What's Money Worth? Part 2

Gotta Get that Paper, Dog

Last week we had a little chat about money and what it's worth, a topic sufficiently complex to warrant another look.

Editor's note: If you haven't already read it, make sure you book, The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King).

The professionals who agreed to the arrangement included, among others, the Brunsons, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer and Chau Giang, folks whose approach to the game is such that it usually lies outside of the impact of the asymmetry principle.

Phil Ivey
Licking his lips at the prospect of playing a Texas billionaire.

But before they agreed to play, the pros first formed a consortium, with each contributing to a common bankroll to be used in the game.

Why, you may ask, did they do this? Why didn't each of them just sit down and play with their own money like they normally do?

Because the stakes that Beal set were so high that these seasoned pros, who usually never experience risk aversion, were pushed to the point where the asymmetry effect kicked in.

Beal understood this. His goal was to take them out of their comfort zone, to the point where they would experience the same emotional swings as the rest of us. The consortium (partially) neutralized this move by lowering variance and reducing individual risk.

Eventually they won a huge chunk of change from Beal, but from a psychological perspective that's almost beside the point.

Author Bio:

Arthur Reber has been a poker player and serious handicapper of thoroughbred horses for four decades. He is the author of The New Gambler's Bible and coauthor of Gambling for Dummies. Formerly a regular columnist for Poker Pro Magazine and Fun 'N' Games magazine, he has also contributed to Card Player (with Lou Krieger), Poker Digest, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Titan Poker. He outlined a new framework for evaluating the ethical and moral issues that emerge in gambling for an invited address to the International Conference of Gaming and Risk Taking.

Until recently he was the Broeklundian Professor of Psychology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Among his various visiting professorships was a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Now semiretired, Reber is a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

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