Beating The Odds
This is a book about gambling; make no doubts about it. Thorp's mathematical brain is one of a kind, but he also had a tremendous appetite for risk. Risk not in a mathematical way, but in the fact that he could've easily been arrested and thrown in a jail cell.
Working with Claude Shannon, the two essentially invented a wearable computer that Thorp would wear in his shoe and use to time the revolutions of the roulette wheel.
What I like about this book is that deep down, Thorp is trying to beat something. He's trying to solve a puzzle better, faster, and more precise than everyone else. As an athlete, we compete on the court, field, diamond, etc. Thorp's game day took on a different environment, and he eventually makes his way to Wall Street, where he becomes a legend there too.
By trade, Thorp was a mathematician that was constantly striving to put the odds in his favor. Teaching advanced mathematics at MIT would be the thrill of a lifetime for some; Thorp wanted more.
In 1962, he wrote Beat The Dealer, followed by Beat The Market in 1967. In total, he has six books to his name.
The lessons in this book are applicable to everything: find an edge, exploit it, and continue to refine your ways to stay ahead of the competition.
For other books about sports betting, check out some of our favorites here.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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