9 outs, and is about 1.9: 1 on the flop. His bet was that I couldn't do the math that proves it, and he doesn't believe my answer.

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So to win the bet, he needed to do the math which proved the correspondence between flop outs and odds. For example, he needed to prove that 9 outs corresponds to 1.9:1, and he needed to do this for all other drawing odds of this type. There is no ambiguity here.

We concluded that he did not do the math that proved this correspondence. What he did was to write down an equation which happened to give the correct drawing odds for any number of flop outs. This equation represents the very correspondence between flop outs and odds which he was to prove. Therefore he needed to prove this equation. No such proof of this equation was ever given. Further, he as much as stated that he couldn't say why he thought this equation would work, meaning that he did not know how to prove that this equation represented the correct correspondence. Therefore he did not prevail in this bet.

It is ironic that we were initially consulted to evaluate whether or not a math problem was solved correctly, and we ended up needing to perform an almost legal function requiring logic to determine what the conditions of the bet were, and whether or not they were satisfied. Fortunately as mathematicians we are also competent in logic, so we felt perfectly qualified to make this determination unambiguously.