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Buku The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass

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The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass

Author:Thomas A. Bass [Bass, Thomas A.]

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Bass Inc.

Published: 2014-06-28T16:00:00+00:00

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The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass

9

Lady Luck

Do not approach casinos with timidity or reverence. They are simply fruit-machines tended by bank clerks and mechanics.

 

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The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass

 

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The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass

Author:Thomas A. Bass [Bass, Thomas A.] , Date: June 29, 2019

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Author:Thomas A. Bass [Bass, Thomas A.]

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Bass Inc.

Published: 2014-06-28T16:00:00+00:00
9

Lady Luck

Do not approach casinos with timidity or reverence. They are simply fruit-machines tended by bank clerks and mechanics.

Ian Fleming

With the Project’s computers performing exactly as planned, the casinos looked as if they were getting worried. A croupier at the MGM Grand—mystified and upset by the stack of chips piling up in front of Ingrid—broke a fundamental house rule by grabbing the wheel and wrenching it around on its seat while the game was in play. The wheel made a tremendous screech. The shift boss came over to ask what was going on. In no position to lodge a complaint, Ingrid cashed out of the game and left the casino.

At another winning session, a croupier interested in Norman’s system asked him what she could do to help. Avoiding the technical term, Norman said, “Do you mind spinning the ball a little harder around the outside of the wheel? That makes me feel luckier.” Yet another croupier offered the Eudaemons an elegant demonstration of what gamblers call the dealer’s “signature.” Imagine someone operating a roulette wheel five nights a week ten years in a row. The slight imperfections on the track, the characteristics of different kinds of balls, the heft of the rotor and its drag on the central spindle will become intimate facts of life. On a slow night in the casino, to stave off boredom, what if our imaginary croupier experimented with the game, looking for ways to enhance the regularity and precision of it? Like a relief pitcher perfecting a slow sinking curve, the croupier after years of practice might learn how to flick the ball up on the track and drop it from orbit precisely twenty revolutions later. What if he then learned how to regulate the speed and position of the rotor, until, with several more years of practice, he perfected a synchronous loop in which the ball arced neatly on its twentieth revolution into a chosen pocket waiting below?

Doyne and Norman were teamed up to play roulette at the Lady Luck, a favorite casino of theirs because of the free tuna salad sandwiches and two-egg breakfasts served twenty-four hours a day. The croupier that night, a man in his thirties with frizzy hair, was particularly friendly. The computer was also working exceptionally well, so that early in the game Norman had accumulated several hundred dollars in chips. Standard protocol in roulette calls for winning players to tip the house, and Norman was doing so by giving the croupier chips to bet at his discretion. The man always chose number seventeen, which was odd, considering that the computer itself consistently predicted the octant of numbers containing seventeen.

“Why do you always bet on number seventeen?” Norman asked.

“Because if I do everything just right,” said the croupier, “I can actually hit seventeen. Not that I can do it every time, mind you, but I can get close to it. I set the wheel going at a steady rate, and then I flip the ball in this nice regular

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