Poker theory helped to beat its creator

Poker theory helped to beat its creator

A funny story happened to John von Neumann, who is considered to be the first poker theorist. This person became the author of the popular science article "Game theory". He completely devoted his work to game theory that was just developing at that time. Long-term thinking and complex mathematical calculations allowed John von Neumann to deduce minimax theorem. Later it became the basis of game theory.

In the following studies John von Neumann told that the theorem of minimax became possible thanks to the research of poker game between two partners. At the end of a game the players usually discussed the possible optimal strategy of the game so such reasoning gave John von Neumann the idea to deduce the theorem. Perhaps, at that time he didn’t have an idea that one day he could be beat in poker due to his own strategy.

However it happened. In 1944 John von Neumann and N. Metropolis were at a game table in Los Alamos. A few hours before the tournament von Neumann told Metropolis about his theory, and it made him very interested in. During the game the opponent of the mathematician used the game strategy of his. As a result the Metropolis beat Neumann at 10 dollars. Five of them he spent to buy the book "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior" and the rest five he glued to the book in a memory of that event. A bit later Metropolis asked John von Neumann to sign the book confirming his loss is such way.

 
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