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Gambling Theory and Other Topics Paperback – June 1, 2004
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Most people who gamble are attracted by the action and excitement this form of entertainment offers. But only a small number of people are actually quite successful at gambling. How is this so? Why is it that these few can constantly make decisions that devastate their opponents? And what do you need to do to also become successful at this extremely challenging occupation? Gambling Theory And Other Topics was written in an attempt to answer these questions. In Gambling Theory and Other Topics, Mason Malmuth answers these questions. He introduces the dynamic concept of non-self-weighting strategies and shows how these strategies apply not only at the gaming tables by in ordinary daily life as well. Risk and fluctuations are discussed in terms of the statistical standard deviation, and how these relate to each other as well as to your bankroll. Other topics addressed include bankroll requirements, win-rate accuracy, free bets, which blackjack count is best, lottery fallacies, dangerous ideas, poker tournament strategies (including when it is correct to rebuy), settling up in tournaments, pai gow poker, super pan nine, the world's greatest gamblers, building pyramids, and much more. Gambling Theory And Other Topics is essential reading for all serious gamblers in order to ensure survival and success in an extremely challenging and highly rewarding profession. -- Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Mason Malmuth was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1973 he received his BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and completed their Masters program in 1975. While working for the United States Census Bureau in 1979, Mason stopped overnight in Las Vegas while driving to his new assignment in California. He was immediately fascinated by the games, and gambling became his major interest.
After arriving in California he discovered that poker was legal and began playing in some of the public cardrooms as well as taking periodic trips to Las Vegas where he would play both poker and blackjack. In 1982 he went to work for the Northrop Corporation as a mathematician and moved to Los Angeles where he could conveniently pursue his interest in poker in the large public cardrooms in Gardena, Bell Gardens, and Commerce.
In 1983 his first article Card Domination The Ultimate Blackjack Weapon was published in Gambling Times magazine. In 1987 he left his job with the Northrop Corporation to begin a career as both a full-time gambler and a gambling writer. He has had over 600 articles published in various magazines and is the author or co-author of 14 books. These include Gambling Theory and Other Topics, where he tries to demonstrate why only a small number of people are highly successful at gambling. In this book he introduces the reader to the concept of non-self weighting strategies and explains why successful gambling is actually a balance of luck and skill. Other books he has co-authored include Hold em Poker For Advanced Players, written with David Sklansky, Seven-Card Stud For Advanced Players written with David Sklansky and Ray Zee, and Small Stakes Hold em: Winning Big with Expert Play written with Ed Miller and David Sklansky. All the advanced books are considered the definitive works on these games.
His company Two Plus Two Publishing has sold over two million books and currently has 37 titles to its credit. These books are recognized as the best in their field and are thoroughly studied by those individuals who take gambling seriously.
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Unfortunately, much of the rest of the book is outdated and of little use to today's players: He discusses lowball and jacks or better draw, he discusses "bingo", he talks about the "new games" of PaiGow and Pan 9. This book is almost 19 years old now much of the original text is outdated or obsolete. Another section that seems a bit suspect is his discussion of tournaments. Although it contains some interesting mathematical ideas, it seems of little use in the "real" world of tournament poker. The fact that Malmuth chooses not to play in tournaments has stirred controversy over the years from those whose primary involvement in poker is tournaments. This text( with the noted exceptions in paragraph one) is in need of an overhaul in my opinion and is not much more than an interesting philosophical or theoretical overview of gambling.
One other section that is actually of value is his review of many of the popular gambling and poker titles by other writers. A number of players I have talked with like this section the best as it gives them direction in their book reading and book buying decisions.