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Old Nov 11, 2006, 4:01am   #41
Petroz
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"The cards that come up are based on some set of written criteria that would need to be infinite in order to be purely random. At some point they stopped writing code and therefore the randomness now has limited possibilities. "

This is total rubish.
Computers by nature are accurate machines, they don't make mistakes, they don't miscalculate so everything is exact this means they're incapable of being random. There are streams of mathematics that work on functions that generate seemly random sequences of numbers. This is known as pseudo-random and it is all a computer can do. So every pseudo random number generated is based on the previous number, and the first number is called the "SEED". The seed is normally based on the clock because the clock is always changing.

They reseed the RNG every hand so the previous hand is completely UNRELATED to the next. Assuming thier shuffling algorithm isn't flawed and every permutation of the deck is equally likely (which competant programmers can do quite easily) then the cards are fair. And this can be considered "completely random shuffling" in the context of the statement.

"it has not been proven that any programmer(s) can create a completely randon number generator."
That is totally inane. You cant prove to me that a dice is truely random, you cant prove anything is random because the whole idea of random is that it returns unpredictable results.

"Maybe in their efforts to achieve complete randomness they actually created predictable or repetitive results? Who really knows?"
In answer to your question, I know and most programmers understand these concepts. If you don't understand something, sometimes it's easier to stay quiet than talk such garbage. You say "who really knows" like the question was the meaning of life. This is a straight forward question with a straight forward answer.

-Petroz
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 4:30am   #42
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I think they used to take mouse movements (an analog value) and use this random number to seed the generator - thus the computer doesn't "pick" its own number.

Also no computer is totally random - but it can be pseudo random.

Even humans are not usually random - they are open to suggestion - much more so than a computer.

Watch David Blane's hands on one of his shows (not when he sneeks a quick game on pokerstars) closely when they pick a random card - he moves it in certain ways - like drawing a number 9.

This is called seeding.

The level of pseudo randomness can be so high that it can be treated as random.

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 5:24am   #43
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Jesus, i thought I said in my post that I didn't really know, so therefore I wasn't claiming anything to be a fact of any sort. Why so vicious? I say that I don't think programs can be completely random and then you tell me I'm talking out of my ass as you explain that computers can not be completely random. Makes sense, huh? Just correct me or state the facts if you would. There is no reason for the belittlement as well.

And to Petroz, everyone knows a dice is not completely random because there is no such thing. Now a die on the other hand... Maybe you shouldn't talk of things you don't know about?

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 5:36am   #44
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Originally Posted by KTC View Post
Actually TWLLM, in Lee Jones' position, the site wide approach is correct. Sure it doesn't help the individual player, but that's not the point of his article. The object is to point out that however unlikely, someone somewhere out there, in this case playing on PokerStars will experience that unlikely event.

Yes, in terms of logic, just because the probability implies (=>) it will happens to someone doesn't mean it happens to someone implies it isn't rigged (the probability / isn't rigged!<= it will happens to someone). You shouldn't necessarily be surpise even if Lee Jones truely doesn't understand that logic, as I've recently heard from a leading professional statistician how a leading legal counsel doesn't understand it when he tries to explain it to the guy. Bear that one in thought if you ever end up in a court and the prosecution use forensic statistic to try to convict you.

Axis, you're talking out of your arse. Heard of number generator based on nature random events, e.g. radioactivity?
If I read you right, you're saying that just because the probability is 1/x for event y, that doesn't mean event y will happen to anyone, and that for the probability of y to exist, the event y never actually has to occur? Fine, that makes sense to me. But is that all you were saying in the second paragraph about the statistician and the lawyer? Maybe I missed something.

Jones's 'site wide' approach is just a simplification to show why/how it is that some people experience tremendous beats, based on how the site approximates the law of large numbers. 'It had to happen to someone', to paraphrase what he was saying.

However, as I said, that's bogus because (1) nothing empirical can substantiate the theoretical long-run on which the probabilities are based, or at the very least (2) no one player can play enough to guarantee they instantiate an accurate reflection the long-run probability. Hence, at best all Lee has said is "well, it's a big site. It had to happen to someone", meaning that no matter how bad your luck is (even if it got to the point of absolute absurdity, like 1000 losses in a row after flopping quads and your opponent always catches runners to a straight flush), you're supposed to accept that 'it had to happen to someone'. WTF good is that? The only basis for accepting it wasn't rigged is Lee's statement, then, because unless you watched all those other hands, you have no empirical evidence to the contrary; hence, you're left only with authority as evidence (in this case, Lee Jones and his statement) which leaves you begging the question - is Lee Jones's statement sufficient evidence it isn't rigged - with the only supporting evidence being his statement.

At least if he'd just said "our software isn't biased, and we don't make more money on you whether you win or lose, and remember just about anything can happen in the short run" I could respect that. With the way he actually does speak of it, in theory, as long as one hand doesn't see what the other is doing (that is, the individual taking serious beats doesn't see these happening to others, and hence thinks they're just the one who it 'has to happen to'), then they could be pulling any kind of wool over someone's eyes AND if you accept Lee's interpretation of probability, you'd never have any logical basis to question it.

