Kelly's Heroes II - Baby Got Bank

by Jake Jacobs
12 August 2014


Jake Jacobs

I like big bets and I cannot lie
No one in my chouette can deny
If the Crew comes in with an itty-bitty double
If they don't like beavers, they're in trouble!


My co-conspirator for today's article suggested the Sir Mix-A-Lot references; you could say "the Pottle made me do it. Rather than have Sam raise a rumpus, or make me the butt of his jokes, to avoid falling behind I came up with a few smart cracks. Hopefully the results will back us up. (Sam felt coauthor gave him too much credit – or possibly too much blame. He gets credit for any of the math that is right. Any that is wrong I screwed up on my own. And while it was I who rewrote the lyrics to "Baby Got Back," it was Sam, who has watched the video 347 times, who suggested it. )

Last month I introduced the idea of using the Kelly Criterion to decide how much you should put at risk. The lead in was a discussion of books by Michelin Chabot, who used, or abused, Kelly. As a refresher, let me repeat the details of his Incredible Chabot Paradoxical Proposition.



Let's suppose we are betting $1000 on this prop. You will start off playing Black, playing this position 360 times. You start with $1000 "capital" on paper. You must bet 5% of your capital, however much it is, on each trial. You must double, and I must beaver. Besides tracking your current capital we will track your roll each time. As an example, you start with $1000, so you must bet $50; then you double, I beaver, and you roll 63. We record the fact that you rolled 63, and that you now have $1200. You bet 5% of that, which is $60; you double, I beaver, and you roll 54. We record that, and the fact that you now have $1440. Having fun so far?
 
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