The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 14, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages

As part of the notorious MIT team depicted in Ben Mezrich's now classic Bringing Down the House, Jeff Ma used math and statistics to master the game of blackjack and reap handsome rewards at casinos. Years later, Ma has inspired not only a bestselling novel and hit movie, but has also started three different companies. The House Advantage reveals Ma's cutting-edge mathematical insights into the world of statistics and makes them applicable to a wide business audience. He argues that numbers are the key to analyzing nearly everything in the world of business, from how to spot and profit from global market inefficiencies to having multiple backup plans in anticipation of every probability. Ma's stories and business lessons are as intriguing as they are universally applicable.

 

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Contents

1 The Religion of Statistics
1
2 Why the Past Matters
23
3 Think Like a Scientist
43
4 The Importance of Asking Questions
63
5 The Impractical Search for Perfection
81
6 Using Numbers to Tell a Story
99
7 Never Fear
119
8 Making the Right Decision
137
10 Why People Hate Math and What to Do with Them
173
11 The Brain Cells in Your Stomach
191
Epilogue
211
Afterword
227
A Quick Card Counting Lesson
233
Basic Strategy Chart
237
Notes
238
Index
244

9 When I Won We All Won
159

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About the author (2012)

Jeffrey Ma was a member of the MIT blackjack team, which utilized sophisticated card-counting strategies to beat casinos at blackjack worldwide in the mid-1990s, and was the basis for the main character of the book Bringing Down the House and the film 21. He has been the technology lead for two internet startups and was an options trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. He co-founded PROTRADE, a sports stock market website, and consults for professional sports teams including the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Francisco 49ers. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

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