The Perfect Bet
Bringing together ideas from mathematics, psychology, economics and physics, The Perfect Bet traces the origins of successful betting methods. From the simple to the intricate, and the audacious to the absurd, Adam Kucharski reveals the long and tangled history between betting and science, and explains why gambling continues to generate insights into luck and decision-making today. Covering exploits and ideas from across the globe, he meets the teams behind hedge funds that capitalize on inaccurate sports betting odds, and explains how PhD-level pundits are using methods originally developed for the US nuclear program to predict sports results. Kucharski reveals why winning at chess depends on luck—but victory in checkers does not—and why poker is one of the ultimate challenges for artificial intelligence. He also explores the difficulties of mimicking human behavior, and explains what caused one hedge fund’s rogue algorithm to lose them $400,000 per second in the summer of 2012.