If Lee had smarter instructors (or wasn't just dumbing things down) he also should have pointed out that the outcomes are irrelevant as a measure of the propensity of the system, at least to an interpretation of long-run probability which doesn't accept that the system can be modelled in finite events.

For my part, I accepted long ago that I could never, based empirically on my own experiences, even if I played 100k hands a week for the rest of my life, guarantee I'll ever 'even out' or 'get what is due' ('due' being a word totally anathema to probability! ). I would have to play billions of hands, probably, to 'balance out' (once again, bs terminology but bear with me) one streak of insane beats in particular. So for my empirical experience, there will never be a 'long run' long enough to balance things out. I guess I'm just left with that whole 'humanity as a collective' idea Peirce had about the longrun probability: for instance, assume you had the 52 cards of a standard deck, and having no choice but to comply, a gunman said you must draw from the pack, and select in advance if the ace of spades is the only card you'll be killed on, or the only card you'll live on. Now, of course most would choose the ace of spades as the only bad card, but when there's only one event, there is no 'long run probability' to speak of - so why do we choose the ace of spades instead of the rest of the deck, as the only bad card? Peirce said that perhaps we can look at the collective experience of human being (I'm really paraphrasing here) and believe that one choice is better than the other. BUT, regardless, for those who choose the death card, saying "I made the right choice" is hardly much in the way of solice. And for those who do receive more than their fair share of 'beats', the same goes.

So do I think online poker is rigged? No. Even though it is perfectly reasonable for me to doubt that the 'long run' will ever be relevant in my own experience (anyone who doubts this is rational, look up Charles Peirce and related theorists, specifically on the idea of the long-run in rational choice theory etc.). So, why don't I think it's rigged? A variety of reasons, including but not limited to the fact that (1) they don't have any reason to rig the cards, because I'm not playing against the house, (2) they would never intentionally rig the cards because the negative outcome of their being caught would greatly outweigh the short-term benefit, (3) my absolutely godawful and impossible-seeming bad luck proves nothing for the overall propensity of the system (one of my earlier arguments, now in reverse).

The other thing is this: I know we all hate people who go around saying online poker is rigged (once again, I don't think it is, I just thought it was a funny title), but realistically, if you don't question the veracity of claims when your experience runs VERY counter to them (and I'm not talking losing coinflips, I'm talking VERY 'unlikely' occurences), you're quite likely much less intelligent than someone who does. Whenever someone says it's rigged (and is serious, not just steaming), the more reasonable thing to say is not "stfu and put your tinfoil hat on' but either (1) you don't accept their argument and think they should keep playing for xyz reasons, or (2) simply that if they seriously think it's rigged, they should just stop playing. I think Lee's stance is a diplomatic middle between the tinfoil hat comment and (1), because he certainly can't publically say (2) even though many of us do privately.

I know, overall, that Lee Jones can't go saying things like this to people; most people think probability is some kind of meaningful force or directive controlling outcomes. However, that it is certainly not. It is a theoretical concept for how often theoretical events in perfect, theoretical systems will occur in theory. I see a theme there and I hope other do too. Probability's application to real life should be bounded, restricted, and always scrutinized.

Nonetheless, it's still more fun just to sit there and play, and when the 4th 1-outer loss in a row happens (you just know it will...) I'll get to change my signature to 1/3418801, which is the 'prior' probability; for those of you with a perverse nature about numbers, I could also just put 1 for the 'actual' probability. Ahh probability, you are a dirty, dirty mistress.

PS - this message was typed entirely without the aid of any alcohol or drugs; only the combination of exhaustion and intellectual committment was used.
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Originally Posted by DoubleU
Oh, and obviously, TWLLM, we'd all rather you just ruled with an iron fist of nittiness and made all decisions without consultation, but that goes without saying, right?

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 8:08am   #45
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Phew! Wild read man! It brings back memories of college statistics, calculus and economics, and all of them bad...lol!

So by your rationalization, the nearly immortal man in Lee's story that can only die by two succesive lightning strikes one half hour apart won't neccesarily die, since that outcome is wrongly expected to eventually happen sometime during all eternity. Rather, he could theoretically live forever by that specific criteria never occuring at all? Hmmm. That would make the only evidence Lee's words. Incredible observation!

---------You are now crossing the true/false line, but which side is which?------

Even if the debate proved that RNG's were as random as possible, the argument still overlooks the most obvious flaw, which is human nature. Why wouldn't a shady gaming operator have a shill or two in the big money games, having access to all of the raw empiracle data which is what we see as an online poker game. That game doesn't really exist as we know a poker game, rather is just zeros and ones. No matter how random a deal may be, seeing your opponents hole cards would negate the incredible occurence of them being dealt pocket aces 1000 times in a row.

Even a more fantastic idea would be the micro-managing of individual accounts for the maximum play time, based on one seriously complex function. Companies and marketers spare no expense to get us for every penny they can, learn our habits, study our tendencies, etc.. With that information readily available already in computer language form, analysis would simply need massive computing power and the will to operate as such, negating any use whatsoever of even the nicest of tin foil hats.

