Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by BughouseMaster, Jan 1, 2020.

1. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

Wanted to wish all of my friends at BlackjackTournaments.com a happy new DECADE!! May 2020 be prosperous for each and everyone of you!

Now.... something I wanted to share and get opinions of especially the counters on this forum... I'm a big Walter Thomason progression player and have used it exclusively when I play BJ since the last 15 years I first learned about it (and am up lifetime as well) & have had many strong winning sessions as a result. Particularly what I'd like to know is what you think of the "A-B-C-D-" bullet points he highlighted.

http://www.casinocitytimes.com/arti...l0z7-vyRDfy_UG2ptz0XJL6IIsyBWGv_EGciBSs2oMQAo

2. ### DakotaTop Member

Unlike many respected and knowledgeable authors on the subject of blackjack, there are some authors who resort to flawed, or misapplied, mathematical reasoning just to make a sale. Thomason's other publications may or may not have merit... I wouldn't know. I would burn this one.

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3. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

But what do you specifically think of that article in regards to points A, B, C, & D?

A,b,c,d? I think he’s 0 for 4.
It’s complete crap, and belongs in the trash.

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5. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

"The chances of winning one hand and then losing or winning the next hand are about the same."

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Win is around 44%, lose is 48%, push 8%. I don’t treat those as “about the same” and neither should you.

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7. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

The % difference of winning and losing a hand in BJ on any given hand is only ~4% so I would definitely consider this to be about the same, indeed. It's not like we have lopsided chances on any given hand, such as 70/30 or even 60/40; so not sure how a mere 4% difference on a 50/50 game is anything but "about the same!" It would be like saying that the chances of flipping a coin and it landing on heads or tails isn't about the same.

Curious to know other people's opinions as well...

8. ### Billy CTop Member

A 4% difference is far more substantial than you seem to think. Simple as that.

Billy C

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9. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

How so? 4% is 4%... it's not 20% or 30% more likely to happen, it's just a mere 4% difference! Again, curious to know what everyone else thinks.

10. ### PitchManTop Member

Exactly – 4% IS 4%…... Billy’s short statement above regarding the significance of 4% seems quite clear but maybe this will help make it more so: There are only 25 each 4% segments in 100% - If stated differently, as “1 in 25 odds”, does that make 4% more understandably significant? There are many scenarios in cards, and life, where we’d welcome a 4% edge.

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11. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

Again, I stand by my previous message... BJ is essentially a 50/50 game with a win/loss result being by far the most common result of every single hand. Even though in a random span of 100 hands we're statistically favored to lose a whopping 4 more, because streaks are inevitable in this game, it's very easy to have more wins and I've personally encountered many more winning hands than losing hands in an hour of heads-up play which is why Walter Thomason's statement, "The chances of winning one hand and then losing or winning the next hand are about the same." is completely accurate!

12. ### DakotaTop Member

Bug... Do you want me to find a different dead horse for you to beat?

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13. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

I could honestly care less what you want to do, but I'm not going to believe that a win happens much rarer than a loss does (or about as much) in a 50/50 game like Blackjack because that wouldn't be accurate!

Moreover,
Let's analyze exactly what Thomason said again, carefully:

"The chances of winning one hand..." --> ~44%

"And then losing or winning the next hand" -->
Chance of losing a hand = ~48%, Winning a hand = ~44%, average the 2 and what do we get? ~46%

"Are about the same." --> Actually I stand corrected. It's not even a 4% difference, but rather a miniscule 2% difference !!!

How anyone can say that the above occurrences are NOT about the same is beyond me....

Believe what you want. It’s your money.

If you are frustrated because no one wants to engage with your efforts to justify Thomason, imagine yourself attempting to reason with someone who firmly believes that the earth is flat. No matter what arguments you refute, there's always another "but what about x".

After years of running message boards where this kind of thing was discussed over and over again, I've lost all semblance of the niceties of entertaining nonsense.

Take our word for it. Thomason is a snake oil salesman. His ideas have no merit. If you refuse to take our word for it, learn to code and write some simulations for yourself. You'll eventually figure it out.

And that's the last I'll be responding in this thread.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
15. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

Whoa... snake oil salesman? Really?! What makes you say that, and since when? Where is the proof of these accusations?
Yes, it is indeed my money, and I find it very interesting that this is the very first time I've ever heard anyone badmouthing the author of the progression responsible for me being up heavily in my lifetime of Blackjack playing (not including the 15K 1st place win I just won, too)!

Are you saying that the 3 simulations he ran in his books -- counter, flat-bettor, prog bettor -- were fake and fictitious, too?

That is why I mainly wanted to get the opinions of non-counters to get unbiased opinions of his strategy, not just counters which obviously the majority (if not all) of the ppl who replied are.

16. ### Billy CTop Member

Like Ken, I'm out of this thread.

Billy C

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17. ### BughouseMasterActive Member

...yet you still felt the need to publicly announce that, huh? Interesting

18. ### gronbogTop Member

I'm having trouble posting --- seems like long posts are causing problems. I'll try posting this in pieces ...

Those who try to dispute the math by using logic always do so by making approximations and then claiming that the resulting errors in calculation can safely be ignored. This is exactly what Thomason is doing in the linked article. Let's examine each statement in his logic"

1. The chances of winning one hand and then losing or winning the next hand are about the same.

Well, no, as has been pointed out they are not. There is a 44% chance of winning and hand, 48% chance of losing and a 8% chance of pushing. Now progression players will treat a push as neutral, so what you really want is the probability that your next decision is either a win or a loss. The probability that your next decision will be a win is 0.44/(0.44+0.48) = 0.478 or 48%. The probability that your next decision will be a loss is 0.48/(0.44+0.48) = 0.519 or 52%. Now 0.519 / 0.478 = 1.086, so it is 8.6% more likely that your next decision will be a loss than a win. This is nowhere near the same and simply can not be ignored.

(to be continued)

Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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19. ### gronbogTop Member

2. Consequently, the chances of winning two consecutive hands or losing two consecutive hands are about the same. Or winning three consecutive hands and then losing three consecutive hands are about the same and so on.

Based on the above, this is clearly not true. Once again treating pushes as neutral,

P(2 wins) = 0.478 x 0.478 = 0.228 = 22.8%
P(2 losses) = 0.519 x 0.519 = 0.269 = 26.9%

So losing two in a row is 0.269/0.228 -1 18% more likely than winning two in a row. Are we starting to see a pattern?

P(3 wins) = 0.478 ^ 3 = 0.109 = 10.9%
P(3 losses) = 0.591^3 = 0.206 = 20.6%

So losing 3 in a row is almost twice a likely as winning 3 in a row! Things are definitely getting worse and no sane person could possibly conclude that the increasing magnitude of the error cause by his initial approximation (bullet 1) can safely be ignored.

(to be continued)

Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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20. ### DakotaTop Member

Very nice, Gronbog... as usual. Your analyses are always appreciated!

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