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Edward Oakley Thorp born August 14, is an American mathematics professor, author, hedge fund manager, and blackjack researcher. He pioneered the modern applications of probability theory , including the harnessing of very small correlations for reliable financial gain. Thorp is the author of Beat the Dealer , which mathematically proved that the house advantage in blackjack could be overcome by card counting. Thorp received his Ph. He was a professor of mathematics from to at New Mexico State University , and then joined the University of California, Irvine where he was a professor of mathematics from to and a professor of mathematics and finance from to Thorp used the IBM as a research tool in order to investigate the probabilities of winning while developing his blackjack game theory, which was based on the Kelly criterion , which he learned about from the paper by Kelly.
Thorp analyzed the game of blackjack to a great extent this way, while devising card-counting schemes with the aid of the IBM in order to improve his odds,  especially near the end of a card deck that is not being reshuffled after every deal. First they visited Reno and Lake Tahoe establishments where they tested Thorp's theory at the local blackjack tables.
During his Las Vegas casino visits Thorp frequently used disguises such as wraparound glasses and false beards. News quickly spread throughout the gambling community, which was eager for new methods of winning, while Thorp became an instant celebrity among blackjack aficionados. Due to the great demand generated about disseminating his research results to a wider gambling audience, he wrote the book Beat the Dealer in , widely considered the original card counting manual ,  which sold over , copies, a huge number for a specialty title which earned it a place in the New York Times bestseller list , much to the chagrin of Kimmel whose identity was thinly disguised in the book as Mr.
Thorp's blackjack research  is one of the very few examples where results from such research reached the public directly, completely bypassing the usual academic peer review process cycle. He has also stated that he considered the whole experiment an academic exercise.
In addition, Thorp, while a professor of mathematics at MIT, met Claude Shannon , and took him and his wife Betty Shannon as partners on weekend forays to Las Vegas to play roulette and blackjack, at which Thorp was very successful. The final operating version of the device was tested in Shannon's home lab at his basement in June He also devised the "Thorp count", a method for calculating the likelihood of winning in certain endgame positions in backgammon.
Since the late s, Thorp has used his knowledge of probability and statistics in the stock market by discovering and exploiting a number of pricing anomalies in the securities markets , and he has made a significant fortune.
He is currently the President of Edward O. In May , Thorp reported that his personal investments yielded an annualized 20 percent rate of return averaged over From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American mathematician. Chicago, Illinois , U. Edward O. Retrieved April 26, UCI News. UC Irvine. June 12, Thorp Copyright Quote: "My book Beat the Dealer explained the detailed theory and practice.
I Cambridge, Mass. Archived from the original on April 23, Retrieved March 18, Blackjack Edward Thorp, the pensive professor above, is shaking the gambling world with a system for beating a great card game. He published it a year ago, and now the proof is in: it works David E. Scherman January 13, pp. The classiest gambling game of all—just ask James Bond—is that enticing thing called baccarat, or chemin de fer. Its rules prevent a fast shuffle, and there is very little opportunity for hanky-panky.
Thorp has now come up with a system to beat it, and the system seems to work. It has also been spotted and barred from play in two casinos. Could it be bye-bye to baccarat, too? Thorp himself now uses a combination of wraparound glasses and a beard to change his appearance on successive Las Vegas visits. The mob-connected sharpie offered the young professor a deal: he would put up the money, if Thorp would put his theory to action and card-count their way to millions.
Backgammon Galore. Retrieved May 8, Archived from the original on October 31, Glossary of blackjack terms Card counting Shuffle track Hole carding. Munchkin Don Schlesinger Darryl Purpose. Categories : births American blackjack players American gambling writers American male non-fiction writers 20th-century American mathematicians 21st-century American mathematicians American hedge fund managers American investors American money managers American stock traders Living people University of California, Irvine faculty New Mexico State University faculty.
Edward O. Thorp