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This post WAS aided by the use of alcohol and/or drugs and not much else.

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 8:40am   #46
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By Gawd TWLLM that was a proper whine.
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 3:47pm   #47
TWLLM
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By Gawd TWLLM that was a proper whine.
Not a whine at all really. I still don't think PS is rigged, I just don't think that based on results.
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Quote:
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Oh, and obviously, TWLLM, we'd all rather you just ruled with an iron fist of nittiness and made all decisions without consultation, but that goes without saying, right?
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 4:01pm   #48
TWLLM
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Originally Posted by Axis of Evil View Post
Phew! Wild read man! It brings back memories of college statistics, calculus and economics, and all of them bad...lol!

So by your rationalization, the nearly immortal man in Lee's story that can only die by two succesive lightning strikes one half hour apart won't neccesarily die, since that outcome is wrongly expected to eventually happen sometime during all eternity. Rather, he could theoretically live forever by that specific criteria never occuring at all? Hmmm. That would make the only evidence Lee's words. Incredible observation!

---------You are now crossing the true/false line, but which side is which?------

Even if the debate proved that RNG's were as random as possible, the argument still overlooks the most obvious flaw, which is human nature. Why wouldn't a shady gaming operator have a shill or two in the big money games, having access to all of the raw empiracle data which is what we see as an online poker game. That game doesn't really exist as we know a poker game, rather is just zeros and ones. No matter how random a deal may be, seeing your opponents hole cards would negate the incredible occurence of them being dealt pocket aces 1000 times in a row.

Even a more fantastic idea would be the micro-managing of individual accounts for the maximum play time, based on one seriously complex function. Companies and marketers spare no expense to get us for every penny they can, learn our habits, study our tendencies, etc.. With that information readily available already in computer language form, analysis would simply need massive computing power and the will to operate as such, negating any use whatsoever of even the nicest of tin foil hats.

-------
This post WAS aided by the use of alcohol and/or drugs and not much else.

LOL at the endnote.

I understand what you're saying about the justification for why they might rig it (and put in shills etc.) which is, I think, true of very small operators who might just be looking for a quick buck, but not someone as big and as profitable as PS. So I don't buy that one, although I've hear it many times.

I'm sure PS does collect a lot of data on player trends etc., which they use to design promotions and marketing, rather than to change how the cards are dealt etc. I'm not sure how the cards are dealt exactly, but if the packet of info that is sent to the players computer were not accessable by those 'shills', then they wouldn't have the ability to see other player's hole cards. Personally, despite my probability arguments, I think the software is fairly designed, although I'm no expert in that area.

About the 'immortal' man: any time you use 'infinite' time or 'forever' or 'immortal' etc., in a probability argument, you're open to complete absurdities. Something like the St. Petersburg paradox, where we agree to flip a coin, and if it comes up heads I give you $2, and if it comes up tails we flip again, and the value of the next toss (if it hits heads) is $4, or else if it's tails we flip again. The game in question has infinite value, but is it rational to pay all your money to play it? No. So saying 'some guy who would die only if struck by lightning twice within a hour' would have to die eventually, is only correct if we assume infinite time: otherwise, he might outlive the sun for Christ's sake!

Yet again, Lee Jones has missed another basic rule of probability theory: games/propositional bets or whatever, must be settled in a timely fashion in order for their content to be rationally-assessable. What value is a million dollars to you in a billion years?!

Good post Axis - you opened many new avenues for me to poke holes in Lee Jones's article.
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Originally Posted by DoubleU
Oh, and obviously, TWLLM, we'd all rather you just ruled with an iron fist of nittiness and made all decisions without consultation, but that goes without saying, right?
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 9:34pm   #49
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"Jesus, i thought I said in my post that I didn't really know, so therefore I wasn't claiming anything to be a fact of any sort. Why so vicious? I say that I don't think programs can be completely random and then you tell me I'm talking out of my ass as you explain that computers can not be completely random."

I apologise for my tone, it was uncalled for. I was making the point that if every permutation of the deck is equally likely and which permutation is next cannot be determined by the user then this is as good as random.

"Why wouldn't a shady gaming operator have a shill or two in the big money games, having access to all of the raw empiracle data which is what we see as an online poker game."
The idea of the software is that it is self enclosed in that even if you were the main programmer you still couldn't access the random seed by which determines the cards. The access (or lack thereof) that players have to this information has less to do with random and more to do with security. Which is another major issue they take very seriously.

"And to Petroz, everyone knows a dice is not completely random because there is no such thing. Now a die on the other hand... Maybe you shouldn't talk of things you don't know about?"
Sorry i used the plural to refer to a single die. I was just trying to point out that you cannot prove that an outcome is random because like TWLLM said it's theoretical construct that cannot be determined by an outcome, only by analysing the nature of the outcomes can one suggest that it seems random.


Sorry again for attacking your post i'm stressed out by my exams but i shouldn't take it out on you.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 12:15pm   #50
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