Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Calling all Mathies

OK, first of all, let it be known that although I consider myself a reasonably smart feller (yes, yes, I deliberately left the spoonerism wide open for whoever wants it), I did not and do not still have the benefit of a college education. So there are certain areas of knowledge for which a lifetime of experience just cannot compensate. Statistics, for example, and that's what I have a problem with now.

I'm looking for a math wonk, specifically a statistics wonk, to confirm a little mental exercize I've been wrestling with this morning. I watched last night's Poker After Dark and watched Erica Scoenberg's KK lose to Karina Jett's AA. Hard luck aside (and of course, to whom HASN'T this happened?), I got to thinking, what are the odds of that happening?

So I'll tell you what I know, and I'll lay out my theory as to what the odds are, and hopefully someone out there can either confirm my numbers or correct them:

  • The odds of getting a specific pocket pair (like Aces or Kings) is 226-1.

  • So for two people to play, one of whom gets aces, and the other of whom gets kings, the odds would be 226 x 226, or 51,076, to 1.

  • Now at a full table, of course, those odds would go down. So any formula that determines the possibility of KK vs AA would have to take in to account the number of people at the table.

So: my formula for determining the odds of AA vs. KK is

51076 / (p-1)

(where p is the number of players at the table)

So heads up, that number stays at 51076 to 1, at a six-person table the odds are 10,215.2 to 1, and at a full nine-person table the odds are 6384.5 to 1 against.

Is this just bullshit mathematics, proffered by an idiot who knows less about statistics than he does about poker, which is damn little to begin with? I'm looking for a math guy. Someone, please help this poor ignorant fool!

Also, got a fair amount of positive feedback regarding my argumentative evil twin, Shmew Boy. Look for him to make other appearances here in this space.


  1. I was a math guy at school but that just made my old brain hurt thinking about it

  2. @Coop, I can imagine, it hurts my brain and it's only 41!

  3. If you ever want to check the odds of any hand (I usually use it when I want to whine about a horriic beat), use a poker hand simulator like the one at .