Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Odds Are A Funny Thing

Odds are a funny thing. I have never really thought about them other than in maths class before I started playing poker. The only other things I really dealt with that involved odds was the occasional bet on the Grand National, or a night at the track. Clearly in these situations no bookmaker is stupid enough to give you 6-1 on an event that has a 3-1 chance of happening and of course the odds aren't fixed like they are in poker.

Saturday night defied all odds for me. I went out for a friends birthday and quite randomly ended up in a casino at 6 am playing a £100 Pot Limit game. It was a very lively and social game. Most of the other players knew each other and had busted from a tournie that finished earlier that night. I was a) Drunk and b) Very tired. My friend and I had the first train to catch in about an hour so it seemed like a good idea to stay somewhere that was warm and still serving alcohol.

After being at the table for about 20 minutes a new player sat down. The guy on his right asked how he got on in a tournament on Monday night. It seems they were both at the same final table and one busted and left before the other. This is where the conversation got interesting:

' I won, Nice birthday present for me too'


'Yeah, well I did have a massive chip lead when you left'

'No I mean it was really your birthday? Same day as mine!'

'Yeah it was, well happy birthday for Monday'

At this point the guy on their left looks up at me and my friend, we are mid hand and I initially thought he was mocking their excitement, I was about to be shocked however…

'Are you guys shitting me? It's my birthday on the 9th too!'

Everyone laughs. It's all completely true, we're all waiting while the driving licenses come out when we add to the odds of the situation, all three of them are called Jamie. So here we have three guys, all sitting next to each other, all called Jamie and all born on the same dates in 1977, 1984 and 1985 and somehow got to the subject of birthdays all within about 2 minutes. A few of us take pictures of the three of them holding ID and T9o in their hands and agree to e-mail them.

'What are the odds of that happening' I hear a few people ask over the next few hands.

Another 10 mins in the guy to the left of the three Jamie's said something along the lines of 'I'll have to be a mind reader if I wan't to beat these 3 guys' If I wasn't tired and had somewhere else to go I would have definitely left the table after this happened:

He's dealing and off the back of his comment Says 'Ace Ace King' before he lays down the flop. I'm at the other end of the table and don't see the cards for all the people going crazy. I don't even need to guess what just happened.

Next hand he decides to try again, a little more random call: 'Jack Seven Five' I'm closer to the flop this time and absolutely amazed to see it fall in that order. He gets the flop wrong next hand but calls the 5d on the turn. Two players got up and left even though the player calling the cards wasn't involved in any of the hands.

'If he was cheating why would he do that?' Someone asks.

"I don't care' Says one of the departing players 'I just spent 2 hours building this stack to £400, I don't want to play at this table with someone who calls two flops, in order, two hands in a row. What are the odds of that happening?'

It's nearly 7am, nobody works it out. My question is: What are the odds of 3 people called Jamie all sitting on the same table next to each other AND having the same birthday AND the player to their right calling two flops in order, in a row?

My guess would be QUITE BIG. So next time someone next hits a miricale 1 outer on the river to stack me, I won't be surprised!

No comments: